Sunday, March 20, 2022

Here Be ... Trolls: No Folderol

As with many terms of opprobium, "troll" is rather over-used. Some so-called trolls are mere nusiances who lurk on comment sections, and repeatedly make the same arguments or pitches. Others belong in paranormal romances (or other fantasy tales, or nursery rhymes). Still others set very elaborate and expensive traps for internet users.

The latter are not at all funny No folerdol at all.

"Here Be... Trolls" is a wordplay on "Here Be Dragons", as written in warning on medieval nautical maps.

Legal blogger Darin M. Klemchuk of the law firm Klemchuk writes an amusing "How To" guide for those would-be trolls who plan to set up internet users to be the defendants in copyright infringement proceedings.  Early in the article, he states that his article is a parody.

Parody, of course, is an allowed exception to copyright infringement in most parts of the English-speaking world. 

Original link:

Darin M. Klemchuk appears to suggest how trolls make cynical use (my inference) of search engines, SEO tools, search engine optimizing services, indexing and more. 

Knowing how these trap-settingg trolls think and operate is very important for authors who plan to decorate their websites or their works with images that they found on the internet but did not license from the copyright owner.

There is no such thing as a free lunch on the internet.  Nothing is really free, but some things are truly less free than others... like the barnyard residents in George Orwell's "Animal Farm".

On the other hand, Fan Fiction has been accorded the legal status of "pastiche", which is a French way of saying that is could be some kind of transformative use or fair use, depending on the amount of originality in the unauthorized spin-off work.

Legal blogger Anna Kellner for the law firm SKW Schwarz Rechtsรคnwalte explains the niceties of fan fiction.
Original link:
Although the title link in in German, the article is in excellent English.

Lexology Link:

Quoting very small excerpts is fair use, another copyright exception, especially when for reportage or didactic purposes, so I quote Anna Kellner.
"As part of the copyright reform, Section 51a UrhG was introduced as a new legal regulation that now expressly declares so-called pastiches (French for "imitations") to be permissible. Fan fiction is also included under the term pastiche. Thus, it is generally permissible to use copyright-protected works of third parties as the basis for one's own creation."
By the way, for any author wishing to type umlauts, this site is a great resource.

Another nice resource for authors who might be struggling with attractive villains:

Word association brings me back to copyright pirates. Ever since the DMCA, artists and creators have in theory had the power to protect their copyrights through the process of "Take Down Notices". It has never been satisfactory. Some sites will not accept a Notice unless the copyright owner joins their "club". Other sites give one quite the run around., other sites will take down one offending link, but allow the pirate to "re-up" the same copyrighted work using a new link.  If finding piracy and sending takedown notices was bad enough whack-a-mole, now the mole is a hydra with the arrival of NFTs. (That is, non fungible tokens.)

NFT piracy may force change, as legal bloggers P. Cramer and D. Munkittrick discuss on the Blockchain Law blog owned by Proskauer Rose LLP.

Original link:

Lexology link:

To quote in brief:
"Pirates can mint knockoff NFTs with nothing more than a digital file and some cryptocurrency, then sell those knockoffs to unsuspecting collectors...."
"Amidst the resulting piracy boom, it falls to creators to protect both their fans and their IP by scanning platforms for infringing NFT sale listings and issue takedown requests. But even when they succeed in getting a sale listing removed, the knockoff NFT itself remains immutably on its blockchain and the infringing content usually remains elsewhere on the web."
If the copyright cavalry might be coming, it might pay creators to wait before dipping toes into the NFT waters.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry 

EPIC Award winner, Friend of ePublishing for Crazy Tuesday   

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