The latest in a long string of copyright suits against Google came yesterday when Grateful Dead mandolin player David Grisman claimed damages from certain clips of him performing that appeared on YouTube. Apart from the irony of a Grateful Dead member complaining about fans sharing his clips, it seems that the language in the initial complaint was lifted word for word from another suit against Google on a similar subject. The firm that wrote the initial complaint is not amused, although these things aren't copyrighted, so there doesn't appear to be any legal problem here. As law professor Stephen Bainbridge points out, the real issue here is ethics. Lawyers typically charge their clients by the hour, but if they're just cutting and pasting, then they're probably not putting in as many hours as they claim. Of course, if basic tasks can be done by cut and paste, it would seem to undermine the need for such high barriers to entry into the legal profession. Update: As a number of commenters have pointed out, David Grisman may have played music with the Grateful Dead, but was not actually a full-fledged member of the band.
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