Thursday, September 22, 2005

Authors Guild's Paul Aiken Opposes 'Turning Copyright Law Upside Down' -- Except When the Guild Is Helping Publishers Impose a 'License By Default'

Readers of both The Newspaper Of Record and The Blog Of Record point out the breach of fiduciary duty -- not to mention breathtaking intellectual dishonesty -- exposed by this statement by Authors Guild executive director Paul Aiken in yesterday's New York Times coverage of the Guild's copyright infringement lawsuit against Google:

Google temporarily suspended its library project last month to give authors and other copyright holders until November to opt out by telling it that they did not want certain works to be copied.

But Mr. Aiken said that offer turned longstanding precedents in copyright law upside down, requiring owners to pre-emptively protect rights rather than requiring a user to gain approval for use of a copyrighted work.

Of course, this observation by Aiken -- which is dead right -- merely parrots the line of Association of American Publishers lobbyist Pat Schroeder.

Also, of course, it belies precisely what Aiken's organization, an "associational plaintiff," is trying to do to authors via the UnSettlement's untenable "License By Default."


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