Sunday, January 19, 2020

Best of Good Faith, Worst of Bad Faith

Good Faith (or bona fides, or Fair Dealing) is the concept of sincerely intending to deal fairly with others without malice or the intention to trick or defraud or take advantage of someone else.

The internet makes it very easy and profitable to act with a lot less than good faith, especially with respect (or lack thereof) of the moral and legal rights of creative people... authors, writers, artists, musicians, song writers, composers, tattoo-artists, photographers, game developers, comedians, conjurers, stage hands and all the persons behind (as well as in front of) the movie camera.

The best guide this writer has seen to Bad Faith, especially with regard to Trademark law was written for the European consumer by Louise van de Mortel and can be enjoyed on the Novagraaf site.

Romance writers have endured a series of outrages since various actors or their assistants have attempted to trademark words we all use: cocky, dark, royal...  It is quite annoying to not be able to use the mot juste, or the ancient word that scores the most points!

To this day, there is an internet word game that consists of a grid of  five Scrabble- like tiles by six Scrabble-like tiles, that cascade as the player creates words out of contiguous tiles.... it will not allow COCK as a legitimate word.  HEN is perfectly fine. All manner of names for male wildlife seems fine, but not for male poultry.

Nicholas J. Krob, writing for McKee, Voorhees & Sease. PLC discusses the bad faith of concert goers using their smart phones to film concerts with the intention of publishing, distributing, and profiting either tangibly or intangibly from the performance.

As Krob suggests, it is remarkable how ignorant of copyright most social media "users" are.

In this writer's opinion, back before Y2K, would-be smartphone purchasers should have been treated like motorists. Just as it is a privilege, not a right, to drive, so it should be a privilege, not a right, to access the world wide web. There should have been basic instruction into copyright law and fair use/fair dealing, and an easy examination at the point of sale, and a limited term license that could be revoked for bad behavior and would have to be renewed periodically contingent on unremarkable behavior and passing an updated test.

In this article about copyright protections for creators, Music Tech Policy offers a fascinating, esoteric, detailed and disturbing look at --arguably-- the worst of bad faith in the highest of places:

Double dipping Music Tech Policy, because they have been particularly illuminating this last week this article compares user generated "content" on smartphones to nicotine and ammonia in cigarettes.

Wishing you all the best,

Rowena Cherry 

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