We Interrupt This Hellscape With A Bit Of Good News On The Copyright Front

from the carl-malamud-versus-the-world dept

We've written about this case – or rather, these cases – a few times before: Carl Malamud published the entire Code of Federal Regulations at Public.Resource.org, including all the standards that the CFR incorporated and thus gave the force of law. Several organizations that had originally promulgated these various standards then sued Public Resource – in two separate but substantially similar cases later combined – for copyright infringement stemming from his having included them.

In a set of really unfortunate decisions, the district court upheld the infringement claims, finding that the standards were copyrightable (and also actually owned by the standards organizations claiming them, despite reason to doubt those ownership claims), and that Public Resource including them as part of its efforts to post the law online was not a fair use. But then the DC Circuit reversed that decision. While it generally left the overall question of copyrightability for another day, it did direct the district court to re-evaluate whether the publication of the standards was fair use.

Now back at the district court, the cases had proceeded to the summary judgment stage and were awaiting a new ruling for the court. One case still remains pending – ASTM v Public.Resource.Org – but the other one, American Educational Research Association et al. v. Public.Resource.Org, has now been dismissed by the plaintiffs with prejudice. Effectively that means that Public Resource wins and can continue to host these standards online. Which is good news for Public Resource and its users. But it does still leave anyone else's ability to repost standards incorporated into law up in the air. Hopefully when the court eventually rules in the remaining case it will find such use fair, and in a way that others can similarly avail themselves of the ability to fully publish the law.

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Filed Under: carl malamud, copyright, federal regulations, incorporated by reference, law, public domain, standards
Companies: aera, public.resource.org


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 4:57pm

    out_of_the_blue and Richard Bennett really aren't going to like this, are they?

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

    • identicon
      David, 15 Oct 2020 @ 5:24pm

      Re:

      Why? A dismissal with prejudice does not create precedent. Consequently, any disingenuous pretense can be perfectly well retained: "if they hadn't dismissed the case, they surely would have won": see how easy it is?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2020 @ 10:48am

        Re: Re:

        My concern precisely; I can imagine the other case ending in a similar way. The end result will be that publicresource can host the standards, but the courts will not get a chance to rule on fair use unless they decide to do so outside the framework of these cases. And they've shown in the past that they would rather avoid ruling on fair use wherever possible.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:37am

        Re: Re:

        Good news on the copyright front is not something out_of_the_blue is generally fond of.

        Case in point, the dumbass took the bait. Richard Bennett is another fucked up headcase as he's actually posted in the "Georgia copyrights is laws" articles claiming that there's a reason for the laws being copyrighted and Masnick is too much of a pirate to admit it.

        Anything scraped away from the tyranny of copyright is a stick up the ass of these two shits-for-brains, and that can only be a good thing.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Norbert 'Northey' Southey, 15 Oct 2020 @ 5:58pm

    You kids have amazing knack for being wrong!

    Indeed, it's more than knack, you clearly intend to be wrong! Evidently to provoke some response.

    Sheesh.

    This case centers on the mixing and mingling of private entities with gov't, and both acting so as to control information and keep it from the public, which is to be the beneficiary in all law. -- And yes, The Public benefits from copyright protecting works from thefts by you pirates.

    In one word: fascism. Low-level but clear.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Norbert 'Northey' Southey, 15 Oct 2020 @ 5:59pm

      Re: You kids have amazing knack for being wrong!

      Just this week Masnick ran another piece extolling "public-private partnerships" in a city paying to build fiber network that will then allow selected cronies of the city council to make profits without investing much.

      That's fascism.

      Masnick also believes that the First Amendment empowers corporations to arbitrarily control all speech of users on what's merely a mechanical host:

      "And, I think it's fairly important to state that these platforms have their own First Amendment rights, which allow them to deny service to anyone."

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170825/01300738081/nazis-internet-policing-content -free-speech.shtml

      As in Twitter yesterday and still today suppressing valid news of Biden and son corruptly seeking to sell influence.

      That's fascism, and at high level, nationally important.

      So, typical Techdirt idiot who wrote in advance of any comment from me and with baseless assertion, there's no contradiction in MY position, but Masnick is clearly for fascist mingling of gov't and corporations.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 6:15pm

        If you ran a Mastodon instance, you’d be able to decide what is and isn’t acceptable speech on your service. You’d have the right to delete unacceptable speech and ban users who continue to post it. The government couldn’t stop you from doing that if it even cared enough to try.

        So I ask this question on a purely “mechanical host” level: In regards to moderating speech, what would make your theoretical Mastodon instance any different from Twitter?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 6:46pm

        Re: Re:

        Bang on schedule from the closeted masochist who claimed "if the law wasn't copyrighted, nobody would have any incentive to follow the law".

        You make this too easy, you ignorant motherfucker.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 11:48pm

        Re: Re: You kids have amazing knack for being wrong!

        " valid news of Biden "

        I suppose you do have to pretend that it's valid rather than an easily debunked lie, but thanks for illustrating why Twitter have to keep such news out of the hands of the wilfully and dangerously ignorant.

        "Masnick is clearly for fascist mingling of gov't and corporations."

        Yet, you're the one demanding that the government remove private property rights from those corporations...

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Oct 2020 @ 12:27am

        Re: Re: You kids have amazing knack for being wrong!

        Well, look at that, poor old Bobmail disgracing us with his presence once again, just to lay down another passle of untruths and "alternative" facts for our perusal.

        "That's fascism."

        A city paying to build infrastructure, the way it's supposed to? Fascism? I'd dearly like to think you're just trolling but alas, we know from years of reading your withered shards of broken logic that you may actually believe that.

        "Fascism", just to refresh your memory, is when government power is vested in corporation and vice versa. Not when a government entity walks up to a corporation and pays them for a service which is pretty much just normal capitalism.

        "Masnick also believes that the First Amendment empowers corporations to arbitrarily control all speech of users on what's merely a mechanical host:"

        More appropriately put, the first amendment prevents government authority from suppressing public speech, right of assembly and the like. Amendments and clauses such as section 230 simply guarantee that government power - i.e. the judicial branch of government - can not unduly interfere either with freedom of speech nor the private ownership of a platform or venue.

        "That's fascism, and at high level, nationally important."

        So Biden is the government now? Or Twitter? Because that's the only way your assertion could be true. Now if Trump, being the president, signs an XO which tells twitter to remove private content - THAT would be fascist. And indeed, Trump has signed a number of similar XO's in the past which is a fascist move but unfortunately only borderline illegal.

        "So, typical Techdirt idiot who wrote in advance of any comment from me and with baseless assertion, there's no contradiction in MY position..."

        He said, contradicting himself again after responding to a logical query with an irrelevant ad hom...

        I must say it's refreshing to have you back after this months-long absence, Bobmail. Somehow the trolls trying to pick up your slack around here just don't measure up to the volume and quality of your work.
        After all, no one else really has the art of shitting in his own hand and holding it up as "evidence" of his righteous cause at such speed and proficiency as you do.

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

        • identicon
          'Sex vs. Gender' -- court case, 19 Oct 2020 @ 1:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: You kids have amazing knack for being wrong!

          "Fascism", just to refresh your memory, is when government power is vested in corporation and vice versa. Not when a government entity walks up to a corporation and pays them for a service which is pretty much just normal capitalism.

          No, "Fascism" is the mingling of gov't and corporations.

          In the old days of America, gov't authorized / privileged projects with favors such as land grants and left financing to private investors: RAILROADS are prime instance. Similarly The Phone Company, Rural Electrification, TVA dams...

          That's vastly different from what Masnick promotes: municipal bonds (which cost taxpayers far more than face value) and then cronies of city council being the only ones favored. Period.


          YOU "SDM" are astro-turfing, probably paid to do so, not a "real" person.

          Scary Devil Monastery: now at 5,122 comments! (special case!) resumed 8 Aug 2018 after 65 month gap from its first! 1 Mar 2013

          https://www.techdirt.com/user/perge74

          So ardent fanboy yet waited over FIVE YEARS after first comment? And is known to be highly interested in topic because states recognizes someone's views from TorrentFreak? BALONEY! It's Masnick's astro-turfing, and from style, is another sock-puppet of Timothy Geigner.

          Even your screen name is unbelievable.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 6:12pm

      The Public benefits from copyright

      Then how come the entities that hold the most copyrights and most often use the legal system to defend those copyrights are corporations, which you believe have no rights and should thus not have control over any copyrights?

      fascism

      I’d think “the government doing everything possible to keep the standards it uses out of the hands of the general public” to be far more fascist than “someone publishing government standards so the general public can understand them”, but you do you, Brainy Smurf.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 10:39pm

      "The Public benefits from copyright protecting works from..."

      The Public benefits from copyright protecting works from [theft] by you pirates.

      You lost me at theft.

      Also, assertions without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

      Also 🏴‍☠️

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

  • identicon
    'Sex vs. Gender' -- court case, 19 Oct 2020 @ 1:02pm

    James Madison nails down that copyright was/is Common Law:

    From Federalist #43:

    https://constitution.org/1-Constitution/fed/federa43.htm

    [URL confirmed last few days]

    The copyright of authors has been solemnly adjudged, in Great Britain, to be a right of common law. The right to useful inventions seems with equal reason to belong to the inventors.

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


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