Sad Day for Copyright
ORIGINAL, 2-Aug: I am deeply saddened to learn that William Patry, one of the preeminent copyright attorneys in the U.S., has chosen to end his personal copyright blog. This parting shot, like so much of his writing, is clear and well-reasoned. I did not always agree with Patry, but his writing and perspectives often led me to reconsider and re-evaluate my relationship to copyright law. I will learn less, both qualitatively and quantitatively, without his site in my RSS reader.
Even more troubling, Patry has taken down the entire archive of his site, stripping it to just his final entry. Given the
And since his own site archive is now deleted gone, I can only hint at (or try to find Google caches for) some of the articles I'd saved for my own review or to write about here:
- 19-Feb-2008: "The Press and Stupid Accusations of Plagiarism" -- digging into the historical roots of plagiarism and its abuse in the popular media, spurred by a Dana Milbank Washington Post entry on the subject and a hefty doffing of the cap to Judge Richard Posner's Little Book of Plagiarism.
- 3-Apr-2008: "The Recent Making Available Cases" -- taking a spin through the mishmash of jurisprudence stemming from the RIAA's assault on music consumers and the distinctions between reproduction, distribution, and publishing, concluding that "The only thing clear from these cases is that the issues will be with us for a long time."
- 20-Nov-2007: "First Sale, Software, and eBay" -- an early read on the Vernor case, challenging the entire notion of consumer software licenses and reaffirming both the first sale doctrine and the "duck test."(*) I did find a cached version of Patry's justifiable excitement at Vernor's preliminary victory in May 2008.
- 2-Jul-2007: "I Was a maid In a Porno Store II" -- saluting a strong, though implied, judicial attack on the "parody vs. satire" dichotomy in fair use law (see 2 Live Crew and related commentary and application for more on that scourge) through a Family Guy spoof of Carol Burnett's "charwoman" character.
(*) As espoused by my contracts professor, Stewart Macaulay: "if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, then it's a duck" -- no matter what fancy name you try to give it.