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US Supreme Court says e-copyright still belongs to the author

 3:08 pm on Jun 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Whoa! This is bigtime, a web-altering decision:

"Ruling against big media companies in an information age dispute, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that free-lance writers may control whether articles they sold for publication in a print newspaper or magazine may be reproduced in electronic form."

Free-lance writers have say in electronic reproduction, justices rule [nandotimes.com]



 4:05 pm on Jun 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

excellent...hope the rest of the World follows suit...I really like that


 4:28 pm on Jun 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

I am amazed this happened. With copyright and trademark laws being spit on throughout the Internet by big business, it shocks the senses that the court would come down on the side of individual rights for a change.


 4:31 pm on Jun 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

I know this is talking about print media, but I wonder what are the implications for music?



 4:41 pm on Jun 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

I thought it had already been decided that it was also so for music

damn well better be...anyone starts using my stuff without my permission and there will be hell to pay


 4:48 pm on Jun 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

>>I know this is talking about print media, but I wonder what are the implications for music?

It is with the radio stations. Virtually all the local radio stations around the US that broadcasted their music and shows live have been shut down temporarily by the RIAA.


 4:54 pm on Jun 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

I know of at least two print magazines that have incredible, mind-boggling brand awareness in their niche, but were unable to build websites with content because they operated by buying "first rights" from free-lancers, i.e., rights to print it once. Who would have thought to secure electronic rights even 10 years ago? I can guarantee you that they're doing it now.


 7:06 pm on Jun 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

The Register on the case:

We all know that the Titans of media and entertainment have waged a successful PR campaign inspiring the US Congress and courts to defend the holy sacrament of copyright; but we'll bet they never expected to be quite this successful

And the Post too:


 8:20 pm on Jun 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

I wonder if companies are going to make freelancers sign a clause before they take the job which states "Everything I write, every idea I have is actually property of CompanyNameHere."

I remember back in college that any architecture drawing made by a student was considered property of the college.

One student made a design that a company actually bought and she got nothing but a bullet on the resume. (Granted a *big* bullet on the ol' resume, but still...)

It would not surprise me to see companies 'get around' having to ask permission by doing this.



 8:43 pm on Jun 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

A federal judge first ruled for the publishers, throwing out the writers' suit on grounds that electronic databases are revisions under the copyright law.



 6:35 am on Jun 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

YEs truly amazing.. agree

I can see a lot of news and magazines with web sites being affected, but surely most have contracts now that give them the rights to electronic forms as well as print. But is it no longer legal to include that in the contracts? Their archives may now be illegal though now.

How does this affect other countries. eg: Does it realate to the location of the registered office of the publisher, or where the item is read, or the location of the author?

Guess i have to research this more... thanks for the heads up.


 10:07 pm on Jul 5, 2001 (gmt 0)

related story:
More lawsuits follow ruling against New York Times [nando.net]

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