Preview of Muchnick Piece Tomorrow at Beyond Chron
by Irvin Muchnick
As the Muchnick of the Supreme Court’s freelance journalists’ class-action copyright case Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick, I believe yesterday’s ruling is a very good thing – but not for the reason that will have been promoted all over the mainstream media by the time this essay is published.
The New York Times, Reuters news service, and other corporate publishers can be counted on to do their usual linguistic and journalistic contortions to suggest that the justices, by this ruling, approve of the settlement of the lawsuit that was reached years ago between the periodicals industry and their electronic database partners, and a group of plaintiffs stage-managed by the Authors Guild, the National Writers Union (NWU), and the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA).
The reason the Court’s action is good news is that it keeps alive the dream of a reasonable royalty system for reuse of copyrighted works in new media. This, in turn, would empower independent creators – who currently lie prostrate before big publishers – and enhance the diversity and vitality of American culture.
CONTINUED TOMORROW MORNING
ON THE FRONT PAGE AT BEYOND CHRON,
THE SAN FRANCISCO ONLINE NEWSPAPER