Wednesday, April 30, 2014
The ex-spouse of a man who took his own life last year is claiming copyright on his suicide note to have it removed off the Internet. This does raise an interesting legal issue: Does a wife of a man who committed suicide have a legal right to claim copyright of his suicide note? Many are accusing Dina Mackney of abusing copyright law to censor the content of the letter, which does not paint her in a positive light and accuses her of pushing him to commit suicide. Her attempt in censoring the letters content is proving to have the opposite effect. The site for A Voice for Men has refused to take the letter down and others have posted variations of the letter or posted videos on You Tube of the letter being read aloud. It is unlikely she has a valid claim because of the fair use test.
See Mike Masnick, Ex-Wife Allegedly Using Copyright To Take Down Husband's Suicide Note, Tech Dirt, April 25, 2014.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.