Today is a sad day for me and other copyright bloggers. After years of reading and enjoying the Patry Copyright Blog, the blog’s author, William Patry, announced Friday that he is shutting his site down. He has removed all of his old posts and left only his swan song on the site.
Patry cites two reasons for closing the site down. The first being that many have refused to accept that the blog was a personal one and not one representative of his employer, Google.
To this effect, I personally have seen his blog quoted many times in the press and almost always associated with Google in some way. However, he makes it clear that Google did not ask him to abandon his site and, instead, encouraged him to write.
His second reason, that he has become too depressed over the current state of copyright, has been the subject of much more conversation. However, once again I am forced to understand his emotions (and often times share them) and respect his decision.
Though he will be missed dearly, I can find no fault in his reasons and can truthfully understand. Instead, I want to take just a moment to bid farewell to him.
A Great Copyright Mind
If you haven’t heard of William Patry, you would not be alone. Though you’ve probably read his writing, seen him quoted and felt his influence at some point, his name is not well known by those who don’t live and breathe copyright news.
Part of this is because his blog was what you might have expected from a 26-year veteran of copyright law, a rundown of the latest rulings, decisions and theories in the field. It was an invaluable resource to those of us who pondered these issues day in and out, but to those with a more passing interest, it was a steep learning curve.
Yet, it was a learning curve well worth taking on. Patry was, and still is, one of the smartest people in the room when it comes to copyright law.
Though his position as head copyright council to Google often put me at odds with his company’s policies, when he spoke on his personal blog, I, as well as many others, listened and we did so with a kind of reverence usually reserved for a teacher. His wise, thorough analysis of ongoing issues were always on the mark and his wisdom came through in every post.
His thorough analysis of current copyright decisions and his balanced, centrist view on the law that made his blog a powerful tool and a must-subscribe for anyone wanting to talk about copyright news on the Web. Both he and his valuable resource will be missed.
Even though it has been several years since I mentioned his blog on this site , save regular appearances in show notes for the Copyright 2.0 Show (I stopped covering most copyright news on this site a few years back), his influence has definitely been felt here and on countless other blogs and in the mainstream press.
William Patry’s blog will be dearly missed and I wish him the best with his future endeavors. I feel certain he has made an incredible difference in this area and leaves behind a great legacy.
Still, in a copyright landscape dominated by extremists, his centrist voice will be dearly missed.
Mr. Patry, thank you for everything.