One of the (many) frustrating elements of the recent freeman-on-the-land woo-fest is their ability to pick and choose interpretations of the law to suit their claims. While this may be the basis of most careers in law, it is far less satisfying to see it done with no consistency and little or no understanding of the underlying principles upon which the claims are based.
One of the more irksome effects of this pick-and-mix approach is the large number of contradictions it produces. While it is not for me to pick apart every element of the faux-legal arguments advanced (although I must admit I am tempted) I will comment on the copyright issues.
Getoutofdebtfree’s recommend the so-called “declaration of copyright trademark” (which I’ve already debunked here). This direction holds that by making a simple declaration in a local newspaper you can establish copyright in, and a trade mark of, your name. Now while this is bollocks on many levels, it also explicitly contradicts another key freeman theory that holds that:
“All registered names are Crown copyright.” – ‘commonly known as dom’, Cif, 15 November 2011.
CKA Dom’s claim is based on a fingers-in-ears interpretation of the Crown copyright notice on a birth certificate.
Copyright in the layout of a blank birth certificate form in the UK belongs to the Crown, as is the case with the layout of most government documents that are to be completed by their users. This is to ensure that no other body can copy or issue blank versions of these forms – sensible enough.
Ignoring the fact that it is not competent to claim copyright in a person’s name, we can also be sure that it is a clear bastardisation of copyright law (and common sense) to suggest that by placing a copyright notice on a blank form the Crown can somehow claim to own the rights in the completed form which will necessarily include “work” produced by a third party.
If that is not enough, it is made clear in a number of places that the copyright notice on government forms extends only to the layout of the form. You don’t need to spend hours in your local law library to work this out, you don’t even need to open Copinger and Skone James on Copyright, as the National Archives’ guide to Copying Birth, Death, Marriage and Civil Partnership Certificates is the first result on Google for “copyright in birth certificate” and helpfully advises in the first paragraph that:
“Copyright in the layout of certificates is owned by the Crown. The Crown does not assert any rights of ownership in the contents of the forms.”
Et voilà: another simple debunking of a freeman copyright theory.
So how is it that the freemen not only propose both of these contradictory interpretations, but also manage to go one step further and claim that despite (claim one) the Crown owning the copyright in your name, you can (claim two) claim this as your own and use it as a threat to stop people seeking repayment of your debts?
Haven’t they missed out some form of assignment? A “Dear Liz, Please sign the enclosed copyright assignment document so I can seek to exclude myself from the jurisdiction of your treasonous courts.” letter perhaps? Maybe this is only available to the premium subscribers of getoutofdebtfree.org.
Unfortunately I imagine this is another woo-based question to which we will not receive an answer. Mainly because Queen Elizard-beth II is too busy hiding her bright green tail in her regal frocks to open her archives of hundreds of assignment documents made out in favour of Joe of the family Bloggs.