Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Court Accepts Copyright Case

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Court Accepts Copyright Case

Article excerpt

Supremos to review 'Tasini v. NYT'

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether newspapers and commercial archives must pay free-lance writers for including their work in electronic archives.

The high court on Nov. 6 agreed to take up an appeal lodged by The New York Times, Newsday, and three other companies that lost a landmark 1999 decision to six writers. The writers, including National Writers Union President Jonathan Tasini, said newspapers and other publishers had illegally republished free-lancers' work without compensating them.

Lower courts have yet to decide what remedy the publishers must offer for violating the free-lancers' copyright. The Times, in asking the Supreme Court to consider the case, said the lower court ruling would force the destruction of CD-ROMS that contain free-lancers' work, and would force publishers and electronic-database companies to delete tens of thousands of free-lance articles from their archives. The argument has attracted prominent allies. …

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