Forty-five years ago today...
- There has been lots of copyright news of late, much of it from outside the US. In no particular order:
- The estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has been denied a stay pending certiorari/appeal by the Supreme Court, meaning that its copyright on the pre-1923 Sherlock Holmes is unenforceable at present due to the result in the Seventh Circuit.
- In an utterly futile attempt at seeming to listen to the public while nonetheless ignoring it, the U.S. Copyright Office is seeking public comment on Aereo. The problem here is not that there is no copyright issue... but that the copyright issues are buried under miles of ire quite properly aimed at cable-TV
vulturesservices (I should add that I've had similar experiences twice in the past decade).
- Given that That Vampire Show is back for its final season on HBO right now, it's all too appropriate that SOPA may be dead... but it's coming back... thereby demonstrating that Congressional dysfunction goes even deeper than we thought.
- Meanwhile, across the pond, orphan works are getting specific legislative attention in an even-more-dysfunctional-than-Congress legislature...
- ... which, at least, is more transparent than the EU "government".
- Of course, sometimes there is overclaiming, like when a lawyer tries to sue someone for copying a brief submitted as part of the public record in a case. This actually fails to note the principle objection: That a legal brief is ordinarily a work for hire, meaning that the lawyer is (legally) not its author in the first place — that dubious distinction belongs to his/her client. (It's a WFH because the lawyer is, for this purpose, an employee of the client... or, at least, arguably so, depending upon the particular way that the "employment test" is imposed.)
- Yeah, writers are getting rich these days. (No <SARCASM> tag necessary, right?)
The subtext is that making policy based on outliers (whether the long or the short tail) isn't very bright. Of course, that's often where the money is most concentrated (and thereby most available for expenditure on lawmaking), so you can guess how often this gets considered.
- The less said about the latest (or, at least, latest-at-this-writing) atrocity in the Ukraine related to separatism from neocolonialist border-drawing fiascos, the better. Nobody is really remarking on the last-clear-chance contributory factor: That the air traffic controllers allowed the aircraft to fly within 300 meters of restricted airspace, knowing full well that things were a bit unsettled (and that 10,000m is a bit low for efficiency on that flightpath in the first place).