The Copyright Justice League

One of the particularly foul trolls that frequently reads this blog but comments anonymously over on Clr. Buck’s blog decided to raise the issue of reproduction rights with respect to an image I posted on my blog. You can read the rather uninformed remark towards the end of the thread here: http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4506868496663273256&postID=1916685960833903855

Using the wonderful antiquated pot/kettle analogy, no doubt by the very same sniveling troll suggests that my posting of an image with questionable rights somehow makes me a hypocrite. How so is not clear.

If that wasn’t enough this troll seemed to want to lecture me as to what constitutes "the world of publishing", because it is so obvious that this anonymous champion of justice is an expert on the subject.

While spewing effluent around the comments section of an unrelated post on a completely different blog no where did this troll provide any substance to their allegation, nor did they cite any section of copyright law that I was in contravention of.

Seeing as it is obviously too much to expect this trolls puny little mind to power their underutilized limbs to do any heavy lifting I will help the rather pathetic figure out and offer this overview of fair use from the Nolo Law for All site:
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/fair-use-rule-copyright-material-30100.html

As this troll is so sure of their knowledge with respect to copyright surely specifying the particular image that violated fair use either by way of criticism and comment, news reporting or parody would have been an easy task.

But that didn’t happen.

It is particularly interesting the timing of such a concern. Perhaps the cowardly troll’s attention is now focused on the Error Banner which on page 20 of their Sunday March 31st edition ran this:

The event itself at the Aurora Public Library looks fantastic and is an example of their unmatched excellence in cultural programming here in Aurora.

What is of concern is the image above featured a promotional image for a Warner Bros. Animation television series that ran on the cartoon Network in the early 2000’s : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League_(TV_series)

Here is a closer look at that image:

Checking the Aurora Public Library website shows that they did not use this image to promote the same event so it was likely the choice of the Banner’s editor.

The Error Banner is a for profit venture.

They ran advertising on the opposing page to this image.

Given the outcome of this somewhat similar case I suspect what the Banner has done would not qualify as "fair use": http://www.petapixel.com/2012/08/14/newspaper-agrees-to-pay-woman-400-after-sparking-debate-over-fair-use/

So the question remaining is were the appropriate rights to re-publish for profit secured before the Banner decided to publish?

If so why is the image unattributed?

It appears that DC Entertainment, parent of DC Comics is very particular about their copyrights which are covered on their website here: http://www.dcentertainment.com/copyright as well as on the Warner Bros. site here: http://www.warnerbros.com/privacy/terms.html

So if the Banner did secure the rights to use the image they won’t have anything to worry about when they receive a follow up from Warner Bros. legal department.

If they didn’t however it certainly raises some eyebrows as to how that paper operates in the "world of publishing".

Will those operating in the shadows be brought to justice by the league, or at least one masked armchair hero lurking on Clr. Buck’s blog?

Or will the troll with their tights in a knot simply meet the same fate as Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency fabled Captain Copyright featured above? His obituary can be found here: http://www.zeropaid.com/news/8349/captain_copyright_rip/

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