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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

What Does "Copyfight" Mean?

Copyfight, the Solo Years: April 2002-March 2004

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

« I'm Mad As Hell, and I'm Not Going to Pay For It Anymore | Main | NBC Chief to Congress: Please help save the Copyright Clause! »

October 27, 2004

Copyright Balance Gone With the Wind?

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Posted by

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.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Laws and Regulations


COMMENTS

1. Branko Collin on November 3, 2004 8:14 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.

Permalink to Comment

2. mememe on November 10, 2004 9:57 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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