Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Oral Argument Date Is Set ... NOT!

False statements by the UnSettlement parties are nothing new, but their latest misinformation about the progress of the objectors' appeal before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals is not just wrong. To paraphrase what Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Joe Black was supposed to have said once to teammate Jackie Robinson, it's loud wrong.

According to the website, 'The court of appeals has set the date for oral argument for the week of January 22, 2007." Until just days ago, the same site was saying that oral argument "would be" on December 4, 2006. Both reports were -- and are -- incorrect, and incomprehensibly so.

There was never a December 4 date. In late October, both the appellants and the appellees informed the court that the week of January 22 would work for everyone. The court, however, never scheduled it or offered any indication about that date. On November 8, both sides learned that a date during the week of January 29 had been proposed, but I understand that that week, too, is now off and there still is no date set.

This is non-substantive news. But it's an opportunity for the entire crack staff of Freelance Rights Blog LLP to wish our readers a happy and healthy holiday season.

It's also a reminder that, through these turns of the wheels of litigation, the undisputed, slam-dunk, systematic infringement of freelance writers' works continues, expands, and daily produces dozens, hundreds, thousands, or millions of new "facts on the ground." This phenomenon began decades ago, proceeded through the resolution of the Supreme Court's Tasini case, shifted into another gear with the announcement of the tentative settlement in March 2005, and since has gone into overdrive.

As we've said repeatedly for nearly two years, we objectors remain confident that our appeal will succeed. The License by Default provision of the UnSettlement, in particular, is so constitutionally untenable that it's very difficult to believe it will stand (though your humble blogger does not presume to predict anything).

But there's only one thing that would really halt the march of piracy by these infringers, in cahoots with the writers' organizations that endorsed the UnSettlement. That is action by a huge number of freelancers to register the copyrights for their past works. That way, when we prevail in court, the Damoclean sword hanging over the defendants will be sharp rather than toothless.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like the great literary figure Captain Ahab, Mr. Munchkin's ill-advised and illogical obsessive quest to doom what is a fair settlement will end in utter failure. Unfortunately, the vast majority of freelance writers who strongly disagree with Mr. Munchkins's twisted logic will have to sit on the sidelines until Mr. Munchkin's tragic play closes. It is obvious from the writings of Mr. Munchkin that he has lost every bit of perspective and common sense. Hey Munchkin--try going to your local dictionary and look up the word "settlement." Simply put, a settlement is the end result of a negotiation to end a dispute. Both sides give and take to reach a conclusion that is satisfactory to both or all parties. Mr. Munchkin can't grasp the fact that the defendants are only protecting their interests in order to avoid countless individual lawsuits. I have been assured in writing that the Category C claims will not, under any circumstances, be reduced. All the claims are now in Mr. Munchkin. It is a fact that the Category C claims will be paid in full. There are no surprises in this area, so stop misleading everyone into thinking that there will be a reduction in Category C claims. Also, you seemed to take it personally that your attorney, Mr. Chalmers, was called a professional objector. Well that's exactly what he is. His resume is a series of failures. His main claim to fame is that he was able to reduce some attorneys fees in one case. Big Deal. You talk about Karma in some of your blogs. You better hope that Karma doesn't exist, Mr. Munchkin, or you'll be facing a lifetime of misery for holding up legitimate payments to freelance writers.

4:33 PM  

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