cearta.ie

the Irish for rights

Cross words about copyright and today’s Irish Times simplex crossword

Copyright CrosswordMy dad’s voice comes from the other room, asking “document granting exclusive right to publish?”, adding that “it’s in nine letters”. It turns out that this is the clue for nineteen down in today’s today’s Irish Times simplex crossword. It also turns out that the answer is “copyright”. I had spent at least a quarter of an hour assuring him that the answer couldn’t possibly be “copyright”, because copyright automatically vests if the work is original, and no additional grant of copyright, or document granting an exclusive right to publish, is necessary. As the Patents Office explains “the act of creating a work also creates the copyright, which then subsists in the physical expression of the work”. To the extent that there is anywhere a document granting a right to publish, the closest is an imprimatur, but that didn’t fit. And somebody who holds a copyright in a work can license its use to someone else, and can even licence its exclusive use to someone else, but “licence” didn’t fit either (and anyway, licences are permissions to do lots of things, like drive a car, use a television, or keep a dog; they are not confined to publications or copyrights; and they don’t have to be written documents). When the letters from the interlocking clues gave C_P_R_G_T, I had to concede that the answer was indeed “copyright”, but I continued to insist that the combination of clue and answer is just plain wrong.

When Dad is doing crosswords, we often have debates about the accuracy of crosswords clues and answers, and dictionaries and online searches are deployed to dispute the rigour of a clue or the precision of an answer. It’s all part of the fun of doing crosswords. But, in my view, this combination of clue and answer goes well beyond the bounds of friendly disagreement. It is quite simply false to say that a “copyright” is a “document granting exclusive right to publish”. A quick online search told me that “document granting exclusive right to publish” is used pretty regularly as a crossword clue with “copyright” as the answer. So, it’s wrong a lot. But that makes things worse. Lots of crossword setters use this clue, and lots and lots of unsuspecting crossword solvers are being misled as a consequence. This is a very great shame.

Or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse not to get back to the exam scripts which are not being corrected as I type.

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Welcome

Me in a hatHi there! Thanks for dropping by. I'm Eoin O'Dell, and this is my blog: Cearta.ie - the Irish for rights.

"Cearta" really is the Irish word for rights, so the title provides a good sense of the scope of this blog.

In general, I write here about private law, free speech, and cyber law; and, in particular, I write about Irish law and education policy.

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What I'd like for here is a simple widget that takes the list of feeds from my existing RSS reader and displays it here as a blogroll. Nothing fancy. I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

I had built a blogroll here on my Google Reader RSS subscriptions. Google Reader produced a line of html for each RSS subscription category, each of which I pasted here. So I had a list of my subscriptions as my blogroll, organised by category, which updated whenever I edited Google Reader. Easy peasy. However, with the sad and unnecessary demise of that product, so also went this blogroll. Please take a moment to mourn Google Reader. If there's an RSS reader which provides a line of html for the list of subscriptions, or for each RSS subscription category as Google Reader did, I'd happily use that. So, as I've already begged, I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

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Eoin.

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