RECEIVED: DMCA Copyright Infringement Notification – “Adjustment Team” by Philip K. Dick

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Though the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law, and hasn’t been adopted by Canada, I suspect that’s not the point of the following email.

DMCA Notice

The post that Kristina Moore refers to is HERE. It has comments on it that clarify why one of the links is now dead.

But that’s not the end of the story, lets go back a bit and consider why I was contacted at all. Let’s take it as a hypothetical given that, as Kristina Moore’s email is claiming, Adjustment Team is copyrighted.

I don’t believe that to be the case, not from what I read about it being a case of copyfraud. But even so, lets assume Moore’s claim to be true. What then does that have to do with my post? I did not post the story. I linked to it. And from my reading of Chilling Effects FAQ page on linking (and deep linking), that is not a copyright violation under the DMCA. And, even if it were the DMCA is United States law, not a Canadian one.

Now I will admit I did put up, and host, two pictures from the original publication in Orbit Science Fiction’s Sept-Oct. 1954 issue – but that surely can’t be what The Wylie Agency was upset about. The Philip K. Dick estate certainly does not hold the rights to the images. And, yes, though I did link to an audiobook version of Adjustment Team, that file was removed from LibriVox because of a similar DMCA notification to LibriVox.

In case you would like to do your own research on the matter, I point you to the Wikimedia Commons source for Adjustment Team. Where the story is still available HERE. That’s where I got the pictures.

I will leave up my original post until I get a reasonable explanation for why I shouldn’t. In hopes of getting one I have replied to Moore’s email with an invitation to appear as a guest The SFFaudio Podcast.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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19 thoughts to “RECEIVED: DMCA Copyright Infringement Notification – “Adjustment Team” by Philip K. Dick”

  1. The email reply came:

    “I am now out of the office, returning Tuesday, April 26. I will respond to your e-mail upon my return.”

  2. To Mr. Jesse Willis:

    In keeping with Ms. Moore’s approach this serves as a statement that I hold exclusive world-wide rights to my opinions and as such am the duly authorized representative of me. Therefore I hereby make an unequivocal demand for contributory inclusion in any podcast that involves Ms. Moore’s participation. Given that common knowledge recognizes Canada as a mere loft apartment above a really good party I have a reasonable expectation that you are subject to US values regardless of your geographic location. The fact that you did not actually reproduce the story or violate copyright law does not apply to the situation. You have been duly notified. Don’t make me come up there.

    Sincerely;
    Gregg Margarite

  3. The GMCA (Gregg Margarite Copyright Act) may not have a legal leg to stand on, but I expect it could hover sufficiently well in any argument of this type. Your demand, therefore, of inclusion is gratefully accepted and your participation would be quite lovely.

  4. Copyright laws as they are written stink, they are deliberately obtuse and designed to protect corporate, not individual rights.

    However, this is not a case of copyfraud. “Adjustment Team” was published in 1954 and the copyright was renewed in 1983 (Registration Number RE0000190631) in time for the 28 years (+/- one year allowed) deadline.

    Via the US Copyright Search Engine http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First

    As to the second point. According to eLawFacts “linking to or transmitting information on how to access copyrighted material illegally” is “Contributory Copyright Infringement” and while “you cannot go to jail for contributory infringement but could be sued by the copyright owners and could face stiff penalties if you loose the case.”
    http://www.elawfacts.com/contributory-copyright-infringment-and-illegal-linking/

    As to the Canadian Laws, beats the heck out of me. Trying to wade through one ridiculous labyrinth of legalese is enough for me. But there are so many international treaties on copyright that I’d be quite surprised if one didn’t cover this situation to the detriment of the individual.

    Might I be the first to propose a fifty year limit on copyrights and trademarks? In most cases, all real value is gone by then and the copyrights are maintained only in the hopes of a lawsuit. Either through a change in laws or through boycotting authors/estates who don’t relinquish their copyrights after fifty years. Just a thought.

  5. Does she realize the copyright filed for Adjustment Team is invalid because it was not renewed in the allotted time? (28 years).

    What really happened is the Literary Agency licensed the movie rights for big money without realizing that the work was in Public Domain, so now they are trying to cover their ass by threatening to take legal action to anybody that claims otherwise.

    What Wylie Literary Agency did was license rights that they don’t hold to Universal Studios and Universal should be demanding their money back. In fact Universal could sue them for damages. In fact some smart independent film maker can make their own version of the movie based on the story (or make a sequel).

    But even then, why send a DMCA to SFFaudio for a posting with a link to Adjustment Team. You’re not hosting it. She’s just dumb. And doesn’t know law.

    You can send her a DMCA Counter Notification. Then she has the right to respond with further legal action. But I don’t believe they could be that dumb. Although they are dumb.

    You might want to forward the DMCA to EFF (Electronic Frontiers Foundation). They might give you very good advise on what you should do next.

    Did I mention that I thought the literary agency was dumb. In case I didn’t, they are!

  6. Now that it put it that way, maybe the whole think is a joke.

    Agents are running around trying to make an adjustment to reality.

  7. Jesse asked me to comment on David Tackett comments posted above. I think he would like me to elucidate on the copyright law. I know my limits and don’t have the hubris to claim that I understand them in their Byzantine complexities.

    I do believe the U.S. copyright on the Adjustment Team story is lapsed, but I totally agree that there’s enough grayness to the issue that could raise serious litigation if the stakes are considered high enough.

    As a publisher that often publishes Public Domain material, I considered publishing Adjustment Team. I had second thoughts due to this very reason of possible litigation. Not a battle I want to pick. Call me chicken but prudent. :)

  8. This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 with a copyright notice, and its copyright was not renewed. Unless its author has been dead for several years, it is copyrighted in the countries or areas that do not apply the rule of the shorter term for US works, such as Canada (50 pma), Mainland China (50 pma, not Hong Kong or Macao), Germany (70 pma), Mexico (100 pma), Switzerland (70 pma), and other countries with individual treaties. See this page for further explanation.
    ——————————————————————————–
    Above copied from the Permissions section of the .djvu file description.
    ____
    In the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, a similar rule exists, but not for “classes of works” but considering individual works. Article 7(8) of the Berne Convention reads:

    In any case, the term shall be governed by the legislation of the country where protection is claimed; however, unless the legislation of that country otherwise provides, the term shall not exceed the term fixed in the country of origin of the work. — Berne Convention, article 7(8).[5]
    Again, application of this rule is not mandatory.[6] Any country may “provide otherwise” in its legislation. To do so, it is not necessary to include an explicit exception in the domestic copyright law,[7] as the example of the United States shows.

    The Berne Convention also states in article 5(2) that the enjoyment and exercise of copyright

    …shall be independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work. Consequently, apart from the provisions of this Convention, the extent of protection, as well as the means of redress afforded to the author to protect his rights, shall be governed exclusively by the laws of the country where protection is claimed. — Berne Convention, article 5(2).[1]
    This specifies national treatment, and also makes the existence of copyright on a work in one country independent from the existence of copyright on the work in other countries.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_the_shorter_term#Bilateral_copyright_treaties
    _________

    Apparently Canada doesn’t apply the rule of the shorter term to works from NAFTA countries and there is Canadian copyright protection for “Adjustment Team” until 50 years after the author’s death regardless of whether there is US copyright protection.

    If that is correct, you’d need to see what Canadian copyright law applies to “Adjustment Team” and whether The Philip K. Dick Testamentary Trust holds the rights to the story in Canada. Possibly the story is protected by copyright in Canada and someone owns the rights but not The Philip K. Dick Testamentary Trust. Philip K. Dick died intestate and his three children inherited US rights to his works. The “Testamentary Trust” didn’t even exist until long after “Adjustment Team” entered the public domain in the US so the transfer of a mixture of real and imaginary rights from the children to The Philip K. Dick Testamentary Trust in the US may be irrelevant to Canadian law as far as the imaginary rights are concerned. Assuming for the sake of discussion this is the case, there would have to have been some valid transfer of rights under Canadian law to The Philip K. Dick Testamentary Trust in order for that entity to be the “rights holder” in Canada. I have no idea whether or not such a transfer was made.

    Why not ask the Wylie Agency to state and document the basis for the claim The Philip K. Dick Testamentary Trust owns the rights to “Adjustment Team” in Canada?

    I believe the story is still available on Wikimedia Commons because all the servers it is on are located in the US so that only US copyright law applies, “Adjustment Team” is in the public domain in the US, the Wikimedia Foundation has the money to fight an expensive lawsuit and litigation could result in a very unpleasant court order.

    The “work” below is in the public domain in the US because it was made by a United States employee in the course of his or her employment. I can’t think of any reason it would not be in the public domain in Canada.
    +++++

    The Copyright Office is an office of record and does not have an investigative function.

    With regard to the specific issue you discuss below, i.e. whether a particular registration record gives correct information about when a short story was first published, the Copyright Office can take no action to correct or cancel the registration if the registration record properly reflects the publication information provided by the applicant. Also, the Copyright Office cannot act on information provided by a third party. Should the party of record or a Court request amendment or cancelation of a record, the Office would then consider what action, if any, would be appropriate.

    Jane Rinard
    Supervisory Registration Specialst
    Renewals

  9. David Tackett,

    You wrote:

    However, this is not a case of copyfraud. “Adjustment Team” was published in 1954 and the copyright was renewed in 1983 (Registration Number RE0000190631) in time for the 28 years (+/- one year allowed) deadline.

    Via the US Copyright Search Engine http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First

    Did you read Registration Number RE0000190631 and check what it said against bibliographic references or copyright notices in collections of the authors short stories? Did you just see there was a listing for “Adjustment Team” and assume it must be correct? Did you notice the discrepancy of publication sources and dates but think it was some correctable error based on a misunderstanding of what the time period for renewal was? I’m geussing something like that is why you stated this is not a case of copyfraud.

    Google thimblerig. I picked that username to make a point and to make a pun on one of the story titles, not to sockpuppet.

    When I first noticed something was wrong I didn’t know if the online catalog was official and I only noticed two stories from Orbit magazine were off. After a while I looked for Philip K. Dick at Project Gutenberg, saw a number of stories there and thought either a mistake in the Copyright Catalog database was causing innocent infringement or there was a problem with the renewal and the estate was going to have a big problem very soon when it came to light that it had mistakenly made many financial agreements selling rights it didn’t own. If a false prophet is an oxymoron, that may be what I am because this was over two years ago. After a while I checked that the online catalog was official and contacted it about the two stories. I was suspicious by then but preoccupied with other matters. While waiting for a reply I pulled out a bibliography and in less than an hour spotted over 20 errors with a pattern so contacted the Copyright Office again.

    I’ve copied and pasted the text of the Copyright Catalog Entry for Registration Number RE0000190631 below. I don’t see any work entitled “Adjustment Team” published in 1954 listed. I do see an “Adjustment Team” published in Imaginative tales, Sept. 1955 listed.

    A search by Registration Number B00000542735 shows a renewal for “Buck and the Space War” by Mack Reynolds which matchs the listed contents at http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?IMGTLSSEP1955 and “Adjustment Team” by Philip K. Dick which doesn’t match the listed contents at B00000542735.

    Regardless, even the official website at http://www.philipkdick.com/films_adjustmentbureau.html states Adjustment Bureau is “Based on the 1954 short story ‘Adjustment Team’ by Philip K. Dick” while all the Copyright Office Entries I can find for “Adjustment Team” or Adjustment Bureau relate to the mysterious 1955 “Adjustment Team” listed in RE0000190631. All publicity and mention of the movie I’ve seen refer to it being based on the 1954 story.

    I count over 20 works listed in RE0000190631 with the titles of 1954 works which permanently entered the public domain on January 1, 1983 because their copyrights had not been renewed within the statutory time period for renewal. None of these “1955” works exist.

    I’ve recently learned who signed the renewal application and am certain that person was duped. I don’t know who was responsible for the bogus entries on the application. But after all this time and so many financial transactions I’ve got to wonder, “What did the President know and when did he know it?”

    [War veteran, and other contributions.] By Philip K. Dick.

    Type of Work: Serial
    Registration Number / Date: RE0000190631 / 1983-11-22
    Title: [War veteran, and other contributions.] By Philip K. Dick.
    Copyright Claimant: Laura Coelho, Christopher Dick & Isa Dick (C)
    Contributions: (In If: worlds of science fiction, Mar. 1955) War veteran. Pub. 1955-01-10; B00000513322.
    (In Galaxy science fiction, Mar. 1955) Shell game. Pub. 1955-01-21; B00000515180.
    (In Planet stories, spring 1955) James P. Crow. Pub. 1955-02-07; B00000518882.
    (In If: worlds of science fiction, Apr. 1955) Captive market. Pub. 1955-02-10; B00000518554.
    (In If: worlds of science fiction, Apr. 1955) The Golden man. Pub. 1955-02-10; B00000518554.
    (In Amazing stories, May 1955) Small town. Pub. 1955-02-10; B00000530393.
    (In Fantastic universe, May 1955) Survey team. Pub. 1955-03-08; B00000525432.
    (In If: worlds of science fiction, May 1955) Foster, you’re dead. Pub. 1955-03-10; B00000525292.
    (In Beyond science fiction, no. 10) Upon the dull earth. Pub. 1955-03-10; B00000524929.
    (In Science fiction stories, May 1955) The Turning wheel. Pub. 1955-03-14; B00000531302.
    (In Startling stories, spring 1955) Nanny. Pub. 1955-03-15; B00000524977.
    (In If: worlds of science fiction, June 1955) Prominent author. Pub. 1955-04-12; B00000530256.
    (In Imagination, stories of science and fantasy, June 1955) The Hood maker. Pub. 1955-04-28; B00000531424.
    (In Future magazine, June 1955) Sales pitch. Pub. 1955-05-25; B00000558106.
    (In Amazing stories, July 1955) Breakfast at twilight. Pub. 1955-04-07; B00000531095.
    (In Uncanny tales, July 1955) Of withered apples. Pub. 1955-05-06; B00000540363.
    (In Fantastic universe, July 1955) A Surface raid. Pub. 1955-05-06; B00000533924.
    (In Science fiction stories, July 1955) Jon’s world. Pub. 1955-05-13; B00000534709.
    (In Science fiction stories, July 1955) Service call. Pub. 1955-05-13; B00000534709.
    (In Imagination, stories of science and fantasy, July 1955) The Chromium fence. Pub. 1955-05-26; B00000538358.
    (In Imagination, stories of science and fantasy, July 1955) The Crawlers. Pub. 1955-05-26; B00000538358.
    (In Startling stories, summer 1955) Time pawn. Pub. 1955-06-14; B00000540374.
    (In If: worlds of science fiction, Aug. 1955) The Mold of Yancy. Pub. 1955-06-14; B00000539794.
    (In Galaxy science fiction, Aug. 1955) A World of talent. Pub. 1955-06-20; B00000540134.
    (In Imaginative tales, Sept. 1955) Adjustment team. Pub. 1955-07-07; B00000542735.
    (In Fantastic universe, Oct. 1955) Souvenir. Pub. 1955-08-04; B00000548922.
    (In If: worlds of science fiction, Oct. 1955) Progeny. Pub. 1955-08-10; B00000552979.
    (In Startling stories, fall 1955) Human is. Pub. 1955-09-13; B00000552873.
    (In Future, Oct. 1955) Meddler. Pub. 1955-09-27; B00000559886.
    (In Imaginative tales, Nov. 1955) The Last of the masters. Pub. 1955-09-01; B00000552340.
    (In Imaginative tales, Nov. 1955) Psi-man, heal my child! Pub. 1955-09-01; B00000552340.
    (In Galaxy science fiction, Nov. 1955) Autofac. Pub. 1955-10-10; B00000557226.
    (In Imagination science fiction, Dec. 1955) Strange Eden. Pub. 1955-09-29; B00000556441.
    (In If: worlds of science fiction, Dec. 1955) Exhibit piece. Pub. 1955-10-11; B00000558541.
    (In Magazine of fantasy & science fiction, Dec. 1955) The Father-thing. Pub. 1955-10-19; B00000561171.
    (In Fantastic universe, Jan. 1956) Minority report. Pub. 1955-11-10; B00000565461.
    (In Imagination science fiction, Feb. 1956) To serve the master. Pub. 1955-12-01; B00000566198.

    Other Title: If: worlds of science fiction, Mar. 1955
    Galaxy science fiction, Mar. 1955
    Planet stories, spring 1955
    If: worlds of science fiction, Apr. 1955
    The Golden man.
    Amazing stories, May 1955
    Fantastic universe, May 1955
    If: worlds of science fiction, May 1955
    Beyond science fiction, no. 10
    The Turning wheel.
    Science fiction stories, May 1955
    Startling stories, spring 1955
    If: worlds of science fiction, June 1955
    The Hood maker.
    Imagination, stories of science and fantasy, June 1955
    Future magazine, June 1955
    Amazing stories, July 1955
    Uncanny tales, July 1955
    A Surface raid.
    Fantastic universe, July 1955
    Science fiction stories, July 1955
    The Chromium fence.
    Imagination, stories of science and fantasy, July 1955
    The Crawlers.
    Startling stories, summer 1955
    The Mold of Yancy.
    If: worlds of science fiction, Aug. 1955
    A World of talent.
    Galaxy science fiction, Aug. 1955
    Imaginative tales, Sept. 1955
    Fantastic universe, Oct. 1955
    If: worlds of science fiction, Oct. 1955
    Startling stories, fall 1955
    Future, Oct. 1955
    The Last of the masters.
    Imaginative tales, Nov. 1955
    Galaxy science fiction, Nov. 1955
    Imagination science fiction, Dec. 1955
    If: worlds of science fiction, Dec. 1955
    The Father-thing.
    Magazine of fantasy & science fiction, Dec. 1955
    Fantastic universe, Jan. 1956
    Imagination science fiction, Feb. 1956
    Names: Dick, Philip K.
    Coelho, Laura
    Dick, Christopher
    Dick, Isa

  10. Perhaps you should email Ms. Moore again. If I were in your situation, I believe I would do so. I would state that a mere story title is insufficient to identify the alledgedly infringed material and ask for the details of what copyright renewal registration number the story is protected by in the United States where your server(s) are located. I would also state that I have searched the US Copyright Office records and located renewals made in 1982 of two stories published in Orbit, Sept.-Oct. 1954 which list B00000486659 as the “blanket copyright” for that magazine. Additionally http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?ORBMAGSEP1954 shows these stories were published in that magazine as do other standard bibliographies. Those stories are “Danger Past” by James E. Gunn and “The Thinker and the Thought” by August Derleth [i.e. August William Derleth]. A search of the Copyright Catalog by Registration Number B00000486659 does not show any renewal of the story entitled “Adjustment Team” by Philip K. Dick which was first published in Orbit, Sept.-Oct., 1954 according to all bibliographic information I am aware of.

    A search or the Copyright Catalog by title for “Adjustment Team” does show a story of that title by Philip K. Dick listed as first published in Imaginative Tales, Sept. 1955 and renewed in 1983 in Registration Number RE0000190631 which states the “blanket copyright” for Imaginative Tales, Sept. 1955 was B00000542735. A search by Registration Number of B00000542735 also shows a renewal of “Buck and the Space War” by Mack Reynolds. Bibliographic searchs show the story by Reynolds as published in that magazine but do not show any story by Philip K. Dick published in that magazine.

    Regardless of that discrepancy between the Copyright Catalog Entry and bibliographies which may be of great interest to others, it is not obviously relevant to this matter. The derivative work based on “Adjustment Team” I had a link to was a derivative work based on the well known “Adjustment Team” published in Orbit, Sept.-Oct. 1954. That story did not have its copyright renewed during the required time period and entered the public domain in the United States on January 1, 1983.

    It appears, at best, that The Wylie Agency negligently sent me a DMCA Copyright Infringement Notification without researching whether the story entitled “Adjustment Team” at issue is a different story of the same title or the story on which the Wylie Agency’s client claims to hold of a valid US copyright. I dispute the statement that my “use” of the US public domain work I had a link to is unauthorized by law. My understanding is that the general rule in federal and state laws in the United States is that an unqualified statement of what one does not know to be true is equivalent to a statement of what one knows to be false when the statement is made under penalty of perjury. I request that you confirm the accuracy of the statements made in the DMCA Copyright Infringement Notification with reference to appropriate documentation as expediently as possible or acknowledge the notification was incorrect and you withdraw your objections.

    *******
    I’ve had many interruptions and distractions while writing this and don’t seem to have been consistent about paraphrasing what I would write and writing in the first person. If you do wish to email Ms. Moore that is one thing to keep in mind. Another is that I am not a lawyer, I am expressing an opinion about what I think would say but am not giving you legal advice and don’t know if there are pitfalls an email such as this could lead you into or if you are familiar enough with the Copyright Catalog and the US copyright laws relevant to this particular situation to make the searchs I mentioned or reach the same conclusions I have; making the searches and having the facts at hand are not something to bluff about. Yet another thing to keep in mind is that in recent years the “Trust” has aquired a frightenlng reputation among some people as a very aggressive, belligerent and wealthy entity lacking many of the ethical and moral values Philip K. Dick regarded very highly.

    Some search results have been emailed to Ms. Moore from the Copyright Catalog. I don’t think the system shows who emails search results but if it does the emails will point to me, not to you. I mention this in case Ms. Moore enquires about emails from the Copyright Catalog with the assumption you sent them, know what was sent, have any responsibility for the sending of these public records or at least know some emails from the catalog were sent to her.

  11. I have now sent a follow up email to Kristina Moore:

    Dear Kristina Moore,

    I am writing you as a follow up to your email entitled: “DMCA Copyright Infringement Notification – “Adjustment Team” by Philip K. Dick”

    When I wrote you back, on April 22, 2011, I was told you would be out of the office until April 26th. It is now November 16th. I have yet to receive a reply. I was wondering if you were planning on replying to my email?

    I’ve researched the matter thoroughly and can point you to several posts on SFFaudio which show this research. I did not post a copyrighted story called Adjustment Team, but rather I linked to one which is in the US public domain. So, in short, I dispute the statement that the US public domain work I liked to is unauthorized by US law. My understanding is that the general rule in federal and state laws in the United States is that an unqualified statement of what one does not know to be true is equivalent to a statement of what one knows to be false when the statement is made under penalty of perjury. Your signature is on that email. I request that you confirm the accuracy of the statements you made in the DMCA Copyright Infringement Notification you sent me and that you do so with particular reference to appropriate documentation. Please do so as expediently as possible or acknowledge the notification was incorrect and that you withdraw your objections.

    Sincerely,
    Jesse Willis

  12. It will be interesting to read what, if anything, she has to say in reply. Maybe she’ll send a DMCA notice about the link to the scan of the story on Wikimedia Commons. Maybe she’ll send a DMCA notice to Wikimedia Commons. Or maybe she already has. I think all DMCA notices to Wikimedia Foundation sites are archived and have been meaning to search for whether any such notices have been sent.

    BTW, the philipkdickfans.com site is back up and looking for PKD related news. I think this and some other items on your site qualify.

  13. Tomorrow is April 26. How time flies.
    There’s a story you might want to check out related to “Adjustment Team” and copyright.

    ‘Adjustment Bureau’ Case Takes Strange Turn With Dueling Lawsuits
    UPDATED: Media Rights Capital files suit in federal court over the 2011 film, a day after the Phillip K. Dick estate refiles its own case in state court.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/adjustment-bureau-lawsuits-media-rights-capital-315721

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