Why Are Members Of Congress Telling A Private Organization Not To Comment On Copyright Law?

from the seems-sketchy dept

For the past few years, there's been a really bizarre "fight" going on in the copyright world. I had considered writing about it nearly two years ago when it first seemed to flare up, but I had hoped that facts and cooler heads might prevail. Silly me.

This involves a few issues that are fairly deep in the weeds if you're not a lawyer, so I'll try to provide a quick overview of what's happening for non-lawyers. The American Law Institute (ALI) is a non-profit organization which states its mission is to help to "clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law." Its most well known products are the so-called "Restatements" of various laws. Restatements are, generally speaking, attempts to provide significant additional annotations on the law, based on caselaw. That is, it's a very useful tool for courts to understand how various aspects of the written law have been interpreted by judges before them. They are scholarly works, put together by bringing together large groups of legal experts in a field to work out a very balanced review of how courts have interpreted the law.

Seeing as these are merely effectively annotations on the law, they are, in no way, binding on a court. Instead, they are designed to be useful in helping judges understand the current state of the law. A few years back, ALI decided to put together a Restatement of Copyright Law. It's been a long, slow process. To put it together, ALI has brought together a large and diverse group of copyright lawyers, practitioners, and scholars representing pretty much all sides of the various copyright debates. If you were planning to release a document that was one-sided and "biased" this is not the way you would do that.

Among the people working on the Restatement there are some of the most famous names in copyright scholarship -- many of whom historically have supported a more maximalist interpretation, including David Nimmer, and Jane Ginsburg. Others working on this with a long history of copyright maximalism, include former Copyright Office General Counsels Jacqueline Charlesworth and Sy Damle. You have a bunch of current and former RIAA and MPAA folks, including former RIAA lobbyist and current federal judge Beryl Howell. There's also Michael Fricklas, former General Counsel of Viacom, Michael Kane from Disney, former Warner Bros. and MPAA VP Dean Marks, former RIAA General Counsel Steven Marks, current Senior VP and Associate General Counsel at the MPAA Ben Sheffner, and also Shira Perlmutter, a well known maximalist currently at the USPTO, but previously at the Copyright Office, IFPI, and Time Warner.

In short, there are very few of the big names in copyright maximalism I can think of who aren't among the team tasked with this process.

But it also includes plenty of people with more enlightened views on copyright -- those who recognize that copyright was supposed to be designed to benefit the public first and foremost. Basically, it's a pretty balanced list. In the years since the Restatement has been announced, it's appeared that it's this very balance of those working on the Restatement that has so upset the maximalists. As a whole, they've basically been getting their way with their interpretation and ever-growing expansion of copyright law. Over and over and over again. The idea that anyone who actually recognizes the original intent of copyright law might even weigh in on helping to explain to judges what courts have said is worrisome to them. This is silly. The point of the Restatement is to explain what courts have said. Restatements don't say what the law should be or what anyone hopes it should be. It's very much about highlighting what the caselaw says.

Two years ago, the Copyright Office put out a letter whining about the Restatement process, (despite so many people related to the Copyright Office being on the team putting together the Restatement). At the time, I spoke to someone else on the team who told me that the whole thing was purely a "turf battle," in which the Copyright Office wants the courts to look to it for legal interpretations (generally not something the courts have done), so this is seen as a "competitive" effort. But the bigger issue, honestly, seems to be one factor and one factor only: Hollywood and its friends decided long ago that the public interest has no business in copyright. And this Restatement process even acknowledging those who have worked to remind people that copyright is supposed to be in the public interest is seen as a threat to their views.

But here's where things get insane. The lobbyists for copyright maximalists have now convinced one senator and four members of Congress to pressure the ALI to drop the entire Restatement of Copyright Law project.

In case this is not clear: members of Congress are telling a private organization that it should not give its opinion or analysis on the state of the law. That's fucked up no matter how you look at it. Senator Thom Tillis, and Representatives Ben Cline, Ted Deutch, Martha Roby, and Harley Rouda, have some explaining to do. Using the power of Congress to say that a private organization shouldn't talk about the law is insane.

Even the specifics in the letter are crazy -- and clearly were talking points from lobbyists.

ALI is a respected organization, whose Restatements are often cited as highly persuasive authority in court cases and scholarly works. Traditionally, Restatements have focused almost exclusively on areas of common law because judicial rulings across different jurisdictions may vary and ALI's interpretation are predisposed to assembly, analysis, and summaries.

By contrast, laws created through federal statute, including federal copyright law, are ill-suited for treatment in a Restatement because the law is clearly articulated by Congress in both the statute and legislative history. In creating legislation, Congress develops legislative history through hearing testimony and Committee Reports. Legislation is then expertly interpreted by agencies charged with that authority by Congress -- such as the U.S. Copyright Office and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The ALI has long recognized that federal statutes do not require a Restatement and are not an appropriate platform to effect changes in federal law.

This is misleading on nearly every level. First, while copyright law currently comes via federal statute, large chunks of that federal statute developed via common law rulings that determined the basic shape of the law, which was eventually codified by Congress. This includes, most notably, the entire concept of fair use, which was a common law idea. Other areas of copyright that were developed through common law include things like copyright on sound recordings, public performance copyrights, rights of first sale, the idea/expression dichotomy, scenes-a-faire, the idea of "de minimis" copying not being infringing, etc. In short, much of what we know of as statutory copyright came about because of common law interpretations of copyright.

Second, if you've paid any attention to the caselaw over the past forty or so years of copyright, basically from the Sony Betamax case forward, there have been all sorts of areas of copyright law that have required judicial interpretation of the law. And that's exactly what a Restatement is useful in dealing with. Just to take one (of many!) examples, the Blurred Lines case has shaken up copyright law tremendously over the past couple of years, based entirely upon the court's interpretation of the law. And, as we speak, the 9th Circuit is considering what framework to use when determining if a similar song is infringing. These are exactly the kind of things a Restatement is useful in dealing with.

Third, and most importantly, if Congress feels that a court -- or the Restatement -- has gotten something really wrong, it has the power to revise the law. So it's unclear why these elected officials feel so threatened by someone highlighting how various courts have ruled -- especially given the incredibly balanced nature of the group tasked with putting together the Restatement.

These elected officials seem bizarrely worried that courts will somehow rely on the Restatement too much, despite little evidence that this would ever be an issue (and separately, I find it amusing that they keep pointing to legislative history, when various Constitutionalists insist that legislative history is meaningless in interpreting the statute, but I digress).

Throughout its almost 100 years of existence, the ALI has never chosen to draft a Restatement of an area of law that is almost exclusively statutory law -- until now. We are deeply concerned by the ALI's current Copyright Restatement Project. In fact, any Restatement or other treatise relied on by the courts that attempts to diminish the importance of the statutory text or legislative history relating to that text would warrant concern. Courts should rely on that statutory text and legislative history, not Restatements that attempt to replace the statutory language and legislative history established by Congress with novel interpretations.

But then they immediately undermine the point made in the above paragraph:

We also understand that the ALI has come under some scrutiny relating to other controversial projects. The late Justice Antonin Scalia, who was the most frequent author of opinions citing ALI publications in nine opinions, wrote that "modern" Restatements "are of questionable value, and must be used with caution." He added that, "[o]ver time, the Restatements' authors have abandoned the mission of describing the law, and have chosen instead to set forth their aspirations of what the law ought to be." In his dissent in Kansas v. Nebraska, Justice Scalia stated that newer Restatements "should be given no weight whatever as to the current state of the law, and no more weight regarding what the law ought to be than the recommendations of any respected lawyer or scholar."

Lately, many states have also begun to repudiate the more recent and controversial Restatement projects, such as the Insurance Liability Restatement. Arkansas, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas have all recently passed legislation that in some form seeks to curtail, or even condemn, the use of the Insurace Liability Restatement under their respective insurance laws. The Kentucky and Indiana legislatures have also passed resolutions stating their opposition to the Insurance Liability Restatement.

So... all of that completely undermines the entire argument here. It's saying that judges clearly recognize that they are free to ignore or decline to endorse anything in a Restatement, and that legislative bodies (like Congress) are free to clarify if a Restatement gets something wrong. So... why are they so upset that a Restatement is taking place in the first place? If it's no good, judges can and will ignore it. If it gets stuff wrong, Congress has the power to clarify the law.

One other thing that's important here. I mentioned earlier that David Nimmer is one of the people involved in this Restatement. Nimmer is also a co-author (with his father) of Nimmer on Copyright, which is (like the Restatement) an interpretation of copyright law, that is frequently cited and relied upon by courts. Nimmer on Copyright has been cited by over 2,000 court cases. Here's former Director of the US Copyright Office, Maria Pallante waxing poetically on the value of having Nimmer on Copyright around to rely on:

What would the Nimmer of 1963 do with red flag knowledge or orphan works? What protections would he assign to vidders and bloggers? How would he analyze the application of copyright law to the software in cell phones and car radios? What would he think of the development agenda at WIPO? What would he do with section 115?

Thankfully, through Nimmer the younger, the treatise goes on, building upon the early days and reminding us that the practice of copyright law isn't only exciting but difficult. It isn't about what we know, or how quickly we can state it in this age of instant public discussion; rather it's a matter of respect. The more one learns about copyright law the more there is to learn. What better symbol is there of this fact than the enduring legacy of Nimmer on Copyright?

Notably, approximately 30 seconds after the elected officials sent the letter discussed above, the very same Maria Pallante, who now heads the Association of American Publishers, a lobbying trade group representing legacy publishers pushing for ever more maximalist copyright, put out a press release cheering on the Congressional letter. Suddenly, Pallante's love and affection for an effort to interpret copyright law has gone away when it's not managed entirely by the Nimmer clan.

“We strongly commend Senator Tillis and Representatives Cline, Deutch, Roby, and Rouda for their powerful letter raising serious concerns about ALI’s Copyright Restatement Project. For more than 200 years U.S. copyright law has served as a crucial incentive to publishers, authors, composers, and countless other artists, enabling the creation and dissemination of works that improve our lives, enhance our culture, and drive an economic engine that delivers $1.3 trillion in annual value to U.S. GDP. The ALI’s attempt to reinterpret this critically important federal statute should be seen for what it is: a back door effort to circumvent the authority of Congress and undermine the copyright system that fuels our creative economy."

When Nimmer does the exact same thing by himself, it's "reminding us that the practice of copyright law isn't only exciting but difficult" and to be celebrated. When a diverse group of scholars -- including Nimmer -- work on the very same thing, it's "a back door effort to circumvent the authority of Congress and undermine the copyright system that fuels our creative economy." Yeah, sure, Maria. That's convincing.

The Tillis et al. letter then issues a list of 9 questions it demands that ALI respond to. Hilariously, despite the wide variety of perspectives included among the panel working on this, (and the lack of any such balance in nearly all previous efforts on copyright), these elected officials claim they want to know what ALI has done to stop "bias" and "potential conflicts of interest." Did these same elected officials worry about "conflicts of interest" in the past regarding copyright -- which has almost exclusively been twisted and expanded due to the wishes of Hollywood and its friends? No? Why is it only now, on a non-binding, series of commentary from a private organization, commenting on copyright law, that Congress is "worried" about "bias" and "conflicts of interest?"

There's no need to answer. We already know.

Filed Under: ben cline, caselaw, common law, congress, copyright, david nimmer, harley rouda, martha roby, opinions, restatement of copyright, ted deutch, thom tillis
Companies: ali


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 8:02am

    Lots of assertions, but not so much on the evidence

    For more than 200 years U.S. copyright law...

    ... Has been quite a bit different, as it has changed significantly over time both in duration and scope, to the point that current copyright law has only a passing resemblance to it's original form, and almost nothing with the original intent, that of serving the public.

    ...has served as a crucial incentive to publishers, authors, composers, and countless other artists, enabling the creation and dissemination of works that improve our lives, enhance our culture,...

    Gonna need a [Citation Needed] for that one. Automobiles have also been around a lot, as have phones and the internet more recently, does that mean that any or all of those factors have been a boon to all those things? The fact that copyright has been around does not automatically mean that it's copyright that did any of that, that's a link that would need to be demonstrated rather than merely asserted.

    ...and drive an economic engine that delivers $1.3 trillion in annual value to U.S. GDP.

    And gonna need a really big [Citation Needed] for that one, given I distinctly remember a 'study' a number of years back that tried to lump grocery stores as part of the 'IP economy'(or whatever term would be appropriate).

    ... a back door effort to circumvent the authority of Congress and undermine the copyright system that fuels our creative economy."

    The projection is strong with this one.

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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 8:37am

    I would suggest...

    ...that Senator Thom Tillis, and Representatives Ben Cline, Ted Deutch, Martha Roby, and Harley Rouda should answer those questions themselves, first. When they do, they should take the position that copyright law's ability to exist extends from the Constitution, and that the Constitution is about and for the people, not a particular business or advocacy group..

    Article 1
    Section 8
    Clause 8
    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    If they exert a modicum of intellectual honesty, they should come to the conclusion that current copyright law is not about benefiting the public, nor is it legitimately about limited Times as more than many peoples entire lifetimes isn't a practical limitation benefiting the public and does nothing to promote progress (aka new works by authors and inventors).

    But expecting intellectual honesty from elected officials who desire funding for re-election is not what the electorate has come to expect. They have learned that the current system engenders hypocrisy where the stated campaign promises are co-opted in favor of satisfying the biggest contributors and the populace tends to vote along party lines or for whomever promises something they want, even if everything else that candidate stands for does violence to their individual rights. That the electorate is OK with this status quo is disheartening.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 2:30pm

      Re: I would suggest...

      Could this be Congress enjoying the time off since Chevron vs EPA in early 1980s which resulted in courts allowing non elected non democratic US angencies to interpret vague laws and essentially write laws that were so heavily crafted by corporate bias that they are saying here, "we like the way laws are being written, don't mess with this?"

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 9:36am

    'Using the power of Congress to say that a private organization shouldn't talk about the law is insane'
    it's only insane if you're NOT one of those in Congress (and not just those mentioned in the piece) that is taking kickbacks from Hollywood and others in order to make out that 'copyright' is for no body except those who the maximalists say it's for! it shows exactly how fucked up the USA is (and how it pressures other countries to be the same!). it shows that the 'people' are nothing, are meant for nothing, except for keeping companies super buoyant and mega rich through control and company heads super rich because of the attitude that only they matter! talk about making sure that they are slavers and slave masters and the people are nothing but slaves! what a disgraceful attitude to have!

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 9:38am

    Websites can't be forced to host speech it doesn't like, but copyrightholders can be forced to allow thieves to pirate their works.

    Copyright applies to everyone, not just big corporations. Without it, thieves would prosper since the incentive to distribute would replace the incentive to create.

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    • icon
      Cdaragorn (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 9:44am

      Re:

      Massive [Citation Needed].

      Also, what on earth did this rant have to do with the article?

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      • icon
        Norahc (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 10:47am

        Re: Re:

        Massive [Citation Needed].

        I'm guessing all of his needed citations are copyrighted so he can't post them.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 6:14am

        Re: Re:

        "Also, what on earth did this rant have to do with the article?"

        You really need to ask why Bobmail/Blue/Jhon felt compelled to holler his normal "copyright über alles" battle cry when the OP contained the unholy word of "copyright"?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 10:33am

      Re:

      Shakespeare says he thinks the good lady doth protest too much.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 10:38am

      the incentive to distribute would replace the incentive to create

      Copyright has locked up our shared culture. Everything we’ve experienced in our lives that was made during our lives is off-limits from everyone who can’t afford to license it. Those works will remain locked up for the rest of our lives and decades beyond.

      And yet, we have an abundance creative works in the world despite, not because of, copyright. I have not yet seen a rational argument that says otherwise. Your post does not present one, either.

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 1:40pm

      Re:

      Websites can't be forced to host speech it doesn't like, but copyrightholders can be forced to allow thieves to pirate their works.

      This is nonsense and irrelevant. Those two things have absolutely no relation to each other whatsoever, and the first—while true—has absolutely nothing to do with this article at all. The second is only tangentially related.

      Furthermore, that second claim needs a big ol' [citation needed], and I must remind you that copying and copyright infringement are not theft, and not all copying is infringement or piracy.

      Copyright applies to everyone, not just big corporations.

      True, but that’s not really in dispute here.

      Without it, thieves would prosper since the incentive to distribute would replace the incentive to create.

      At the very least, that is uncertain. And again, copying and piracy aren’t theft.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 6:12am

      Re:

      "Websites can't be forced to host speech it doesn't like, but copyrightholders can be forced to allow thieves to pirate their works."

      Oh, how did I know we were going to see an appearance by Bobmail/Jhon/blue right here as soon as the unholy word "copyright" was pronounced.

      And you couldn't keep from slinging a bitter barb towards section 230 either. Must truly suck that you can't force people to not publish bad reviews on your prior behavior, right?

      And with that out of the way, as usual you are wrong; The current legal paradigm forces the actual owners of media not to make full use of their own equipment because some unaffiliated 3rd party asshat decided that controlling information in someone else's ownership is a thing.

      And of course website owners can't be forced to host speech they don't like. That's just common sense, unlike the propaganda blurb you tried to stick on that analogy in the hope of making a link out of total irrelevance.

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      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 7:42am

        Re: Re:

        Sometimes, you don’t even have to mention copyright at all for him to start ranting about copyright and piracy and infringement and all that jazz.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Dec 2019 @ 12:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Sometimes, you don’t even have to mention copyright at all for him to start ranting about copyright and piracy and infringement and all that jazz."

          True enough. He'd cheerfully weigh in on a bible reading on original sin with a desperate attempt to make it a moral tale on the benefits of copyright and to place a condemnation on illicit copying within the bounds of religious injunction.

          In fact, I think he has, at some point.

          There's a reason is use the word "cult" to describe the adherents of copyright. They closely resemble the deranged mentality described by Lovecraft in people whose minds have completely divorced themselves from observable reality...

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          • icon
            Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 18 Dec 2019 @ 3:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The concept of original sin is not in the Bible. It's a Catholic thing.

            You're right about Blue et al, though. They really do treat it as a religion.

            Fun fact: back in the day in my native Ireland, a row erupted between two monasteries over copying religious texts. If it wasn't for the pesky Germans, the availability of the Bible would have been very restricted.

            So it seems we've always had maximalist hoarders who would rather have cultural artifacts perish than fall into the hands of the hoi polloi; they were as much of a pain in the neck then as they are now. The good news is we've also always had pirates to ensure that they exist for our enjoyment today.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 2:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Fun fact: back in the day in my native Ireland, a row erupted between two monasteries over copying religious texts. If it wasn't for the pesky Germans, the availability of the Bible would have been very restricted."

              Oh, indeed. The church as a whole was extremely hostile to the printing press in general. Most monestaries at the time had copying text by hand as a major source of income.

              And the official church and priesthood did NOT want anyone other than ordained priests to read and interpret the bible - to the point where the perceived need to prevent ordinary people from doing so spawned the organization known as the inquisition.

              The entire concept of copyright is basically the core business model of the 15th century church.
              It's not too strange that Bobmail et. al. treats it as a personal faith and brings arguments to the table which you'd expect to see from a westboro baptist church member. All copyright maximalists do this - because the only defense they can muster for copyright is either outright falsehood or faith-based polemics.

              "So it seems we've always had maximalist hoarders who would rather have cultural artifacts perish than fall into the hands of the hoi polloi; they were as much of a pain in the neck then as they are now. "

              Oh, yes. In the end the core concept of copyright has always been "I want to control what people say and write". That's always been a popular concept with religious organizations and dictators.

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  • icon
    Cdaragorn (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 9:42am

    Checks and balances anyone?

    Let me see if I've got this straight.

    The legislative branch has sent a letter trying to influence the speech of a private organization within which they also attempt to dictate how the judicial branch should operate?

    This smacks of an awesome opportunity for a fun smack-down response letter. Not to mention the open potential for serious lawsuits.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 9:46am

    Entertainment is NOT a survival resource. NO ONE is being forced to steal material in violation of federal law. If you don't like something, don't read or otherwise consume it, simple.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 9:50am

      Re:

      How about quoting your post, as an example of an absolutist position, is that theft of material?

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    • icon
      Cdaragorn (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 9:53am

      Obligatory

      Copying is not theft

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 10:36am

      Re:

      No one is forcing you to abuse the English Language by capitalising random words. If you don’t like the language as is, don’t use it, simple.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 3:35pm

        Re: Re:

        When I write handwriting I use capitals exclusively. All the blueprints I ever read were printed in capitals. Its not abusive to use capitals in English language. Its a cultural preference for some. Others too sensitive that the offense to them actually overrides what possible importance could be derived from the context is to me entertainment, sad, but also funny!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 3:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That echoing boom sound you just heard was the point going supersonic over your head.

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 4:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You are too ugly to be my English teacher.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 8:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Poor baby is past his lil nappy time.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 5:06am

              You’re too much of a prick to be taught anything, so it evens out in the end.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2019 @ 10:01pm

                Re:

                I'm a Prick? I'M A PRICK? Someone completely censored the comment that started this, but it wasn't the shitstorm that ensued! I was in love with my College English professor. I'm a well liked person. Some of you are VERY SNITTY. I'm just having fun defending myself against some of YOU PRICKS.

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                • icon
                  bhull242 (profile), 24 Dec 2019 @ 12:33pm

                  Re: Re:

                  First, no one wants to know how you felt about your college English professor. It’s completely irrelevant here. No one was complaining about your English skills to begin with.

                  Second, whether you’re well like in person or not, your behavior online leaves something to be desired.

                  Third, just let it go already.

                  Fourth, the comment wasn’t completely censored, just hidden. It’s still easily viewable for anyone who wants to see it.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 5:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you work with blueprints, then you should know the all caps writing style for blueprints came from the days of drafting by hand. Everything on that blueprint needs to be clear and precise. A typo or anything misread, be it words or measurements, has the potential to cause a lot of problems down the line. So the writing was standardised in a way that helped knockout potential communication problems...

          To rip that context away and apply it to general english is offensive, cause the person on the other end didn't have that context to begin with.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 8:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I was a draftsman in my very early days. That is why I now use all caps when writing. The context in the context for which I spoke is the context in capitals as you read it, you choose to be offended by capitals that I know people consider shouting when texting, but can be used for emphasis. EMPHASIS. Don't be a SIS.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 8:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              SISSY*

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            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It’s generally considered bad form, though, if some form of markup is available. Insisting on continuing to do so after being asked to stop and understanding full well why is worse. In addition to being akin to shouting, it actually reduces readability in print.

              But that notwithstanding, you actually seem to be more offended about the whole deal than anyone else.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2019 @ 3:39am

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

                Geez, what a whiner. Is that what you learn from school these days? Or did you not attend any? Try to get along with mankind is a better way to go. Some of mankind isn't worth the bother. I'm starting to realize that more and more these days. You just won't GO AWAY will you?

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 5:07am

                  Neither will you, but you don’t see us doing the text equivalent of shouting about it.

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                • icon
                  bhull242 (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 5:50am

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

                  I honestly don’t care. It’s mildly annoying, but that’s it. I’m just describing my observations about netiquette. Do not confuse my statements with my personal opinions; merely my observations of a trend.

                  I also only said two things in this thread: the one you’re responding to, and another asking why you refuse to use any sort of markup. With the latter, I asked only out of curiosity, not any sort of offense over the whole deal.

                  The only reason I’m saying anything in this thread is because you seem to take an inordinate amount of offense over a dumb joke and a few people criticizing your use of all-caps mostly mildly. In other words, I’m not all that bothered by your “original sin”, so to speak, but your overreaction to anything approaching criticism.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2019 @ 10:09pm

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

                    The criticism was petty and immature. I was only putting up explanations not rebuttles until commentor became rude and insolent. I enjoy a good fight in the courtyard long before it gets in the courtroom!

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

                    • icon
                      bhull242 (profile), 24 Dec 2019 @ 12:42pm

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

                      The criticism was mild; I wouldn’t call it “petty” or “immature”. The commenters didn’t become rude until you made yourself into an easy target, and they were never insolent. As for your “explanations”, they were phrased as rebuttals, whether or not that was your intention. Your very first response made you sound highly offended by the criticism of such a minor detail.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2019 @ 10:48am

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

                  Ok boomer

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 10:39am

      If you don't like something, don't read or otherwise consume it

      Why are you still here, then?

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 1:50pm

      Re:

      1. How do you know for certain you won’t like something if you don’t try it? Sure, in some cases you can tell, but not all.

      2. That’s irrelevant to this article.

      3. Freedom of information is also a thing, as is criticism of a copyrighted work. While that isn’t actually against federal law, many copyright maximalists, abusers, and trolls try to make it so, and you must keep them in mind.

      4. Not every freedom is related to survival. Some consider copyright to be an infringement upon their fundamental rights as human beings. Others believe that it has been expanded beyond its initial purposes and what is reasonable in light of our rights and freedoms. Still others believe that it is easily abused beyond what was intended and leads to overcensorship. “Entertainment is not necessary to survival,” doesn’t address any of those concerns at all.

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

    • identicon
      Rocky, 16 Dec 2019 @ 3:07pm

      Re:

      Every copyrighted book, movie and piece of music borrowed (stole in your language) from some other work. No one forced them to do that. If they don't like something they shouldn't borrow (steal) it either, simple!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 4:52pm

      Re:

      How's that Liebowitz defense fund coming along, Herrick?

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 6:16am

      Re:

      " NO ONE is being forced to steal material in violation of federal law. "

      And no one does. Making a copy still isn't theft. Which is why judges tend to ban that word in conjunction with infringement cases and SCOTUS has decisively handed down a smackdown on using that word in error.

      I realize that you are still in denial. It's only been a few dozen years.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Dec 2019 @ 12:59am

        Re: Re:

        ...and as a footnote to my above statement, just to make things clear; Yes, entertainment is indeed one of vital value and the lack of it has, in many studies, been found to severely impair mental and social development.

        Which is another way Copyright fucks everyone over. When you tell the storyteller what may not be repeated actual harm is done to culture as a whole.

        This is why the founding fathers were so doubtful about copyright that it is the sole amendment they made optional for congress to fulfill.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 9:55am

    I guess it's totes cool though when corporations or their interest-group orgs write actual law on which Congress just basically signs off. But damn you to hell if you want to have a scholarly discussion about its historical use and interpretation!

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

  • icon
    CrushU (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 10:53am

    That's odd

    Legislation is then expertly interpreted by agencies charged with that authority by Congress -- such as the U.S. Copyright Office and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

    Weird, I thought the body charged with interpreting legislation was the Judicial branch, not Congress...

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

    • icon
      Norahc (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:49am

      Re: That's odd

      Maybe they think they're the judical branch now that they get to have their own trial.

      Besides, it's not like they've been efficient at passing new laws that are actually useful and beneficial to all their constituents besides those with the biggest bank accounts.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 2:55pm

      Re: That's odd

      True.

      Also, whoever wrote "the law is clearly articulated by Congress in both the statute and legislative history", has never bothered reading any laws articulated by Congress.

      Which explains a lot now that I think about it.

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

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 7:39am

        Re: Re: That's odd

        [W]hoever wrote "the law is clearly articulated by Congress in both the statute and legislative history", has never bothered reading any laws articulated by Congress.

        Yeah, that sounds about right. You’d think the people we elected to write and vote on statutes would read the darn things, but that’s frequently not the case.

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:44am

    The important question is: How will ALI respond? Will they stop the project or tell the politicians to shove it (politely, of course)?

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

  • icon
    Rico R. (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:50am

    To me, this whole article highlights the massive tension between the first amendment right to free speech and copyright law. Here, we have elected representatives essentially telling a private entity that they can't say what they want to say about copyright law. We're not even talking about the fair use of a copyrighted work, but rather to express an interpretation of copyright law. Even if you're a copyright maximalist, you cannot deny that the state is essentially pressuring and intimidating someone to not say something they (or the copyright industry, which likely donates heavily to these politicians) don't like. This screams a first amendment violation if I ever saw one.

    If people in Congress were telling someone to not write an interpretation of copyright law that copyright maximalists agreed with, there would be a massive outcry from the MPAA, RIAA, and the like. But since there's a slight chance this could even be slightly balanced, they riot and applaud Congress's support. We're now at the point where we're not even talking about how to harmonize the first amendment with copyright law; simply talking about copyright law in a way the copyright industry doesn't like is enough to get state actors involved and attempt to silence them. But go on, anonymous copyright maximalist, tell me how copyright has nothing to do with censorship.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:56am

    Just to ask...

    If a law is written WRONG.. do we have to practice?
    https://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/index.html

    Copyright law in the U.S. is governed by federal statute, namely the Copyright Act of 1976. The Copyright Act prevents the unauthorized copying of a work of authorship. However, only the copying of the work is prohibited--anyone may copy the ideas contained within a work. For example, a copyright could cover a written description of a machine, but the actual machine itself is not covered. Thus, no one could copy the written description, while anyone could use the description to build the described machine.

    Copyrights can be registered in the Copyright Office in the Library of Congress, but newly created works do not need to be registered. In fact, it is no longer necessary to even place a copyright notice on a work for it to be protected by copyright law. However, the Copyright Act does provide additional benefits to those who register with the Copyright Office. Consequently, copyright registration and the use of a copyright notice is recommended.

    What does not sound right in this??
    Dont need CR to be CR??

    How about Copying is against the law..

    Can a summary from Bitlaw be Wrong?? or is someone rewriting things Inside the Castle??

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 1:41pm

    What is, they sold out their office for a few pieces of hollywood silver & no one has the balls to call them out for screwing the people are they supposed to represent?

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 5:31pm

    I dont mind a few things being hard,

    But when they make things Convoluted...Its a shame that we need LAwyers Not to protect us, but to explain it, what we did wrong/right..

    Then there is the idea from the beginning, that laws are to be Equally used, for Everyone.. And just cause you change a name, or the Meaning of your company DONT mean you can run away from your responsibility..

    I love the thought that Copying is illegal...ITS STUPID.. for many reasons, including Updating the Format, Loss prevention(ask BBC about Dr. Who, lost over 300 ep.) How many movie storage facilities have BURNED?? 3? 4??
    That old movie stock that is used in explosives?? Nitric Cellulose??
    Then there are the Collection agencies...If you can find them and get them to send you the original(??) or at least a COPY to watch..
    NOW...I will ask..IF the Movie/music industry LOST/BURNED the original copy of there Data.. Do they still own the Copyright? They cant show ownership, which could make me very rich If I have the only copy..

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 8:34pm

      Re: I dont mind a few things being hard,

      In that the normal person actually needs a lawyer to unweave the binding pretzel logic to these laws, should immediately invoke an unlawful sense of illegitimacy from these people one-siding the narrative for the obvious purpose of only maximizing corporate profits. Everyone should drop their drawers and take a huge crap wherever it would make the most impact in civil protest.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 8:01pm

    Truer Words...

    "...I had hoped that facts and cooler heads might prevail. Silly me."

    This statement may become the short definition of my grasp of so many topics.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 8:51pm

    The ones actually doing the work on the Restatement are the 5 reporters. People named as advisers can provide input to drafts presented for comment, but such input does not tie the hands of the reporters. It is noteworthy that all 5 reporters are law school profs. As a practical matter, this is an effort by academics who as a group, with some exceptions, are generally viewed as “copy left” advocates.

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:49pm

      Re:

      Soooooo… moderates, then?

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 12:03am

      Re:

      1. This is quite misleading. Having spoken to people involved in the process who are NOT one of the 5 reporters, they have noted that they have been heavily involved in the process and that there are regular discussions and drafts.

      2. Are you the same person who just last week was arguing that Pam Samuelson, who is also an "adviser" had hijacked this whole thing? Funny how when it's her as an adviser, she's destroying this process and when it's your buddies in Hollywood, they're suddenly shut out. Maybe you're just full of it.

      3. Nothing that is going through this process involves "copyleft advocates" somehow controlling this process. Whatever comes out needs to be approved by the council and then by the membership. If this really were some crazy copyleft plot, that would never happen.

      You guys and your fearmongering that any sense of balance might be introduced into any conversation of copyright -- even a discussion of the current state of caselaw, is so crazy. What are you so scared of?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2019 @ 4:17am

        Re: Re:

        I am merely passing along observations by persons I know who I regularly correspond with and who are advisers on the Copyright Project. It is they who have referred to the current reporters...the actual authors...as leaning to one side of the continuum of views concerning copyright that are sometimes called “copy left”.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 5:05am

          I am merely passing along observations by persons I know who I regularly correspond with and who are advisers on the Copyright Project.

          That’s bullshit, but I’m sure you believe it.

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

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 5:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, someone who is likely biased is accusing the people actually writing the report of being biased because they don’t always get their way.

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

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 7:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            My apologies. I made a mistake and left a significant part out. Here’s what I meant to say:

            So someone who appears to be biased is claiming that they know someone else on the project who may or may not be biased (probably yes) is accusing the people actually writing the report of being biased because they (the person supposedly making the accusation) don’t always get their way. That’s super trustworthy.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 6:37am

        Re: Re:

        You guys and your fearmongering that any sense of balance might be introduced into any conversation of copyright -- even a discussion of the current state of caselaw, is so crazy. What are you so scared of?

        Pretty sure you answered your own question there. With every change to copyright always being to ramp it up the very thought that the public might be considered for once has got to have maximalists running around like headless chickens.

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

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 18 Dec 2019 @ 1:10pm

        Re: Re:

        opinion...thats what Im afraid of..Not facts.
        Proving opinion is easy, as everyone has them, and you can get many to agree, without seeing facts..
        Try to prove facts and everyone wants to see them, old or new, it isnt always easy to show Facts..

        Evne with dis-proof of recent data on the FBI and all the ways they can ID and test persons with 'SCIENCE' that has been mis-proven, much is considered fact...without evidence.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2019 @ 10:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That is exactly right ECA, and its harder to prove facts on Techdirt without being arrested at times.

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

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 24 Dec 2019 @ 12:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What? ECA was criticizing people accepting things as factually true too easily, not that proving facts on this site is too difficult. Also, when the hell has anyone arrested anyone over anything anyone said or did on Techdirt?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2019 @ 1:22am

      Re:

      How's that Richard Liebowitz defense coming along, Slonecker?

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

  • icon
    Federico (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 12:57am

    Addiction to monopolies

    When Nimmer does the exact same thing by himself, it's "reminding us that the practice of copyright law isn't only exciting but difficult" and to be celebrated. When a diverse group of scholars -- including Nimmer -- work on the very same thing, it's

    ...it's a clear infringement on a 50+ years monopoly on interpretation of the law! How dare you.

    The entire copyright industry (and all its courtiers) is a feudal system, which relies on privileges corruptly granted by the sovereign and thrives on byzantine rituals and traditions just for the sake of exclusivity. This letter by Congress members is a subversive attempt to grant a sort of dukedom on the territories of copyright to a private individual and his son. Such hereditary titles are heresy in the Republic and they should be expelled from Congress for violating the Title of Nobility Clause.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_of_Nobility_Clause

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 8:05am

      Re: Addiction to monopolies

      Dude (or dudette), I have a number of problems with copyright law and this letter. Additionally, I think that joke you started with is funny and on point.

      However, citing the Title of Nobility Clause to support your argument does not make you look credible. That clause is actually pretty narrow; it pretty much only covers actual titles of nobility or perpetual grants of power to individuals and/or their family. Copyright and inheritance thereof do not fall under that clause, particularly when it has some hard limit on its duration (less than 125 years based on current human lifespans, usually much less).

      At any rate, the power to grant copyright is also in the Constitution from the start, and the passing-to-family thing is just common-law inheritance, so you’re basically arguing that a clause in the original Constitution invalidates another clause in the original Constitution. That’s not how it works at all.

      But anyways, as a general rule, it’s usually safe to say that something is not a violation of the Titles of Nobility Clause, much like how Ken White says, “It’s never RICO.”

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

      • icon
        Federico (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 8:48am

        Re: Re: Addiction to monopolies

        Yes definitely, in case it wasn't clear it was not meant to be a credible legal argument. :) I considered adding a /s at the end but it seemed unnecessary.

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

        • icon
          Federico (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 9:35am

          Re: Re: Re: Addiction to monopolies

          However, for any such language in Article I, Section 9 it's pretty hard IMHO to claim that the meaning is clear and narrow. I've just performed a quick search and it's easy to see court rullings using the Title of Nobility Clause to infer all sorts of things.


          The writers of the Constitution wanted no title of nobility or hereditary distinction. They also provided that no office should be created, “the appointment of which shall be for a longer time than a term of years.” (Emphasis added.) It was contemplated by the authors of the Constitution that the Legislature would have the right to fix terms of office for only a period of years, thereby enabling the people periodically to select public officers. The reasons are obvious.

          Board of Education v. Gulick, 398 S.W.2d 483 (1966)
          https://casetext.com/case/board-of-education-of-pendleton-county-v-gulick

          Our historic aversion to titles of nobility is only one aspect of our commitment to the proposition that the sovereign has a fundamental duty to govern impartially.

          Fullilove v. Klutznick, 448 U.S. 448 (1980)

          The perpetuation of social stratification is also, in this court’s view, inconsistent with the public policy sought to be promoted by the exemption statutes of this state, and is fundamentally inconsistent with the history of this state and the circumstances which surrounded the creation of its original constitution. See, e.g., Constitution of the Republic of Texas [1836], General Provisions, Sec. 10 (“every head of a family shall be entitled to one league and labor of land”); id., Declaration of Rights (“no title of nobility, hereditary privileges or honors, shall ever be granted or conferred in this Republic”).

          In re Leva, 96 B.R. 723 (1989)

          [I swear I'm not aware of any relationship between my family and this Leva!]

          As the very existence of the numerous and ponderous post-1982 decisions of the D.C. courts should make clear, however, the MFJ was far from a final resolution of the nation’s telecommunications dilemma. Its enforcement and alteration in the light of technological progress and changing market circumstances ultimately required substantial monitoring on the part of the district court, and the extensive judicial tinkering that resulted prompted many pundits to dub District Judge Greene the country’s “telecommunication’s czar.” Unsurprisingly, Congress soon became skeptical of this unusual title of.judicial nobility, and ultimately spent many long and contentious years in drafting a system of comprehensive telecommunications regulation to replace and supplement the MFJ. See SBC Communications, Inc. v. FCC, 138 F.3d 410, 412-13 (D.C.Cir.1998). On February 8, 1996, President Clinton executed these legislative labors into law as the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the “Act”).

          SBC Communications, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission, 154 F.3d 226 (1998)


          Ok, this was fun. So I stand by my right to give lyrical/creative interpretations of USA customs, in keeping with good European tradition since Tocqueville. ;-)

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Dec 2019 @ 1:04am

          Re: Re: Re: Addiction to monopolies

          "I considered adding a /s at the end but it seemed unnecessary."

          Poe's Law, yet again.

          The problem is that when you try to out-sarcasm a copyright maximalist you *literally can not make your sarcasm blunt enough. Whatever you say, no matter how deranged, just sounds like a bona fide statement made by the one you try to satirize.

          Bobmail/Jhon/Blue around here is one example. People could state "The sun shines because of copyright" and they'd still have to add the /s not to get a response from someone thinking it's a genuine copyright cultist making the statement.

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

  • identicon
    Peter Menell, 17 Dec 2019 @ 9:47am

    Fact check

    You write: “Among the people working on the Restatement there are some of the most famous names in copyright scholarship -- many of whom historically have supported a more maximalist interpretation, including David Nimmer, Jane Ginsburg, and Peter Mennell.”

    I can’t say that I that know that “Peter Mennell,” but if you were referring to Peter Menell (with one “n”), then I am perplexed by your assertion that I "support a more maximalist interpretation.” The seminal Altai and Apple v. Microsoft cases rely on my early articles. I was one of conveners of the LaST (Law, Science, and Technology) Frontier Conference on software protection that proved influential in the Sega case. My articles and amicus briefs were influential in Lotus v. Borland (on Borland’s side) and my recent monograph on the Oracle v. Google litigation (published as a special issue of HJOLT) has been cited by Google and other amicus briefs. My amicus cert. petition brief in Google v. Oracle (joined by David Nimmer) supports a finding that functional specifications are not copyrightable. And I have advocated that the ALI Copyright Restatement not rely on the Federal Circuit’s Oracle v. Google decisions.

    As regards other copyright issues, I have advocated a safe harbor for the Google Books project, a compulsory license for mashups, reform of the statutory damages regime, a robust interpretation of the edicts of government doctrine, and fee-shifting to promote fair use, among other copyright interpretations and reforms. I founded a publishing company (Clause 8 Publishing) that has reduced casebook prices by 80-90%.

    I do not accept money from either side of the copyright policy divide. Based on extensive research, I see virtue in both copyright and copyleft. I am passionately in the middle.

    Transparency in both government policymaking and ALI processes ought to be encouraged.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2019 @ 11:13am

    Fine I will then

    I will leave a statement.

    Your Law is no longer useful and I dare say an impediment to common citizenry of ALL types

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2019 @ 12:40pm

    Was not there that day

    I missed the memo.

    When did those bitches get the powers of a United States judge to tell private citizens what a gag order is in a non criminal Matter?

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

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 1:04pm

    "Using the power of Congress to say that a private organization shouldn't talk about the law is..."

    ...the exact definition of censorship, and contrary to the first amendment that Congress is tasked with upholding.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2019 @ 3:05pm

    Knew it

    They are worried everyone hates it🤣😂😄

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2019 @ 12:42pm

    The show

    The show: numerous waxes poetic about Amazing tales of how “exciting and difficult” copyright is with great tales being forged by authors writing to the wee bits of dawn. Painters mastering crafts. Amazing research without bounds. Science never thought possible.

    Reality: your cousin dies because pharma pro got released and raised prices after buying medicines.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2019 @ 1:19pm

    they are, in no way, binding on a court.

    Both of, these commas, are unnecessary and grammatically awkward.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2019 @ 10:25pm

      Re:

      "in no way" is a prepositional phrase that requires no comma use. I learned it in a college grammar 101 class forty years ago. Kids probably learn that in Fourth grade by now!

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

  • icon
    fairuse (profile), 4 Jan 2020 @ 8:47pm

    I never thought about this ALI project

    1) I love how saying the word copyright gets folks in rant mode.

    2) http://www.thealiadviser.org/inside-the-ali-posts/when-legislatures-and-agencies-rely-on-restatement s-of-the-law/

    3) Somehow 2) avoids copyright. Wow, no kidding.

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


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