Sunday, August 25, 2019

Scam And Comply.

Victoria Strauss's  "Writer Beware" blog has a comprehensive list of scammers preying on writers. One should bookmark it.

That same part of the world has also taken no small part in ebook piracy.

While membership of the Authors Guild may not help writers (much) against piracy, apart from advocacy in all the right and powerful places against all aspects of copyright infringement, Authors Guild can assist members to recognize and avoid bad publishing contracts and disputes with publishers.

When acting like a bed bug and biting your gigantic host, it's always good to anesthetize them first. Here's the compliance part, which is actually about non-compliance.

Legal blogger Craig L. Cupid, writing for Baker Hostetler has written a three-part blog series about the DMCA and the requirements with which companies must comply in order to merit Safe Harbor protections.



Craig L. Cupid makes the points:
"Three rules associated with these requirements are recurring issues not being addressed by OSPs:
  1. OSPs must provide the Copyright Office with their full legal name, physical street address and any alternate names affiliated with the platform.
  2. OSPs must register a designated agent to receive copyright infringement notices. The rules require that the agent’s full name, address, phone number and email be publicly accessible on the OSP’s website and that the identical information be provided to the Copyright Office for display in its DMCA directory.
  3. OSPs must write, post and implement a repeat infringer policy to govern the takedown process for users who recurrently post copyrighted materials."
Does EBay do #2?  Does Amazon?  Does Facebook? How many times have the copyright owners amongst our readers gone to an OSP site and been given the run-around instead of finding a clear link to a fully named person who is copyright agent, with full contact info?

Another big host, Amazon, is in the news for acting like a flea market.

Bill Bostock, writing for Business Insider, reported this week on the bootleg copies of George Orwell's "1984" being sold by scammers who claim copyright over their versions, and include gibberish and horrible gaffes presumably from a much-relied upon internet translation app.  "Faces" into "Feces".

Bill's is a very interesting take on the topic. Highly recommended.

Another sizeable establishment is allegedly attempting to trademark the definite article. That would be the word "The".  (Application No. 88571984).

Alex Nealon, blogging for the law firm Banner Witcoff, reports on Lexology, and also on the Patent Arcade blog about The Ohio State University's quest to patent that word, presumably in the limited context of clothing.

Wouldn't "The U", as the University of Miami is known, want to challenge that trademark grab?
Hopefully, someone will tell them.

All the best,
Rowena Cherry 

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