Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 6th Sep 2010 16:30 UTC
Legal We've all heard of patent trolls who buy up patents without using them to make any products. Their only goal is to seek out possible infringers and sue them, making money via the justice system. It was only a matter of time, but we've now got something new: copyright trolls.
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The selling of copyright
by SReilly on Mon 6th Sep 2010 16:48 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

...is completely contrary to the original idea behind the scheme. If you think about why we have copyright, to provide a marked for artists and authors that will encourage the further development of writing and the arts, being allowed to sell on that copyright makes very little sense to me. In fact, I've found that in the music industry this leads to serious abuses of artists. If they are not careful at the time of signing a recording contract they may find that they have inadvertently "sold" away the rights to their own work.

If a copyright is granted, it should be granted to the applicant for life. I don't see how allowing the retailing of what is a limited monopoly in any way helps further the arts.

Reply Score: 7

RE: The selling of copyright
by umccullough on Mon 6th Sep 2010 17:12 UTC in reply to "The selling of copyright"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

If a copyright is granted, it should be granted to the applicant for life. I don't see how allowing the retailing of what is a limited monopoly in any way helps further the arts.


The problem with the "for life" term is that corporations (which can also establish copyrights) don't die naturally.

Color me surprised - when you give copyright holders as much power as they have now - you're bound to find abuse.

If this keeps up, all the information in our world will eventually be "owned" and kept under lock and key.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: The selling of copyright
by SReilly on Mon 6th Sep 2010 18:32 UTC in reply to "RE: The selling of copyright"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I had forgotten about corporations, thanks for pointing that out. As you so rightly put it, corporations don't have a natural life span so to grant copyright on that specific time limit would be absurd.

As for corporations buying up copyright and locking the affected works away, that's already in full swing. If Disney get their way, we may never see "Steamboat Willie" released into the public domain.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The selling of copyright
by _xmv on Tue 7th Sep 2010 01:06 UTC in reply to "RE: The selling of copyright"
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

Knowlege is power, share the wealth... or keep it hidden locked and ask money for it.

You know, money is power, too.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The selling of copyright
by Karitku on Mon 6th Sep 2010 18:18 UTC in reply to "The selling of copyright"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

Your are so naive. Copyrights are sold daily to corporates. If you ever get to work and write thing like manual, you don't own the copyright, company owns it. Same goes on lot of other stuff. What this company does isn't wrong, but how they "protect" copyrights is. Keep mind there is quite strong code what and how much you can copy from other copyright. Unfortunatly in internet age lot of people who have no clue how this works are taking parts of others copyrighted materials causing them to broke copyright law by accident. Righthaven is using this weakness like bully and attacking those weak ones.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: The selling of copyright
by SReilly on Mon 6th Sep 2010 18:27 UTC in reply to "RE: The selling of copyright"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Why would my statement make me naive? Where in my post does it say that I don't understand and know about corporations trading in copyrights? For that matters, where in your post does it explain why I'm being naive?

If you can't understand what I wrote then please refrain from commenting on my level of sophistication in these matters.

Reply Score: 3

RE: The selling of copyright
by mr_pinsky on Mon 6th Sep 2010 18:21 UTC in reply to "The selling of copyright"
mr_pinsky Member since:
2010-09-06

regarding the 'lifting' of a paragraph from their homepage: that's obviously covered by the 'fair use' doctrine. otherwise, even copying a page from some book at a library would be illegal (which it's not).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

Edited 2010-09-06 18:26 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: The selling of copyright
by SReilly on Mon 6th Sep 2010 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE: The selling of copyright"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I'm not so sure this is covered by fair use. You see, Righthaven are alleging that Sharron Angle reprinted two whole articles on her website. Usually that kind of situation is not an issue if the person reprinting the articles mentions the source but in this case, Righthaven aren't even the source, they bought the copyright with the sole intentions of suing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The selling of copyright
by M.Onty on Mon 6th Sep 2010 18:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The selling of copyright"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

I may have misunderstood this, but aren't they working on behalf of the client which owns the copyright---no buying involved.

Regarding your earlier statement, when work is done on commission, would you not regard this as a legitimate case of copyright transferring from one individual or organisation to another? Ghost writers, for example. And if not, where do you draw the line? If the ghost writer wrote half of someone's book, do they then own half, capable therefore of holding the named author's work effectively to ransom? Just an example.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

no buying involved.


Read carefully. They buy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: The selling of copyright
by SReilly on Mon 6th Sep 2010 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The selling of copyright"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Both the OSNews article and the original Wired.com article clearly state that the copyright is being bought by Righthaven, they are not in any way representing the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

As for the transferal of copyright and the examples you mentioned above, copyright must be applied for first before it is granted so the ghost writer or employee would have to apply for the copyright first, before the company who had commissioned the work has done so. Companies and those that commission works usually use contracts that stipulate to whom the copyright shall belong to once the commissioned work is finished.

Obviously, if the contract says nothing about copyright, it's a free for all but I guaranty that in any situation where copyright could become an issue, the question will be covered in the contract. In that way, if either of the two parties is in violation, they would automatically be liable under contract law.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: The selling of copyright
by M.Onty on Mon 6th Sep 2010 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The selling of copyright"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

My mistake. That's what you get from reading the article, doing something else then commenting.

As to the rest of what you said, that's all true (except that copyright is automatic rather than applied for, at least in the UK). I'm afraid I misinterpreted your position. Note to self: must read more carefully.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: The selling of copyright
by SReilly on Mon 6th Sep 2010 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The selling of copyright"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I just had a quick look at wikipedia and you're right about copyright being automatically granted in most countries, although the following line gives a little more detail on the subject as well as your question on works for hire:

'However, while registration isn't needed to exercise copyright, in jurisdictions where the laws provide for registration, it serves as prima facie evidence of a valid copyright. The original copyright owner of the copyright may be the employer of the author rather than the author himself, if the work is a "work for hire"'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright#Obtaining_copyright

Reply Score: 2

Comment by vivainio
by vivainio on Mon 6th Sep 2010 18:03 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

That goes for Apple, Nokia, the RIAA, and, as it turns out, for some newspapers as well.


I'd like to remind you that Apple (that uses patents not to gain licensing revenue, but to stiffle competition) is the only company Nokia is suing for patent infringement.

Reply Score: 3

Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

http://www.copyright.com/viewPage.do?pageCode=cr10-n

INFRINGING COPYRIGHT
In utilizing any of the exclusive rights provided to the copyright holder without his permission, you may be violating or infringing on his rights under the Copyright Act. If the copyright holder has registered the infringed work with the U.S. Copyright Office prior to the infringement, the copyright holder may be entitled to compensation for his loss. Compensation may include damages, such as lost profits from the infringing activity, or statutory damages ranging from $250 to $150,000 for each infringing copy or higher if the court feels that the infringement was committed "willfully."

You may also be criminally liable if you willfully copy a work for profit or financial gain, or if the work has a value of more than $1,000. Penalties can include a one year jail sentence plus fines. If the value is more than $2,500, you may be sentenced to five years in jail plus fines. Criminal penalties generally apply to large-scale commercial piracy.


"INTERNATIONAL" COPYRIGHT
There is no such thing as an "international copyright" that automatically protects a work throughout the world although more than 150 countries have ratified a treaty intended to accomplish as many of the benefits of "international copyright" as possible. Generally, if a work is protected in the U.S. it is protected in most countries because the U.S. adheres to the leading copyright convention, the Berne Convention, which is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Reply Score: 2

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

INFRINGING COPYRIGHT
In utilizing any of the exclusive rights provided to


Careful! You quoted a pretty substantial portion of that page... Righthaven may purchase the rights to it in the future and you could be on their list...

Edited 2010-09-06 21:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I doubt it since that page belongs to the largest copyright repermissioning company in the world. ;)

Edited 2010-09-06 21:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Trolls new way of life
by acobar on Mon 6th Sep 2010 21:46 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

Unluckily, it is fast becoming a way for "smart" people to "take" money from others, regardless of how ugly and unethical their actions sometimes can be. It make me remember my poor country, where we had a maxim more or less like this: "The important thing is to take advantage of everything". Sadly, USA society is fast embracing it too.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Trolls new way of life
by Tuishimi on Mon 6th Sep 2010 22:25 UTC in reply to "Trolls new way of life"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe I am misunderstanding what is going on, but copyright law is designed to protect one's artistic or intellectual property in certain ways.

If one wants to share, yet still profit from, their ideas or product why should they not invoke copyright law? Why should they not allow for their works to be protected?

I don't see how a company that actually searches for violations is "bad".

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Trolls new way of life
by acobar on Tue 7th Sep 2010 00:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Trolls new way of life"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

My remark, not clear for sure, was about the modi operandi involved on these actions, following the same pattern used by patent trolls, i.e. buy to litigate, and the "green light" the USA "society" (I really should say elite) give to such trolls.

I really do not see anything wrong on republish texts as long as a reference is published, respecting the limitations that may be involved sometimes, like on books, pictures, paintings and good music.

Sincerely, most of the text we can read and write is pretty much an amalgamation of many things we processed and brings nothing really new, despite our aspirations. It may be new for some, but surely not for all so, why be so narcissist and greed? It is not like they are publishing "War and Peace" on newspapers or web pages, for what matters.

I really hope to see, for real, i.e. while I am alive, a rebuild of copyright and patent laws to something really taking into account "what-is-really-new-or-unique", and not what we have now.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Trolls new way of life
by Soulbender on Tue 7th Sep 2010 03:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Trolls new way of life"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I don't see how a company that actually searches for violations is "bad".


Perhaps not in itself but the business model in this case relies on people not fighting back and it relies on the case not going to court. It is not about protecting anyone's copyright, it's about scaring people into paying settlements. In other words, it's just an elaborate extortion scheme that owes it's existance to flaws in the legal system.

Reply Score: 4

Not exactly a saviour
by Soulbender on Tue 7th Sep 2010 06:13 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

This guy has no interest in saving the newspaper industry, quite the opposite. All he's interested in is exploiting a failing industry for his own gain before the bottom falls out.
Look, there's no way there's a sustainable business plan here. He's not suing big infringers, he's suing *bloggers*. That is, people who can only afford to pay him very small amounts of money. So on one end Righthaven pays large amounts of money to newspapers for the copyrights and on the other end they'll getting paid pittance from the infringers. Yes, I can really see that working out well. Recipe for failure.
Of course, none of this matters to Mr Gibson. He'll get paid anyway and when the company finally die he'll just move on to a greener pasture. Maybe chasing ambulances or something, I dunnno.

Edited 2010-09-07 06:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

All grown-up
by jal_ on Tue 7th Sep 2010 07:26 UTC
jal_
Member since:
2006-11-02

Oh and Righthaven, go to hell.


Yeah, that's a seriously mature comment.

Reply Score: 2

RE: All grown-up
by Kroc on Tue 7th Sep 2010 10:16 UTC in reply to "All grown-up"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Because copyright trolling is such a mature form of business model?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: All grown-up
by jal_ on Tue 7th Sep 2010 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE: All grown-up"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Because copyright trolling is such a mature form of business model?


I'm sorry, but no matter how much I despise any kind of trolling, ending an otherwise informed article with a call to "go to hell" is immature, and not the kind of reporting I'd like to see on OSNews.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: All grown-up
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 7th Sep 2010 12:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: All grown-up"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm sorry, but no matter how much I despise any kind of trolling, ending an otherwise informed article with a call to "go to hell" is immature, and not the kind of reporting I'd like to see on OSNews.


It's a Dutch thing. We don't sugar-coat. I've had many a run-in with foreigners about our directness. It's made worse by the fact that I'm West-Frisian.

If something can go to hell, I'm not going to lie about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: All grown-up
by jal_ on Tue 7th Sep 2010 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: All grown-up"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

It's a Dutch thing. We don't sugar-coat.


It's not about sugar-coating, it is about the way you phrase things. Telling someone "to go to hell" or the like is, imho, immature, it's name calling and not fit for serious journalism.

I've had many a run-in with foreigners about our directness.


Well, I'm not a foreigner, and this isn't about "directness". It is about style.

It's made worse by the fact that I'm West-Frisian. If something can go to hell, I'm not going to lie about it.


I've never considered West-Frisians to be exceptionally rude, but if you say so. However, again, this is not about being direct, or about calling-them-like-you-see-them, it is about tone and style of wording.

Reply Score: 3

v Read the bottom of this site...
by JonathanBThompson on Tue 7th Sep 2010 07:31 UTC
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Have we ever sued anyone for duplicating our stories (happens all the time)?

Have we ever denied anyone to reproduce our stories when asked (happens all the time)?

Do we have a hitman company scouring the web for infringements?

This is NOT about the newspaper defending their IP. This is about a company whose business model is to sue bloggers for infringing upon news stories that they HAVE NOT WRITTEN THEMSELVES. They just go out and buy up copyrights, and sue individuals with that. I find that despicable behaviour, and it illustrates just how fcuked up the system really is.

The fact that you consider our disclaimer on the same level as this company clearly shows you have no idea what you're talking about, or that your unfounded hatred towards me has gotten the better of you.

Of course you could've just asked us how we handle matters like this, but instead, you chose to attack me, once again. Such a shame you went from fascinating guy in the Haiku community to major douche.

Edited 2010-09-07 08:09 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Clarification
by trenchsol on Tue 7th Sep 2010 12:31 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

I don't quite understand what is going on here. Are those alleged violators linking to original stories, or copying and pasting text to their own articles. Or, maybe, typing the articles published on paper into web pages ?

Is it allowed to link to original story ? If it is why would someone republish something that is already on-line ? Why not just linking to it ? Legal or not, republishing an existing article looks pretty pointless to me.... Why would someone want to do it, unless she or he wants to make it appear as his/her own original work ?

Reply Score: 2

They made it look like suicide
by _QJ_ on Tue 7th Sep 2010 14:03 UTC
_QJ_
Member since:
2009-03-12

Finally, if they shoot at EVERY ducks:
1. Nobody will be dare enough to cite their "customers" work.
2. Everybody will be angry at them.

On the long term, by acting without proper judgement, everybody will avoid their customers.

Good enough no ?

Reply Score: 1