Saturday, September 10, 2005

Kremlinologist’s Report: NWU Still Hiding ‘License by Default’

So we finally landed a temp Kremlinologist to deconstruct the new-and-improved Tasini-Colby statement (see today’s earlier post).

In addition to correcting their error concerning the fees and other details of omnibus copyright registrations, the two NWU prezes (one “emeritus,” the other current) deleted the sentence from their August statement that followed these two:

"Why, you may still ask, should you bother? The answer is simple: this may be the only chance you have to collect compensation for infringed articles you wrote in the past.”

The deleted sentence was:

“The three-year statute of limitations has already run out for most of these articles, thereby barring most of you from legal action if you wanted to pursue an individual lawsuit instead of joining the class."

The change -- removing a misstatement of the copyright statute of limitations -- makes this passage technically accurate. The UnSettlement “may,” indeed, be the “only chance you have to collect compensation.”

But there’s a rich irony in that construction. The reason the UnSettlement “may” be the “only” chance is the License by Default.

Which the National Writers Union continues to conceal.

The NWU, whose work, according to its website hype, “has become more crucial than ever” as “we march further into the new millennium”:

"With the consolidation of power into the hands of ever-larger corporate entities and with the advent of technologies that facilitate the exploitation of a writer's work, the individual writer has become increasingly disenfranchised. Now, more than ever, writers need an organization with the clout and know-how to protect our interests. One that will forge new rules for a new era, fight hard and take chances, one that goes to bat, goes to court, and goes to the streets, if need be, to protect writers' rights."


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