Sunday, October 14, 2018

Good News: Creators Have No Duty To Read All Their Contemporaries' Works

The subject line is an extrapolation.

It would indeed be an unreasonable world for copyright owners if a creator whose work was plagiarized, or infringed, or "sampled" lost all redress if they did not discover the infringement, plagiarism, or "sampling" and sue within a short period of time from the release of the alleged infringement.

Legal blogger Michael A. Keough for the law firm Steptoe and Johnson LLP reports on a recent ruling:
Judge Broderick: Copyright Case Against Justin Timberlake Is Timely; Plaintiff Had No Duty To "Scour" All Songs Immediately After Album Was Released.

(Italics added by this author for clarity of reportage.)  This piece and the good Judge's wit and wisdom are well worth clicking through and reading.

It is extraordinary that the defendant might believe that a deceased musician's estate had any obligation to buy all albums and attend all concerts, or view all HBO specials by all other musicians in order to discover any potential infringements.

Is this the fruit of "permissionless innovation"?

Apologies for brevity, and only one item.

All the best,
Rowena Cherry

1 comment:

  1. Good to know! Such a requirement would indeed be totally unreasonable. And so many coincidental similarities pop up in popular culture. For instance, many years ago two novels about vampire babies were published by two different publishers with almost identical covers. Since they came out about the same time, there couldn't have been any deliberate imitation. Then there were two "new vampire solves his own murder" paranormal mysteries that were published close to each other; P. N. Elrod, author of The Vampire Files series, hadn't read Lee Killough's novel on the same premise before writing her own. In all the details of their handling of the premise, of course, the plots were totally different.