11 December 2012

Midweek Update

Just popping in with a couple of quick notes —

  • Sometimes a copyright case can turn on a pile of skulls (PDF) — at least in part. One of the problem with copyright law is that litigants try to use it well outside of the bounds of protecting original expression, precisely because the procedural advantages of copyright law (which are arguably necessary for its purpose) are an "attractive nuisance" compared to other legal theories. In this instance, a game company sued another company that makes accessories for its figures... which themselves have minimal original expression, but it's exactly that distinction that makes it so inadvisable for lawyers to be making those distinctions in the first place.

    In any event, this opinion is worth skimming at least once for the amusement value. The reality is that it's a trademark matter using copyright as a big stick... because trademark law requires holders to be assholes, and using a copyright theory enables them to be flaming assholes. Keep in mind that if this was about, say, automobile parts and not miniature Space Marines™, Games Workshop would have been laughed out of court...

  • As noted by this blawg's only feline friend the IPKat, the EU is moving toward a unitary patent system. If history holds, that will result in a similar initiative on copyright in 2018. That's not that far off, authors!
  • Without much further comment — as it's really unnecessary — consider con artists masquerading as "book publicists". And yes, I'm being rhetorically stronger for a reason: I'm hoping that some "independent" author will see this and think twice...