Wednesday, May 25, 2005

More Strange Goings-On at FreelanceRights.Com

As noted yesterday, the copyright class action settlement parties yesterday accepted Judge George B. Daniels' suggestion to give class members the opportunity to post questions and comments directly to class counsel. The so-called information website of the associational plaintiffs -- the National Writers Union, the Authors Guild, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors -- has been trying to do this at http://www.freelancerights.com and, frankly, has been making a terrible hash of things.

Here's today's upshot at http://www.freelancerights.com/disc.htm:

I have written several articles for IDG and Cahners and Reed Elsievier? Would I register for copyright for each one? Do I pay the copyright fee for every publication, or per piece?

REPLY: Please submit all questions to the official class action website at www.copyrightclassaction.com. The Claims Administrator and/or attorneys for the plaintiffs will respond to questions submitted to that website. This website will no longer do so.

*****

Well, thanks a bunch! The problem, at least at this point, is that the FreelanceRights.com discussion page, for all its flaws, did appear to offer an easily accessible, non-censored, one-click posting mechanism. As of a moment ago, the http://www.copyrightclassaction.com site offered no such thing -- just the ability, if you look hard enough, to send a private email to Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo, a San Francisco class-action firm. I question whether this adheres to the spirit of the conversation yesterday in Judge Daniels' courtroom.

I also encourage all you blog readers to fire away with questions to the new and improved "official" site even as we mourn the passing of the inept but well-intentioned forum at the "unofficial" site.

Try this one, for example:

"Are new-generation infringers HighBeam and FindArticles covered by the settlement release? The brief in opposition to the recently denied motion to vacate the preliminary settlement says yes. Mediator Kenneth Feinberg and the associational plaintiffs say no."

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