3 Count: Circus Time

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: Harvard Professor records proceedings in Jammie Thomas case; intends to seek Tenenbaum’s intervention

First off today, if you thought the Thomas and Tenenbaum cases were not enough of a three-ring circus already, you’re in luck! Professor Nesson, who is counsel to Joel Tenenbaum and whose protege is now lead council on the Thomas case, has pulled a one-two punch of drama first by saying that he intends to attempt to intervene in the Thomas case on behalf of Tenenbaum, at least on the ongoing debate over allowing the trial to be recorded or webcast, and by recording the conference call that this was taking place on, at least until the judge ordered him to stop.

What makes the latter part of that such a glaring case of fail is that, in Nesson’s home state of Massachusetts, it is actually a felony to record a phone call without first disclosing it. If a plaintiff attorney had not alerted the judge to the possibility that Nesson was recording the proceeding, the judge likely never would have thought to ask Nesson about it and then ask him to stop.

I agree with Ray Beckerman on this one, if you’re a budding attorney, don’t take any lessons from these cases… Please.

2: DOJ steps up Google Books settlement probe

Next up today the Department of Justice has sent requests for information known as “civil investigative demands” to many of the publishers who are parties to the Google Book Search settlement indicating that the department is scrutinizing the settlement more closely and may be opposed to it.

This could be a very serious blow to the settlement, which is still waiting on final court approval. The nature of the DOJ’s potential objection is unknown, but it likely deals with how the settlement treats authors that can not be reached, or orphaned works as they are often called.

3: Calls for united action at World Copyright Summit

Finally today, 500 delegates from 55 countries convened in Washington D.C. for the second World Copyright Conference yesterday for the first day of the two-day event. Senator Orrin Hatch, a well known supporter of stronger copyright laws, spoke at the event and praised France for its “Three Strikes” law and said that “a solid partnership between the copyright community and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) is crucial” for the future of copyright.

The two day event brings together copyright holders of all stripes, including those from the movie, record, software, publishing and Internet fields as well legal experts and policymakers.

Needless to say, since you’re reading this, I didn’t go this year. My invitation clearly was lost in the mail.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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