Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ellison V. AOL

Please use the following link to read about an Internet case regarding copyright.
http://www.benedict.com/Digital/Internet/Ellison/Ellison.aspx

After reading, please respond to the following questions...

1-What are your thoughts about copyright violation as it relates to this case?

2-The court was for and against both parties. Do you think one party had a stronger case? Why or why not?

3-Why do you think that Ellison was willing to settle "on terms that remain confidential?"

4-What does this case teach us about legal issues relating to the Internet?

2 comments:

Erica said...

I'm not one to understand law-related issues. So I'll try and interpret the article link you provided as best I can.

1)I think that Robertson had no right to scan in works from Ellison's books. Although he did not use them for profit purposes, he "distributed" them to the masses without permission from Ellison.

2) Although it is very difficult to manage and supervise all websites supported by a server/internet provider, I think it should be someone's job within the AOL company to scan websites that cite their resources or have permission from a copyright owner. We have people that scan websites for filters, so why not this too? AOL had a very strong argument, but ethnically I have to side with Ellison. I find it interesting that AOL did not respond to the "take down notice" and never informed the Designation of Agent of their change of email address. It seems a bit sketchy to me. As I saw on someone else's blog regarding creative writing/copyright, as soon as something is created it is protected!

3)Not knowing much about legal jargon, I'm not sure why the case was settled "confidentially."

4)It's very difficult to keep track of every website that contains work from a particular author. However, I would hope that AOL learned that they need to contact the Designation of Agent in a more timely manner! Perhaps AOL should consider assigning the task of monitoring websites containing copyrighted material.

Cloudscome said...

I think in general we should assume everything on the Internet is copyrighted unless it clearly specifies that the author designates their work to be in the public domain. It's better to be safe than sorry.