mls law

National Representative for Listing Copyright Infringement

by Victor Lund on September 12, 2011

Copyright protection

I read a funny story over the weekend that embarrassed a rather “less than upstanding” member of the legal community representing newspapers in copyright infringement cases. I will recap that story in a minute, but it did make me think about a few rather important comments made by Brian Larson of Larson/Sobodka at recent conferences. I cannot paraphrase Larson effectively, but summarize that he believes that MLSs should take the issue of Copyright infringement very seriously. (Larson and other legal colleagues are sure to be discussing this at the Legal Symposium as part of the upcoming CMLS Conference). MLSs need to take copyright infringement more seriously. “Today’s infringement response is typically a cease and desist letter,” says Larson. Which is effective, but not necessarily punitive. Although few MLSs have explicit custodial duty, many brokers expect vigorous pursuit of copyright violators. Perhaps it is time for MLSs to take a self assessment  review of how they are actively protecting their data. The funny article made me think of a possible solution for MLSs, which Larson suggests is an absurd idea (and I agree). Assign listing copyright to a third party or law firm who will pursue justice and damages from companies stealing data. This is what the attorney did to build a business of protecting Newspaper content. The newspaper extended copyright to the NewCo in exchange for revenue sharing with the proceeds from the court settlements. In this case, the strategy went horribly wrong for the newspapers and their new company with its attorneys. Here is the story