14.0693 landmark US Supreme Court Internet case

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Sat Feb 24 2001 - 06:38:52 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 693.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 11:34:40 +0000
             From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org>
             Subject: Landmark Supreme Court Internet Case Alert

    News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
    from across the Community
    February 23, 2001

                              Tasini v. The New York Times
                  U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments March 28
                          in landmark electronic rights lawsuit

    On February 20, 2001, the lawyers for the writers in the landmark
    electronic rights lawsuit, Tasini v. The New York Times, filed the main
    brief representing the writers position to the U.S. Supreme Court. As this
    case moves forward, readers will probably be interested in several of the
    amicus briefs filed on behalf of Tasini, notably those by historians and by
    the American Library Association, as well as the statement (in support of
    Tasini) by the Copyright Office.

    For further information on the case, go to
    <http://www.nwu.org/tvt/tvthome.htm>http://www.nwu.org/tvt/tvthome.htm, an
    extract from which I reproduce at the foot of this message.

    David Green

    >From: "Jonathan Tasini" <jt@pipeline.com>
    >To: "Jonathan Tasini" <jt@pipeline.com>
    >>Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 17:35:38 -0500
    >X-Priority: 3
    >Members of the Press/Others: On March 28th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear
    >oral arguments in the landmark electronic rights lawsuit, Tasini v. The New
    >York Times. The plaintiff-writers won a sweeping, unanimous decision in the
    >U.S. Appeals Court in September 1999. If the Supreme Court upholds the
    >Appeals Court decision, it will profoundly effect the livelihood of creators
    >for years to come.
    >As a resource to the press as it prepares pre-hearing and hearing day
    >converage (as well as a resource for non-press), we have posted all the
    >Supreme Court legal briefs on our website--both sides main briefs and amici,
    >as well as the pro-author position of the U.S. Copyright Office. Please
    >visit: <http://www.nwu.org/tvt/sc.htm>http://www.nwu.org/tvt/sc.htm.
    >You may also see an electronic column entitled "The Hypocrisy of The New
    >York Times" at:
    >You can also also find extensive background to the case on the site. Please
    >visit: <http://www.nwu.org/tvt/tvthome.htm>http://www.nwu.org/tvt/tvthome.htm
    >As well, background on the NWU can be found at: www.nwu.org
    >If we can be of any assistance to the press, please do not hesitate to
    >contact us. I look foward to hearing from you.
    >Jonathan Tasini
    >National Writers Union
    >113 University Place
    >NY, NY 10003
    >Union Web: www.nwu.org


    From: Tasini et al v The New York Times et al

    Introduction to Tasini v NY Times
    Tasini et al vs The New York Times et al is the landmark lawsuit brought by
    members of the National Writers Union against The New York Times Company,
    Newsday Inc., Time Inc., Lexis/Nexis, and University Microfilms Inc.,
    charging copyright violation regarding the electronic reuse of work
    produced and sold on a freelance basis.

    For decades, when freelance writers sold stories to American publications
    it was understood by all concerned that they were selling only First North
    American Serial rights which allowed the newspaper or magazine to publish
    the story in print one time. For freelance authors, retention of all other
    copy rights is crucial to their economic survival because a significant
    additional source of income comes from their ability to sell secondary
    rights such as syndication, translations, anthologies, and so forth, to
    other publications.

    With the advent of electronic media including databases like Nexis,
    publishers such as Time/Warner and the Times/Mirror Company, the parent
    companies of Time and Newsday, have been selling freelance-authored
    material to electronic databases such as Nexis/Lexis without any additional
    payment or purchase of electronic rights from the original authors. They
    claim, without justification, that by purchasing First North American
    Serial rights they automatically gain electronic re- publication rights.
    Tasini et al vs The New York Times et al is going to establish that they
    are violating the copy rights of writers.

    Copyright 2000 by National Writers Union.
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