A Note About Copyrights

Copyright is the right of the author of the work or the author’s heirs or assignees, not of the one who only owns or possesses the physical work itself. Under the copyright law, the creator of the original expression in a work is its author. The author is also the owner of copyright unless there is a written agreement by which the author assigns the copyright to another person or entity, such as a publisher. If you don’t believe me, you can look it up at the website of the U. S. Copyright Office.

I bring this up because one of the forms of lawfare that Team Kimberlin engages in is false copyright claims. For example, The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin has filed a lawsuit against Kimberlin Unmasked for copyright infringement. There is some question as to whether or not TDPK actually owns any of the images he is suing over. They are all pictures of him, and, unless he is claiming that all those Op-Critical music videos are selfies, he isn’t the “author” of the images. I suppose he could claim that the videos were “work-for-hire,” but who did the hiring? Did Brett Kimberlin, who has been paying himself $19,500 a year, pay for the production of those videos? Including the one’s that are marked © Justice Through Music? There are ownership problems with his claims.

Even if TDPK owned the copyrights, Kimberlin Unmasked’s “quoting” of the copyrighted works would be allowed under the Fair Use Doctrine as criticism, commentary, or parody.

TDPK isn’t the only copyright troll in Team Kimberlin. Bill Schmalfeldt has a go at trolling from time to time. Last summer, he filed DMCA takedown notices against this blog concerning images of which he was not the author and whose copyrights he probably did not own. More recently, he’s been trying to assert parody images of him are harassment. If the legal theory behind that idea held water, editorial cartoonists would be in a world of hurt.

It’s all part of Brett Kimberlin’s brass knuckles reputation management scheme—nuisance claims and vexatious lawsuits done solely as exercises in shutupery. To that end, Kimberlin has filed lawsuits in state and federal court attacking bloggers for writing truthful things about him, and I’m on the receiving end of a couple of those suits. You can help my four codefendants (Aaron Walker, Stacy McCain, Ali Akbar, and Kimberlin Unmasked) and me fight TDPK’s attack our First Amendment rights in the Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. suit. Go to Bomber Sues Bloggers to find out how.

6 thoughts on “A Note About Copyrights

  1. Also relevant: a copyright must be registered with the US Copyright office in order for the plaintiff to bring a suit.

    17 U.S.C. § 411(a)

    I doubt that TDPK has actually registered the works he is asserting.

      • Yes, it is required. Section 411 of the Copyright Act states that registration is required before any civil action may be commenced.

      • Check the statute:

        “no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title”

        This can raised in a motion to dismiss under FRCP 12(b)(6), or on motion for summary judgment.

        This is not, surprisingly, a subject matter jurisdiction issue, per Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick.

  2. What I find interesting is that BS appears to lack the appropriate level of contrition for an adjudicated harasser. I also find it interesting that he has decided that the outcome of any mediation is that he can get back to writing about events but WJJH, apparently, should limit himself to preparing his defense for the BK trials. This morning, BS is saying the WJJH must stop writing “lies” about him. In other words, it sure sounds like what he wants is, oh, let me see IIRC, and if I may paraphrase a bit, “if people would stop writing about BK (and BS), then no one would be investigating.” Why, that would be mission accomplished, wouldn’t it?

Leave a Reply