PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Glenn Peterson
, a noted attorney, has long taken on cases involving copyright law and has, over the course of his career, accumulated a reputation as a highly regarded intellectual property lawyer. His opinion regarding a recent copyright law debate, then, is extremely valuable in understanding the nature of this case.
The Washington Post reports that a debate has been sparked regarding the requirement to buy legal codes that are mandatory for many industries to follow, including construction and safety. Because these codes are not, in many cases, covered by copyright, the need to purchase them has been refuted by many individuals. Additionally, it has been cited as unfair that individuals must adhere to these codes but much purchase them first. While there are many points that have been made on both sides of the debate, Peterson asserts that these guidelines should be copyrighted and then protected as such.
"I have no problem with standards purveyors claiming copyright protection for their work," comments Glenn Peterson. "Publications of this nature amply qualify for copyright protection, and anyone wishing to use (or republish) those standards should be permitted to do so under already existing guidelines--i.e., Section 107 of the Copyright Act."
Peterson goes on to explain that this section details the multiple purposes for which individuals may use copyrighted work that may be considered fair, including criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. But there are four factors that must be considered when deciding whether or not fair use is in play: the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the work that is copyrighted, the amount of the copyrighted work in use, and the effect that use has on the market for the copyrighted work.
"Section 107 should protect me if I made a copy of the standards for my own reference, as this falls under the category of research," Peterson asserts. "But it would not protect someone who reproduces the standards verbatim for consumption by others, even if doing so was not for profit. Someone wishing to 'simplify' the standards, or make them more accessible to readers, might also be protected by creating a transformative work--i.e. one that is materially different when compared to the original. So an author can write their own interpretation of a standard, and even get copyright protection for it, assuming it is sufficiently transformative."
Peterson further comments: "The fact that industry codes or standards are incorporated into laws (such as building codes) does not change the analysis. Copyright fundamentals still apply, and they are sufficient to strike a balance between private ownership and public domain."
Glenn Peterson encourages anyone who has questions about copyright law to seek the guidance of a qualified and experienced legal professional.
Founder of a boutique legal firm in Sacramento, California, Glenn Peterson
specializes in intellectual property, franchise, copyright, trademark, business litigation, and business torts cases. Peterson has earned a law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California, where he acted as the editor-in-chief for the Law Review. During his undergraduate years Peterson attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and was an editorial cartoonist for multiple publications, such as the Daily Bruin. In addition to his legal work, Peterson is a known writer and speaker who is the member of numerous professional associations and organizations.