(Inspired by the recently filed lawsuit against Sony for introducing DAT into the United States.) W R I T E R S S U E P E N C I L M A K E R S A coalition consisting of PEN, the Writers Guild of America, and other organizations representing writers filed a class-action suit today against major pencil manufacturers for copyright infringement. Defendents in the suit include Eberhard Faber, Riviera, Skilcraft, Cascade, Empire Pencil Co., and Dixon Ticonderoga. The writers claim that with modern pencil technology, purchasers of books magazines, newspapers and other printed matter will be able to make exact reproductions of copyrighted material. The suit charges that royalties will be lost when people write out copies of books for friends. A spokesperson for the pencil companies wouldn't comment on the suit until they received a copy, but pointed out that most pencil users buy them for original writing, or to make copies of already purchased material for personal use. They hope the courts will apply the 'fair use' doctorine previously established in a similar case involving video cassete recorders. The writer's coalition wants the courts to impose a royalty charge on each pencil sold. If they are successful against the pencil makers, they say Bic, Parker Bros, and Mont Blanc could be next.
(From the "Rest" of RHF)