Category Archives: Copyright

Google Book Scan Lawsuit Decision

I have written before about the Author’s Guild copyright infringement lawsuit against Google for its unauthorized digitizing of copyrighted works.  Now, after eight years of litigation, we have a decision. Briefly, in 2005 the Author’s Guild and other plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against Google for its “Book Search,” alleging that Google violated the … Continue reading Google Book Scan Lawsuit Decision

The New Copyright “Small Claims” Proposal

Background:  Perhaps the greatest intellectual property dilemma facing American writers is the difficulty of enforcing copyright claims when the damages are not large – and, conversely, the high cost of defending against frivolous or unjustified claims.  Currently, all infringement lawsuits must be brought in federal court, and registration of the copyright is a precondition.  (Unless … Continue reading The New Copyright “Small Claims” Proposal

The “Poor Man’s Copyright”

The Poor Man’s Copyright is one of those apocryphal ideas that almost, but not quite, rises to the status of urban legend (unfortunately, it’s not as scary as exploding toilets).  I have encountered many otherwise sophisticated authors who not only believe in this charming fantasy, but also practice it. Here’s the idea:  Whenever you send … Continue reading The “Poor Man’s Copyright”

Copyright vs. Plagiarism

Q.  I’m confused.  What’s the difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism?  Aren’t they the same? A.  Your confusion is typical.  The two aren’t the same – but they CAN overlap.  Indeed, plagiarism can be copyright infringement, and vice-versa, but it’s also possible to plagiarize without committing copyright infringement, and infringe a copyright without plagiarizing. First, … Continue reading Copyright vs. Plagiarism