15 October 2009

Under the Influence?

Another disjointed, only marginally sausage-like set of links. It's a good think that my literary license can't be revoked for drivelling under the influence of children...

  • GBS Status Update Two appeals by disgruntled, rejected intervenors have been filed (docket numbers 752 and 756). In the ordinary course of things, this would immediately divest the District Court of jurisdiction, and throw the whole matter into the Second Circuit, making the 09 November target date for announcement of the "New, Improved Settlement (With 50% Greater Obfuscation!)" moot. This is not, of course, the ordinary course of things. I'm not even certain that, under CAFA, an interlocutory appeal by a rejected intervenor on the class's side of the v. remains proper (a possibly unintended consequence). In any event, it's not the kind of appeal that stops the trial court's activities in the first place... yet. The appellants could apply to the Second Circuit requesting a stay in the District Court pending appeal, but I've seen no sign of such papers being filed as of yet. I'd be far from surprised to see such papers filed on/shortly after 09 November, though.
  • (HT: Professor Froomkin) Sergey Brin recently made some statements in defense of the Google Book Search settlement... that appear to have originated in another galaxy. A NYT reader quickly demonstrated just how far removed from reality he is... but neglected to note that that initial, "official" name of the project at Google was the Google Library Project.
  • And Professor Desai bangs even harder on the unintentional self-parody theme for Google in his discussion of in a discussion focusing on academic books. In turn, this brings to mind the ultimate problem with the copyright system that we have: It is strictly binary; the alternative — letting lawyers make decisions on how "original" or "artistic" a particular protectable, original expression is, and then granting/denying rights based on those decisions — is vastly worse. Remember, lawyers (obviously in common-law jurisdictions, less obviously — but still essentially — so in civil-law jurisdictions) are trained under the meme that one wins a dispute, or establishes the meaning of law, by demonstrating that someone else has said almost exactly the same thing before: That is, by denying the value of originality. And that's before we consider the inartful writing endemic in the law...
  • Professor Goldman explains why the "blogger sponsorship/gift disclosure" guidelines announced by the FTC will benefit only the lawyers: they violate a relevant statute.
  • Oh, those awful Canadians: As Professor Rebecca Tushnet manages to explain without once questioning the sanity of those making the claim, Canada tuk Hollywood's bukkit.