History repeats itself: A Spacing contributor has his copyright infringed and acts all nice like it’s his fault.

News clipping and photo with headline ‘Above ground for good’ Esteemed colleague Sean P. Marshall had a Spacing Wire posting and photo substantially reproduced by the Sun in its 2007.12.05 “Best of the Blogs” column.

Although the legal threshold is quite low, there really wasn’t any noticeable criticism or comment on the posting, and none at all of the photo save for a cutline (which can be sufficient in some cases, but clearly not here). A roundup of previously-published items does not amount to news reporting. As such, the requirements of the fair-dealing exemption were not met and the reproduction was an illegal infringement.

Marshall could have expected statutory damages on the order of $500 per infringing copy, that is, $500 for each copy of the Sun that was printed that day. Instead, he appealed to the Sun’s publisher for the paper’s standard article and photo fees, which he got with a smile.

The only worse way of handling this infringement would have been to do nothing at all.

I know Spacers™ are all young ’n’ shit, but I want them to finally, someday, learn what copyright really is; stick up for their rights when, as now routinely happens, those rights are infringed; and go for the fucking jugular when it happens. The first step would be to stop apologizing to Dick Cheney for his having shot you in the face.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.12.20 17:28. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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