Apple Makes Questionable Copyright Claim To Pull Down iTunes Contract
from the shameful dept
While this may be possibly legal under the law, it demonstrates how the law can be used in ways that really have absolutely nothing to do with copyright's purpose. Apple didn't need copyright's incentives to create this contract. There is no market for the contract itself. The purpose in flexing the copyright claim here is one thing and one thing only: censorship. As law professor Eric Goldman explained:
"It's not out of legal bounds to do this. It's just kind of a jerk move. We all know what's happening here. Apple doesn't care about protecting the copyright of contracts. It's using copyright to try and suppress information that it doesn't want made public."That said, I question whether or not this really is a legit takedown. While Apple can claim a copyright on the contract, it seems that DMN has a really strong fair use claim. The purpose was for reporting (a key purpose that supports fair use). The publication was in the public interest. The type of work is a "contract" for which copyright tends to mean very little. Finally, there's no "market" for the contract itself, and thus the impact on the market or the value of the copyright in the item is nothing. The only factor that weighs against it is the fact that the entire contract was used -- but as we've pointed out many times in the past, plenty of cases have been deemed fair use where the "entire work" has been used. This seems like a perfectly strong fair use case, though it might not be worth the legal cost to fight Apple over this, given the company's historical willingness to go absolutely bonkers against publications it doesn't like.