Re: [asa] Expelled Explained

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Sat Apr 12 2008 - 20:52:05 EDT

In response to Rich's questions: I don't want to talk about the specifics
of any allegations against any real person which may or may not be true, and
I want to be clear that I'm not endorsing any allegations made against
anyone. So, I'll offer some personal opinions on genercized questions.

 1. Are alleged connections between an individual and the producers of an
allegedly infringing video something that can be part of discovery in a
copyright lawsuit?

Answer: Discovery is very broad, so yes, assuming such evidence existed, it
conceivably could be part of discovery.

2. How exposed would an individual be personally if he or she distributed or
performed a copyrighted work without the copyright owner's permission?

Answer: Assuming there was an infringement, in terms of individual
liability, much would depend on whether the individual involved was acting
under some kind of corporate umbrella.

3. If there is a connection does a pattern of copying make it relevant even
when the parties are different?

Answer: It could be; it depends on the nature of the connection. These
kinds of things tend to be very fact specific.

4. How far do things like selecting among many variable ways to portray a
scene affect "abstraction-filtration-comparison" and the other legal
concepts mentioned above?

Answer: This kind of thing often makes for an interesting case. On the one
hand, no one can monopolize the idea of showing something like a protein
sequence, even a particular sequence, in 3D. On the other hand, things like
scene selection and camera angle, to the extent they aren't necessary to
express that idea, can render a particular expression protectible. The fact
that there are multiple details from which to select could certainly be a
relevant factor here. As to fair use, the key issue there really is the
amount copied and the effect on the market value for the work. As a very
general rule, the more discretion there is in editing and selecting from
among various factors, the less similarity will be tolerated.

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Received on Sat Apr 12 20:53:24 2008

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