Copyright Used Against Censorship?

from the well,-sorta dept

We've talked a lot about how copyright is used to censor things someone doesn't want, but Michael Scott points us to a story where it's claimed that copyright is being used against censorship. It's over in South Korea, where the authors of a history book are suing their own publisher, after it altered their text based on government demands. The government apparently didn't like sections of the book A Modern and Contemporary History of Korea, and ordered them "revised." The publisher obliged, and the authors are now suing, claiming that it was copyright infringement. Of course, to me, it seems a lot more like this could easily be handled contractually, rather than with copyright law, but if someone wants an example of copyright being used for good, here you go...


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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 4th, 2009 @ 3:45pm

    Well and good now...

    ... but this will come back to haunt everyone later.

    I'm not sure how, I just know it will.

     

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    Zubin (profile), Sep 4th, 2009 @ 4:03pm

    Purpose?

    This still does not seem in line with the intended purpose of copyright.

     

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    Derek Bredensteiner, Sep 4th, 2009 @ 4:04pm

    Entitlement.

    This is central to the pro-copyright mentality. I created this idea therefore it is mine and is not to be tampered with or used without permission. This concept of a moral right is what the authors believe they have, and that's what they're fighting with not against censorship.

    If they really wanted to fight censorship (and make themselves more popular and make more money and sell more books), they'd let the publisher go ahead with their revisions, *THEN* release the original, publicizing and hightlighting the differences.

    I'd argue that even here copyright isn't being used for good, but for an egotistical argument over "mine mine mine".

     

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      Tek'a R (profile), Sep 4th, 2009 @ 6:58pm

      Re: (*THEN* release the original)

      Depending on the agreement between authors and the publisher, they may in fact not have the Right, as laid down in contract, to take that manuscript to anyone else for a certain time period or until certain conditions are met.

      So in this case the authors could be trying to preserve their work with IP laws because other functions of law and contract make it difficult to find satisfaction in any other way.

       

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    Derek Reed, Sep 4th, 2009 @ 4:19pm

    Attitude much?

    []Of course, to me, it seems a lot more like this could easily be handled contractually, rather than with copyright law, but if someone wants an example of copyright being used for good, here you go...[/]

    When detractors say things like "You have an agenda" - I think this is what they're talking about.

    It's been stated in the comments here more than once that the current author/musician to publisher relationship is more than a little bit biased towards indentured servitude. What leverage, if any, would an author have in this situation aside from a copyright claim? Or could someone fill me in what was meant by "handled contractually"?

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 4th, 2009 @ 6:01pm

      Re:

      It's been stated in the comments here more than once that the current author/musician to publisher relationship is more than a little bit biased towards indentured servitude. What leverage, if any, would an author have in this situation aside from a copyright claim? Or could someone fill me in what was meant by "handled contractually"?

      The contract between the publisher and the authors should state that the publisher is being hired to publish the book that the authors want to publish. A failure to do so would be a violation of the contract.

       

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    Richard, Sep 6th, 2009 @ 5:17am

    Copyright vs lying

    Seems to me that copyright here is being used because there isn't a good enough law against lying.

    If you publish something by someone else it seems that they do have the following natural moral rights.

    1. That (at least) you do not misrepresent the authorship without (freely given) permission of the author.

    I don't think that need to go as far as always identifying the author - although I think that there is an obligation to answer correctly if the question is asked unless there is some voluntary agreement to the contrary - eg in the case of ghost writing.

    2. That you do not publish an altered text as the work of the author without permission. Alteration would include omission in this case.

     

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