Wednesday, December 03, 2008

No Settlement Without the Unregistereds Would Bring 'Complete Peace'

Various questions have arisen as to how the process at the Supreme Court might affect the timeline of what a commenter on the previous post called "the payout phase."

For a full answer, you must remember that one of the explanations for the years of tangled mediation efforts was that the defendants were holding out for "complete peace" -- i.e., a reasonable expectation that the class-action settlement would define and end their exposure for decades of "alleged" infringement.

It is in that context that a settlement contemplated both by the parties and by the objectors includes copyrighted works that have not been registered -- an acknowledged 99-plus percent of the infringement universe. The publishers realize that any unregistered work is a potential registered work. True, the damages formulas are different if the registration isn't upon first publication or prior to the claimed infringement. But the shattering of the peace, especially at that volume of "potentiality," is there all the same. That is why those writers planning to buy boats with their anticipated scrawny claims awards should take a deep breath. From day one, this case was not about that, but about a complicated structure to settle slam-dunk claims of global infringement by the collective print and electronic publishing industry.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn, you mean I won't be able to buy that yacht in the Caribbean? Actually, I was hoping to pay off all the debt I've accumulated due to revenue lost because people are selling my works electronically and not paying me for it!

10:13 AM  

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