January 30, 2007
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Bill Patry, Senior Copyright Counsel at Google (how’s that for a great job), emailed me and asked me to mention the publication of his new copyright treatise, Patry on Copyright. I like the fact that Mr. Patry said this about his 5,800-plus page, $1500 treatise: “ The book is also chock full of wikipedia references, anecdotes, riffs on logic, congitive linguistics, etc. It is many books in one.” Although I haven’t seen this treatise yet, I hope that it is a change from Nimmer on Copyright, which is so densely academic as to often be unusable by practitioners. Somehow, I doubt that we’ll ever see Nimmer referencing Wikipedia. I would also add that it may be time for the intellectual property fathers of the 20th century, whose treatises have become so calcified and entrenched with the courts that it’s hard for anyone to compete with them, to make some room for the next generation. After all, Melville Nimmer died in 1985, and his treatise is now edited by his son, David Nimmer. Roger Milgrim (Milgrim on Trade Secrets) , Donald Chisum (Chisum on Patents) and Thomas McCarthy (McCarthy on Trademarks) are in their 60s. Bill Patry, by comparison, is only in his mid-50s. And, he has a blog. And, a sense of humor. For some amusing repartee between Patry and readers of The Volokh Conspiracy, click here.
October 19, 2006
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I quote from News.com on September 28th: Cuban, co-founder of HDNet and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, also said YouTube would eventually be “sued into oblivion” because of copyright violations. “They are just breaking the law,” Cuban told a group of advertisers in New York. “The only reason it hasn’t been sued yet is because there is nobody with big money to sue.” * * * Cuban said “anyone who buys that (YouTube) is a moron” because of potential lawsuits from copyright violations. “There is a reason they haven’t yet gone public, they haven’t sold. It’s because they are going to be toasted,” said Cuban, who has sold start-ups to Yahoo and CompuServe. The outspoken (to put it mildly) Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and Chairman of HDTV cable network has repeated this message loudly and often, both before and after Google’s $1.6 billion purchase offer to YouTube. Many other media sources appear to have picked up the tune, and the media-giant mouthpieces have added to the volume by rattling their sabers, implying that its only a matter of time before this “mother of all lawsuits” is forthcoming. Don’t believe a word of it. Surprisingly few observers have asked the pertinent question here: do the Supreme Court’s 1995 Grokster decision and the DMCA (the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) protect YouTube from liability for copyright-protected works posted by…