Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Memo to The New York Times: Wanna Take Another Swing at This?

Following the 2001 Supreme Court ruling in Tasini v. New York Times, America's "newspaper of record" set up a special notice on the web page As of a moment ago the page was still there. Here's the text:

Restoration Request Site

Because of a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court, The Times is obliged to remove from electronic archives, such as Nexis, the work of freelance writers that appeared from 1980 through 1995. If you wrote for the Times during that period and you would like to give The Times permission to restore your work to electronic archives, you may do so below.

Please note that you may not selectively restore articles to the archives. If you agree to restore your work, the full body of your work will be restored.

Should you opt to have your work restored, you agree that you will not be compensated and that you will release The Times from any claims relating to your work appearing in electronic archives such as Nexis. Please also note that database restorations will occur periodically, but not immediately.

By executing this agreement, you may affect your rights in a pending class action lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild. For information about the class action, you may contact the Authors Guild at

If you agree to the terms above, please provide the following information then press SUBMIT.


Of course, I never did this. Yet The Times continued to reuse my copyrighted works, "Rich Makes His Pitch" (The New York Times Magazine, July 30, 1989), and "Joe Montana: State of the Art" (The New York Times Magazine, December 17, 1989) in various for-profit spinoffs. As of this morning, I was able to call up the full texts of those articles on LexisNexis. I also was able to order those pieces, for $2.95 fees charged to my credit card, at The Times' own website, via its partner/licensee/affiliate/associate infringer ProQuest.

And as of yesterday, my registration for the copyrights of those articles was on file.


Post a Comment

<< Home