Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Copyright Wars - Epilogue

Well, in one last swing at me, the National Portrait Gallery fired off an invoice to the University for the four images I am using on my historical doll website. Of course, I would not authorize payment so I had to forward the invoice to the General Counsel's office. Unfortunately, the General Counsel would not commit time to refute their claim because of the relatively (to them) small amount of money involved. They told me to remove the pictures in question and instructed the Computing Center to disable my website if I did not cooperate. Talk about strong armed tactics!

I find the whole episode very disturbing because essentially, it means that as long as there are institutions out there willing to ignore court rulings and make extortinate demands for copyright they do not hold and other institutions who are unwilling to challenge them, the extortion involving use of public domain works will continue!
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