Marvel, LiveJournal put Scans Daily refugees on notice

Just when it seemed the copyright-infringement melee had ended between LiveJournal and members of the Scans Daily community, a new player has stepped onto the field: the lawyers.

As Rich Johnston mentioned yesterday, some people who had posted scans of Marvel Comics titles to the now-suspended community have received emails from the LiveJournal Abuse Prevention Team notifying them of complaints of copyright violation.

What's more, the notice includes the complaint from Marvel Entertainment attorney Gregory Pan citing specific examples of infringement and charging that Scans Daily, "continually posts images of Marvel’s comic books on a daily basis and frequently posts significant portions of new comic books released that very week."

Big Shiny Robot has copies of the undated emails, with information removed to hide the identity of the recipient.

That blog and others have made a point of highlighting the paragraph in the notice from LiveJournal informing the recipient that reproducing the correspondence on the website "may be grounds for immediate suspension of the account."

That doesn't strike me as unusual. It would appear to be boilerplate text, likely designed to prevent users from thumbing their noses at LiveJournal administrators by publicly posting reprimands and other behind-the-scenes communications.

However, what I do find interesting is the paragraph that lays out the supposed remedy available to Scans Daily members who might want to protest that certain posts fall under the fair use doctrine: "If you feel that this report is in error or that your use of the material falls under one of the categories permitted under copyright law, you are entitled to file a counter-notification, also under the provisions of US law; please contact us for information on how to do this. Filing a counter-notification indicates that you are willing to defend yourself in court against a charge of copyright infringement, and you may be bound by civil and possibly criminal penalties if you are found liable."

In short: Tell it to the judge.

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