[conspire] Book Burning continues thanks to the Feds

Ruben Safir ruben at mrbrklyn.com
Thu Mar 24 14:52:05 PDT 2011

On Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 04:50:18PM -0400, Edward Cherlin wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 23:34, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
> > Quoting Edward Cherlin (echerlin at gmail.com):
> >> My proposal would be for the settlement to allow anybody to set up a
> >> registry and digitize books, with a requirement for data sharing
> >> between all such registries.
> >
> > 'The settlement'.  Let's talk about the concept of 'the settlement' for
> > a moment, here.
> >
> > The matter at hand is a civil lawsuit -- which is to say, a private
> > property dispute between two parties, heard in front of a judge --
> > filed by Authors Guild and several other such groups against Google, Inc.
> > over gross violation of copyright law that Google, Inc. pretty much
> > admittedly had been conducting while offering the plaintiffs'
> > proprietary works (among others) in their entirety to the public
> > electronically in a way that asserted unique rights to Google in so
> > doing.
> >
> > (_After_ being sued, Google trimmed the offered electronic content on
> > other people's works still under copyright to just excerpts, with the
> > amount and nature of the excepts chosen by them.)
> >
> > A civil lawsuit can legitimately duke out in court -- various sanity
> > provisions permitting -- litigator group A's effort to raid litigator
> > group B's property rights and vice-versa.  However, if A or B attempted
> > to get the judge to expand that claim to _everyone's property on Earth_,
> > we would call that utterly crazy.
> You're right. I was speaking with great inexactitude. What I want
> cannot legitimately be put into a settlement. I still like the idea,
> if it can be achieved in some legitimate way.
> Another proposal, then, is that we all get together to change
> copyright law worldwide so that something useful can be done about
> abandoned copyrights. We could take escheatment of abandoned bank
> accounts as a precedent (a social precedent, not one that a court is
> bound to observe). Let all abandoned works in the US go to the
> government, and then pass immediately into the public domain in
> accordance with other precedent. ^_^

Technically speaking all the copyrighted works do go to the government
when they are registered, hence the LOC.

> Or some other agreement, not created out of whole cloth by a district
> judge, but by a saner society than we have today. :(
> > For example, if you and I were neighbours, and you sued me over a fence
> > dispute, I might, if I had delusions of grandeur, propose to the judge
> > that, as part of a fair settlement between Ed Cherlin and Rick Moen,
> > that Rick Moen receive for a modest lump-sum fee rights to control
> > placement and composition of _every fence, anywhere_.  You'd probably
> > call that a bit crazy.  (Actually, no, you would call that very crazy.)
> >
> > Well, guess what?  Google, Inc.'s 'settlement proposal' has been just
> > about the same:  Authors Guild legitimately represents only a
> > infinitessimal fraction of the world's book authors; ditto all the other
> > plaintiffs.  And yet, Google proposed that 'the settlement' include its
> > grab of proprietary rights against every book written, everywhere, by
> > anyone.
> >
> > 'The settlement' would essentially amend both the nation's copyright
> > statute, title 17 of the United States Code, and international
> > copyright treaties -- as if a single district court judge in NYC had
> > suddenly become embued with the powers of the United States Congress to
> > overwrite our Federal statutes _and_ of all the other national
> > governments who've ratified the Berne Convention.
> >
> > That doesn't make any more sense than it would if a judge decided to
> > change all property laws about all fences in the world, just because one
> > property owner in Menlo Park, California thought it might be a good idea.
> >
> > Now, I'm all in favour of major changes to Title 17.  However, it just
> > isn't up to Judge Chin and Google, Inc. to make them -- and especially
> > not on behalf of all the world's authors without asking them.
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
> -- 
> Edward Mokurai (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) Cherlin
> Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
> The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.
> http://www.earthtreasury.org/
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