March 18, 2008

Pro Se Can You See?

You will want to read the complaint, filed by plaintiff appearing pro se, in this action: Duncan v. Universal Music Group et al., No. 08 cv 2762 (S.D.N.Y. complaint filed Mar. 14, 2008). [Request a copy from OTCS.]

A sample [all sic]:

That as a pupil I experienced racism and I suspected that I was being watched and under surveillance both professionally and domestically. I tried to avoid conflict however the stress became severe and I converted to Christianity in 1993.

As a way to relieve stress I sant to myself and became increasingly creative. As part of my devotional time and personal worship I wrote and composed many gospel songs.

That during this period of extreme stress I openly expressed the hope that my songs would be recorded by certain established vocalists and recording artists. I indicated whose these artists were, and made certain stipulation with respect to my work, contained in the Terms of License below. [Eds.: Note the following "terms": "Permission was granted for songs to be recorded and released over a period of years to facilitate the restoration to health of the Plaintiff and to build the Kingdom of God and for the work of the Lord to continue...That in the case of income derived from collections in the United States of America a portion was to be invested in then non existent companies to include Amazon, Yahoo, Ebay, Crocs, Liberty Media...]

That at no time did I intend to party with my legal interest as copyright owner of these songs. Further at no time did I sign any document transferring an or any whole or in ipart of an interest in the songs to anyone or any organization.


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