Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Copyright Law and Brave Men

Originally posted 0934 09 March:

Over on Ron Martini's BBS, we find a story that looks like another case of the media vs. the little guy, but in this case, the "little guy" is just about the toughest A-ganger I know, and he's not taking it lying down:

"Aight, I do not like to post this, but I am being hunted by a reporter from the above said organization [Navy Times]. It seems a letter I posted on Goatlocker.org, a private BBS for Chiefs, was leaked to blogs, and now this reporter wants to use all of the online letters from US, PROUD submariners, to sell papers in a future navytimes paper about the San Fran.
"Fellas, that really gets my goad, and I don't like it. I already have friends checking on the legality of it. The letter I wrote was just days after the grounding and very emotional in nature, and I do not want it published on paper for somebody to market or make money on. I need you shipmates to help me and email the editor at navytimes and stop this BS. I posted that letter to my shipmates to let them understand what and how bad a severe casualty could do to even the highest trained people on the submarine.
"I might lose this fight, and my letter be published, but I will not support it. What I need is the support of other people to email them and let them know that we won't put up with it.
"The leaked letter? Hahaha, here it is, a uncut version that was explained by an ex submariner. Click the link, and you will see my thoughts."
San Fran Diving Officer

"Hagar" is the nom de plume of the submariner who was the Diving Officer of the Watch on USS San Francisco (SSN 711) during her recent collision. I'll write more on this later, but for now, please write the Navy Times by clicking here and leaving feedback.

Update 1314 09 March: As I was researching the applicable copyrights laws that Hagar might be able to use in an effort to prevent publication, I found this piece over at Legal Database. (As I checked back at Martini's BBS, someone else had also found it, so I could have saved myself some Googling.) The relevent portion:

"Works put on the Internet are considered “published” and therefore qualify for copyright protection. A work put on the Internet is not considered public domain simply because it was posted on the Internet and free for anyone to download and copy. You need permission from the site owner to publish any materials, including photographs, music, and artwork from the site.
"The best way to enforce Internet copyright is through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 is designed primarily to limit the liability of Internet service providers for acts of copyright infringement by customers who are using the providers' systems or networks..."

So, it would seem that Hagar's work is protected by copyright. This wouldn't protect him from having The Navy Times print a "fair use" portion of it if they attributed it to him, but I think it could keep them from printing the whole thing. I'd be interested to hear what any law-bloggers might have to say about this. Eagle1, how copy?

Staying at PD...


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