Monday, December 05, 2005

Tasini's Times They Are A-Changing

Jonathan Tasini has announced his Democratic primary challenge, on an antiwar platform, to the reelection of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Some of us hold no brief for Senator Clinton, or even necessarily for her support of Bush's war. We do, however, have a passing familiarity with Tasini's record as president of the National Writers Union, as catalyst of the landmark lawsuit Tasini v. New York Times, and as all-purpose blowhard who helped snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in that case by co-piloting the recently approved -- and objected to and appealed -- class action copyright settlement.

The settlement, involving pretty much the entire newspaper, periodical, and electronic database industries, and their blatant and willful piracy of freelance authors' works across several decades, could total as little as $10 million before the deduction of attorneys' fees and costs. Under the settlement if upheld, the most frequent claim award for an individual infringement almost certainly will be a whopping $5. The settlement also sanctions an unprecedented "license by default" by all who filed claims; by all who deliberately didn't, because it would be more cost-effective to sell Fuller Brushes door-to-door; and by the overwhelming majority of the tens of thousands of class members worldwide whose response would be, "What class action copyright settlement?"

Way to show the corporate bosses, Jonathan!

As for the voters of New York State, I respectfully suggest that they consider Tasini for an office more appropriate to his level of gravitas: Emir of Shmoe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Irv, I just had to say something. A someone who has lost more than one election to Jonathan in which cheating was plausibly alleged, I am amazed at his chutzpah. But, as Henry Kissinger said, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." In my view, JT has been corrupted by his view of power, and of himself. In truth, I'm finding it sort of entertaining, but I live in Massachusetts, not New York.

With only the fondest thoughts,

Steve Simurda

1:26 PM  

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