Standing Shmoe to Shmoe
The author of this weblog was quoted in USC Annenberg’s Online Journalism Review in an article entitled “Tsunami Video Alliance Portends Future Distribution for Amateurs” last week. (It’s about the Media Bloggers Association.) I don’t mind saying that I powerfully enhanced the sterling image of attorneys as high-minded and articulate preceptors of the public with the following quote, responding to the question of blogger liability for carrying other peoples’ videos (particularly tsunami videos). Here’s the excerpt, essentially unchanged from what appears to be the original Yiddish:
It’s not for nothing that they’re [i.e., other peoples’ works are] protected by copyright. There is no non-profit or ‘hobby’ exception to the copyright laws. Attorneys’ fees and costs could even be available to the copyright holder, if he registered his copyright with the Library of Congress — not likely but not impossible. I think linking to some other shmoe is the ticket here.
That sounds a little zhlubbier than I meant it to be. Let me clarify: At some other point during the interview I am sure I mentioned the fact that ultimately linking to that shmoe is not all that helpful, legally speaking, if you are aware (or should be aware) that he is himself infringing someone’s copyright. And now I’m saying so in print. So, nu.