You Can Copy Our Articles All You Want... But Please Don't Claim The Copyright Belongs To You

from the copyfraud dept

The folks at Attrition.org have been tracking a guy named Gregory Evans who runs LIGATT Security for a while now. Evans apparently hypes himself up as a fantastic hacker, though Attrition suggests he's not all that skilled in reality. Still he's been able to get himself a fair amount of press over the years, though Attrition obviously thinks he doesn't deserve it. One thing that Attrition has spent a lot of time on is showing that Evans has a history of plagiarizing content in his "books." However, the folks at Attrition contacted us, a few months ago, to let us know that Evans was using a Techdirt article in one of his books. The "book" is what Evans calls a "scrapbook," supposedly of a bunch of articles about computer security, including at least one of ours. Evans claimed that he got permission to reprint every article in his book, and Attrition decided to see if that was true.

As we told them at the time, we were unaware of any request for permission from Evans, but in our case, that didn't matter. As we've stated repeatedly, our content is free for people to use, and we consider it to be in the public domain. With that, I figured we were done with it, but Attrition has now put out their article on the results of their research (including our response), and they couldn't find anyone who said they had, in fact, given Evans explicit permission to use their work (it's not clear if anyone even received a request).

In our case, we stand by the fact that we (perhaps alone of all the sources he copied from) don't mind the fact that he decided to reprint our stuff. That's cool. Anyone can do that. But what struck me as interesting, was this bit:

It is also worth noting that Evans tries to establish a copyright on the book, despite the fact that every article he used is already copyrighted:

"No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means; -- electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission from the original author."

This disclaimer is laughable, as Evans himself did not obtain permission to use all of the articles contained in the book. Worse, in using the articles without permission while charging $39.95 for the book, he is profiting off these copyright infringements.

While we're fine with him re-using our works, one thing that we're not at all okay with is him then claiming copyright over it or otherwise trying to then limit the reuse of our works by others. That's copyfraud. As for the others in the book, I would imagine they're even less pleased, since it appears that most, if not all, of the others whose works were used do consider their works their own copyrighted material, and did not sell that copyright to Evans.

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  • icon
    Brendan (profile), 29 Aug 2011 @ 11:01pm

    Representation

    Hey Mike,

    I'm not sure if you've heard of them, but I've been reading about this great outfit called "Righthaven." They seem to be exactly the kind of service you need in order to deal with Evans appropriately.

    According to their press releases, they're really having great luck in the various courts -- the judges are even helping them to iron out some minor issues with their paperwork, making their cases even more bullet-proof.

    Remember, squeeze the balls until his wallet falls out of his pants.

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    • identicon
      bob, 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:20am

      Re: Representation

      Eeewwww. You're such a troll. (Hint: that's a bad thing.)

      If you read this blog and the comments carefully, you'll know that it's wrong for a creator to maintain any control at all. If the people who do work in this society insist on being rewarded, how will the leeches and the lazy be able to keep their fair 100% of the royalties?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:31am

        Re: Re: Representation

        yea, all intelligent responses are now labeled as trolling.

        This place is worse than Torrent Freak...












        Mission Accomplished.

        ;>

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Representation

          Does anyone actually care about you or for you?
          Are you loved?
          Is this the best that life has to offer you?
          As much as I know you are Trolling for fun, I pity you and suspect that your drinking is getting out of control.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Representation

            I love how I started telling everyone I was trolling for fun and now everyone that trolls is doubted. They are no longer shills, building up straw men. They are now just trolls who are having a good time.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              zegota (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Representation

              This thread is so meta and sarcastic, my mind is blown.

              T R O L L C E P T I O N

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              • icon
                Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 11:49am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Representation

                "This thread is so meta and sarcastic, my mind is blown."

                Mine imploded about halfway in. Since then I've just assumed that everything in it is a lie, including this (my own) comment.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Brendan (profile), 1 Sep 2011 @ 1:13am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Representation

                  Yo Jeffrey, we heard you like Trollin', so we put a Troll in your Troll so that you can Troll while you Troll.

                  PS - I wasn't trolling. It was /sarc.

                  Or am I brain-trolling now?! Y'ain't never not gonna not know the truth.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:48am

        Re: Re: Representation

        If you read this blog and the comments carefully, you'll know that it's wrong for a creator to maintain any control at all.

        Of course!

        So why is Masnick bitching and trying to STILL control his content?

        So someone else is using his content to make money...

        Who cares?

        New business model bro.

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        • icon
          DOlz (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 11:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Representation

          Perhaps I'm missing some sarcasm in your post, but Mike isn't complaining about someone using his content or making money off it. What he's complaining about is that they are claiming a copyright on material generated here that they are not entitled to.

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  • identicon
    zcat, 29 Aug 2011 @ 11:18pm

    "Always give credit where credit is due
    if you didn't write it, don't say it's by you
    just copy the credit along with the work
    or else you'll come off as an arrogant jerk"

    http://questioncopyright.org/minute-memes/credit-is-due

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2011 @ 11:24pm

    Can you sue someone for using copyright in this fashion? (is that covered under copyfraud?) Do that. Please? Just get a declaratory judgement that he has to remove his copyright. Not that he has to pay or any such thing.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2011 @ 11:24pm

    Odd, I read that copyright notice as advice to contact the "original authors", and not Evans.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2011 @ 11:42pm

      Re:

      It's a standard Copyright clause, meaning that standard rules tend to apply. If what you said was true, the copyright warning would require much more specific wording.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 2:33am

        Re: Re:

        Are you trying to use copyright law for protection?

        Oh that's rich...

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        • icon
          ltlw0lf (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you trying to use copyright law for protection?

          Who?

          Dude, TAM, we care about you, get some medical help. Nobody except the number one hacker in the world, Sir Gregory Evans (knighted by Kate Libby, a.k.a. Acid Burn, queen of the hackers,) claims copyright protection. Mike specifically says that he considers his stuff to be public domain and isn't interested in going after Evans.

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    • identicon
      That Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2011 @ 11:59pm

      Re:

      Having not seen the book and really not giving a damn about him, one has to wonder if he actually gives credit to where they articles came from.

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  • identicon
    Milton Recht, 29 Aug 2011 @ 11:51pm

    Compilations

    Compilations of others' copyrighted works can under copyright law in and of themselves be copyrighted.

    See US Copyright office:
    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#103

    Also see:
    http://www.pddoc.com/copyright/compilation.htm

    http://www.publicdomainsherpa.com/compilatio n.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Hugh Mann (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:12am

      Re: Compilations

      True, though the copyright covers basically only the arrangement of the various elements (not the borrowed elemets themselves), plus whatever of your own commentary you throw in.

      The copyright owner of the compilation doesn't have any claim to the stuff he's borrowed.

      HM

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    • icon
      mike allen (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:15am

      Re: Compilations

      As Techdirt is effectively open commons then surely a different copyright notice would apply not the standard notice.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:46am

        Re: Re: Compilations

        What is this "standard notice" stuff?

        He says don't use it without permission from the original author. In this case, the original author has given blanket permission.

        No harm, no foul, nothing to see here.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: Compilations

          It's not his place to dictate obtaining permission over use of Mike's article, but that's what his copyright notice is doing.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Compilations

            Oh, it's not his place, even though he's not claiming any rights to Mike's content.

            Well, that certainly is justification for calling him a
            "copyfraud" and falsely accusing him of claiming rights over Mike's works.

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        • icon
          btr1701 (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: Compilations

          > He says don't use it without permission
          > from the original author.

          And yet he himself didn't bother to ask the original authors before using their work.

          > No harm, no foul, nothing to see here.

          Other than the blatant hypocrisy on display, I guess you're right.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Compilations

            "And yet he himself didn't bother to ask the original authors before using their work."

            His book says he did, right? Why do you believe otherwise?

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            • icon
              Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Compilations

              His book says he did, right? Why do you believe otherwise?


              Perhaps it's because Attrition contacted a bunch of them, and not a single one says that Evans asked for or received permission. Just saying. In my case, that was okay. But it certainly suggests that he's not being particularly honest.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:56am

      Re: Compilations

      I guess you didn't actually read the copyright notice at all then? The first two words are "No part".

      As copyright on a compilation would only apply to the work as a whole, he's obviously trying to claim copyright on more than just the compilation.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:46am

        Re: Re: Compilations

        "original author"

        It is not at all obvious that he is claiming to be the original author of all parts of the book.

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    • icon
      wvhillbilly (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:00am

      Re: Compilations

      My understanding is you can copyright the compilation as a whole, but you can't apply that copyright to the individual articles that make up the compilation and you have to get the authors' permissions to use the individual articles in the compilation. The copyrights on the individual articles remain the property of the authors who wrote them.

      It is also my understanding that you cannot put your copyright on something that is in the public domain. You can rewrite something that is in the public domain (in your own words, expand, condense etc.) and copyright your version, but the original work remains in the public domain and you can't keep others from using it or making their own versions.

      I am not a lawyer, so this might not be entirely correct. If you have questions on this go talk to your lawyer.

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      • identicon
        Alien Bard, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:02pm

        Re: Re: Compilations

        This is also my understanding of how the system is supposed to work. Of course we all know how closely related 'supposed to be', and 'really is' are.

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:19am

    "This is a scrap book. There are over 100 news sources. All stories are in the format they were written. You may find errors in formatting, hyper links, or pictures. These articles were written independent of this book, some may be grammatically challenged."

    I wanna know how he pasted the hyperlinks into the printed format and got them to take.

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  • icon
    AR (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:09am

    Yeah, if you can make out any letters I wonder if he will sue me for copying his book.

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    • icon
      AR (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:11am

      oops typed in the worng box, sorry

      That was a reply for T.A.C.

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      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:20am

        Re: oops typed in the worng box, sorry

        it happens, I forgot to login before for a couple posts :)

        But there seems to be a long history of when faced with criticism, Evans plays the race card. What I find disturbing is there are people who no matter what accept that it must be true because he played the card.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 2:30am

    Mike Masnick: Protecting content is bad, unless of course you use my content to make money for you and not me.

    He's simply using a new business model Mike. You really need to learn how to adapt.




    This situation would be more funny if it wasn't simultaneously so sad.

    Hypocrites always get burned. Karma is a real bitch.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 2:47am

      Re:

      You are pathetic. From TFA (emphasis mine):

      "While we're fine with him re-using our works, one thing that we're not at all okay with is him then claiming copyright over it or otherwise trying to then limit the reuse of our works by others."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 3:39am

        Re: Re:

        trying to then limit the reuse of our works by others

        Really? Wherever could Mike turn for protection from something like that?

        hmmm, I think it's called copyright.

        Mike got his content taken for profit by someone else.

        Live by the sword, die by the sword.

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        • icon
          Gabriel Tane (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 3:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think at this point, you're just willingly ignoring the point.

          Mike's beef is that he put the works out there free for everyone to use, then this guy comes along and tries to lock that work up behind copyright, all without even asking Mike.

          Mike doesn't care if someone else uses his works. But to use them, with a half-assed credit, then try to lock them under their own copyright.... that's wrong on multiple levels.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 3:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, by your logic, because Mike doesn't agree with the current legal protections for created works,...its ok for someone to use copyright fraudulently?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And you're both hopelessly confused and wrong.

            In this case, if Mike Masnick wants to make sure his content is distributed the way he wants it to be- which is for free, he will have to use **copyright law** to make it happen.

            The same law he makes his living railing against.

            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/irony

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            • icon
              Ben (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Mike won't have to do a damn thing. The authors of those other articles will likely take up the fight on this.

              Plus why rely on the law when peer pressure or poor sales may make Evans rethink his actions.

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              • identicon
                bob, 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:25am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I wonder if the EFF will rush to these remixer's side? It would be kind of embarrassing for them to play politics and actually help Mike enforce his rights as a creator. But then I could see the EFF split hairs and say "It's okay for a creator to insist upon attribution but not for payment." Because that doesn't hurt Big Search and Big Hardware, the two big patrons of the EFF. (And you can call them a civil liberties group, but I call them just a lobbying organization for Big Search and Big Hardware.)

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:26am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The authors of those other articles will likely take up the fight on this.

                And what will they use to "fight" it???

                ...


                take a guess...



                oh no...


                Copyright law!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                This is the best thread in the history of this blog. By far.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:36am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  And you are equally confused and wrong. Show me where Mike has stated unequivocally that copyright should not exist. Oh, right, you can't.

                  Mike feels strongly the public domain should exist and should not be constrained by copyright. Which is exactly what Mike is explaining here.

                  So, where is the contradiction? In your mind only? Indeed it is.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:39am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Yes, of course!

                    I'm only imagining Mike Masnick rails on copyright every day here.

                    Thanks so much for the clarification. I'm now truly enlightened.

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                    • icon
                      Ben (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:53am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Citation needed

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                      • icon
                        Ninja (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:15am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        He can't. There's nothing in this blog that supports his point and he knows that. He's just trolling to feed his addiction for... trolling. I've been reading TD for a while and I disagree with Mike when he says he doesn't file share because of his principles. I think he should just do the heck of it. But as for the rest, copyright needs reform, public domain should be broader and protected, there should be better fair use inclusions in the law including non-commercial file sharing and as always, commercial usage of copyrighted works should be regulated and paid for. That's mostly what Mike says but he'll always ignore it. Trolls only read and understand what is good for their delusions.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 7:13am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I'm only imagining Mike Masnick rails on copyright every day here.

                      Actually, yes you are.

                      He rails on the misuse of copyright. There is a very large difference between the two topics.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:42am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Mike thinks all use of copyright is misuse. Show me where he approves of a copyright plaintiff exercising its copyright rights.

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                        • icon
                          Squirrel Brains (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:03am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          You've got the burden of proof wrong there buddy. You are the one trying to make a point (that doesn't exist). You need to prove your side of the argument. You make bold assertions without anything to back them up, then you somehow feel that others need to prove those assertions are wrong? That is not how life works.

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                        • icon
                          Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 11:58am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Citation needed.

                          Mike doesn't assert that all copyright is bad. He complains about the current state of copyright law and how it gets abused. Perhaps you should try reading some of his articles. You know, all the way through to the end.

                          As for what Mike thinks, I suggest you give up the mind-reading act and get a day job.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Ben (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:52am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  My point was that Mike doesn't have to do anything, regardless of how others act.

                  Yes, those others may embark on litigation using the abilities that copyright law grants them however my other point was that they should not have to. The business model of using others content without attribution should mark you out as a fraud, and your sales should suffer.

                  You're still missing the point of the article. Mike's desire to open the original article to unfettered use is not the same type of control as exhibited by most studios today, where they frequently overreact.

                  http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091211/1223357309.shtml

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Get this through your thick skull: the problem here isn't isn't copyright. It's plagiarism: The author claimed to own the copyright over work of which he has no hand in creating.

              As far as I know, you cannot copyright something that you didn't create, even if that thing is not covered by copyright (i.e. it's in the public domain).

              So, to recap: this has nothing to do with copyright. It has to do with some dolt claiming that he authored something that he didn't, A.K.A. plagiarism.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Greevar (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No, you're just so hopelessly desperate to point your finger and call Mike a hypocrite, that you've given leave of all sense and logic.

              Mike has no problem with Evans using Techdirt articles in his book. What he takes issue with is claiming rights to works that Evans clearly did not create and Mike repeatedly stated he has given to the public domain (i.e. It belongs to everyone). If nothing else, Evans is infringing on the rights of the public domain, which Mike takes severe issue with. You're the hopelessly confused and wrong one. Mike's beef is that of attribution and placing limitations on what was clearly given away freely, not compensation. Mike waived his copyright on Techdirt articles for the benefit of the public and his readers, but that does not give anyone the right to claim it instead. Once something is public domain, it stays there.

              Take away all copyright law and Mike's works are the same then as they are now, unrestricted. It's copyright and Evans' misuse of it that is causing the problem here.

              But you're so hung up on convincing everyone that Mike is a hypocrite and discrediting him, that you just glossed over those facts or you're truly clueless.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 7:42am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Greevar, let me say first that karma is a bitch, and Mike is in the middle of getting bitched pretty good here.

                First off, any guy claiming copyright on his book (the collection) does in no way limit or stop Mike's work from being distributed. Think of the book as a broken router on the internet, everyone just routes around it.

                Quite simply, Mike's original work is still here, he still controls it, and anyone who wants it can come and get it. Mike knows this, but his claim suggests otherwise. Even if someone copies only Mike's article from the book, the book writer cannot claim copyright on it (nor did he intend to, from what I can see).

                The guy didn't claim copyright on Mike's article, he claimed copyright on the "collection", including the layout, any comments added, etc. He doesn't claim copyright on the individual works, nor does he lessen the public domain standing of any of the works in claiming copyright on his book.

                It would be no different from a public domain software site claiming copyright on it's site design. It's not copyrighting the software, just their presentation, graphics, etc.

                Mike is a true hypocrite on this issue because, knowing all of that, he still wants to make a stink out of it. When he put his work in the public domain (or publicly waived all restrictions on it's distribution) his control ended there. He cannot have the best of both world. In this case, he just comes off whiny, self-justified, and more than a little arrogant.

                It's either in the public domain or it isn't. Make up your mind Mike!

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                • icon
                  Marcus Carab (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 7:54am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  It's either in the public domain or it isn't.

                  ...either way, the copyright does not belong to Evans, so the copyright notice on this book is fraudulent.

                  Did you read the notice above? It is not simply claiming copyright of the compilation. In fact it explicitly starts "no part of this publication..."

                  Do you deny that the notice is a lie?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:20am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Evans isn't claiming copyright over the original article. He is only claiming copyright over the book, the assemblage.

                    As for the "no part of this publication", I see you carefully ignoring the words "without permission from the original author". Notice it isn't from "the author" but from "the original author", ie, Mike Masnick (for the article in the book written by Mike).

                    Mike is angry because someone took him up on his offer, and he seems to fail to understand the true implications of putting his works in the public domain.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:29am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      We desperately need a fourth button for posts like this. Here are some suggestions:

                      retarded
                      too stupid to live
                      foolish
                      ignorant
                      beyond help
                      sans-logic

                      People this dumb can't even be argued with.

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                    • icon
                      Dark Helmet (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:33am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "As for the "no part of this publication", I see you carefully ignoring the words "without permission from the original author". Notice it isn't from "the author" but from "the original author", ie, Mike Masnick (for the article in the book written by Mike)."

                      If you want to play semantic games, you might try learning how semantics actually work. That sentence is requiring permission from the author of the compilation to distribute any part of "this publication".

                      Learn to English...

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:29am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        That is a severely twisted reading of that passage.

                        Why would he specifically mention the "original" author?

                        I cannot believe the lengths people here will go to to find fault with someone once the herd designates an enemy.

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                        • identicon
                          Alien Bard, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:19pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          That is the intent of the copyright law, which no one here has any serious issues with. Unfortunately it is not the reality of current copyright law. That particular phrase was not written with due consideration of the contributing authors, it was simply copied and pasted into place. The meaning of that phrase and it's value is being constantly contested and modified in the courts and the parliament buildings. That is the problem which we (and Mike) have with current copyright law - it allows one publisher to lock up free works under a new copyright. That is exactly what the many articles in here are about.

                          To rephrase that for the small-of-mind, Limited copyright is good, Excessive copyright is bad.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:33pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Um...the small-of-mind would like to inform you that you appear to be using the Internet wrong (i.e., I'm pretty sure you replied in the wrong spot).

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                            • identicon
                              Alien Bard, 30 Aug 2011 @ 2:09pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              "Why would he specifically mention the "original" author?"
                              Umm...nope, looks like the right spot to me - unless I am missing something, which is quite possible.

                              As I said, that is a copy-and-past blanket statement with no actual legal value in and of itself. That is why so many public domain works have become copyrighted and inaccessible after being 'remade' - the new restrictive copyright supersedes the old public domain one. At least that is how things appear to me based on the many law suits being flung around lately. I readily acknowledge this to be a personal view and potentially in error.

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:07pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                I'm having a very hard time making sense of your posts. I'm going to stop trying.

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                        • identicon
                          Jose_X, 30 Aug 2011 @ 2:18pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Who is the "original author" of a "part of of the publication" that includes two pieces each written by different authors?

                          Do you see the problem?

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:08pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            In that case, probably two different authors.

                            Is this article and numerous comments really about his failure to write "original author or authors?"

                            Really?

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                            • identicon
                              Jose_X, 31 Aug 2011 @ 10:06am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Speaking for myself, I originally missed the "original" and went with the flow established at the top. however, not including authors (plural) is problematic IMO.

                              "Original" is not sufficient. "Original author" can refer to the author of the original manuscript (authentic version) of the compilation (Evans, in other words), in contrast to those who author copies of that work and to whom the statement is likely addressed.

                              >> original adj: Created directly and personally by a particular artist; not a copy or imitation

                              If you want to speak of the original authors of the subcomponents then you should make that reference and not just reference the compilation work ("this publication"), as that has its own (original) author.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:35am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I think Mike is angry because he misunderstood what Evans is doing here. I think he misunderstood because he is always anxious to point out a "misuse" of copyright.

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                      • icon
                        Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 11:35am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        I think Mike is angry because he misunderstood what Evans is doing here

                        I'm not "angry."

                        And I did not misunderstand. I think Evans used a bunch of people's work without permission and in violation of their copyrights. But that's not the case with my works. He used mine legitimately -- perhaps the only legitimate content in the book.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:26pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Ok, maybe "angry" wasn't quite right. Upset? Peeved? Very slightly perturbed? You obviously feel that something was done wrong.

                          What does whether he used others' works in violation their copyrights have to do with your article?

                          That isn't why your perturbed, is it? Really? Because he violated copyrights?

                          I maintain my belief that you misunderstood the nature of his copyright notice to be claiming rights over material he did not create.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:34pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Also, he says he got permission to use the works. Maybe he's lying, but do you have any reason to believe that?

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 3:21pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Yeah, the group talked about in the post that researched the works and contacted many if not all of the original authors. Reading is fundamental you know.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:27am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Marcus,

                    Are you slow or are you simply ignoring the words, "without the permission of the original author"? Your need to totally distort the facts to suck up to Masnick is really pathetic.

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                    • icon
                      Dark Helmet (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:35am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Are you slow or are you simply ignoring the words, "without the permission of the original author"? Your need to totally distort the facts to suck up to Masnick is really pathetic."

                      AAAAAHHH! Seriously, learn English! "original author" is a modifier of "this publication". There's no reference to original authors of the parts of the compilation.

                      Holy Christ, are you ridiculous....

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:36am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Original author is a noun phrase, not a "modifier.

                        You really ought not criticize the English grammar skills of other while so blatantly demonstrating your own failures.

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                        • icon
                          Marcus Carab (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 11:53am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          You're right, the term "modifier" is not exactly correct. But I think the point is still obvious, and it still stands.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:28pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Honestly, I think Dark Helmet's interpretation is obviously wrong (i.e., "original author" does not refer to the compiler, but the original author of an individual piece).

                            That he would be such a dick about this, in my view, obviously mistaken interpretation, in a manner that is just completely grammatically baseless, is just icing on the cake.

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                            • identicon
                              Jose_X, 30 Aug 2011 @ 2:33pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              >> (i.e., "original author" does not refer to the compiler, but the original author of an individual piece).

                              Who is the "original author" of a "part of the publication" that includes two pieces each written by different authors?

                              Do you see the problem?

                              That statement doesn't seem to reference a "part of the publication" that might have multiple authors.

                              So either that phrase (if it intends to be useful and accurate) (a) says nothing about parts of the publication you might want to copy which would include sections written by multiple authors OR (b) says something about any part of the publication you might want to copy but then "original author" refers to an "author" that one could argue could be considered the author of such a part. The only "author" that is common to any subpart of the "publication" (aka, the compilation) is the author who put it together, and that author can be called "original" if by "original" you mean the author who first put that compilation together (as opposed to someone copying or doing a derivative work).

                              Most likely that phrase is ambiguous and confusing, but it's really hard to argue that it is used correctly to refer to the authors of the separate components unless you then view the whole statement as being rather limited to only cover subparts that were written entirely by one author.

                              Well, this is one take on this...

                              .. but thinking about it some more, we could assume that (c) a subpart that covers works of multiple authors still has sub-subparts that would each be under a single author, and any such sub-subpart (and, by extension, all of them taken individually) cannot be copied without permission from the original author of that sub-subpart.

                              OK, I think (c) is reasonable as well, but clearly there was confusion. Attrition and many other readers (including myself) found it natural to consider (b) above.

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:13pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                Wow.

                                In drafting contracts, lawyers often go to great lengths to eradicate any potential for ambiguity, while internally thinking "man, anyone who would make the argument that XYZ phrase is ambigious and therefore unenforceable or really means PDQ would get laughed out of court."

                                I would apply the same thinking to anyone arguing that writing "original author" instead of "original author or authors" makes the notice confusing.

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                                • identicon
                                  Jose_X, 31 Aug 2011 @ 9:55am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  >> I would apply the same thinking to anyone arguing that writing "original author" instead of "original author or authors" makes the notice confusing.

                                  I disagree.

                                  I think it's normal to expect to find "authors" in that statement if that word is intended to refer to the many who wrote the different components of the book.

                                  I think most people would be more likely to think that "author" was referring to the author of the compilation only.

                                  And "original author" can refer to the author of the original version of the compilation (ie, Evans, I think). This makes sense in the context of copying (which is what the notice is about).

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                    • icon
                      Marcus Carab (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:37am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      It still seems to me as though he is implying that permission is required from him. However, either way the statement is STILL fraudulent, since one does NOT need permission from Mike to reproduce his work - so now Evans is making false copyright claims on Mike's behalf. Why should Mike be okay with someone else telling lies about him and putting words in his mouth?

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                      • icon
                        Ron Rezendes (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:09am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        The part I find somewhat amusing is that the books' credits fail to mention Mike Masnick as the author of the article. It only references Mike - you know - because there is only one Mike! So, if I wanted the unneeded permission, of the original author, of the original article, I simply have to find "Mike".

                        The willfully ignorant AC sucks so bad in these comments my monitor has collapsed inward! I have to change pages to get it back to the original flat screen I started with this morning.

                        I thought trolls were bad enough but an obtuse troll is practically a new dimension in the troll realm!

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:38am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        One does need permission to copy Mike's work. Luckily, Mike has given such permission to all.

                        Even if you accept the argument that permission is not needed, is it really so bad that Evans split this semantic hair in a manner different than another might?

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                        • identicon
                          Jose_X, 30 Aug 2011 @ 2:43pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          >> is it really so bad that Evans split this semantic hair in a manner different than another might?

                          Combined with not accurately attributing the subparts, it makes it easier for a reader to think his permission is required for some or maybe any of the subparts. Of course, Evans could, when asked, direct people to Mike (or Mike's public permission), I suppose.

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            • icon
              Chris Rhodes (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              he will have to use **copyright law** to make it happen.

              Err, if copyright didn't exist, he wouldn't have to do anything at all. Seems to go counter to your entire point, if you take a second and a half to think about it.

              You're basically arguing that patents are necessary because they give companies a defensive method by which to avoid being sued for patent infringement. It's completely circular.

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              • identicon
                Alien Bard, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:42pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Thank you. A very good point, and one that I (and probably others) keep forgetting.

                I do still believe limited copyright is a good thing as it helps the original author maintain initial publishing rights, but if I was forced to choose an extreme it would be to abolish rather than expand copyright. Especially in the modern world were virtually every idea has already been explored more than once.

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            • icon
              Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              In this case, if Mike Masnick wants to make sure his content is distributed the way he wants it to be- which is for free, he will have to use **copyright law** to make it happen.

              With this article, I believe Mike is using public pressure, not copyright law, to accomplish his goals.

              When Mike starts suing using legal threats and copyright law, then you can call him a hypocrite. Not until.

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            • icon
              Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Mike doesn't assert that all copyright is bad. He rails against the current state of copyright law and how it gets abused.

              http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Willful_ignorance

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            • icon
              btr1701 (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 2:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              > if Mike Masnick wants to make sure his content
              > is distributed for free, he will have to use
              > **copyright law** to make it happen.

              Only you would be idiotic enough to suggest that the current hopelessly complex and overbearingly draconian US copyright law is the necessary for a person to distribute their work for free.

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            • icon
              Karl (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/irony

              You know what irony is?

              The fact that if copyright didn't exist, this guy couldn't even have the ability to do the thing Mike finds objectionable.

              It's another argument for copyright abolishment, not copyright enforcement.

              Not that I'm making that argument. Nor, to my knowledge, does Mike. The fact that you actually believe he "makes his living railing against" copyright, only speaks to your ignorance and bias. But what else is new?

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        • icon
          The eejit (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Really? Wherever could Mike turn for protection from something like that?

          hmmm, I think it's called copyright.

          Mike got his content taken for profit by someone else.

          Live by the sword, die by the sword."

          See the argument you're making here?

          People keep saying that pirates use this logic to get free stuff.

          Hypocrisy, they name is...can you guess?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Live by the sword, die by the sword."

          Are you not embarassed by how little you understand?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:48am

        Re: Re:

        How has he claimed copyright over Mike's article?

        He explicitly says the book is a collection from other sources and you should get their permission before using bits from the book. In this case, Mike has given blanket permission.

        He is not claiming copyright over Mike's article; Mike is just getting all worked up over nothing.

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    • identicon
      Zot-Sindi, 30 Aug 2011 @ 2:54am

      Re:

      so desperate to attack someone you will go to length of inventing/twisting shit in order to do so, typical troll

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 3:54am

        Re: Re:

        That's what you wish, isn't it?

        Mike still wants to control his content.

        Dictating that it's free to everyone is still 'control'.

        Making it free is a wonderful notion, but what is going to protect his right to make it happen the way he wants it to?

        Nothing.

        Except copyright.

        Anyone that can't understand this simple concept will just look like a fool when they claim Mike should have more control over what happens to his content than artists do.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The difference that the control he wants to exert doesn't go against the grain of society.

          Besides the only reason he does need copyright to keep it free is because copyright itself exists.

          Not to mention the fact that I don't recall he ever mentioning he wants copyright extinguished or gone but changed.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The difference that the control he wants to exert doesn't go against the grain of society.

            Oh really?

            So you have decided that you are the arbiter of what goes "against the grain of society"?

            That's very funny.

            There's another section of society that thinks people like you should be kicked in the balls until they pass out.

            Since they've actually made *real* contributions to society, and you haven't,

            I would suggest you go purchase some protective wear.

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            • icon
              Ninja (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Since they've actually made *real* contributions to society, and you haven't,

              He hasn't? How would you know? He could be Stephen Hawkins typing and you wouldn't know. And you, have you made *real* contributions? And what is a *real* contribution? Making some shitty movie is a *real* contribution? I've made one movie once for a school work. I used tons of copyrighted stuff but the end result was totally new. Means I made a *real* contribution?

              Fortunately, the section of society that wants to kick his balls is the minority. And unfortunately they are pushing for ridiculous laws and censorship measures onto us.

              And I'm joining him as an arbiter of what goes "against the grain of society" so now we are two and you are one. Mike doesn't want to control anything. He wants credits to be properly given and the ability to copy and reproduce to be granted, something that Evans has unilaterally and fraudulently ignored.

              Amusingly, you copyright trolls are delighted with this post as if it was proof Mike also uses copyright and doesn't want everything to be free but those are precisely the points you are missing. It's not copyright, it's public domain. And it's not about not giving it for free, it's about referring to the source and not making it yours using shady and fraudulent excused.

              You fail. As always.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, Mike doesn't want to control his content.
          He also doesn't want other people to try to exert control over his content.
          The mechanism for enforcing this is the opprobrium of society as this Evans guy is finding out.

          In case you haven't noticed, Mike is not reaching for laws to deal with this, he knows as we know as you and Evans fail to understand that the person attempting to claim control over content, particularly content that he had no hand or part in creating, in the eyes of the world, is diminished by it.
          The result of his attempt to assert control over the works of others is damaging to him and his publisher, no special laws needed.

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          • icon
            Greevar (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 11:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I find it rather ironic that without copyright, this entire thread would never have existed. The problem at issue here is that someone is using copyright to limit a work that was given freely. Take away copyright and Evans would be powerless to claim a copyright on any of the writings assembled in his "book". It's copyright that has made this entire issue possible. It's creating limitation (through misuse) where freedom existed.

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        • icon
          Marcus Carab (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Dictating that it's free to everyone is still 'control'.

          Uh, sure, and up is down depending on how you look at it.

          Seriously, are you five years old? Is this how you try to win an argument? Any minute now you'll be sticking your fingers in your ears and singing.

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        • identicon
          Stuart, 30 Aug 2011 @ 7:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So right you are. I can not count the number of times I have seen mike post about the complete destruction of all copyright.

          I just can not find a way to count up to zero.

          Your not just a troll but a stupid troll.

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        • icon
          BeeAitch (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 11:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Mike still wants to control his content."

          Wrong. Mike doesn't want anyone to control his content. Someone else (namely, Gregory Evans) wants control of Mike's work. This situation only exists BECAUSE OF BAD COPYRIGHT LAWS.

          "Dictating that it's free to everyone is still 'control'."

          Again, without poor copyright laws this situation wouldn't even exist. Gregory Evans could not make a copyright claim without these poor laws.

          Without copyright in its current form, it becomes an issue of plagiarism (dealt with by society, specifically the authors' (both of them) peers.

          "Making it free is a wonderful notion, but what is going to protect his right to make it happen the way he wants it to?

          Nothing.

          Except copyright."

          As noted above, plagiarism protects his work (in the absence of copyright).

          "Anyone that can't understand this simple concept will just look like a fool when they claim Mike should have more control over what happens to his content than artists do."

          Once again, Mike has not claimed that he should have control over his works.

          If copyright didn't exist (or was much weaker and more reasonable than its current incarnation) Mike's work could remain free, without anyone else claiming the copyright.

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          • identicon
            Jose_X, 30 Aug 2011 @ 2:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            >> Someone else (namely, Gregory Evans) wants control of Mike's work.

            As explained above somewhere, one could argue that Evans was not asserting those rights.

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    • identicon
      IronM@sk, 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:06am

      Re:

      You really are a first class douchenozzle aren't you. Why do you even come here?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      Mike Masnick: Protecting content is bad, unless of course you use my content to make money for you and not me.
      He's simply using a new business model Mike. You really need to learn how to adapt.
      This situation would be more funny if it wasn't simultaneously so sad.
      Hypocrites always get burned. Karma is a real bitch.


      You should probably go see a doctor, there is about a 95% chance you are mentally retarded.

      Mentally retarded: : subaverage intellectual ability equivalent to or less than an IQ of 70 that is accompanied by significant deficits in abilities (as in communication or self-care) necessary for independent daily functioning, is present from birth or infancy, and is manifested especially by delayed or abnormal development, by learning difficulties, and by problems in social adjustment

      Yep, I'm pretty sure that describes you.

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  • identicon
    bob, 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:18am

    Wow! Total naiveté

    Dude. Get a clue. When you put your stuff in the public domain, you have no control over it any longer. Anyone can claim they wrote it and they do.

    This is why the CC-attribution license was invented. Copyright is for giving the creator control over how it's used. So if you want to exert the right to keep your name stapled to the work, copyright is there ready to be your friend, even after all of those years you've been dissing her.

    And what's with the big duh about collective copyright? Don't you know that someone who gathers together work gets a separate copyright? You can bet the wonderful aggregators who you always defend are claiming it. Wonderful Google News has got a copyright notice prominently displayed on their page.

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    • identicon
      whisk33, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:56am

      Re: Wow! Total naiveté

      "When you put your stuff in the public domain, you have no control over it any longer. Anyone can claim they wrote it and they do."
      This is not true. I can't claim I wrote the Oliver Twist simply because it is in the public domain.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:06am

        Re: Re: Wow! Total naiveté

        Well apparently you can, and because of this I am going to claim authorship of everything in the public domain, I am then going to sue everyone, but especially Disney and am going to be rich, rich, rich.

        Woohooo

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      • identicon
        maniac in a Speedo, 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:13am

        Re: Re: Wow! Total naiveté

        What if you alter it? When I take movies from the public domain and alter or change them in one way or the other (colorize, change the editing, add effects, etc.), don't I get to claim the new work as my own?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Deirdre (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:25am

          Re: Re: Re: Wow! Total naiveté

          Public domain work is becoming part of new works all the time currently with such mashup as Pride and Prejudice with Zombies and books of that ilk. The only part a modern author can claim copyright on is the part he or she wrote. The original words of the author remain in public domain.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:57am

          Re: Re: Re: Wow! Total naiveté

          Only original elements you add to the work would be copyrighted, the source material would remain int the public domain and in the US where Gregory Evans (and Techdirt) are operating in, calming to hold the copyright to works you don't hold the copyright to (public domain or others despite what some commentators here are saying) is a criminal of fence under Section 506(c) of the the Copyright Act.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:18am

    Do we really want more restrictions on fair use?

    Do you really want to create a new fair use right? Google can't be expected to copy the right byline for every article that it scrapes? Do you want Matt Drudge to put bylines on everything? This would kill the Internet!

    Frankly I like the way that BoingBoing does it. They write one sentence of introduction. Then they copy a huge chunk of the
    article. Then they give thanks to the blogger who passed them the link by name.
    Then they discretely hide a link to the original piece, usually with no attribution what-so-ever. Most
    people tend to think that the person thanked by name is the original author even though that's rarely
    the case.

    http://boingboing.net/2011/08/29/moogfest-2011.html

    Let's face it Mike. I know you do plenty of work on these pieces. They're great. But the people doing the remixing are the real backbone of the Internet. When they spend ten seconds to cut and paste, they're contributing to something organic and cool. When you run your mouth and insist on being given a byline, you're just like the old, lamestream media. You're not cool. So get with the program.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:20am

      Re: Do we really want more restrictions on fair use?

      I saw no insistence on a byline in Mike's article, just a mention that the site he's quoting mentioned the byline of "Mike".

      The problem is that Evans copyright notice would appear to cover all the articles he collected but did not write.

      Mike's issue is with the appearance of restricting his article when it has never been restricted.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:51am

        Re: Re: Do we really want more restrictions on fair use?

        "The problem is that Evans copyright notice would appear to cover all the articles he collected but did not write."

        Only to someone desperate to interpret it in a problematic way.

        It says get the permission of the original author if you want to copy any part of this book. That's it.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:24am

          Re: Re: Re: Do we really want more restrictions on fair use?

          reading fail.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 11:19am

          Re: Re: Re: Do we really want more restrictions on fair use?

          Which is a restriction that Mike does not require on his articles, but Evans' copyright notice does.

          Evans' is exerting a requirement/restriction that is not his to exert.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do we really want more restrictions on fair use?

            Mike has given permission to copy his articles, so the supposed requirement of Evans's notice is satisfied.

            It doesn't mean he was wrong to say "get permission from the authors before copying."

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do we really want more restrictions on fair use?

              The notice doesn't say original authorS. It is a singular usage, author. The entire sentence is ambiguous (or we wouldn't be discussing it). Does it mean the author of the compilation or each individual author of the compiled?

              How is anyone to know which is which and whose article is restricted or not? Why is Evans putting himself in the position of dictating anything regarding those authors and their respective copyrights and/or enforcement of them?

              It's sloppy work.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          JMG, 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: Do we really want more restrictions on fair use?

          "No part of this publication may be reproduced..."

          So, techdirt's article as well as the other articles he collected are not part of his publication that the copyright notice is about?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do we really want more restrictions on fair use?

            What copyright notice? Nothing on that attrition site that I saw claimed any copyright (at least not by name). Did I miss it?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Jose_X, 30 Aug 2011 @ 3:18pm

        Re: Re: Do we really want more restrictions on fair use?

        >> Mike's issue is with the appearance of restricting his article when it has never been restricted.

        So what you are saying is

        a -- Mike is critiquing the facts of a piece he came across, as he regularly does on this website; and

        b -- he is stating that he "is not OK", perhaps meaning he will not stand quite or agree, with copyright being illegally asserted over something he created;

        and was not

        c -- asserting any form of copyright (including any legal requirement for attribution).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: Do we really want more restrictions on fair use?

          I was saying...exactly what I said, lol.

          - Mike's TD stuff is free and clear for anyone to use. He does not require that you obtain permission to use it.

          - Mike stated that attribution is nice but not necessary (my *personal* belief is that it is the very least someone should do, but that's me).

          - The ambiguity of the copyright notice for Evans' book places a burden or restriction on the TD article he used in his compilation that permission should be sought from the "original author". Since it's a compilation, sure, you could assume he means the articles respective authors, but it does not make that statement clearly at all. The book's notice does not make any distinctions and, since Evans is the compiler and a singular use of "author" appears, the notice can easily be miscontrued to mean 1) you need Evans' permission to use anything in the book or 2) you need permission from the compiled authors, but Mike does not require that.

          It's a poorly written notice and a lazy publishing team who can't be bothered to parse it all out properly so there is no confusion.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:27am

    Wow, the attrition.org website looks like it's been designed by a 4 year old autistic kid. Can anyone spend more than 30 seconds without their eyes wanting to burst out of the socket and go change the website for you? Seriously...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:37am

    "information wants to be free".... unless of course it's authored by Mike Masnick and monetized by someone else.

    And this is just some shitty article that took 10 minutes to write. Imagine if it was a movie that took 5 years of your life and millions of dollars. How'd you feel then Masnick? The underlying principle is the same. Here's someone using the creative output of another to make money for themselves and the creator (Masnick) has a problem with it.

    This example is truly a gift to those who feel that Masnick and his fellow Techdirtbag's true motivation has always been to freeload, cloaked in the soaring rhetoric of free speech, due process and tortured reasoning. Now comes a compiler who mixes in a Masnick article into his compilation, exerting a copyright claim on the compilation, is monetizing it and Mike's got a problem with it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 7:11am

      Re:

      I'm pretty sure he has no beef with the making money part, its the copyright that is being put on it that would then limit others from using his free to all work.

      Kinda consistent with his views on Disney locking up copyrights on fairy tales.

      Don't let that get lost on you, though.

      To wit: "In our case, we stand by the fact that we (perhaps alone of all the sources he copied from) don't mind the fact that he decided to reprint our stuff. That's cool. Anyone can do that. But what struck me as interesting, was this bit:"

      and "While we're fine with him re-using our works, one thing that we're not at all okay with is him then claiming copyright over it or otherwise trying to then limit the reuse of our works by others."

      Now, what part about him making money on it did Mike ever mention or argue he didn't approve or appreciate?

      He wants the work to live on, unencumbered. He could give a rats ass if the guy makes any money on it. He does not, however, like that someone is trying to LOCK IT UP.

      But like I said, don't let that point get lost on you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:32am

        Re: Re:

        It's Evans ability to copyright his compilation that allows it's monetization.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          The eejit (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Bull and shit. It's being monetised right here. You keep saying the remix artists are uncreative thieves, but so far as I can tell, I've yet to see one that tries to lock up their creations.

          However, Evans is trying to do so with no regard to the original authors. My copy of THUD! has the same boilerplate message inside.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Right, he can copyright that *specific set* of other works, the order in which they are placed and formatted on the page, but he can't falsly assert copyright over everything in the book, which is what his statement is fraudulently claiming.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Please, please, please point me to the part where he is claiming copyright over everything in the book. Pretty please.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              The eejit (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "No part of this publication..."

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:32pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Try speaking in complete sentences. It will work wonders, I promise.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  The eejit (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:45pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "No part of this publication..."

                  Also I don't speak in complete sent

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:47pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Try speaking in complete sentences. It will work wonders, I promise.

                  Dude, chill out, you posted so much, it now looks like a monologue of a copytard dog lashing out at anything that comes within a barking distance.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:37pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I'm pretty sure I've posted less than many others in this thread. The similarity of my AC avatar to another AC's avatar might be deceiving.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Karl (profile), 31 Aug 2011 @ 3:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's Evans ability to copyright his compilation that allows it's monetization.

          No, it is not. If he did not copyright the compilation, he could monetize it exactly as easily as he is doing right now. Proof? The fact that his copyright covers almost nothing in the book, yet he's still monetizing it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Marcus Carab (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 7:50am

      Re:

      exerting a copyright claim on the compilation

      Ahhh, there's your misunderstanding. The copyright notice in the book claims to cover for more than just the compilation - it explicitly states that it covers the entire text of the book. That copyright notice is, in a word, fraudulent. That's the issue - nobody is complaining about him exercising his copyright over the compilation, which covers the selection and arrangement of works but not the text of those works.

      Glad we could clear that up. I assume that now you understand why this is not in fact hypocritical, so you will stop leveling that accusation - because to continue doing so would only demonstrate your willful blindness and/or cognitive inability.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    chris, 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:40am

    It be interesting if there were some kind of copyleft license for books where if you include a covered work in part of a book, the entire book is required to be under the same license. That would have the opposite effect as what occurred here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eo Nomine, 30 Aug 2011 @ 7:24am

    "As we've stated repeatedly, our content is free for people to use, and we consider it to be in the public domain."

    And yet you do not have any legal terms that formally declare all content posted on this site to be "public domain". Is "well, you'd know if you read my posts" really a proper basis for determining acceptable use?

    "While we're fine with him re-using our works, one thing that we're not at all okay with is him then claiming copyright over it or otherwise trying to then limit the reuse of our works by others."

    If you've dedicated your work to the public domain, you can' t "limit the reuse of our working by others". That's the whole point. If they want to claim copyright as a compilation or some other form of derivative work, that's their prerogative. Of course, if you actually set out your conditions of use on this site, then you could potentially assert this control. But you haven't.

    And sorry, TechDirt readers, but Mike Masnick and this site have major anti-copyright overtones... even if it does not expressly call for the abolition of copyright, it basically attacks anyone who relies on copyright for their business model and condemns anyone who dares try and enforce their copyright. And yes, in light of this, asserting that someone should not be free to re-use content as they see fit is hypocritical. But it's the kind of hypocrisy permeates this site and which any reader should now be accustomed to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Marcus Carab (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 7:46am

      Re:

      You seem to be confusing two different types of copyrights. Yes, once something is in the public domain, other people can use it in compilations and then copyright those compilations, but that copyright only covers the choice and arrangement of pieces - it does not cover the actual original text of the public domain works. But the copyright notice that Evans included with his book claims that he DOES have control over the actual text, and that is not just incorrect, it is fraud and it is illegal. A proper copyright notice on an anthology or compilation would read very differently.

      ... in light of this, asserting that someone should not be free to re-use content as they see fit is hypocritical. But it's the kind of hypocrisy permeates this site and which any reader should now be accustomed to.

      I'm not sure if you're intentionally twisting the point or just missing it. Mike has no issue with someone else using the content, only with that person attempting to assert their own control and prevent others from using it. Do you realize how little sense it makes say that once something goes into the public domain, other people are free to take it back out of the public domain? That would render the public domain meaningless. It would be akin to saying that the moment a patent expires, anyone else is free to re-patent it. That's silly and you know it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        MrWilson, 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:42am

        Re: Re:

        Don't let logic get in the way of a good opportunity to insult Mike. Everyone knows he's a freetarded pirate-lover who deserves to have the truth of what he says ignored for the sake of trolling.

        /sarcasm

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:33pm

      Re:

      "And yet you do not have any legal terms that formally declare all content posted on this site to be "public domain". Is "well, you'd know if you read my posts" really a proper basis for determining acceptable use? "

      This is a very good point. Mike may or may not have satisfied the legal requirements for an abandonment of copyright, but is Evans supposed to know everything Mike has ever done and adjust his copyright language accordingly?

      Seems like asking a lot.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:08pm

        Re: Re:

        It's not asking a lot for someone to be thorough.

        Your statement here is interesting:

        "This is a very good point. Mike may or may not have satisfied the legal requirements for an abandonment of copyright, but is Evans supposed to know everything Mike has ever done and adjust his copyright language accordingly?"

        That's exactly what rightsholders expect of YouTube and other hosting services, but it's not considered "asking a lot" of them. ;)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "It's not asking a lot for someone to be thorough."

          I find this particularly ironic on this particular website. At any rate, I don't think there's anything wrong with the language Evans used. In Mike's case, you have permission. That doesn't mean telling people to get permission before copying other authors' works is some great misdeed.

          "That's exactly what rightsholders expect of YouTube and other hosting services,"

          How is that?

          Anyway, why are you talking about YouTube? Not every conversation as to conform to some "us v. them" notion you have in your head. Rightsholders are not always right. Do I really need to say that in every post to have an intelligent conversation?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            When you actually say it, no. But that is rare.

            Just pointing out something I found interesting, you don't have to let it bother you.

            And yeah, we reading here at TD know Mike's stance on use of his work, but others don't. I doubt that can be known by holding a copy of Evans' book to the side of one's head either, since such a poorly constructed notice won't be of much help.

            It's a crappily written notice. Could've been a non-issue with a couple of sentences. Thumbs down.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Pietzki (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:32am

    nice one

    Good onya for having such a balanced attitude about this issue Mike.. I definitely wouldn't be happy about this situation if it was my work being used in this way!

    And in regards to the whole debate that ensued: so the guy may have the right to copyright the compilation under U.S. law - I'm an aussie so I wouldn't know, and really don't care (instert southpark clip here) - but let's just put legality aside for a moment, because nowhere in the article did it say that techdirt was going to sue or even considering suing over this. All the article said was that Mike wasn't exactly happy about Evans attempting to lock down content that wasn't his to begin with. So, it may be legal, but is it fair? After all, the law is ideally supposed to ensure fairness, isn't it?

    (Oh, please do nominate any of the flame-comments below for editor's choice "most insightful comment")

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      The eejit (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:51am

      Re: nice one

      An alternative suggestion would be to file a DMCA takedown notice for the sales of the book on Amazon and similar services, and citing Copyfraud as the reason.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:52am

    Most ironic thread ever: Mike whines about his work being used by others after he puts it in the public domain.

    Mike, he's only claiming copyright on the book itself, not the work you created. You should be celebrating the use of what you added to the public domain.

    You're looking quite silly here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Marcus Carab (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 8:59am

      Re:

      Did you READ the notice?

      "No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means; -- electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission from the original author."

      Sounds to me like he's trying to scoop it right back out of the public domain. And there's no reason to celebrate that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:07am

        Re: Re:

        If he uses something that's in the public domain in his book, he doesn't remove the original from the public domain. You guys are too silly. It's hilarious that Mike wants to control something he's released into the public domain. That he doesn't see the irony is the icing on the cake.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That you don't understand the basic tenets of the argument presented is the best part of this thread and article. It shows you have no comprehension.

          So tell me, what part of "no part of this publication" excludes Mikes article from the set? And also, it reads two ways: it could be saying you have to contact evans first before using or that you have to contact Mike before using it. Neither of which Mike seems to care for. I believe he would rather you use one his articles without needing to ask for permission.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That you continue to completely miss the point appears to be par for the course.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Marcus Carab (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Again I ask you: DID YOU READ THE NOTICE?

          The notice clearly states that NONE of the text in the compilation can be reproduced without permission. THAT IS NOT TRUE.

          What is it you are failing to grasp? The copyright notice in the book is fraudulent. Why are you defending that?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "The notice clearly states that NONE of the text in the compilation can be reproduced without permission. THAT IS NOT TRUE."

            Why not? Because Mike already gave permission? Then that wouldn't be copying without permission.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Marcus Carab (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Sigh....

              Look, the guy slapped his own copyright notice on someone else's work. I'm not sure why you're jumping through semantic hoops to find a way to defend him, but you are clearly dead-set on it so I'm not going to bother arguing with you any more. It's a rather bizarre torch you've chosen to carry, but way to go - you are the motherfucking champion of at-best-misleading-at-worst-fraudulent copyright notices. I hope you get a nice coat of arms.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:41pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                All I've seen is the selective quotes from the attrition site.

                They include an explicit acknowledgment that the work is a compilation of others' works, and a notice saying you can't copy any part without getting permission from the original author.

                I see nothing where Evans claims any rights to works that are not his.

                I understand that you seem to see things in terms of an ends, not the means, but I don't (usually). Rather, when someone uses misleading statements to rally up a pack of ill-educated (on the topic) supporters, I think it's both fun and right to criticize the misleading statements.

                I couldn't care less if Evans is crucified (metaphorically), as long as its merited.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          AR (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Your the one being silly. You are correct that the Evans did not literally remove the original from public domain 9or the Techdirt site). But, with Evans and/or his publishers claim, they are saying if you go back and get a copy of Mikes original article, then Evans and/or his publisher can sue you for infringement;

          "No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means; -- electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission from the original author."

          If this was not the case the last word would be "authors" or "author(s)" since it is a compilation of different works.

          This is the only part that Mike has a problem with as I read it, and rightfully so.

          As I read it, and Mike can correct me if I'm wrong. Mike is saying that Evans (and everyone) can use, copy, reprint, and profit from the articles he writes for Techdirt without giving credit which,arguably, Evans does do, because they are in the public domain. What is not allowed is for Evans (or anyone) to claim copyright over these same articles as to not allow anyone else to do the same. This is what Attrition is claiming and seems to be substantiated with the copyright notification put forth in the publication. If this is what Evans, and/or his publishers are doing, then that is what constitutes copy-fraud and would essentially be taking the original work(s) out of the framework of public domain. This is one of the abuses of copyright and public domain that Mike writes about all the time.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            AR (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            writes for Techdirt without giving credit

            oops I meant to say

            as long as they give credit

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Jose_X, 30 Aug 2011 @ 3:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            >> But, with Evans and/or his publishers claim, they are saying if you go back and get a copy of Mikes original article, then Evans and/or his publisher can sue you for infringement;
            >> "No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means; -- electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission from the original author."

            I don't like the way Evan's statement was worded because it's probably ambiguous (as the arguments here suggest).

            The statement does suggest it is a copyright statement because of the statement it makes about a requirement on reproduction, storage, etc, and (I imagine) its placement within the work.

            That apparent copyright statement might also suggest that every piece included requires permission, and this would not be true (I don't think) if some of those pieces were not restricted under copyright (as would be the case I think for works given to the public).

            On the other hand, there is nothing there that suggests to me that any of the authors will sue anyone or haven't already given permission if their works require permission.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              What is "a copyright statement?" A statement regarding copyright? Yeah, it's probably that. But it's not a statement claiming his own copyright (at least not according to the excerpts I've seen).

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Jose_X, 31 Aug 2011 @ 9:38am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_notice
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyfraud
                might be useful to this discussion.

                >> Mazzone describes copyfraud as:
                >> Claiming copyright ownership of public domain material.

                >> In the U.S. Copyright Act, only two sections deal with improper assertions of copyright on public domain materials: Section 506(c) criminalizes fraudulent uses of copyright notices and Section 506(e) punishes knowingly making a false representation of a material fact in the application for copyright registration.

                >> A copyright notice, either as symbol or phrase, informs users of the underlying claim to copyright ownership in a published work.

                >> In the US a copyright notice must contain the copyright symbol (a lower case letter c completely surrounded by a circle), or its equivalent in computer code. The word "copyright" or the abbreviation "Copr." are also accepted in the US

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Jose_X, 31 Aug 2011 @ 10:46am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Mike, have you read this?

                  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=787244
                  Copyfraud

                  Jason Mazzone

                  Brooklyn Law School



                  Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 40
                  New York University Law Review, Vol. 81, p. 1026, 2006

                  Abstract:
                  Copyfraud is everywhere. ... Archives claim blanket copyright in everything in their collections. Vendors of microfilmed versions of historical newspapers assert copyright ownership. These false copyright claims, which are often accompanied by threatened litigation for reproducing a work without the owner's permission, result in users seeking licenses and paying fees to reproduce works that are free for everyone to use.

                  Copyright law itself creates strong incentives for copyfraud. The Copyright Act provides for no civil penalty for falsely claiming ownership of public domain materials. .. While falsely claiming copyright is technically a criminal offense under the Act, prosecutions are extremely rare. These circumstances have produced fraud on an untold scale, with millions of works in the public domain deemed copyrighted, and countless dollars paid out every year in licensing fees to make copies that could be made for free. Copyfraud stifles valid forms of reproduction and undermines free speech.

                  ...

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:15am

        Re: Re:

        Is it not correct that Masnick's article was perhaps the only one known to be in the public domain? There's probably a reason why the term "original author" was used instead of simply "author". I guess that Evans could also have said:

        No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means; -- electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission from the original author; except Mike Masnick.

        I surmise that this was very deliberate on Evans part. As this is copyrighted as a compilation, a reprint of a single article, would violate the original copyright of its author and wouldn't be protected by fair use as an excerpt. Hard to know without some disclosure by Evans, but the use of "original author" is telling.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:42am

    I don't get what's wrong with his statement.

    He says you can't reproduce any part without permission from the original author. That doesn't mean he is the original author.

    In your case, you've given blanket permission, so people can use your article.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:46am

    Wow

    This thread is so full of bizarre comments. No time to reply individually, but for the record:

    1. No, nothing in this says that I want to, nor need to, use copyright. Not sure where anyone is getting that from.

    2. I'm not trying to control Evans at all. Quite the opposite. I'm asking him to make clear that he has no control over what I wrote either.

    3. Contrary to the claims of people above, I am not upset that he might make money from works I wrote. Anyone is free to do so. Those harping on this haven't read this site or this post very carefully.

    4. Also, I'm not even asking for "credit" as some have suggested above. Once a work is in the public domain, credit is not required. It is nice and is appreciated, but is not necessary.

    5. The only thing I'm saying is that you cannot take a work that is in the public domain, and then claim copyright over it. That's not a "hypocritical" stance at all. It's fully consistent with my views. Denying that means either not understanding what I write or simply trolling. Your choice.

    6. The copyright notice clearly states covers "this publication," and does not say each individual piece. Separately, as noted in the original article at Attrition, the book is made to look as though Evans and a co-author "wrote" it.

    I think that gets all the key points.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:41am

      Re: Wow

      "The copyright notice clearly states covers "this publication," and does not say each individual piece. "

      So...what's the problem? That "publication" is covered by copyright.

      However, it *does* refer to the "original author" when discussing the permission needed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 11:26am

        Re: Re: Wow

        Dude! Mike DOES NOT REQUIRE OBTAINING HIS PERMISSION to reproduce his writings here on TD - Evans' IS making that requirement, and it isn't his place to do that. THAT is the issue.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wow

          When you say "evans is making that requirement," you make it sound like he is asserting that HE has rights to force you to get Mike's permission. That's just silly. Nothing in his notice suggests that.

          Mike has given his permission, so there's nothing "wrong" about Evans' statement. Rather, permission has already been obtained from Mike.

          Moreover, asking Evans to go through and read ever statement Mike as ever made about copyright in his own works before writing up his notice is asking a hell of a lot, I think. It would be different if Mike had some prominently placed notice that he immediately and irrevocably abandons copyright in everyting he posts here, but I see no such notice.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow

            What, he can't email someone for clarity's sake?

            See upstairs for the the comment about what might happen should someone use something out of this compilation and the publishers go after them based on their idea of what that notice says.

            It won't be Mike Masnick who is party to the suit, it'll be Evans and his publisher.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 1:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow

              I'm not sure who you're referring to when you say "the publishers," but I have no idea why Evans would be party to a suit like that.

              Alternatively, why do you think Evans would sue someone over use of a third-party article?

              I'm generally confused by your comment.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 9:23pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow

                Tant pis pour vous.

                If Evans' publisher (I think it would not be Evans himself) caught wind of someone reproducing parts of Evans' book without their permission, perhaps Mike's article with attribution to Evans' compilation, it would not surprise me in the least to see them sue over it.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 30 Aug 2011 @ 10:35am

    Copyright and the Public Domain

    I understand Mike's view - and agree. There are some points to watch here, though:

    1. There are no restrictions on something placed into the public domain - even attribution.

    2. The copyright notice from the book can be construed as stating that copyrights for each article must be observed - not giving copyright to the compilator.

    3. The copyright notice could be construed as being on the entire compilation.

    In any case, I agree with Mike: not giving proper attribution is bad form; however, its not actionable since the TechDirt posts are in the public domain.

    This is why many licenses like the GPL and the BSD license and the Artistic License exist: in order to grant freedoms but put the kibosh on bad actors. The GPL prevents not sharing; the BSD prevents taking credit for someone else's work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:51pm

    After reading some of the comments in this thread, I'm thinking an "idiotic" button needs to be added to the options.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 6:53pm

    Okay, after doing some research I think there are several misconceptions being presented in the comments (including my own).

    1. The copyright notice he used is entirely generic. While it is taken from a generic blanket copyright statement It is not entirely generic and does correctly transfer individual ownership to each party whose work is included.

    2. Mike is upset about this. As Mike himself stated he does not care about the use of his own work, though he does disprove of the lack of proper accreditation. The work should include the full source and does not appear to do so at this time.

    3. He is denying or superseding the copyrights (public domain or other)of the included authors. The modification of his copyright notice does accurately transfer the rights to the individual authors (despite the confusion created by item one above).

    Given the ridiculous nature of many of the law suits flying around these days I can certainly understand how such misconceptions happen. The various trolls are also having a good day. :)

    Of course, none of this excuses Evans from the due process of obtaining permission from the people whose work he is publishing. But that is between him and them. Even with regards to public domain content such as Mike's work it is still common courtesy to at least inform the author and to provide proper credit - not a legal requirement, just a polite one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    OC, 31 Aug 2011 @ 11:13am

    So many people speaking up on behalf of Mike...

    Mike is saying...
    Mike means...
    Mike has no problem with...
    etc.

    It appears as if you don't think Mike can speak for himself. Or perhaps you really think you know his intentions better than he does himself, from reading his mind or something. Or his scriptures.

    Mike, are you really okay with having so many people claim they know exactly what you mean? Sounds more like a sect to me with the followers protecting the leader. Fairly common on the net, I know, but I had higher hopes for this site.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Karl (profile), 31 Aug 2011 @ 3:03pm

      Re:

      So many people speaking up on behalf of Mike...

      Probably because others have spread those same bullshit lies about many of us, and we don't like to see it happen to someone else.

      It appears as if you don't think Mike can speak for himself.

      More likely Mike has the wisdom (or lack of boredom) to avoid interacting with obviously hateful trolls.

      Or perhaps you really think you know his intentions better than he does himself, from reading his mind or something.

      I can't read his mind, but I sure has hell can read his words, and judge him by his deeds, which his detractors apparently cannot.

      Sounds more like a sect to me with the followers protecting the leader.

      This is the pot calling the kettle black. Pretty much everyone on here (myself included) has disagreed with Mike at one point or another. And we certainly disagree with each other: you'll find libertarians, Democrats, Tea Partiers, atheists, and people quoting the Bible in these comments. You'll find artists, label owners, consumers, and lawyers agreeing with him, often for completely different reasons. What you will not find is "followers."

      Compare that with his detractors. Nearly all of them are anonymous; nearly all of them care about nothing but their own wallets. They use the same phrases ("freetard," "kick you in the nuts," "fix me a sandwich," "typical Friday post," etc), make exactly the same arguments ("you just want free music," "you just want to leech off of others," "copyright length doesn't matter because you ownly steal new releases," etc), and even use many of the "talking points" from the legacy music industry ("wholesale theft," "billions in losses due to piracy," calling non-commercial filesharing sites "criminal enterprises," calling sites like YouTube "rogue sites," saying the EFF, Demand Progress, the FSF, and Creative Commons are "anti-copyright," etc).

      It's pretty obvious to everyone that Mike's critics are more of a "sect" than the people who defend him.

      Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go. We're meeting in the abandoned woods behind Mike's house with some black candles and a live goat, and I still have to pick up my hooded robe from the dry cleaner's.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    chelleliberty (profile), 13 Sep 2011 @ 10:19pm

    TL;DR summary

    Kudos to Mike: a Trollsong

    Verse 1
    Mike: This guy seems a bit shady and my work is public domain so he can't claim copyright.
    Trolls: Mike! Ha! Take that you copyright-lover! Hypocrite! [troll troll troll]

    refrain
    Supporters: Here trolls, have some food! Eat the food! Enjoy the food!
    Trolls: nom nom nom nummy nom nummity num

    Verse 2
    Mike: Um, whatever. Just seems like he wasn't totally truthful. The notice seems nominally to say he has copyright on my work.
    Trolls: SEE?!? Copyright-lover copyright-lover! Clearly if a statement of copyright can in any way be interpreted to mean something we want, it MUST be interpreted that way or you're DUMB! Nyah nyah-nyah nyah nyah! We intentionally misunderstand our noses at yuuu!! [troll troll troll]

    refrain
    Supporters: Here trolls, have some food! Eat the food! Enjoy the food!
    Trolls: nom nom nom nummy nom nummity num

    Verse 3
    Mike: Meh, seems to me he isn't exactly truthful; actually I think he used our work appropriately. [shruuuuug]
    Trolls: O... M... F... G...!! See what we mean NOW??!?[troll troll troll]

    refrain
    Supporters: Here trolls, have some food! Eat the food! Enjoy the food!
    Trolls: nom nom nom nummy nom nummity num

    finis

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    , 10 Feb 2013 @ 5:27am

    我就

    啥 比

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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