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Historically Speaking of August 18th

August 18, 2006

Today is the 230th day of the year – there are 135 days remaining in 2006

It has been 1,202 days since “Mission Accomplished” was declared in Iraq by our illegal wiretapping president – Dubya Bush (but hey, we all knew it was illegal – except of course for Congress)

Notable events from this date:

On August 22, 2006 4:29 PM, Tom Faranda said:

Dear Ross W,

As you are on a few things (such as stating my comments were directed to “the terrible events of 9/11” when they were really directed to your silly count of the # of days since Bush said “mission accomplished”), you are wrong re: the NYT article where Sue Konig is quoted. As a matter of fact I printed additional excerpts from the NYT article, not the whole article, which was quite a long piece. Unfortunately the NYT article is no longer available on their website for free; but since I rather imagine you are a TIMES SELECT subscriber, just check it yourself.

And it’s no “cop-out defense” to again point out that my use of excerpts, which follows a well-established practice on many reputable weblogs, with vastly more readers then either my weblog or yours, falls under the “fair use” principle.

However on the subject of printing verbatim other people’s posts, perhaps you will look to your own Crotonblog. Several days ago you printed Michael Moore’s piece (“It’s all about who you sleep with…”), published on his website on August ninth, and mailed to his email subscribers (including myself), in it’s entirety. And you didn’t even add any “miniscule emendations.” I guess putting it in your letters column of August 10th makes it OK, right?

But not to worry; I, like crotonblog, will not play stool pigeon and contact Mr. Moore.

Tom Faranda

PS. In the same NY Times article you mention quoting Sue Konig, they also quote William Easterly. Here is a review (my review, my weblog) of his excellent book mentioned in their piece.

On August 21, 2006 11:03 AM, TeaDrinker said:

While Mr. Tom Faranda contemplates his response to our query in comment #3, there is more that we offer him to consider.

First, Mr. Faranda’s defense of what he did is a cop-out defense. By suggesting that Crotonblog sick the several newspapers on him for infringing on their copyrights, Mr. Faranda is asking that Crotonblog play stool pigeon, something Crotonblog will not do. When anyone wants to quote extensively from copyrighted material, all they have to do is to ask permission of the copyright owner, which he neglected to do and such permission would not be withheld if the volume of material was within the newspapers’ guidelines of fair use. If Mr. Faranda is so sure his use was fair use, why doesn’t he simply ask the copyright owners whether they consider his extensive usage to have been fair use, particularly the article that he copied in its entirety? What Mr. Faranda obviously lacks is an ethical compass.

Second, by publishing the extensively quoted material on his blog, together with his minuscule emendations, Mr. Faranda has created what is called a “derivative work” under the Copyright Law. But only the copyright owner can create a derivative work or authorize the copyrighted material’s use in a derivative work. Using Mr. Faranda’s argument, an editor could create an anthology of writings by various authors by arguing that he didn’t need permission because he—and he alone—considered such extensive use to be fair use.

If Mr. Faranda thinks that argument would hold water in federal court, Crotonblog has a dam it would like to sell him.

On August 20, 2006 11:23 PM, TeaDrinker said:

Mr. Faranda,

On August 14, 2006, you spotlighted the charitable work of your friend, book author and National Review Online columnist Sue Konig. Original mention of her volunteerism appeared in a New York Times article published on August 14, 2006, called “Into Africa” by Alex Williams.

In that very post, you copied the entire copyright-protected article from The New York Times and published it to your blog.

Perhaps the nature of your “folly” is to flagrantly violate copyright law? Or, maybe it’s your displeasure—as a marching protester—for The New York Times that motivates your select application of federally protected copyright laws?

Further, you say in your comment above, “…I am well aware of copyright laws…”.

How can that be? How might you explain your interpretation of “Fair Use” in this instance?

On August 20, 2006 10:31 PM, Tom Faranda said:

Dear Ross W.,

Oh please, spare me.

Naturally it’s your blog, and you can have any opinions you wish, and delete any comments you wish.

But to hide behind copyright laws? I’ll get to that in a moment.

Of course I wasn’t leaving a comment regarding “the Historically Speaking feature for August 18 making reference to the number of days since the terrible events of 9/11.” as you state.

Rather it was in reference to this Historically Speaking commentary: “It has been 1,202 days since “Mission Accomplished” was declared in Iraq by our illegal wiretapping president – Dubya Bush (but hey, we all knew it was illegal – except of course for Congress)”

What I presented and linked to on my weblog was the relevant editorial commentary of the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post regarding Judge Taylor’s decision in the ACLU v. NSA. I linked to all three editorial commentaries and presented excerpts. I am well aware of copyright laws. and am quite sure that my printing of excerpts of the editorials is limited use.

This is your weblog, run it as you please and delete what you please. But don’t make phony charges that I am violating copyright laws. If you think you are on firm ground, I suggest you contact the three major publications and ask them to review my use.

Tom Faranda

On August 20, 2006 9:05 PM, TeaDrinker said:

NOTICE: Crotonblog has removed a comment added by Mr. Tom Faranda to the Historically Speaking feature for August 18 making reference to the number of days since the terrible events of 9/11. Comments are added automatically to items on Crotonblog without review. However, upon review, Mr. Faranda’s purported comment turns out to be nothing more than a link to Mr. Faranda’s own blog. The linked material consists of a disturbing series of extensive verbatim copies of copyrighted editorials printed in other publications.

Section 107 of the Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) codifies and makes provision for limited use of copyrighted material without the copyright owner’s permission in what is called “the fair use doctrine.” This allows the quotation of short passages of copyrighted material for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research. Governing factors include “the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole” and “the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.” Acknowledging the source of quoted copyrighted material is not a substitute for obtaining permission.

The material copied by Mr. Faranda from the several publications is copyrighted material used without the permission of the copyright owners and represents a considerable portion of each editorial quoted far exceeding amounts that could be considered “fair use.” Moreover, his own introductory text is minimal. Under the circumstances, Crotonblog does not wish to become involved in questions of whether Mr. Faranda’s extensive use of copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright owners constitutes fair use versus infringement of copyright.

In the opinion of Crotonblog’s copyright consultant, infringement of copyright as defined in the Copyright Law has clearly occurred with Mr. Faranda’s publication of this copyrighted material, and we have no wish to aid or abet such infringement. Therefore, under the circumstances and in the interest of protecting crotonblog, we have removed Mr. Faranda’s posted “comment.”

It would appear that the infringement in question is not the first instance of such violation of the Copyright Law. A review of previous material appearing on Mr. Faranda’s blog indicates that he, during the last several months, has extensively quoted copyrighted material without permission. One of the rights accorded to the owner of a copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the copyrighted work.

The unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted material is not only a growing problem on the Internet but threatens all bloggers and contributors who play by the rules. The Copyright Law is not something to be trifled with. It covers remedies for infringement, including recovery of all costs and attorneys’ fees awarded to the prevailing party. Penalties include the copyright owner’s actual damages as well as statutory damages. In the case of willful infringement, the court may award statutory damages of not more than $150,000.

Need we say more?


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