US freelances' day in court

THE US Supreme Court is due to hear arguments in Tasini versus Times on March 28. This is the case in which NWU president Jonathan Tasini and colleagues sued the New York Times and other publishers and online database providers for re-selling their work without permission. In September 2000 the regional Court of Appeals found for the writers - and the publishers appealed to the US Supreme Court.

The US Copyright office has given its view on the case. Marybeth Peters, US Register of Copyrights, writes that "the Supreme Court should affirm the decision of the court of appeals." She is quite clear:

The issue in Tasini should not be whether the publishers should be enjoined from maintaining their databases of articles intact, but whether authors are entitled to compensation for downstream uses of their works.

And, she argues in some detail, we are. For the full story visit the NWU at

Last modified: 24 February 2001 - © 2001 contributors
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