Judges are indeed unpredictable. Success can often depend on the whims
of court scheduling. What I find in the popular view of law is a clear
violation and a clear penalty with no intermediate steps or grey areas
in between. In reality there are several steps between an allegedly
infringing act and an appelate court decision. At each step along the
way our position must be reevaluated. I think that the reasonable doubt
about the copyrightability of the Britannica list should take us through
the first step. If a take down order is issued, that's when we would
need to review the matter.
Whether the Britannica list is worthless for our purposes is debatable.
When I started I would look at our software generated most wanted list
to see if anything there interested me, and I started a number of
articles that way. I can see the EB list being used that way,
especially by newbies. The list just shows what we don't have; it does
not suggest that the potential contributor seek out the Britannica
article. If instead it inspires someone to research an otherwise
obscure historical personage, then we all benefit.
Fred Bauder wrote:
While we should aggressively defend our rights,
is a wise policy. For one thing, particular judges don't necessarily
follow the law that you think they will. Additionally although you
may eventually get costs, you first must pay costs. I'm still not
sure about the list of Britannica articles, but I am sure that our
own method of generating endless article titles is probably more
comprehensive than any list like that. I know that when I want to
start a new article I don't look the topic up in Britannica first. So
I think the list is probably worthless for our purposes anyway.
On Jun 28, 2005, at 3:38 AM, Ray Saintonge wrote:
This was not a matter of a countersuit. The
copyright issue was
already won by the defendants when they sought to recover costs. In
Online Policy Group v. Diebold http://www.eff.org/legal/
was ordered to pay costs because it had misused copyright.
I don't think that a firm with big bucks at stake is going to be
deterred by legal fees, or the threat of being required to pay the
opponent's legal fees. Defendants' difficulties are not limited to
copyright law. Any defendant faced with a contingency chasing
lawyer is going to be at a disadvantage. A plaintiff and his
contingency paid lawyer should be held jointly liable for a winning
defendant's fees in the same amount as the lawyer would have
received if he had won. :-)