I samband med nedanstående inlägg, och i beaktande av att det är allhelgonahelg, vill jag gärna klippa in följande fall som jag tipsades om på den alltid lika upplysande e-post-listan Obligations Discussion Group (ODG).

Det första är ett upphovsrättsligt fall medan det andra är ett, well, annat fall. I Urantia v Maaherra så hävdades upphovsrätt till den s.k. Urantia Book, som ‘was authored by celestial beings and transcribed, compiled and collected by mere mortals.’ Domaren fann följande (och jag kursiverar litet för att göra fallet mer allmängiltigt intressant):

 ”The copyrightability issue is not a metaphysical one requiring the courts to determine whether or not the Book had celestial origins. … For copyright purposes, … a work is copyrightable if copyright is claimed by the first human beings who compiled, selected, coordinated, and arranged the Urantia teachings, ‘in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship.’ 17 USC s 101 (defining a ‘compilation’)”

Ett annat copyright-fall är Cummins v Bond [1927] 1 Ch 167, som av Colin Liew på ODG presenteras på följande vis: In the spirit of Halloween, again from the law of copyright, in Cummins v Bond [1927] 1 Ch 167, a medium produced The Chronicles of Cleophas in several psychic seances allegedly under the influence of an external psychic agent. When the defendant (who was present at the relevant sessions) published these, the medium sued for copyright infringement. Although all concerned testified that ‘the true originator of all that is found in these documents is some being no longer inhabiting this world, and who has been out of it for a length of time sufficient to justify the hope that he has no reasons for wishing to return to it’, the medium’s claim succeeded because the judge was not prepared to decide that ‘the authorship and copyright rest with some one already domiciled on the other side of the inevitable river.’

Ett tredje fall, dock inte från immaterialrätten, är Joly v. Pelletier [1999] O.J. No. 1728 (SCJ) kan avluta denna lilla djupdykning i juridisk folklore. 

2     Mr. Joly’s claims in these two actions, and in several others not currently before me, all centre on his firm assertion that he is not a human being; rather a martian. As I understand them, the nature of his complaints against the numerous defendants who include a number of doctors, medical facilities and government agencies is that they have conspired with the American government in its attempts to eliminate him and have otherwise taken various steps to interfere with his ability to establish himself and live freely as a martian.
3     As indicated, there are two actions before me. At the beginning of the hearing Mr. Joly advised me that he has recently commenced a third action against, among others, the Central Intelligence Agency, President Clinton and the Honourable Anne McClellan for interfering with his D.N.A. test results that prove that he is, in fact, not human.

7     The crux of the various arguments advanced orally and in the written material is that Mr. Joly’s claims disclose no cause of action and are otherwise frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the process of the Court. It was also argued that the tort of conspiracy was not properly pleaded and that no damages have been identified or claimed. It was further pointed out that several of the defendants are not legal entities and are not capable of being sued.
8     Mr. Joly, in a well prepared, thoughtful argument submitted that he had evidence of falsification of records and related wrongdoing. On the pivotal point of Mr. Joly’s being in fact a martian Mr. Joly advised me that the only reason he was not now able to satisfy the Court that he is a martian, not a human, is due to the falsification of his D.N.A. test results by the Americans.
9     The authorities relied upon by the moving parties are well known. On a motion to strike out a pleading, the Court must accept the facts as alleged in the Statement of Claim as proven unless they are patently ridiculous and incapable of proof and must read the Statement of Claim generously with allowance for inadequacies due to drafting deficiencies….

11     In my opinion there are at lease [sic] two reasons why the two Statements of Claim in question ought to be struck and the actions dismissed.
1. Neither pleading discloses a cause of action. While conspiracy to do harm to someone is the basis of many actions in this Court there is a fundamental flaw in the position of Mr. Joly. Rule 1.03 defines plaintiff as ”a person who commences an action”. The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines person as ”an individual human being”. Section 29 of the Interpretation Act provides that a person includes a corporation. It follows that if the plaintiff is not a person in that he is neither a human being nor a corporation, he cannot be a plaintiff as contemplated by the Rules of Civil Procedure. The entire basis of Mr. Joly’s actions is that he is a martian, not a human being. There is certainly no suggestion that he is a corporation. I conclude therefore, that Mr. Joly, on his pleading as drafted, has no status before the Court.
2. In respect to the motions brought under rule 25.11 I am of the view that the test has been passed in the circumstances of this case. In other words, I am satisfied that the claims are frivolous and vexatious and constitute an abuse of the process of this Court. In addition to the fact that the tort of conspiracy has not been remotely properly pleaded, no damages have been claimed and many of the defendants are not even legal entities capable of being sued. More importantly, with all respect to Mr. Joly and his perception of reality, these actions are patently ridiculous and should not be allowed to continue as they utilize scarce public resources not to mention the time and money of the numerous defendants who have been forced to defend these actions.
12     In the circumstances I have come to the conclusion that the moving parties are entitled to the relief requested. The Statements of Claim in both actions are struck and the actions are dismissed.

Japp, det där går ned som ”juristhumor”. Och då har jag ändå inte tagit med fallet med käromålet mot satan. (Inte bara Satan, för resten, utan även hans personal.)