Public Domain, Damages, and Hardcore Activism

So in the grand tradition of a few of the law blogs I follow, I’m going to start posting some of the articles that I find that I think may be of interest to folks that follow the blog. In addition to conversations with friends and other random encounters, these types of articles are where I get my inspiration from for posts.

Magazine Steals Website Article, Tells Protesting Author She Needs Lesson in Public Domain
Rule 1 about Copyright law – it invests when a piece is written, not when it is registered.
Rule 2 – A Copyright notice/symbol has not been required since the US joined the Berne Convention, effective March 1, 1989.
Rule 3 – If you take someone’s article off of the internet and repost it with attribution, most people don’t get upset. However, if you build a business republishing others articles without their consent, and The Internet finds out… You’re screwed.

In 3rd Music-Download Trial Replay, Minn. Woman Is Hit with $1.5M Verdict; $62,500 Per Song
Subject: 24 illegal downloaded, copyrighted songs
Trial 1: $222,000
Trial 2: $1.92 million (later reduced to latter verdict was reduced by a federal judge in Minnesota to $54,000)
Trial 3: $1.5 million (average of $62,500/song)

Summary: Violations for copyright infringement are both incredibly vague and insanely over-valued. The third trial was for “damages” from having the copyright infringed.

(I could really do a nice big entry on all of these types of cases…)

And not to be outdone… Porn Industry Lawyer Is New Copyright King With 16,700 Lawsuits Filed

That’s right – The Adult Copyright Company offers “hardcore protection for hardcore content,” according to the website , and they have just set the record for the most copyright infringement lawsuits filed in the shortest amount of time. The second runner up now is a “team” of lawyers that purport to help indie film makers by suing unnamed file sharers by figuring out IP addresses. Here’s their 15 minutes of fame link .


(c) Nicole L. M. Jurkowski 2010


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