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Jul 16, 1999 05:21 AM
by M K Ramadoss

It is not uncommon to be intimidated about legal consequences of even
inadvertant and perhaps "fair use" situations in copy right violation. This
is especially true of those who are not used to litigation. First of all --
all litigation in Federal Courts is expensive. Copyrights are all the more
so. Here is an excerpt from a msg in the copyright discussion maillist
which one may want to be aware of when next time one is threatened with a
violation litigation.


On Mon, 12 Jul 1999, Harold Orlans commented:
> The law [of  "fair use"] is too vague to be very helpful.  One
> could argue that its real purpose is to provide full employment
> for intellectual property lawyers.

     Indeed, I find the opposite is true.  Copyright lawsuits are
outrageously expensive, as are all actions in federal court.  And
people, including many lawyers I know think "fair use" means they can
copy whatever they want any time they want and nothing will happen.

     I find IP law is dominated by large firms and for the average
person in the U.S. copyright law provides only illusory protection at
best.  Not many can afford the $250,000 the typical IP lawsuit costs.
Copyright law is about as "anti-average person" as it can be.  Far from
keeping lawyers employed, copyright law makes a few lawyers rich and
leaves the mass of the public wholly unprotected.

Nick Zales
Zales Law Office

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