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October 27, 2004
Copyright Balance Gone With the Wind?Email This EntryPrint This Entry
Posted by Donna Wentworth

The Margaret Mitchell estate is at it again:

Heirs of Margaret Mitchell have threatened the U.S.-based Project Gutenberg and Project Gutenberg of Australia -- charging infringement of copyright.

The Stephens Mitchell Trusts wants Australian Gutenberg volunteers either to remove Gone With the Wind from their servers or else take steps to prevent downloads in countries where copyright law bans unauthorized distribution of the 1936 classic.

Otherwise, a lawyer for the heirs says in email and a certified letter, "we will take all appropriate steps to protect and enforce our clients' rights."

Previous copywrongs chronicled here.

Later Dan Gillmor:

Unfortunately, the constant extensions of copyright terms in some countries has set up this kind of situation. And this sort of situation is one of the things likely to lead to more and more "zoning" on the Net.

Even if the Australia site does attempt to block access to people from some countries, there's no way to make this work 100 percent of the time. Does the Mitchell estate really believe it will have won anything valuable?

The bigger issue, as the TeleRead story indicates, is the prospect that the most restrictive political regimes will end up telling everyone what to do. If the most repressive governments and laws determine Internet governance globally, we're all in deep trouble.

Category: Laws and Regulations

Branko Collin on November 3, 2004 08:14 PM writes...

Is it just me, or has Gone With The Wind disappeared from the PGA site? I cannot find it in the list of life+50 works, and although Google links to it, the link leads to an error page.

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mememe on November 10, 2004 09:57 PM writes...

It would be a horrible thing, wouldn't it, if the e-text "Gone With The Wind" started cropping up on servers in countries with life+50 (or fewer) years of copyright term, where GWTW is clearly out of copyright?

Think "Grey Album"... think "Danger Mouse"...

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TrackBack URL: http://www.corante.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/5180
1936. Edward VIII begins his reign, but soon abdicates. The BBC starts its television service. And a little book by the name of Gone With the Wind is published. If I knew then what I know know, about Margaret [Read More]

Tracked on October 27, 2004 06:47 PM





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