Monday, July 05, 2021

Downside of Anonymity

Privacy is very important to many individuals, creators, artists... and erasing privacy is highly profitable for crooks, advertisers, copyright infringers, data miners, evil-doers.

In 2018, legal bloggers J. Alexander Lawrence and Siena Sofia Magdalena Anstis  for Morrison Foerster LLP sent a warning flare over the bows of  pirates who surfed the internet. 
Lawsuit losers may lose their anonymity. Also, copyright infringement is not protected "speech".  It's well worth re-reading.

Then, there are witnesses who wish to be anonymous: whistle-blowers, or persons who are not so proud of their private lives that they want judge, jury, and court reporters to know the details of who offended whom with an allegedly offensive comment. The jury is still out on this case.

UK lawyer Michael Halsey, blogging for the law firm VWV  discusses sympathetically the arguments for accepting anonymous testimony in British employment law.
And then, there's Banksy. 
Jennifer Heath, blogging for  D Young & Co explains why Banksy's preference for anonymity cost him his standing to sue for trademark infringement.
On the same issue, senior art law associate, Becky Shaw, on the Boodle Hatfield "Art Law & More" site discusses what the Banksy trademark losses mean for street artists at large.

The bottom line appears to be that creators of all stripes cannot sue those who infringe their copyrighted works as long as the creators are unwilling or unable to give up their anonymity. Or, to be pedantic, artists can sue, but it appears that they cannot win.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry   


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