Join Us Thursday For A Conversation With Rob Reid, Author Of Year Zero; Plus August's Book Of The Month

from the no-safe-harbors dept

As you hopefully remember, the Techdirt “book of the month” for July was Rob Reid’s Year Zero, the sci-fi novel about aliens realizing they owe the earth all the money in the universe because they’ve been infringing US copyright law while listening to all of our music (which they love). We published an excerpt here. For the last few books, we’ve held text chats via CoverItLive, but with Rob, we’re going to try something different. On Thursday, at 12:30pm PT/3:30pm ET, we’ll be broadcasting a live video chat (via Google’s “Hangouts on Air” and YouTube) between myself and Rob (he’ll be live at Techdirt’s offices). I’ll have a bunch of questions for him, but we’ll also be taking questions online, which you can submit via Twitter during the chat, using the hashtag #yearzero, which we’ll be monitoring. You’ll also be able to submit questions via Google Plus. As with the text chat, this will be an experiment, so we’ll see how it goes.

We also wanted to announce the August book of the month, which is No Safe Harbor, a collection of essays, on a variety of topics that we cover here on Techdirt, put together by the US Pirate Party. You can buy the book at Amazon or (of course) download it from the link above in pretty much every format imaginable. We’ll be talking to Andrew “K’Tetch” Norton, who put the book together late in August or early in September.

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Comments on “Join Us Thursday For A Conversation With Rob Reid, Author Of Year Zero; Plus August's Book Of The Month”

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67 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Pirate Mike’s Book Club Offerings

July 2012

Year Zero: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/217834/year-zero-by-rob-reid

Hardback $25
Paperback $15
eBook $12.99
Audiobook $20

Copyrighted? Of yeah.

Copyright-as-business model? Yep.

Can we thank copyright for this book? Of course.

Would Mike approve if the copyright holder enforced its copyright against an infringer? Nope. He’d blame the rightholder and not the pirate for the pirate’s decision to violate the rightholder’s rights. Every time.

Is Pirate Mike a duplicitous asshole? You bet. There’s none slimier.

How do you know this? Simple. Ask him a simple and direct question about his fundamental beliefs. Sit back and enjoy the silence or the sliminess. You won’t get a simple and direct answer. Ever.

*****

August 2012

No Safe Harbor http://www.nosafeharbor.com/

Paperback $9.99
Download FREE!

Copyrighted? Yep. Proudly noticed on Page 2: http://pp-international.net/no_safe_harbor/No%20Safe%20Harbor%20-%20United%20States%20Pirate%20Party.pdf

Is it funny that pirates are copyrighting their works? Yes. Absolutely.

Is it funny that Pirate Mike’s pirate buddies are relying on copyright? More than words can adequately capture.

Do TDers even read books? I have serious, serious doubts. Probably too busy watching all the videos and listening to all the music they pirated. TD isn’t populated by bookworms, that’s for sure.

Is Mike desperately trying to seem legitimate with this silly book club? Absolutely. Obviously so.

Is it working? Not one iota.

Andrew Norton (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Is it funny that pirates are copyrighting their works? Yes. Absolutely.”

Only if you don’t understand reality. That is that ALL WORKS ARE COPYRIGHT BY DEFAULT.
That’s the law.
You’ll also notice it’s under a Creative Commons license.

And the Pirate Parties don’t have a problem with copyright, and don’t want it abolished. They just want the excesses rolled back.

Sorry if the facts of reality intrude on your nice little ‘theory’. Perhaps you can scrub it out, and try again, I’m sure no-one else will hold your ignorance against you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, in the U.S., works are automatically copyrighted when fixed in a tangible medium. But an author can then abandon the copyright and put the work in the public domain (this is what Pirate Mike claims to do with his articles, even though he doesn’t bother to actually abandon the copyright in each article–which he could do rather easily with a simple notice).

The CC license works via copyright; if a work is not copyrighted, the license is not enforceable. And anyone who exceeds the scope of the license is an infringer of the copyright. So yeah, it’s hilarious that the pirate work is copyrighted, with a huge copyright notice on the second page to boot. And it’s hilarious that Pirate Mike keeps featuring books that use copyright in his anti-copyright, pro-piracy book club.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

But an author can then abandon the copyright and put the work in the public domain

There is no “abandoning” copyright. It is with you for life plus 70 years (barring any future extensions) The best you can do is choose not to enforce any aspect of copyright till you are dead, at which point your estate can then do a 180 from your position and enforce the crap out of it.

The CC license works via copyright;

It works in spite of copyright. Big difference.

So yeah, it’s hilarious that the pirate work is copyrighted, with a huge copyright notice on the second page to boot.

“Ha ha. Look at that water. It is so wet. Isn’t that hilarious.”

And it’s hilarious that Pirate Mike keeps featuring books that use copyright

Please provide a current book that is not covered by copyright. All the books from prior to 1923 don’t have a lot to do with current copyright, patent, trademark and technology.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

There is no “abandoning” copyright. It is with you for life plus 70 years (barring any future extensions) The best you can do is choose not to enforce any aspect of copyright till you are dead, at which point your estate can then do a 180 from your position and enforce the crap out of it.

You’re just embarrassing yourself at this point. Google “copyright abandonment,” read up for a few hours, and then get back to me. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. No wonder Pirate Mike hired you to write for TD.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Took you up on your dare. Here is something I found:

http://www.lawcatalog.com/samples/ljp_694PublicDomain.pdf

A couple of things to note:

Section 6.02

Neither the current copyright law (Copyright Act of 1976)1 nor prior law (Copyright Act of 1909)2 contain any provision explicitly allowing copyright owners to dedicate their works to the public domain, or explaining how it can be done.3

Section 6.02[4]

If a copyright owner abandons his copyright, does the abandonment last forever, or can he later change his mind and re-claim his copyright rights? There are no cases directly addressing this issue.

Seems to support what I have been describing all along. Imagine that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

And there’s no statutory law that describes how I can abandon ownership in any property that I own, yet I can still abandon my ownership in any property that I own. You don’t look to statutory law, you look to the common law. Once a work is abandoned to the public domain, it remains there for all to use. If you guys thought about copyright as being property, which is all that it is, then you wouldn’t be so surprised to learn that you can abandon your ownership in it just like any other personal property you may own. Could someone abandon a work and then later try and reclaim the copyright? Sure, they could try. They could try that with any allegedly abandoned property. If that person then sues someone else for infringement, that defendant would be able to claim abandonment of copyright, which is a complete defense to a claim of copyright infringement.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

They could try that with any allegedly abandoned property. If that person then sues someone else for infringement, that defendant would be able to claim abandonment of copyright, which is a complete defense to a claim of copyright infringement.

Again, only if the alleged infringement happened prior to the reclaiming of the copyright. After the copyright is reclaimed, that defense is no longer valid.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

You just aren’t making sense. They are attempting to reclaim the copyright, but since the work is actually in the public domain, they won’t be able to actually reclaim the rights. The defense will always be valid, and if the defendant can prove that the work was dedicated to the public domain, they will win. It doesn’t matter what some successor of the copyright holder claims to own. The fact is, they cannot own that which they did not inherit.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

You are claiming that with no legal backing whatsoever. As has been pointed out, the Golan case and Europe’s recent retroactive copyright extensions prove you wrong.

Until we have a legal precedent that states that a work that has been “abandoned” cannot be reclaimed by the would be inheritor of the copyright, then my worries are justified.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Your concerns make no sense. If a work is in the public domain, no one can legitimately claim copyright on that work (unless there’s a special situation like the foreign works at issue in Golan). Your concerns are fabricated, and you’ve already demonstrated that you know not what you’re talking about. Your whole argument is that no works can be dedicated to the public domain because someone down the road might try and claim (erroneously, of course) copyright in that work. It’s a stupid argument, and frankly, quite boring to me.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

It is a very valid concern. Why? Because there are ZERO legal safe guards in copyright law to prevent the reclaiming of copyright. There is also ZERO case law setting a precedent that such a reclamation of copyright cannot happen.

You on the other hand, are completely ignoring that.

So to reiterate:

Yes, you can abandon your copyright to the public domain, but that is only enforceable as long as you are alive. Once you are dead, your estate, that has a valid legal claim to the copyright can reclaim it for the remaining 70 years.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

You can reject my argument all you want, but the law and legal precedent is on my side.

LMAO! Yesterday, you insisted that there was no way to dedicate anything to the public domain, and that people were stuck with their copyrights. You insisted, completely unaware of the actual law on point. And today you’re an expert, fully cognizant of the doctrine’s metes and bounds. Sorry, Zach, but you’re a complete fucking moron.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re:

I’m the moron? You are the one that claims that the law allows for permanent abandonment of copyright with no laws or legal precedent backing you up.

I am claiming that the law does not specifically allow for permanent abandonment. Which means that it is still possible, but not legally tested, for a work to be reclaimed under copyright.

And I am the moron. Well, at least I am nice.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

And you really missed the point. They could have dedicated the book to the public domain. Instead of saying “copyright” on Page 2, it could have said “No rights reserved. Dedicated to the public domain.” But it didn’t. It said that it’s copyrighted. Give me a fucking break with your idiotic know-it-all backwards-working bullshit. Seriously, dude. You need help if you can’t just admit that you don’t what you’re talking about. You’re the dumbest of the TD contributors. You’re the nicest too, but definitely the dumbest. Sorry, but them’s the truth.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, in the U.S., works are automatically copyrighted when fixed in a tangible medium. But an author can then abandon the copyright and put the work in the public domain

This is not easy to do. For one thing, that “dedication” may work in the U.S., but in other countries (the EU especially), authors have certain rights (“droit d’auteur,” or “moral rights”) that cannot be waived, even voluntarily. (In the U.S., this right is also granted to visual artists in 17 USC 106a.)

Plus, “copyright abandonment” is a common-law affirmative defense, and occurs nowhere in the federal statutes. This presents its own set of problems. There is no generalized process to go through to “abandon” your copyright; the legal definition differs slightly in each region; and common-law “abandonment” statutes would be trumped by Federal copyright law, if there was any kind of conflict.

One such conflict might be between “copyright abandonment” and the termination rights in 17 USC 203. This would occur if, for example, a programmer assigned the copyright on her code to the FSF, who release it under the GPL. Under 203’s termination rights, she could eventually nullify the assignment, and place that same code under a “full” copyright. That probably wouldn’t apply to Techdirt articles by Mike, but it might with some of the other Techdirt authors (though it’s unlikely).

In reality, the only way to affect a federally-enforcable copyright “abandonment” is to grant an unrestricted license. This is the idea behind a CC0 license. Of course, in order to grant that license, you need to hold the copyright in the first place. So, even CC0 material would still be under copyright, technically speaking.

(this is what Pirate Mike claims to do with his articles, even though he doesn’t bother to actually abandon the copyright in each article–which he could do rather easily with a simple notice).

Since Mike actually holds the copyright on the articles he writes, if he “claims” to abandon the copyright, then he does (to the extent that abandonment is possible).

I can’t answer why he doesn’t simply put a CC0 notice on his articles, but I suspect it has to do with the issues above.

And calling him “Pirate Mike” is just an ad hominem – and a baseless one at that, since Mike has never once advocated piracy, nor has he ever said that copyright is always bad. I wouldn’t blame him if he never replied to anyone who used this insult: it shows that you’re here for name-calling, not debate.

p.s. What’s with all the Techdirt server errors? Time to move to a new webhost?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Hi Karl!

Errors? The homepage was loading already-scrolled-down a ways earlier, but not any more. Other than that, no problems on my end. Maybe what you’re seeing is the same or related?

If I were Mike, and I really wanted to abandon my copyright on each article, and I would simply have a bit of text at the end of each one saying simply “no rights reserved” (or something similar). I’m not sure he can abandon the rights to articles he hasn’t even written yet, which is what he appears to think he can do/is doing (I don’t see how you can affirmatively abandon your rights to property that doesn’t even exist yet; it HAS to be ex post). Seems like a simple notice with each article would be the better practice.

P.S. What the fuck with the Rojadirecta case? 2d Circuit sitting on it since oral arguments in December, and the district court sitting on a motion to dismiss for two months? C’mon already! I’m dying here!!

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Hi Karl!

Hello, Anonymous Coward. (By the way, are you the person who used to post under the username Average Joe? It would explain a lot.)

Errors? The homepage was loading already-scrolled-down a ways earlier, but not any more. Other than that, no problems on my end.

No, different situation. If I try to submit a reply, I often get a Server Error (I think it’s 503 Service Unavailable). It’s the kind of error you usually get when there are problems reading from/writing to the database.

If you’re not getting that, it’s probably something to do with my account. I do have a lot of comments, maybe that has something to do with it.

I guess Techdirt’s servers are telling me to get a life…?

If I were Mike, and I really wanted to abandon my copyright on each article, and I would simply have a bit of text at the end of each one saying simply “no rights reserved” (or something similar).

Like I said, I can’t speak for Mike, but I also think a notice would be a good idea. If nothing else, it would reveal the misconceptions of all those critics who claim Mike would sue if someone else used his content. Still, it’s not my website.

I’m not sure he can abandon the rights to articles he hasn’t even written yet, which is what he appears to think he can do/is doing (I don’t see how you can affirmatively abandon your rights to property that doesn’t even exist yet; it HAS to be ex post)

I don’t see why not. That sort of thing happens all the time: recording artists assign the copyright to future recordings, graphic artists sign “work for hire” contracts, etc; all before the work is even begun. (Yet another reason to view copyright as distinct from other forms of legal property.)

P.S. What the fuck with the Rojadirecta case? 2d Circuit sitting on it since oral arguments in December, and the district court sitting on a motion to dismiss for two months? C’mon already! I’m dying here!!

If you’re getting impatient, imagine how Puerto 80 feels. They were supposed to get their domain name returned in January. (Not to mention the fact that if December’s ruling stands, the DOJ never had the right to seize it in the first place.)

Zacqary Adam Green (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Uh, speak for yourself, Andrew. A lot of us are abolitionists. I mean, I wouldn’t mind copyright reform if it happened tomorrow, but in the long-term my work’s not done until the whole thing’s either gone or so radically altered that it’s not even recognizably “copyright” anymore. So maybe your Pirate Party doesn’t have a problem with copyright, but New York’s certainly does.

Also, I’ve never quite found the opportunity to ask this, but what the hell is the NC clause doing in the NSH’s license? Really? Do we seriously expect we’d be losing out on licensing fees without that? Or that somebody’s going to release knock-off copies? Or that we’d actually have the resources to take somebody to court for doing anything we disapproved of? Nina, if you’re reading this, back me up here.

Andrew Norton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The NC license is there because that’s how some of the works had to be licensed. Sure we could have been CC-BY-SA, but it would also have been 40 pages long.

And last time I checked, the last international evaluation of Pirate Party positions on copyright (which was during my tenure as PPI head), had NO-ONE wanting abolition of copyright; not a single party.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Copyrighted? Of yeah

I think you missed a word there. But in response, the book is copyrighted by default. There is no opting out of copyright. So highlighting that the book is covered by copyright is like saying water is wet.

Copyright-as-business model? Yep.

Um…No. Copyright itself is not a business model and never will be. It is a fact of doing business. That’s like say “driving on roads is the business model of transport.”

Would Mike approve if the copyright holder enforced its copyright against an infringer? Nope. He’d blame the rightholder and not the pirate for the pirate’s decision to violate the rightholder’s rights. Every time.

No. Mike would have issue withe the idea of suing someone based on IP only evidence, then seeking maximum fines and forcing someone into lifetime debt. Mike would also take issue with efforts to limit the ability to use something covered by copyright in ways the reader wishes.

Copyrighted? Yep. Proudly noticed on Page 2

See my first response. Plus you completely ignore that they are opting out of enforcing the majority of what copyright law allows.

Is it funny that pirates are copyrighting their works? Yes. Absolutely.

Ummm….They want people to share the book for free. Says so right there on page 2 of the book. Why is that funny? Because you can’t comprehend that someone would be willing to allow free sharing of their work?

Is it funny that Pirate Mike’s pirate buddies are relying on copyright? More than words can adequately capture.

Relying on copyright? Are you insane? If they could, I am sure they would be willing to opt out of copyright completely. But as I have already stated, copyright is forced on them. It is not a choice they made.

Do TDers even read books? I have serious, serious doubts.

Do you comprehend what you read? I have serious, serious doubts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I think you missed a word there. But in response, the book is copyrighted by default. There is no opting out of copyright. So highlighting that the book is covered by copyright is like saying water is wet.

See above. The copyright can be abandoned. And it’s rather easy to do. Don’t ask Pirate Mike about it though, since he clearly doesn’t actually understand what it takes to truly place his own works into the public domain. That would require understanding actual copyright law, not some twisted version of it that he read in a work of “legal fiction” like that “No Law” book he’s always foaming at the mouth about.

Um…No. Copyright itself is not a business model and never will be. It is a fact of doing business. That’s like say “driving on roads is the business model of transport.”

I love how you guys always deny that copyright has anything to do with works. Obviously the Year Zero book is the product of copyright. Are they giving it away? No. Are they selling it at cost? No. That author puts food on his plate because he’s exploiting his copyright in the work he created. Copyright allowed him to cut a deal with his publisher. You think Random House doesn’t worry about the rights?

No. Mike would have issue withe the idea of suing someone based on IP only evidence, then seeking maximum fines and forcing someone into lifetime debt. Mike would also take issue with efforts to limit the ability to use something covered by copyright in ways the reader wishes.

Pirate Mike would not approve of the rightholder of the book suing any infringer. Can you point me to all the articles Mike has written where he cheers on the rightholder sticking it to the pirate? Of course you can’t, because that’s obviously not what Pirate Mike is all about. He claims that he’s not against anyone having copyright rights, but his dirty little secret (don’t ask him for a direct answer, ’cause you won’t get one) is that he just doesn’t think they should actually ever enforce that right against one who infringes it. He doesn’t mind them having the rights, he only minds then actually enforcing the rights against others. It’s a tricky, slimy way that he can pretend to be not anti-copyright.

See my first response. Plus you completely ignore that they are opting out of enforcing the majority of what copyright law allows.

The first book is reserving all rights, I should think. The second is reserving less than all, but nonetheless some copyright rights are being reserved. Says so right on Page 2. What they didn’t do was dedicate the work to the public domain. I wonder why. Oh yeah, ’cause copyright is awesome and they want those rights just like so many others. Guess they don’t drink the TD-flavored Kool-Aid.

Ummm….They want people to share the book for free. Says so right there on page 2 of the book. Why is that funny? Because you can’t comprehend that someone would be willing to allow free sharing of their work?

And yet the book is copyrighted and they indicate the desire to retain certain rights rather than dedicate them to the public domain. Weird.

Relying on copyright? Are you insane? If they could, I am sure they would be willing to opt out of copyright completely. But as I have already stated, copyright is forced on them. It is not a choice they made.

You might want to read up on copyright abandonment. They could dedicate the work to the public domain. Instead, they’ve both made the choice to rely on their copyright rights. It worries me that you don’t understand this. How is it that you’re qualified to write about IP law for TD? I’ve yet to see you have even a passing understanding of the substantive law.

Do you comprehend what you read? I have serious, serious doubts.

I’m sure you do, Zach. If I thought you had clue one, I might think it meant something.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

See above. The copyright can be abandoned. And it’s rather easy to do.

You can’t abandon copyright. Not one lick. You can only choose not to enforce your copyright. Once you are dead though, all bets are off as the copyright is out of your hands.

That would require understanding actual copyright law

Please show me in copyright law where it says that a copyright can be abandoned. I am not asking for you to point at a CC license or a “public domain” license. I am asking for actual law that says that you can opt out of actually having a copyright on a work for life + 70 years.

Obviously the Year Zero book is the product of copyright.

You have such a twisted view of the creative process. I seriously wonder what color the sky is in your fantasy land. Year Zero was written because Rob Reid wanted to write a funny science fiction story.

But I guess you could say it is the product of copyright, because if copyright did not exist or was not insane, he probably would have had to choose a different muse if he wanted to still tell a story. But I doubt that is what you meant.

Copyright allowed him to cut a deal with his publisher.

Do you honestly think that nothing would be created if copyright didn’t exist? I guess fashion and textile is just a worldwide figment of the imagination. Without copyright, he would still be able to publish and make money. People do it all the time.

Mike would not approve of the rightholder of the book suing any infringer.

Suing fans for often grossly inflated and imaginary “damages” is not something anyone should encourage. Please show a case where someone was sued for real damages.

What they didn’t do was dedicate the work to the public domain. I wonder why. Oh yeah, ’cause copyright is awesome and they want those rights just like so many others.

Well, some authors maybe (as was pointed out above). But think about it for a moment. Why are there people who choose to opt out of some parts of copyright? IS it perhaps because the public perception of fairness under copyright is shifting? You wouldn’t be willing to accept that though.

And yet the book is copyrighted and they indicate the desire to retain certain rights rather than dedicate them to the public domain. Weird.

Again, they can’t opt out of copyright altogether. But since the work is the compilation of various people with various ideas on what they feel is appropriate level of enforcement they had to appease everyone. Imagine that. Multiple people having multiple opinions on what is fair.

You might want to read up on copyright abandonment. They could dedicate the work to the public domain.

Dedicating the work to the public domain does not abandon the copyright.

It worries me that you don’t understand this.

I do have problems understanding the underlying thought process of someone with mental deficiencies. Sorry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You can’t abandon copyright. Not one lick.

I know you Googled it and read up for about five minutes, but you’re not quite there yet. A quick search in Westlaw shows hundreds of cases discussing copyright abandonment. There’s a significant amount of case law on the subject that you could actually read. Try Google Scholar, perhaps.

From the first case that popped up:

1. Abandonment Defense to Copyright Infringement

Abandonment of copyright protection provides a defense to a claim of copyright infringement. ?In copyright, waiver or abandonment of copyright ?occurs only if there is an intent by the copyright proprietor to surrender rights in his work.? ? A & M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F.3d 1004, 1026 (9th Cir.2001) (quoting 4 Melville Nimmer & David Nimmer, Nimmer On Copyright ? 13.06 (2000)). Abandonment of a copyright ?must be manifested by some overt act indicative of a purpose to surrender the rights and allow the public to copy.? Hampton v. Paramount Pictures Corp., 279 F.2d 100, 104 (9th Cir.1960) (finding evidence of an overt act lacking where there was no consent to public use and no permission to sell the copyrighted works); see McIntosh v. N. Cal. Universal Enter. Co., 670 F.Supp.2d 1069, 1099 (E.D.Cal.2009) (finding that submission of subdivision plans in exchange for payment did not constitute an overt act of abandonment of copyright protection in the plans). The Ninth Circuit has stated that a copyright owner can abandon some rights without abandoning all rights. Micro Star v. FormGen Inc., 154 F.3d 1107, 1114 (9th Cir.1998) (finding that FormGen did not abandon all of its rights to profit commercially from its computer game, even though it encouraged players to make and freely distribute their own game levels). Based on the record before the Court, there is a material issue of fact as to whether Plaintiff intended to abandon his copyright through an overt act or acts.

Melchizedek v. Holt, 792 F. Supp. 2d 1042, 1051 (D. Ariz. 2011).

It’s a common law doctrine, and it, naturally, operates as a defense.

Dedicating the work to the public domain does not abandon the copyright.

Of course it does. If the copyright has been abandoned, the work is in the public domain. If a work is in the public domain, there is no copyright.

I’d address the rest of your points, but debating you always turns into me teaching you remedial copyright law. If you’re really interested in this stuff, research it like I do. But please stop speaking like an expert about things you haven’t even taken the time to learn.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Copyright abandonment as a defense against copyright infringement was also included in the PDF I linked. I just didn’t note it because I did not feel it pertinent to the discussion above.

Since you brought it up, your citing still does not settle the issue of what happens after someone (say my kids or grandkids) who decide to take the work I “abandoned” and then decide to take back the copyright. Under current copyright, they can do just that. Which means that any infringement that took place after they reclaimed the copyright would not allow for the abandoned defense.

So again, copyright cannot be fully abandoned.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Your kids could no more claim the abandoned copyright than they could try and reclaim ownership of any property you abandoned. You’re arguing that since someone could try and claim ownership of something that they can’t actually own, then it’s not really not owned. Not a persuasive argument. If the kids try and reclaim the copyright, a defendant thereafter sued would merely have to prove the affirmative defense of abandonment. If the copyright was in fact abandoned by the plaintiff’s predecessor-in-interest, then the defendant would win.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Funny, that’s not what you said above.

But again, you are incorrect. But since such case law has not been made in the US, we can’t really say. But in Europe where retroactive copyright extensions have pulled works out of the public domain, we can see that it is possible. Once the work is pulled out of the public domain either through retroactive copyright extensions or reclaiming an abandoned copyright, no future infringement can use the abandoned defense.

It must be mentally draining to be so intentionally misleading.

Anonymous Coward says:

In http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110207/02222612989/if-artists-dont-value-copyright-their-works-why-do-we-force-it-them.shtml

Mike clearly states that he thinks copyright is a waste of time (even while shooting himself in the foot using data that are against his thesis).

And now he says, “I have no issues with authors using copyright if that is, in fact, what is best for them.”

That would be like 99.99% of all authors in the world.

“I (quite clearly) am worried about the excessive nature of copyright enforcement and the collateral damage it causes (as well as the lack of evidence of effectiveness).”

Lack of evidence of effectiveness? Why then is it so difficult to find an author who willingly places freshly created content in the public domain? Not even Rob Reid is convinced.

If Mike, the greatest champion there is of breaking free of copyright and other similar shackles, is unable to convince an author like Reid, then what hope is there for the free world?

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