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"The web is considered 'public domain'" (illadore.livejournal.com)
248 points by slater on Nov 4, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 100 comments

Some of my written work was once pirated by a coporation.

In 1984, when I was 13, I wrote an article on revising the AD&D combat tables, sent it in to Dragon magazine, and it was published the following year. Before it hit print, I was given a contract to read and sign. The contract specified that I was selling "first serial rights" only, and retained all rights for republishing, putting in anthologies, etc.

I signed the contract, and got a $100 check.

20 years later, Dragon released a CD-ROM compendium of all content. My article was included, without my permission.

This was not "initial" serial rights - this was a republishing.

I sent an email saying "you owe me additional payment".

They wrote back saying "no".

I filled out a small claims court form in MA, submitted it along with a $40 processing fee, and waited.

A few weeks later I was given a court date.

I showed up. The Hasbro magazine rep (Dragon was published by TSR, which had been acquired by Wizards of the Coast, which had been acquired by Hasbro) did not show.

I won the case by default.

The court mailed the judgement to Hasbro.

A month later Hasbro mailed me a check for $2,000, in accordance with the judgement.

I'm pretty sure that cases like this is why that CD-ROM compendium was pulled from the market. Ironically, it's probably a collector's item now.

It's actually quite frustrating, because there are a number of magazines that want to publish back issue electronic archives, but can't because in they never imagined that they'd want to republish articles electronically and there's no practical way to chase down all the authors, artists, photographers and potentially the advertisers to get the rights.

I know one magazine publisher that just shrugged his shoulders and gave up. There are decent-quality scanned copies of every issue on the torrents now, but he isn't pursuing any action to stop it.

Reasonable copyright term limits would go a long way towards solving this issue.

This has nothing to do with copyright law.

I sold the first serial rights for $100.

I would have sold all rights for $120 or so.

...but they never asked.

> ...but they never asked.

That's rather the problem - asking every person who holds the rights can be genuinely difficult.

In your case, the original magazine was published years ago. Even if the publisher had kept your contact information - and didn't lose it when the got bought out by another company, and THAT company didn't lose it in the next level of buying out, etc. - the contact would no longer be accurate all those years later.

Even if they did somehow manage to contact you, it's possible that you wouldn't have responded to the letter asking for rights anymore than they responded to your letter asking for payment.

There could be this same problem for every article in every issue for the entire span of the magazine.

Hasbro could have noticed somewhere along the path to you initiating court procedures and have offered a quick payment of $120 to make you happy instead of the $2000 default judgement, but a corporation as large as Hasbro probably gets a lot of complaints, some of them nuisance complaints or crank calls.

It's quite possible that the $2,000 they had to pay was cheaper - maybe even dramatically cheaper - then the filing and/or legal footwork involved in accurately determining that it was necessary to pay you.

And when determining what you need to do in order to comply with a law is very burdensome or difficult, I would say that it's fair to call that a problem with the law. A good law should make it easy to obey the law - not easy in a moral sense where it's a low standard, or easy in the loophole sense that you won't get caught anyway, but easy in the accounting sense that accomplishing non-nefarious, law-abiding objectives should cost small amounts of money in overhead activities.

I'm guessing for a Hasbro lawyer just to look at the brief, let alone travel out to the court, would have exceeded the $2000, especially given the risk that the other party might actually win. They probably have a minimum threshold under which they just ignore complaints and lawsuits and see what happens.

  > That's rather the problem - asking every person
  > who holds the rights can be genuinely difficult.
I think that he means that he would have sold all rights when they originally published the article for $120 instead of $100 for first serial rights. He's not talking about this after-the-fact contacting of the rights-holders that you're talking about.

Or they could have just bought all rights at the start. Then the author gets paid / is happy and they can do what they want.

That gets back to the other part of ja27's argument "...they never imagined that they'd want to republish articles electronically...".

I'd be willing to bet that almost no print media is currently securing the rights to directly load content into the brain. They may regret that 50 years from now.

Actually, most rights clearance agreements have boilerplate language about the agreement covering "all mediums and distribution forms, existing or yet to be developed, throughout the universe, in perpetuity."

Basically, 'anything, everywhere, forever'. The language was probably developed by the insurance companies that handle claims for E&O (Errors & Omissions), and who know exactly how common these problems are. Chances are, that's where the $2k came from too; not Hasbro, but Hasbro's underwriter.

I wonder how someone like National Geographic does it, since they seem to have no problem publishing electronic versions. Maybe they've just automatically secured all rights? Or only used staff writers/photographers so they only publish things produced as "work for hire"?

It's been a legal issue: Greenberg v. National Geographic Society


Paying for rights that you don't intend to use until 20 years later sounds like a good way to ensure that your company doesn't last long enough to take advantage of those rights.

Well, depending on how good the article was and how long they retained the rights, it might make it difficult to publish one of their "Best Of" collections. I would imagine (haven't see a contract lately) that everyone is reserving all "electronic" means.

Thank you, Captain Hindsight!

It wouldn't be hindsight for Dragon magazine. They were publishing "Best of" volumes throughout their run. It isn't like we are talking ancient history, the CD-ROM and collections of magazines were well within the time era of most of their issues.

When the ink on the constitution was barely dry, the first US copyright law gave authors a right to their work for 14-years, with an option of one 14-year renewal.

If that were still the copyright law, you'd have had no case unless you renewed your copyright in 1998. And even if you had, by 2012, the work would be public domain, republishable in collection/digital/etc. format by anyone.

So, yes, copyright law is relevant, and shorter terms would free up a lot of magazine material now in limbo because it's impractical to clear the rights.

If it weren't for copyright law they could anything they pleased, so this has everything to do with copyright law.

Wouldn't the situation be avoided (mostly) if they had just paid him the additional money after he contacted them?

> there's no practical way to chase down all the authors, artists, photographers and potentially the advertisers to get the rights.

I wonder if that's why there is no huge PDF archive with all issues of BYTE magazine since #1

This is a great story, and the outline of it parallels my own experiences with small claims court. When big corporations mess with you, small claims is a very effective way to level the playing field.

Here is some additional information on the process. You have to find the "registered agent" for the company, which can usually be looked up online at the Secretary of State site for the state where the company is located. If they are out of state, serve the complaint by certified mail, with return receipt.

They ran into a lot of legal issues with that CD. Supposedly KenzerCo got the rights to all the pre-3.0 D&D stuff so that they could make Hackmaster by agreeing not to sue.

I'm kind of surprised that worked, since at first glance this would seem to be a copyright case, which no MA court has jurisdiction over.

Take another glance...

This could probably be argued under contract law as the defendant having exceeded the use they contracted.

Awesome. Sadly, this person is getting advice to "lawyer up" when it's really unnecessary to even get a lawyer involved. In these types of cases lawyers would just complicate things.

Actually this is one of the types of case, that is one person is clearly and obviously in the wrong but absolutely refuses to admit it, where having a lawyer is particularly helpful.

A lawyer isn't necessary, file a small claims action against them in your local area. If you're a writer you claim jurisdiction where you work (like the poster of this thread did), which generally means the other person will never be able to get there. They're either hiring a lawyer/paralegal to go to court or they sit and wait for the court to order payment.

Personally, I'd be filing small claims against them on the order of a thousand dollars or so and include a claim for expenses. Good chance it's job done and you got the cash.

This case seems so cut and dry though that a lawyer is hardly necessary. Small Claims court will do the job perfectly fine.

"Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at . . . I do know about copyright laws. It was "my bad" indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things. But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me... ALWAYS for free!"

The thing that struck me most about this reply was how perfect it is as an illustration of how not to deal with people when a problem arises.

1. When someone is angry about something you did, it is not right to adopt a breezy tone, as if you are doing some online chat with a friend. This is a disrespectful way of denigrating the concerns raised by that person.

2. The same can be said about the patronizing attitude - the "I have been around forever and know all there is to know about copyright and don't need to hear complaints from someone is an ignoramus on the topic" attitude. Even when you are in the right in dealing with, say, a disaffected customer, you never patronize in this way. It immediately causes the person to feel "shat upon," if I might use that phrase, and to react badly, even if you are correct in your position. When a problem exists, address it directly and don't play games with trying to act superior to the person making the complaint.

3. If you are going to address a legal complaint, at least make some minimal effort to understand what you are talking about. I understand that people can have philosophical disagreements about how copyright is enforced but one should not purport to make statements about technical issues of law when one has no idea what one is talking about. Here, just about everything the writer says about copyright is wrong and very obviously so.

4. When someone is already upset, you don't go about gratuitously provoking that person in responding to the complaint. "We stole your work but it really stunk and we did you a favor by writing it far better than you ever could have done" is the sort of response that must rank right up there with other classics in asinine fatuity.

I am sure there are other things wrong with this as well but this is surely a list of very obvious things to avoid in dealing with a complaint. This sort of thing is guaranteed to provoke, inflame, and escalate the problem to a point where this person will surely regret it.

In all seriousness, this could have been the single worst way to respond to a complaint.

The only conclusion I can draw is that she doesn't use a computer for much more than e-mail. I have a rule when communicating with a vendor or a costumer from my company: Would I like it if these words and my attribution (as well as my company's) ended up on every major news aggregation site (or just "4chan" works).

Put through that filter, I'm required to look at it from the perspective of not only how "I think it sounds" but "How it could be misinterpreted". The web site for the magazine is down. I can't imagine what her inbox must look like at this point. If this was my error and my responsibility, I would have driven the $130 to the Columbia School of Journalism that afternoon, apologized as requested and begged my company for reimbursement (that I wouldn't have deserved and likely wouldn't have received).

It could have, but consider that it may be an intentional stirring of the pot. Since their domain was created only 6mos ago and the whole affair is so absurdly tone deaf, I'm calling epic troll of the US-Internet World on this one.

Now for the advertising postmortem...

"I'm calling epic troll of the US-Internet World on this one."

That would be magnificent and a giant feat of social engineering, but I don't think it is. It's too subtle, there are too many unknown factors to be able to control the situation (how were they going to know that a person with a high-profile blog would respond with just a claim of 100$?) and the time line is too long for a troll. Nor is there a (positive) connection to any brand.

But if it is, hats off.

no, a glance at the @Cookssource twitterfeed (referring, amongst other things, to Poe's Law) makes it clear that to a large extent this is an epic trolling. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poes_Law

Welcome to the world of fake Twitter accounts. Wait until you see how vulgar BP was about the oil spill on @BPglobalPR!

Good catch it seems. Mea culpa.

Good points, although I'm pretty sure the editor, after determining that Monica was not a threat, was writing in this way simply to stick it to her for her own amusement.

I did not get that impression; and that would make for a pretty petty editor.

More likely a genuinely clueless person who has been in 'print' for a decade or two but is largely clueless to the interwebs.

Cluelessness does not preclude pettiness, and people get all sorts of nasty when they get caught doing something wrong.

Well yeah it was petty nonetheless, but jhamburger is suggesting that the editor here is essentially trolling the author and more than anything I was trying to say I didn't really think that was happening.

WTF is up with people? It's one thing to play fast and loose with the rules, but where do people get the audacity to even try that level of BS? When someone catches then red-handed, why do people keep denying? It's just silly - there's no way you can successfully argue the article was in the public domain, so you should probably just donate the $130, and be glad you're not on the hook for the $30,000 in maximum statutory damages.

What is it with our culture where people just can't admit they were wrong?

It's not denial, it's ignorance combined with stubbornness. The editor said she's been doing it for years, so obviously she's correct and Monica is mistaken.

Their latest edition has a Food Network post copied without a byline. Someone's about to have their ignorance corrected.

BRB. Just gotta go copy some content from Cooks Source website to throw up on my blog. An industry veteran editor has just told me it's OK to do.

Make sure it's actually Cooks' content and not something they just lifted from another site :|

Gee, where have I heard this elsewhere recently?

Oh yeah.... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rick-carnes/advice-for-jammie-...

It's advisable to learn to spot a publicity troll when you see one.

Supposedly, they've got real advertisers, and people have been calling them all day. Some have cancelled their ad buys.

The editor who responded to her e-mail is a complete idiot who knows nothing about copyright, and is being completely irresponsible and liability to her company. If she worked for me, she'd be fired, instantly (although I make sure all my editors understand copyright law -- so this is probably coming from higher up -- how could her bosses leave her so misinformed?).

I too have been in publishing for 20 years, and now work exclusively in online publishing. They violated her copyright, period. We get the rights to everything we publish for a reason, and if someone publishes something of ours without permission, we request them to take it down -- most do it instantly (I've never had to file a DCMA), but that's her next step -- DCMA/e-mail her ISP.

Really is mind-boggling that someone who considers themselves a professional journalist would send an e-mail like that -- embarrassed for our whole profession.

The thing that surprised me about this story is she claims to have worked in publishing for 30 years and has the audacity to spout this crap.

Sadly, though, Internet scraping by print journalists happens a lot. Wired editor Chris Anderson plagiarized material for his book (or by his account, "failing to cite sources") and there used to be a regular parade of plagiarists having their stories highlighted on Romenesko, a well-known blog and newsletter aimed at professional journalists. A common scenario is copying and pasting from other news sources, but Wikipedia figures prominently as well.

Copying and pasting is too easy and too big a temptation for people with low standards, and cheaters assume they won't get caught.

I get the feeling it's a one-girl operation and there are no higher ups.

agreed, such people and publications are an embarrassment to journalists at large.

Though I am not one to suggest getting a lawyer, I would take the steps towards that direction, including DCMA takedown and the like, as suggested by several others.

If this editor has been knowingly doing 'this' activity (clearly violating copyright) a class action lawsuit against the entire company could be in short order for copyright violation en masse.

Having to pay a lawyer sucks and is expensive, but outright theft and then re-branding with their own copyright is disgusting.

I wonder how interested groups like EFF and ACLU would be in this story.

Can she not use the DMCA to request that any offending online copies be removed and then sue in small claims court?

I'm always amazed at how any copyright law doesn't make it any easier to seek compensation if you are an individual. To the point where copyright only seems to have meaning if you have a team of lawyers on staff.

DMCA is really, really easy to do. If you can read and follow directions, you can DMCA someone's hosting provider for less than $6 and ten minutes of work or less. (I prefer doing it by certified mail, return receipt requested, which is the polite businessman's way to say This Is About To Become Serious Business For Your Attorney If You Don't Give Me What I Want.)

Save yourself $6 and do it by e-mail. Just find the abuse e-mail listed for the IP/Host and 99.9% of the time they'll take care of it in 24 hours or less.

Registered post is much muc less ignorable than email. "I didn't get that email" is an excuse they might give, but you can't say that with registered post. For the sake of $6 it's worth it.

I've had someone try (For a $1000 insurance claim against their business). I didn't mention it was registered post until they claimed they didn't get it.

"Oh, really? Well the registered post office said that there's a signature on this from you, and it was definately hand delivered."

Exactly my point. If you had sent them an email, then they could keep claiming they never got it. Registered post is an ace up your sleeve that you can pull out when you want to catch them with their pants down. You now have record of them misleading you. If this goes before a judge, that counts against them, since they are playing dirty. Registered Post saved the day, all for $6.

> you can DMCA someone's hosting provider for less than $6 and ten minutes of work or less.

Please, nobody tell /b/...

Why not? There are hefty penalties for abuse of process. If the copyrights of a /b/ denizen are indeed being infringed, then they should have just as much recourse to defend them.

No, I mean like "Instead of pizzas, let's send this guy over 9000 DMCA takedown requests."

Hence the comment about penalties for abuse of process. You can't send a DMCA takedown notice anonymously, and I suspect most people on /b/ won't want to sign their name to something which could land them in court.

> You can't send a DMCA takedown notice anonymously

Depends on your definition of "anonymous"; I don't imagine most potential recipients would require you to get the form notarized when you sign it (especially if they accept notices by email).

Sure it's be hugely illegal, but /b/ seems to have people who don't particularly care about that...

Is it illegal to send a false DMCA if you aren't an American citizen (and aren't living in the US)? I'm not sure what's involved, so maybe that's not possible, but still...

>Is it illegal to send a false DMCA if you aren't an American citizen (and aren't living in the US)?

IANACopyrightL but I suspect that it's fine as long as you don't send it to the US! If you send it to the US then you've caused an illegal action in that jurisdiction and would be liable. You're probably not going to be extradited though (unless you're in the UK [kinda joking]).

So, maybe if the recipient's mail server is outside the USA then you'd be fine.

I was half joking in the first place, but I wouldn't put it past them to try to spoof them anyway.

Hence the aforementioned hefty penalties for abuse of process.

There are also penalties for most other things /b/ does, but that doesn't stop them... they _are_ DDOS-ing a government office right now, after all.

My guess is, they will verify the identification information on the application before sending a volley of requests at a single target.

"and then sue in small claims court"

AFAIK there are no federal small claims courts in the United States, only state ones. The DMCA is federal legislation, and from 28USC85ยง1338, "(a) The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents, plant variety protection, copyrights and trademarks. Such jurisdiction shall be exclusive of the courts of the states in patent, plant variety protection and copyright cases."

As I understand US law (IANAL), it costs $350 to file a case in the federal District Court, but the statutory damages you will be awarded if you win range from $750-$30,000 (depending on what the court).

the sponsors of these laws were businesses, so it makes sense and isn't necessarily even bad for the law to be written for the common cases.

If you want to sue over an alleged copyright infringement, you have to use Federal court.

It's funny sometimes people think the internet is so big, no one will notice, when actually its the other way around.

Not only does the internet do a good job of exposing things, it catalogs everything, so it's hard for you to just remove something without someone or something saving it.

I once had someone wrote some crazy shit on their blog about my friend. My friend approached this person, and she denied it, and apparently tried removing her blog post. Luckily Google cached the entire thing.

The editor of the cooking magazine has allegedly been scraping other material, as well:

At present, people seem to have found matches between Cooks Source articles and the Martha Stewart website; The Food Network; NPR; the website of Boots (the chemist); Alternet; Weight Watchers; and a website owned by Disney.


The most complete listing of Cooks Source plagiarism I've seen so far, including stolen images and at least seven specific Food Network recipes:


One source at Food Network stated their legal department is looking into it.

There's a rapidly growing list on their Facebook discussion page citing all kinds of ripped-off articles and their original sources.

One does NOT fuck with Oprah.

Well... There will be a smoking crater where their offices used to be.

Yes, it is good to point out insensitive/mistaken/hypocritical companies. But there is something that can get lost in these cases.

Everyone is provoked to a belligerent counter-attack: demand restitution! lawyer-up! sue! But this only consolidates the underlying problem. It is just the wrongness of the system popping up in a different place. The way forward is less restrictions, less legal action, not more aggressive enforcement for everyone.

If someone plagiarises something, and then excuses themself with a pack of bumptious squirmy nonsense, they can be ridiculed. But generally we all ought to be copying stuff pretty freely.

You don't consider the offer to "make good" by donating $130 to the school of journalism to be a perfectly good first option before "belligerent counter-attack"?

Griggs was an idiot - but thats OK, there's no law against being an idiot. There _is_ a copyright law though. Griggs was offered a simple and inexpensive way to to fix the crime she committed out of her idiocy, and she chose to not take up that offer. What else should the copyright owner in a case like this do except get belligerent?

> But generally we all ought to be copying stuff pretty freely.

Which we can't do under the current laws, regardless of whether we ignore people who don't understand those laws. What's the best way to get the laws fixed?

What's the best way to get the laws fixed?

"Convince everyone to ignore them" seems like a reasonable first step.

Well in that case, mission accomplished.

Regardless of copyright philosophy, it's more about honoring the expectations of each party in the business transaction. The agreement was that they could publish the article once but not republish. Regardless of the law, breaching that mutually-agreed expectation was bound to cause problems.

And the Washington Post picks this story up - http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward/2010/11/cooks...

Looks like their website is already down


And angry comments keep on being posted on their Facebook page, although the ironic thing is I think you have to click "Like" to be able to comment ...

She should find a lawyer, if it appeared in the print magazine, you're looking at $30,000 times the number of copies of the magazine.

Taking others peoples content and using it commercially without asking ... http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1840481.

Interesting comparison in the reactions from HNers IMO.

How is mirroring geocities and/or supplying a torrent of the content using it commercially? Reocities even responds to takedown requests.

Supplying the torrent isn't directly commercial but upping others' content with your own ads, is. And should be subject to claims to account to claimants for income received unless they published under a wide enough copy-left licence.

However, a reform to copyright law I'd gladly see happen is that orphan content (which officially deleted websites arguably are) should be exempt from copyright. I mean, how can people seriously retain rights to profit from work which they OK'd (explicitly or implicitly) the deletion/ending the publication of? What reocities does, in my mind, whether commercial or not, is great.

I also think there should be a default, opt-out licence covering all new content published, along the lines of CC share alike - attribution - noncommercial. Creators are free to opt out of the licence - explicitly - and reserve ALL rights if they want.

Wouldn't cover CooksSource's actions (commercial) but it would stop you infringing my copyright when you forward my emails.

Also, responding to a takedown is a completely non-sequitur to 'how is that commercial'. For better, or worse; commercial, or not; you have to comply. Insane that such a logical fallacy can attract such karma.

I agree with that part of copyright reform needs to deal with orphan conent.

However, approving having something deleted does not by itself make it an orphan work. After all, the copyright holder may have had it deleted in one place to publish it in another or had it removed so that it could be reworked into a new revision before being posted.

Orphaned works are those where either the copyright owner no longer exists (a corporate entity that went out of business for instance) or where there is no practical way to identify the proper copyright holder. Not merely those that have been removed from one particular place of publication.

As I recall, a lot of photographers were very opposed to orphan copyright law that was making its way through Congress at one point. The gist of the argument as I remember it was the concern that people would make a very perfunctory attempt to contact the copyright holder ("Oh, we would have asked for permission but we didn't have a current address so we just went ahead and used it.")

And the overall situation with photography on the Web is probably much worse than writing. Even sites that wouldn't condone unattributed cutting and pasting of text routinely use all sorts of photos that I'm sure have been casually copied from somewhere on the Web.

>However, approving having something deleted does not by itself make it an orphan work. After all, the copyright holder may have had it deleted in one place to publish it in another or had it removed so that it could be reworked into a new revision before being posted.

Destruction of a work I retain the copyright on is part of my [moral] right. For example an artist may not wish their earlier work to be seen, they should have the right to prevent it deleteriously affecting their reputation without that work being considered "orphaned" and fair game.

Reocities bringing back my teenage webpages may mean that people find things authored by me that I no longer want to be available, I took the appropriate course in letting Geocities wipe their servers; what right do Reocities have to recover that without my say so?

I don't care as it happens but I could and assuming that the servers are in a Paris Convention/TRIPS country I should win. TRIPS requires countries to treat commercial scale infringements as criminal!

FWIW safe harbour only works if you know you're not holding works for which you don't have the copyright or a license.

>Orphaned works are those where either the copyright owner no longer exists [...] or where there is no practical way to identify the proper copyright holder.

The former are orphaned if their estates or business successors can't be found. The later are not orphaned, they're just a PITA.

not to get too 'cooksource' or bolshy on you but why on earth would you have moral rights? why is this an issue of 'win'? you publicised your content, technology made a million copies of it, people found it useful to them to communicate it from one to another in various (licensed) formats. Your content was useful to society - potentially to thousands. Yet after splashing it all over the internet, you decide it's not worth monetising and so you get to tell everyone to delete it, no matter how useful and culturally important it is? at no gain to yourself but vast loss to society? Where does that come from, except an un-democratically ratified treaty?

As for what was above: I fully accept the issues over orphan works, I was just defending the Reocities iniatiative; by and large, the rebirth of utility in what really were orphan works.

>Yet after splashing it all over the internet, you decide it's not worth monetising and so you get to tell everyone to delete it

No, you only get to delete copies you have control over. If someone has received a copy of the document within their rights they are fine. However, in Europe we don't have personal fair use rights [to the same extent] as you do in USA (I'm guessing) - so keeping a personal copy of something you saw online is an infringing act.

Why moral rights? Well that comes to the heart of what you see copyright as for.

Moral rights are the most important part IMO, I see that those who create a work should have the right to distribute it or not as they see fit (once distributed their rights are [or at least should be!] exhausted over the distributed copies). But simply because I'm no longer distributing shouldn't give you the right to take that work from me.

A creator should also have the right to be named as creator (perpetually IMO, even beyond copyrights current terms). They should also have the right to control modification ("adaptation"), within the term, a limited version of this is obviously necessary if the right to be named as creator is there. I don't think you should have the right to write what you want and put my name on it (this clearly overlaps with other laws, eg libel).

Basically what you're saying is other creators content should be free (libre+gratis) for me because I think what I'm doing is right. IMO that's not your call.

One question, how do you [legally] differentiate Reocities from someone who takes your blog post and republishes it with ads? You may not have a problem with that (use CC or PD licenses in which case) but most would. [Now you've defined the difference you can start your campaign to get copyright altered.]

Shall we do trademark infringement now too .. Reocities is almost certainly infringing there too, if the owners have a lot of money I could see a RTM troll picking up the mark and going to town.

> No, you only get to delete copies you have control over. > so keeping a personal copy of something you saw online is an infringing act.

In other words, I'm right that you think that more than issuing content on licences that are revocable, allowing a person to instantly revoke all licences and be in their rights to totally withdraw something from circulation and speech in society, you go much further than contractual controls over speech and culture - you make it a moral right! you said:

>> Destruction of a work I retain the copyright on is part of my [moral] right.

I am not totally against moral rights, by the way. I do know exactly what they are, and am not from the US, or France, both of which see them slightly differently than here, the UK. But that's irrelevant. I agree with you about correct attribution. Note that misleading attribution is really not so bad. People lie all the time, and where lies cause damage, we have laws in place for that - e.g. contractual misrepresentation/negligent misstatement, fraud, libel. Why add a super-powerful moral right, capable of reaching through space and time, and activateable at your wish, for all of time (I assume if you want that right to be enforceable, you're saying it should be assignable to someone after your death, and theirs, ad infinitum)?

You forget that every citizen with a computer (including a smartphone) is now a publisher. Copyright law is very, very complex, and that's fine if it only affected professional publishers, as it once did, and helped create a market capable of self-regulating copying. But all of that has changed, hugely, now. Are you really considering my moral rights when you cite my post in the one you just published?

Furthermore, copyright is a bundle of rights that reaches through space and time to control how people communicate, and also how your digital devices (your own property) can interact (DRM, region controls, etc). For it to exist, we have to sacrifice, for the copyright term, rights to free communication, to efficient cultural diffusion, cheap education, cheap and simple factual accuracy (since things must be paraphrased, incriminating emails cannot be reproduced, etc). We chose to do that, but our legislators perhaps forgot about that sacrifice every time they extended copyright. Have a read of the economists' amicus curiae brief in Eldred v Ashcroft (supreme court) to see what Coase, Friedman, Arrow, Varian, Akerloff, Buchanan et al thought about just the economic aspect of it (let alone my points just now about nonmarket efficiency and rights to free and efficient speech).

>Basically what you're saying is other creators content should be free (libre+gratis) for me because I think what I'm doing is right. IMO that's not your call.

Basically, that's not at all what I have ever said or felt. See above where I said that new content should be created - even with all rights from copyright as it is - under an OPT OUT implied statutory license for NON-COMMERCIAL, ATTRIBUTED and SHARE ALIKE use. (I think this covers your next question, too, by removing the strawman you based it on)

> Shall we do trademark infringement now too .. Reocities is almost certainly infringing there too, if the owners have a lot of money I could see a RTM troll picking up the mark and going to town.

I'm sorry, what's your point here. That Reocities is bad, or that IP laws are on many occasions very negative things indeed?

"Moral rights" has a specific meaning in copyright law. It's not clear to me that enforcing destruction is covered as a moral right (although I can certainly understand the logic), but every content creator automatically has moral rights in the copyrighted content.

I of course mean Berne Convention, doh!

You missed the ads? And got 17 upvotes (at least), well done.

[Incidentally if Jacques is reading I'm not waging war against you.]

Yes, though the reocities guys aren't so trollish about it.

I'm not saying that reocities is not right, just that it is not legal. Even if it were non-commercial then they are flouting the content creators moral rights (whether some of those people, as the reocities people say, are very happy to have their copyright infringed or not).

Fun fact---I discovered "Open Source Cook" on facebook while I searched for Cooks Source. I was thinking today that there MUST be an open-source set of recipes or something similar out there.

Silver lining to the cloud.

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