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Saturday #Law Summary: 5 Stories I Didn’t Have Time to do Justice

September 10, 2011

When Quoting Verse, One Must Be Terse – Lawyer and poetry expert David Orr examines copyright law’s impact on poetry criticism.

The difficulty is not so much that the copyright system is restrictive (although it can be), but that no one has any idea exactly how much of a poem can be quoted without payment. Under the “fair use” doctrine, quotation is permitted for criticism and comment, so you’d think this is where a poetry critic could hang his hat. But how much use is fair use?

Stealing Public Domain Books Is Still Stealing | ThinkProgress. Author Matthew Yglesias argues that copyright law places too great a distinction between protected and public domain works.

The copyright status of a given text is actually irrelevant to the question of whether or not stealing the text from its owner is permissible. This, I think, clinches the argument. Stealing a copyrighted book, like Jared Diamond’s Collapse, arguably involves two separate crimes. On the one hand, you’ve stolen my book… On the other hand, you’ve deprived Diamond of some royalties, a non-issue in the case of Jane Austen who’s not entitled to any royalties.

Technology & Marketing Law Blog: Marijuana Activist Can’t Change His Name to “” – Technology and Marketing Law Blog. In a lengthy post, lawyer Venkat Balasubramani and law professors Eric Goldman and Laura Heymann discuss  In re Robert Edward Forchion, Jr., a case in which Robert Edward Forchion fought to change his name to, and was denied.

The idea that changing one’s name to that of an existing URL would create a level of confusion warranting the denial of the name change – either as between that URL or another URL or trademark – seems implausible. Naming is always contextual, and it is the rare name that isn’t also being used by someone else. We all like to think of our names as unique, but a quick Google search will often reveal at least one other person who shares our first name/last name combination.

Female Blogger Threatened With Defamation Suit For Writing About TSA ‘Rape’ – Forbes. Kashmir Hill, Above the Law editor turned Forbes privacy columnist, shares the story of a defamation suit against a woman who blogged about being assaulted by a TSA agent.

What Makes TSA Agent Thedala Magee So Special?. Attorney Scott Greenfield covers the same story, with a bit more finesse.

What makes Thedala Magee special is that she has reminded the rest of us that the government is still empowering twisted nobodies to take liberties with the bodies of others in an exertion of their petty power.

That’s it for today.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2011 12:42 am

    NJWEEDMAN.COM — I really want to change my name to, there actually have been two other”.com” name change cases ( and –

    • September 13, 2011 9:10 am

      Thanks for checking in. It looks like there is a lot of precedent out there – some for you and some against you. For example, was approved by the courts, but naming a child Weather’By Dot Com Chanel Fourcast Sheppard was not.
      You should try to find cases in your jurisdiction to help your case, or hire a lawyer to do it for you. For those interested in the cases referred to by above, you can read a little more here and here.


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