Sookman found liable for worldwide article inaccuracies

OK. I’m being mean. I know it. You know it. Barry knows it. But hey, it’s me. This is how I am. Still I feel kind of guilty. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Quite frankly I should just forget about Barry, and finish the article I started before Christmas on Canadian attitudes towards Climate Change.

But hell – I declare this ‘Beat up on Barry week.’ In my earlier articles about Barry’s writing (one) (two) I mentioned that I had spotted other inaccuracies, and here’s one:

Fung and Isohunt found liable for inducing worldwide copyright infringement

Like wow, man. Guilty of Worldwide Copyright Infringement! That’s bad. Really bad.

And also totally untrue. Barry even includes a link to the judgement which I gather he didn’t read, because what the judgement says (on page 40 of 46 pages in the PDF version) is:

Even under this stringent “willful ignorance” test, it is apparent that Defendants have “turned a blind eye to ‘red flags’ of obvious infringement.” See H.R. Rep. 105-551(II), at 57. Most importantly, Defendant Fung himself has engaged in unauthorized downloads of copyrighted material; even if those downloads were done abroad and were not actionable under United States copyright law (and thus would not provide “actual knowledge” of illegal activity for purposes of 17 U.S.C. § 512(d)(1)(A)), Fung’s actions show that Fung was aware that infringing material was available on the Defendant websites. Given the “worldwide” nature of the world-wide web, it would have been obvious that United States-based users could access these same infringing materials and thus engage in infringing acts. Defendants provide no evidence to rebut this obvious conclusion that United States-based users would have been able to download the same copyrighted works that Fung himself downloaded.

I included the entire paragraph, but really it’s this sentence that matters:

Given the “worldwide” nature of the world-wide web, it would have been obvious that United States-based users could access these same infringing materials and thus engage in infringing acts.

This is the only time you can find the word ‘world’ in the summary judgement.

Now I’m not a lawyer, but management has to have a basic understanding of the legal system in order to operate. One of the major legal concepts is ‘jurisdiction.’ A court can only issue a ruling for those things it has jurisdiction over. Generally a court in one country cannot issue a ruling about actions in a second country. To give an example, if a user in Germany was to download a movie from ISOHUNT, which is in Canada, a court in the United States would not have jurisdiction.

It would however have jurisdiction over actions in the United States, and that’s what the summary judgment is about.

So when I saw the title of this piece, I knew it was wrong, without even having read the judgement. It was impossible. And it’s too bad, because the article is actually really good. It covers the issues well, and while I may disagree with Barry’s writing, and his interpretations, in general he did a good job. Except for the title.

Come on Barry – you can do better than this. And yes, I know my title is as accurate as yours is. I’m trying to make a point.

Now that I’ve completed this, I’m going to pick up the guitar amp that the dogs knocked over, get out my Telecaster, and play some music. Good night all.


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