Ashley Biden's Diary & Copyright

Someone stole the diary of the President’s daughter, Ashley. They sold it to a group that claims to be journalists. (I presume the courts will define this broadly.) May the journalist publish all or parts of the diary?

Surely, those who stole the artifact violated the law. I presume the people who paid for the dairy are also criminals. (They sent the crooks back for more stuff, and paid extra for it.)

But once the diary is Out There, how does copyright apply?

A violation of someone’s copyright doesn’t effect the existence of that copyright.

So the New York Times cannot legally print the contents?

Ashley Biden holds exclusive copyright over the material. Bits may be used under fair use.

Of course, the physical diary itself is Biden’s property and must be returned to her; anyone knowingly holding it and not making some effort to return it is committing a crime.

Thank you.

Might an public interest argument be made?

The Wikipedia article on copyright indicates that particular forms/expressions of ideas and information are protected, but not the idea/information itself. So the ideas expressed in Biden’s diary could be extensively paraphrased by other publications.

Fair use doctrine also applies, which would allow publications to quote modest portions of the diary for publication. Fair use does not allow a verbatim reprinting of entire work without permission.

Its already on twitter, and right seem to have ammunition on her early life.

Ammunition to be used against a private citizen. Disgusting.

OK, thank you all. Let’s not go off-topic.

I’ve never heard of a public interest argument to violate copyright. I’ve searched briefly and didn’t find anything, but I’m not a lawyer, let alone a copyright lawyer.

Isn’t receiving stolen property a criminal offense? Are these thieves being charged?

The “public interest” is largely served by the Fair Use provisions. If there are some news-worthy elements in the diary, quoting those bits in a news article would be acceptable.

But a wholesale reprinting of the entire document almost certainly would be a violation of copyright.

Yes, that’s my understanding too.

They’ve already pled guilty.

Those are the people who stole it. The people at Project Veritas who bought it, and encouraged them to steal even more stuff have yet to be convicted, I think. The articles I’ve read indicate that the thieves are cooperating with authorities, though, so hopefully the Veritas bastards will also be going down eventually.

I didn’t even know Biden had a daughter.

Daughter of Joe and Jill.

He also had a little girl, Naomi, with his first wife. Both of them were killed in the car accident. Naomi was just over a year old.

Social worker, activist and philanthropist indeed. Obviously there is dirt to dig up here, how is a social worker making more than $30K a year? She must be using her unscrupulous ties to shady underworld players in league with Hillary’s basement pizza shop! Stealing her diary is patriotic act I tell you!

Jeez, its a wonder they haven’t tried to tie Biden into his wife and young childs death.

Agree. Veritas’ argument that they thought it was legally obtained is pretty thin.

Pretty thin? It’s way more hole than story.