The other day my boyfriend, James Pendleton, and I testified in court against my ex-husband, Patrick.
As it became obvious to everyone other than James and I that we really had no case, James tried to suggest that Patrick was committing copyright infringement against him by posting James’ picture, resume, and LinkedIn profile on this website. But as if that wasn’t ludicrous enough, good ol’ James, in his phenomenally ignorant way, actually asked Patrick if he understood that he was in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by publishing that information on this website without James’ consent.
Now, it’s one thing to be misinformed or downright ignorant – but to try to present a legal argument, in an open forum, on a completely misguided misinterpretation of specific laws – well, that’s just idiotic. Particularly when you know your opponent is going to post the transcripts of the hearing on this very same website.
Up to that point, I had actually thought maybe James was at least a little bit intelligent – contrary to what his prior supervisors have stated. But after that hearing there is no doubt in my mind that he is right up there with Kristopher Lauchner and Michael Capuano on the intellectual ladder (for those who don’t know Kristopher and Michael, I’m being facetious – they’re combined intellect is comparable to something similar to a tree stump).
Let’s be a little more specific: James claimed that he was the copyright holder of his resume and of his photograph – the very same resume and photographs he, personally, posted on public websites. He then suggested that copyright law prohibits anybody other the the copyright owner from using such copyrighted material in any way without the consent of the copyright owner. But he didn’t stop there! He then argued that the DMCA made it illegal to reproduce, in any way, such copyrighted material without the owner’s consent. And quite possibly the most ridiculous of his claims was that because he took the picture he is automatically the copyright holder of any such photograph. Ultimately, his claim was that Patrick was violating him by putting his picture and resume on this website and that Patrick was damaging his professional reputation and harming his career.
Here are the problems with his arguments:
- Copyright laws only protect a copyright holder from other parties reproducing and distributing the copyrighted material “for profit”. There is absolutely no clause in any copyright law in the US or Canada which would prohibit other parties from reproducing any copyrighted material for personal and/or non-commercial use and/or for free. Last I checked, Patrick’s not charging anybody anything to view any of the content on this website. Nor is he generating advertising (or any other) revenue from this website.
- The material James is whining about isn’t even copyrighted. Or, more importantly, it isn’t copyrighted by him. If a person creates something and releases it into the public domain then they cannot later copyright it, thereby prohibiting other parties that obtained it while it was in the public domain from freely using it. James has never copyrighted any of the material in question.
- The moment you post any content – including the text of your resume, or a photograph of your own face – on LinkedIn, Indeed.com, or Facebook, that content immediately becomes the property of the entity which owns the respective website. It’s right there in the End User License Agreements which nobody reads. So, if anything, the material in question actually belongs to Indeed.com and LinkedIn – NOT to James Pendleton! For that reason, and others, he has absolutely no standing for a copyright infringement claim. And if LinkedIn or Indeed want to file a civil action against Patrick for reposting such material well, that’s there right I suppose.
- And as for the DMCA, all that did was to criminalize (as opposed to it being a civil matter): a) the deliberate circumventing of a copyright protection scheme; b) increases the criminal penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet; and, c) absolves Internet service providers of any liability resulting from any copyright infringement committed by their customers/users. In other words: It has absolutely nothing to do with ANY of what he was talking about!!!
- Even if the DMCA did apply, which it so clearly doesn’t, it is a US law and is not enforceable and has absolutely no legal relevance outside the US. Patrick doesn’t live in the US and this website is not hosted in the US. So, once again – absolutely no applicability!
- The “fair use” doctrine allows for copyrighted material to be used without the consent of the copyright holder, for the purposes of comment, critique, parody, news reporting, et cetera. The intended uses of James’ information and likeness, on this website, falls cleanly into those categories. The primary focus of this website is to report news relating to me and to criticize and parody every aspect of my existence – including the fact that I am living and having regular, sweaty, nasty-ass sex with someone with the intelligence of turnip.
So given the facts, the evidence, I would have to conclude that James is actually NOT so smart. His thought processes – based on how he attempted to present his arguments – is fairly consistent with the typical chronic drug user.