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November 8, 2004
Mitchell v. Project Gutenberg .au: Lawyer Surprised by Effect of C&D
The NYT reports on the current state of the dispute between Project Gutenberg .au and the estate of Margaret Mitchell over posting of Gone With the Wind. Post CTEA, that work is still under copyright in the U.S. but public domain in Australia.
The NYT gets comment from a lawyer for the Mitchell estate -- who's surprised that his cease-and-desist demands had the effect of taking the work offline in Australia. It's not clear what else he expected:
On behalf of the Trusts, we hereby demand that Project Gutenberg and/or PGA confirm to us within five (5) days of receipt of this letter that you have removed GWTW from the Web Site entirely or that you have taken all necessary steps to prevent the downloading of GWTW in all places in which it is protected by copyright.
Given that geolocation doesn't work and legal advice isn't instantaneous or free, for the most part, what did he expect? If it was just to give a scare, that's the kind of chill we don't need more of.
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