Plagiarism Today Backs Zarrella

Posted by snoop under Blogosphere, Content, Network News, News

Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today weighed in today with his views on the JOAB dispute. The following comments by Mr Bailey were just published on JOAB:

There is a problem here. Copyright law is very clear on this matter, it says that there can be no transfer of copyright unless “an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or such owner’s duly authorized agent.”

This means that Zarrella, no matter the intent, holds the copyright to the posts he created (copyright automatically reverts to the author) unless there is a written contract saying otherwise.

You can read the full statute here.

I can not say that what Zarrella did was right, I do not know the full story and don’t claim to, but without a written contract it would appear that Zarrella had the right to request removal. After all, they were his copyrighted works and, even if he allowed one person to use them in a oral contract, which is completely non-binding in the area of copyright law, that doesn’t apply to another person and it doesn’t stop him from backing out at any time.

What this whole incident really underscores is the importance of getting these matters in writing. In matters of copyright, without a written contract, there is simply too many ways for things to go sour. In truth, this was resolved rather peacefully.

Though well-versed in copyright law, I am not a lawyer. However, I agree with the decision to remove the works and would encourage you to keep it that way. Not only does it save drama, but Zarrella’s case is not as weak as one might think.

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