by Mike Masnick
Wed, Nov 4th 2009 8:52am
Just because you're a law professor, it doesn't mean you really understand the law, apparently. Eric Goldman (a law professor who does understand the law) alerts us to a bizarre lawsuit involving University of Miami law professor D. Marvin Jones, who was the subject of a series of blog posts on the popular law blog, AboveTheLaw, concerning a 2007 attempt where Jones was detained by police for allegedly soliciting a prostitute -- something he vehemently claims was not true, and authorities did, in fact, drop the charges and expunge the record. Jones makes a few different claims against ATL, all of which seem frivolous and unlikely to stand, but the most ridiculous of all is the claim that his copyright was violated by ATL using his faculty photo. A few problems with that: It's quite unlikely that Jones actually holds the copyright on the photo, and he makes no effort to show that the copyright was ever registered (a necessary prerequisite in bringing a copyright infringement lawsuit). And, of course, if somehow it turns out he does own the copyright and did register it, it's still an obvious (not even close) fair use claim. Now it's quite clear that the posts were embarrassing to Jones -- especially assuming that it's true that the original detainment was bogus, but it's difficult to see how bringing a poorly thought out lawsuit against the site fixes that. If anything, it seems to reflect even more poorly on Jones. Update: Good news. Above The Law is reporting that Prof. Jones has dismissed the lawsuit. Hopefully this means he came to his sense after seeing all of the coverage -- most coming from other lawyers highlighting how problematic this lawsuit was from the beginning.
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