Saturday, August 02, 2008

Patry Copyright Blog shuts down

I am sad to report that the fine copyright law blog, The Patry Copyright Blog, has shut down.

One of the reasons the author gave is that his blog was becoming too negative because of the current state of copyright in law:

Much like the U.S. economy, things are getting worse, not better. Copyright law has abandoned its reason for being: to encourage learning and the creation of new works. Instead, its principal functions now are to preserve existing failed business models, to suppress new business models and technologies, and to obtain, if possible, enormous windfall profits from activity that not only causes no harm, but which is beneficial to copyright owners. Like Humpty-Dumpty, the copyright law we used to know can never be put back together again: multilateral and trade agreements have ensured that, and quite deliberately.
Complete article

[Ed. Note. I am sad to see the loss of this outstanding voice of clarity and reason. I disagree with Prof. Patry that "Copyright law has abandoned its reason for being". I think there are 4 record companies and 6 motion picture companies who are trying to make that happen, but I think the law is bigger than them, and that in the end, the law will win. -R.B.]

Here are cached copies of two "Patry Copyright Blog" articles to which we have referred on "Recording Industry vs. The People":

The recent making available cases (4/3/08)
Atlantic Recording Corp. v. Howell (4/30/08)

Apparently Google's cached copies can be found by preceding the URL with:

You can also try the wayback machine.

Commentary & discussion:


Keywords: digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property


Crosbie Fitch said...

It is one thing for William Patry to discontinue posting incisive articles concerning the theory and practice of copyright, but another entirely to discontinue the publication of his blog and its extensive archives. This remains a valuable and educational body of work. It would be a pity if Patry's insights and observations along with his conversations with other commenters were lost to the public.

Irrespective of copyright's doom in the face of the Sisyphean task to prevent the public copying published works, I'm sure we will still need such knowledgeable minds as Patry's in order to produce the necessary legislation that protects authors' and inventors' natural and exclusive rights to their respective writings and discoveries for their lifetimes.

raybeckerman said...

Alter_Fritz wrote:


In case the judges missed them, the pure text copied from google's cache can be found here

And in case someone also wants to read the comments:
As long as google does not clean its cache, those entries can be found at NEED i.e

raybeckerman said...

So as I understand it, if you precede the blog post URL with the following "", you can retrieve the article, at least for the present.

Jadeic said...

Like A_F, I too mourn not only Patry's withdrawal from the fray (hopefully only temporarily) but also the loss of the huge archive of incisive comment that his blog contained. That was a brutal decision. Message to self: keep backing up those important sites with Acrobat 9 because you never know when they will disappear.


William Patry said...

Thanks Ray. I will think about creating an archive and am happy people find the posts to be of interest. I deleted the posts because leaving them up still leads to one of my reasons for stopping the blog: people inaccurately claiming that the views expressed are Google's.

raybeckerman said...

Thanks, Bill. Your work is a breath of fresh air. To say it is "of interest" is an understatement.

We do hope you put the material back up, and I know I speak for a lot of people when I (a) wish you well in all of your endeavors and (b) thank you for being a rational voice in this important evolving area of law.

Anonymous said...

Those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

I can understand Mr. Paltry's evident disgust with the copyright system of today. Any Constitutional scholar who studies the state of copyrights circa 1776 in Europe would understand why a very limited term for copyrights was accepted in this country as so important that it was enshrined in the United States Constitution. Now in beating the false drum of fairness most existing copyrights won't expire in our lifetimes. This is just plain wrong for the country as a whole.

The most egregious excess in the zeal of Washington D.C. to appease the great money machine of the content creation industry is the extension of existing copyrights. This has no Constitutional basis at all because by the time the work is created and copyrighted the very concept of Copyright has already been satisfied.

As the laws become unreasonable with all three branches of government (the Supreme Court approved what Congress passed and The President signed) allowing them to become such, I have come to no longer respect them. Take a book to the Xerox machine, share a song on P2P, get a movie from BitTorrent, those actions no longer offend me. This is how The People fight back against the special interests and I agree with other posters who refer to these actions as Civil Disobedience or Protest Speech. While I would prefer to see the change come at the ballot box, I have little faith that this issue, as important as it is, matters to voters sufficiently at this time. It's just too easy to get around the new restrictions when every computer is now a copying/duplicating/publishing device.

My only issue with Mr. Paltry is his citing of Wikipedia as his reference. He should know better. :-)

{The Common Man Speaking}