No copyright for online?
Thursday, March 3rd, 2005
Glenn Wilson (a party to the suit in question) e-mails:
The copyright protection status of every electronic journal in the country is on the line. Please listen up and get ready to help.
All online publishers should file friend of the court briefs in the case of Glynn Wilson v. Random House and Kitty Kelly for plagiarizing Glynn Wilson’s Bush AWOL story.
Otherwise, a federal judge in Birmingham, Alabama is about to rule, effectively, that we have no copyright protection publishing online. THIS IS A HUGE DEAL.
The copyright office at the Library of Congress needs to write some new rules on this. They now say that electronic journals do not have to mail register stories to be protected. But the legal precedents under the old statute say you do. This is a gray area in the law that needs to be cleared up.
Certainly it was not Thomas Jefferson’s intent to allow corporate publishers to steal from online publications without fear of being sued for copyright violation for plagiarism. Was it? So the spirit of the law and the purpose of the law is on our side, if the precedents are not.
This is a huge national story. Please check with your legal counsel and your editor and publisher and get involved.