from the copyright-gone-mad dept
Stern hired Zimet to sell the list, which seems straightforward enough... except that Rosenberg claimed that she has full ownership of the list, via her copy, including a copyright on the list. The court, in its decision basically punted on the question of copyright, because Zimet isn't looking to publish the list, but merely sell the physical copy of the list -- which has nothing to do with copyright. However, the court still does suggest that there may be a (state) common law copyright claim here. However, I have to agree with Eugene Volokh, who suggests the court got this wrong. While (as we've discussed) there are state common law copyrights, they're very limited, and are mostly preempted by federal copyright law. So, as a written work, this should fall under federal copyright law. And since it's just a list of names, there's no copyright to be had at all. On top of that, even if there were a copyright, it's not at all clear that Rosenberg received the copyright to the document at all when she received her copy. All in all, it's yet another example of how people have been trained to believe that such things can be "owned."