The Cabin Boy™ really does’t understand the relationship between copyright and authorship very well.The document that Schmalfeldt is so worked up about is the Settlement Agreement from the Hoge v. Schmalfeldt copyright lawsuit. Neither the Cabin Boy™ nor I have any copyright interest in that document. It is the work product of Judge Timothy Sullivan who conducted the Alternate Dispute Resolution conference that led to the agreement. As the work product of a federal employee, any copyright to the agreement would belong to the United States, but because it’s a court document, it’s in the public domain. Moreover, that document has been attached to various court filings, so reporting on its contents is clearly within Fair Use.
The Cabin Boy™ also seems to think that he owns the copyright to pictures of him that were taken by other people. The copyright belongs to the photographer—unless it was “work for hire” or unless the Cabin Boy™ has a written document transferring the copyright.
UPDATE—I got a call from a lawyer who wonders if I might be misinterpreting the Cabin Boy’s™ tweet. He suggested that Schmalfeldt thinks I might have somehow violated his “copyright” to the motion to disqualify Aaron Walker (and the attached exhibits) filed in his LOLsuit VI: The Undiscovered Krendler. If that’s the case, the Cabin Boy™ is even dumber that I thought. I verified that he had served the motion on Aaron Walker before I published anything. Either mailing the motion or serving it on the other parties’ counsel would be sufficient to make it a court paper. Once it’s a court paper, it’s in the public domain. (That’s one of the reasons why I checked to see if it had been served.)