Comcast asserts copyright over its court filing, is attempting to shut down news site that reproduced it


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It sounds like Comcast is deliberating on where to go with this since their bluff has been called. The correct action would be to drop the complaint and apologize. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

This case is sort of analogous to the GCHQ attack on the Guardian, only this time it is a corporation that is trying to silence a news website that has ‘copyrighted’ information. It is disturbing how common this type of attack on the media is becoming. It looks like the playbook to censor the media has now become: 1) claim they have classified/copyrighted material, and 2) use that claim to sue/harass them.


Court filings, unless sealed, are public documents. I don’t see any honest legal rationale for claiming the right to copyright them.

So the claim here is that a newspaper shouldn’t be permitted to publish a public court filing alongside a commentary because what? The newspaper is profiting from the copying act? I can’t believe this will survive a motion to dismiss. But there is a lot I couldn’t believe happening these days.


Anyone going before a judge trying to argue this is going to get a contempt finding and a fine.

Can we just simply things by re-building the court system into a blind auction where the company who puts the most money in the brown envelope gets to set the law?
systemically its not too much different from what appears to happen now and it would certainly streamline things.


No they won’t. They will respectfully withdraw their complaint after the judge smacks them down, and meanwhile TorrentFreak has been out of business for weeks, maybe permanently.

And why can’t TorrentFreak turn the tables? Because Comcast is its own host, so there’s no third party to pressure. And that’s the leverage point.


So, quick question. I get that court filings are public documents. Also, White v. West Publishing seems to indicate that the court agrees that the court documents are covered under “fair use”, although given that we only have a ruling and no opinion yet, I guess it’s possible something else was at play. But my real question is: Does this mean I have free rein to take legal opinions and set them to music?


Only if I get to be on the jury, I could do with some extra cash.

Yes. Yes it does. You can go to any courthouse and make copies of any court papers you want. And set them to music. Public court documents are not copyrightable. They belong to the people.

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