While doing some web searching on this matter, I discovered a Harvard Law write-up from 2008 on this very issue, where the state of Oregon sued some websites over this very same thing:
Although Section 105 of the Copyright Act places the works of federal government employees (so, federal statutes, federal judicial opinions, and the like) in the public domain, Section 105 doesn’t apply to state laws. Does that mean state laws are copyrightable? Although the statute is silent, the courts have always said: no, they aren’t. In Nash v. Lathrop, 6 N.E. 559, 560 (Mass. 1886), the court rested this conclusion on the unfairness of limiting public’s access to the rules that governed its conduct:
Every citizen is presumed to know the law thus declared, and it needs no argument to show that justice requires that all should have free access to the opinions, and that it is against sound public policy to prevent this, or to suppress and keep from the earliest knowledge of the public the statutes, or the decisions and opinions of the justices. … It can hardly be contended that it would be within the constitutional power of the legislature to enact that the statutes and opinions should not be made known to the public. It is its duty to provide for promulgating them; while it has the power to pass reasonable and wholesome laws regulating the mode of promulgating them, so as to give accuracy and authority to them.
Goober, you are actually quite incorrect where it concerns photographers who are 'paid' to take photographs. Under the rule of law, the photographer, since he or she are being paid for their services, is considered 'under contract' for producing those photographs. They do not own the copyright.
This is why many professional attorneys suggest that when you hire or contract with a professional photographer that you state in the contract with that photographer that you retain all copies, negatives and masters of any photos that are taken or produced by the photographer. If you don't point this out in a contract agreement with the photographer, then the photographer will retain the rights to those photographs.
Before I get rapped on the knuckles for this, it's been established that the person taking the photograph (i.e., the person pressing the button that captures the image) is the rightful owner of that particular photograph. The one exception is with professional photographers who are paid for their services to take those photos (i.e., the person who paid the professional photographer is the person who owns the copyright to those photos).
While it's true that copyright law was never intended to cover this, it nevertheless has happened that the person taking the photo retains the copyright.
The law, like any living document, evolves to change with the times. July 17, 1790 was the first recorded instance of U.S. Copyright, and it had been signed in script type by George Washington and appeared in The Columbian Centinel and is the first known copyright act to protect books, maps and other original documents.
Since then, U.S. Copyright Law has evolved to over other intellectual works such as printed publications, video, audio, photographs and other original works. While technically, Mike is correct about copyright law not being intended to cover photographs, the law evolves.
I think it's a good idea that copyright law expands to cover new areas of intellectual rights and taking photographs is nothing new. After all, copyright law does protect photographs, just ask anyone who misappropriates an A.P. News photo. I actually hear about copyright takedown requests all the time, quite a few that are never reported on Techdirt.
While too many people, businesses, corporations and lawyers wield the DMCA like it was some ban-hammer demand for removal ... I do think that there are legitimate DMCA takedown requests, and it's become common that whenever someone reports a DMCA takedown request, that everyone just assumes it's a bad thing.
I do admit that while they are far and few between, not every takedown request is a bad thing.
When are morons going to get the hint? Every time someone discovered an exploit and informed the company of the exploit, they have always acted negatively toward the information.
If I discovered an exploit, knowing full well how honest people are being treated for informing them of the exploit, I would post the exploit on every website I came across, showing people how to exploit the glitch.
While I have never honestly exploited anything, I sure as hell would not inform the company of the exploit.
Does Feinstein actually think anyone will vote for this? The 2016 elections are right around the corner and that is exactly why nobody voted to reauthorize The Patriot Act or Section 215. There's no reason why we need either.
Has there been a terrorist attack on our country that we don't know about? Maybe the FBI can fake another terrorist attack. They did that once before, if I remember correctly. Matter of fact, they did it twice.
A simple Google search turns up several different stories on the FBI either faking terrorist attacks in the United States or in helping terrorists in the country. I don't think that's what our law enforcement agencies should be doing, that is definitely not their mandate.
Mike, I understand exactly what I'm posting about. What I'm saying is that neither business entities nor people can be held liable for "what might happen". What the judge did, was put it into the minds of the jury that the patent troll in this case could be held liable for it.
The judge is not a plaintiff or a defendant in this particular case and yet he exposed his personal views to the jury.
What you're saying is that you agree with the judge. THAT is a biased view. If the plaintiff had proven his case, that would be one thing. But, the moment the judge exposed his personal views to the jury, he crossed the line. THAT is the point I'm trying to make here.
Patent trolls are an evil in this country that should be roped in. This problem has been escalating for such a long time that our government has failed to do anything to stop it. If a company owns a patent, then they shouldn't be able to sue if they don't make use of that patent. They exploit the laws of pour country because our elected representatives have failed to do anything to close those loopholes.
I'm not trying to argue with you over this but you fail to see the point I'm trying to make here. Fact is, business entities, people ... they cannot he held liable for conduct that MIGHT happen. What you're saying is that the patent troll should be held liable.
Once you've crossed that line, then you set a dangerous precedent with the point of view that individual people can also be held liable for conduct that might happen.
Mike, if I'm not mistaken, the reason patent trolls are allowed to exist is because Democrats AND Republicans have refused to pass any kind of meaningful reform regarding patent reform and you get some bad decisions by judges, like the one in this case, who decided to create a problem with the jury verdict.
I'm not saying that what the patent trolls are doing is right only that the judge made an error when he addressed the jury with his biases comments.
The fact that you're missing is that nobody can be held liable for what "MIGHT" happen in the future. Otherwise, everyone could be arrested for crimes that they'll commit in the future. The verdict in the original trial, added to the comments made by the judge, may very well be why the Supreme Court overturned the ruling by the lower court.
If we want to stop patent trolls, truly stop them, then write to your congressman and request that they do something to put a stop to this practice that patent trolls are engaging in.
Mike, nothing confusing about my statement at all. It's like finding someone guilty of a crime they'll commit in the future. This is exactly what the judge did, when he issued his instructions to the jury. The judge's comments basically placed the patent troll in an unfavorable view to the jury and this is exactly why the supreme court overturned the lower court's decision.
I'm not saying that patent trolls are a good thing. I despise patent trolls but this is one of those rare cases where the judge in the case made a grievous error. He should never have injected his own opinions into his instructions to the jury and his remarks were biased.
Judges are not supposed to care who wins or loses, they are only to preside over the case and ensure everyone is following the rule of law and the rules of evidence. The judge simply made a bad decision and he got called out for it judging by the Supreme Court's decision.
Fact is, we have never had such a law. When a new law is passed by congress, it's most often that challenges are filed against those new laws in the federal courts. The simple matter is, patent trolls are not a violation of the law and congress has refused to do anything to curb them in. They are protected by Democrats and Republicans.
Simple matter is, the judge acted inappropriately when he addressed the jury in the way that he did, which could be seen as influencing the jury in a manner that compromises the jury verdict.
This is undoubtedly why the supreme court ruled in favor of the patent troll. The judge overseeing the case should have known better.
While I have a mostly negative attitude against patent trolls, I have to say that after reading the article above and what was written in this article, I have to agree with the court's decision. This wasn't about the validity of their patents but rather if they could be held liable for what 'might be infringed' or 'could be' infringed. The judge clearly showed a bias in his statement to the jury.
Democrats and Republicans are vulnerable regarding The Patriot Act because Americans are tired of having their constitutional rights abused and we no longer need The Patriot Act, considering how it was originally supposed to sunset, or expire, back in 2005.
Exactly how many terrorists has the federal government captured since 2005, within the borders of the United States? Not enough to continue the act. Americans are more aware today then they were 10 years ago.
With election season coming up fast, every politician in congress is vulnerable if they vote to pass anything related to The Patriot Act and it's a sensitive issue, with many Americans and many civil rights groups opposing it.
Where it stands now, congress needs to let The Patriot Act expire and leave it buried in the ground. Otherwise, a lot of Democrats and Republicans will be in danger of losing their seats if they vote for passage.
"Terrorist" seems to be a new boogeyman threat whenever our government in danger of losing the powers granted under The Patriot Act. Its time that our representatives in congress start listening to the will of the people.
I seriously hope that the Obama Administration keeps tightening its grip around the necks of the American People because we're heading close to a revolution in this country where the people are starting to get fed up with the perverted sense of entitlement that our government thinks it's entitled to.
Since when does our government have more power than the people? This has been heating up for a long time, ever since The Patriot Act was first passed and Americans are no longer standing up for it.
If anyone thinks that this so-called Arab Spring and these civilian protests and riots in other countries was bad, just wait until it erupts in the United States.
Either the Justice Department has some big balls or they are grossly misinformed about their roll in our country. They are nothing more than the figurehead for law enforcement and justice in this country. The Justice Department does not get the right to tell the courts what they can and cannot do.
The courts are the only entity in this country that can issue legal injunctions, order and decrees by which every person, every business, every entity in what they can or cannot do.
Last I checked, the Justice Department has no authority over our courts and the Justice Department cannot tell the courts what to do. You got to hand it to Loretta Lynch that she has the gall to issue such a directive to the courts. That really takes a big set of balls to have.
I'm so glad that the FTC slapped Michigan and the big 3 automakers. I live in Flint Michigan and I lost all respect for General Motors when they abandoned Flint and then they have the gall to be upset when they are faced with legitimate competition?
The Big 3 Automakers deserve this slap in the face and I stand here laughing at their dumb arses because they are getting exactly what they deserve.
They are the aging dinosaurs who need to step aside and let real progress into the marketplace. They are worried because if they were not, they wouldn't be demanding that Michigan create new laws to prevent Tesla from operating in the state.
You don't see Michigan passing laws banning Sony, Toshiba or Samsung products from being sold in the state so why should automakers get preferential treatment?