[ilds] infringement: the law

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Mon Jun 4 16:21:24 PDT 2007

If tomorrow I saw that someone had lifted two pages from my Alexandria: 
City of Memory for their own book, I would immediately require, at the 
very least, that an acknowledgement of the source be included in all 
future printings.  And I would get it.  That I did not do so with 
Caesar's Vast Ghost is my prerogative.

In the case of Durrell my interest lies not in the infringement or its 
remedy but in why he does it, how it fits in with other things about 
him, what it tells us about him. But one can only begin that inquiry 
once the infringement is seen for what it is.

Also I raised the issue because I was interested to hear how academics 
handle material which is not what it claims to be.  It is all very well 
looking for meaning, significance and intention in a text, but it seems 
to me a purposeless activity, or a misdirected one, if it turns out 
that the 'author' has not written the thing in the first place.  
Anyway, I have found out my answer; academics ignore the problem; it is 
an inconvenience.


On Monday, June 4, 2007, at 07:06  pm, Bruce Redwine wrote:

> What is the date of the law?  When was it enacted?  That may be a 
> loophole for LD.  I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that under 
> these guidelines, which may only apply to CVG, Lawrence Durrell is 
> clearly in violation of U.S. copyright law -- and probably the U.K.'s 
> too.  The only question is one of "willfulness," or intent, that is, 
> did he deliberately violate the law.  It could be argued that he 
> didn't compile the MS of CVG that Faber publish, in which case I 
> forgive him but I doubt if a court would.
> Bruce
> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Michael Haag <michaelhaag at btinternet.com>
>> Sent: Jun 3, 2007 6:11 PM
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: [ilds] infringement: the law
>> The equivocations of academics are a glory to behold; I am gaining a
>> new respect for lawyers.
>> I am looking at The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook, published by A&C
>> Black, London, and this is what it tells me about US copyright law:
>> Criminal proceedings in respect of copyright
>> * Anyone who infringes a copyright wilfully and for purposes of
>> commercial advantage and private financial gain shall be fined not 
>> more
>> than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 3 years, or both.
>> * Following a conviction for criminal infringement a court may in
>> addition to these penalties order the forfeiture and destruction of 
>> all
>> infringing copies and records, together with implements and equipment
>> used in their manufacture.
>> * It is also an offence knowingly and with fraudulent intent to place
>> on any article a notice of copyright or words of the same purport, or
>> to import or distribute such copies.  A fine is provided for this
>> offence of not more than $2500.
>> There are also civil remedies that copyright holders can pursue in the
>> courts.  These include injunctions, impounding books, destroying 
>> books,
>> obtaining damages and a share of profits.
>> Although I do not immediately see infringement defined in accordance
>> with American law, the yearbook does outline infringement as it might
>> be viewed by a British court, and I would guess that an American court
>> would not take so very different a view.  'Infringement may occur 
>> where
>> an existing work provides the inspiration for a later one, if copying
>> results, eg by including edited extracts from a history book in a
>> novel. ... Infringement will not necessarily be prevented merely by 
>> the
>> application of significant new skill and labour by the infringer.'
>> :Michael
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