The National Writers Union, a body which represents 4,000 US writers, is considering filing an appeal after freelancer and union president Jonathan Tasini lost his copyright suit against The New York Times in which he claimed that his writing was being republished on the Internet without permission.
Tasini said he started the action because he believes it's time writers got compensation for magazine and newspaper stories that are reused on the Internet.
"Given that online commerce is still at an early stage of development, the Writers Union believes that now is the time for the industry to adopt practices that help freelance writers make effective use of this new form of publishing," said Philip Mattera, co-chair of the National Writers Union's New Technologies Campaign.
Throwing out Tasini's case, US District Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York hinted at changes afoot when she said that her decision was based on a very precise definition of what constitutes a revision of the original publication according to the Copyright Act of 1976. She pointed out that the law simply did not anticipate the electronic world - and that it is up to Congress to bring the legislation into the modern era.
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