Information Today on the Supreme Court and the 'Settlement' (Their Quotation Marks)
Ebbinghouse wrote the prescient October 2005 report "We've Not Seen the Last of the Copyright Class Action" (http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbReader.asp?ArticleId=16105).
I very much appreciate that Info Today seems to get what should be the ultimate solution, which Ebbinghouse describes as "a settlement that is just and fair for all—fair for all freelance writers, freelance photographers, and other creators whose works are being copied and sold over and over through websites and databases, CD-ROMs, downloaded audio files, etc.; fair for researchers and other information users, who want access to all of the works published in every issue of periodicals." She goes on to define that solution as a royalty system, rather than the license-by-default rights grab of this "settlement" (the ironic inverted commas around "settlement" are hers).
The article has a few mistakes:
* Though Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick is certainly "son of Tasini," it is not a rerun of the Supreme Court's 2001 Tasini v. New York Times case per se. The freelance copyright settlement was a consolidation of three lawsuits independently filed in the summer of 2000, and Jonathan Tasini, then president of the National Writers Union, had nothing to do with any of them. The NWU, the Authors Guild, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors are not "parties represented by" Tasini, but so-called associational plaintiffs, which assisted in promulgating the "settlement."
* The other objectors and I are not exclusively members of the C, or unregistered, subclass. A number of us have registered works, making us also members of the B, and in some cases, A subclasses, as well.
* The objectors did not appeal the Second Circuit's jurisdiction ruling to the Supreme Court. The petitiioners of that appeal are the settlement parties: the defendants and the plaintiffs. At the invitation of the Court, the objectors, or respondents, filed a brief supporting the petitioners' position on this question, and raising a couple of related points.
Overall, a thumbs-up to Ebbinghouse and Information Today for once again zeroing in on the essence of this dispute and its implications for the public at large. Let's hope this article helps move events in the right direction.