Sunday, April 09, 2017

Is That Legal?

Disclaimer. This blog does not give legal advice, I simply point out where to find legal advice, and recap (make fair use of) some of the most interesting snippets from legal advice provided on the internet.

Attribution and kudos to Desiree F. Moore and Alexis Crawford Douglas of the legal firm  K&L Gates for a list of five things to consider if you see something (defamatory, offensive, infringing your copyrights, or private) on social media that suggests to you that you may have been wronged by the uploader.

Some of this advice also could be useful to authors who are shocked by a negative review. The usual wisdom is to not respond to such things.

On a recent road trip, I listened to the audiobook version of "Rogue Lawyer" by John Grisham. I recommend that book.  One of the cases in "Rogue Lawyer" was that of an elderly couple who were not at all internet savvy, and who had the misfortune to live next door to a serial copyright infringer (or perhaps he was an internet drug dealer?) who managed to hack into their internet and do his dirty dark web deeds on their IP address instead of on his own.

I was reminded of this scenario when reading the blog by  William D Dalsen  of  Proskauer Rose LLP   
which concerns what happens when you cannot identify (or unmask!) a copyright infringer except by their IP address.

Needless to say, the swat team in Grisham's yarn did not follow the advice offered by Proskauer Rose!

Those who think that BitTorrents are above reproach and safe for anonymous interest consumers of copyrighted material... should read the above article.

Thirdly, and finally for this week, Mark Sableman of  Thompson Coburn LLP offers some fascinating and useful insights into what one may and may not do with other people's Creative Commons works.

The cardinal rule with Creative Commons licensed works is that subsequent users absolutely must provide truthful and accurate attribution. In a hypothetic situation where a user photoshops a real Creative Commons photograph into a different photoshopped location to perpetrate "fake news", the fine and witty legal mind of  Mark Sableman suggests “Original photo by Mary Jones. Deceptive alterations by John Smith.” 

All the best,

Rowena Cherry

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