Tuesday, January 17, 2017

SCOTUS To Hear From Band The Slants For Right To Trademark Name; Here & Now, WBUR, 1/17/17

Here & Now, WBUR; 

SCOTUS To Hear From Band The Slants For Right To Trademark Name


"The Asian-American band The Slants will appear before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to argue for full trademark rights to their name, which is a pejorative.

The Portland band has won its case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in which the court ruled that the Patent and Trademark Office and the Department of Justice is infringing on the group's rights to freedom of speech.

Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Rebecca Tushnet (@rtushnet), professor of law at Georgetown Law School, about the conflict for rights to the name."

Five Steps You Can Take Now To Protect Your Company's Trademark; Forbes, 1/17/17

Forbes Legal Counsel, Forbes; 

Five Steps You Can Take Now To Protect Your Company's Trademark


"You've submitted an application for a trademark. But that doesn't necessarily mean you should sit back and relax. Other companies may be applying for trademarks that are strikingly similar to yours — or worse — your mark could be infringing on someone else's. So how do you go about preventing concerning situations like these?

Below, five experienced chief legal officers and law firm partners from Forbes Legal Council discuss the various steps you can take to proactively protect your trademark."

Library Experts Weigh in On Next Register of Copyrights; Library Journal, 1/12/17

Brandon Butler, Kyle K. Courtney, Mary Minow, Kevin Smith, Library Journal; 

Library Experts Weigh in On Next Register of Copyrights


"In the wake of the October 29 resignation of Maria Pallante, the former Register of Copyrights, the Library of Congress (LC) has put out a call to the public for input on the expertise needed by the next Register of Copyrights. (On January 17, Pallante will join the Association of American Publishers as president and CEO). The survey, posted on the LC website on December 16, invites the public to answer a series of questions about the knowledge, skills, abilities, and priorities that the incoming Register should possess...

LJ asked four library copyright experts to give their opinions on what they see as important considerations for the incoming Register of Copyrights, and for LC as well.
The survey will be open through January 31."

It's Copyright Week: Join Us in the Fight for a Better Copyright Law; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), 1/16/17

Kerry Sheehan, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); 

It's Copyright Week: Join Us in the Fight for a Better Copyright Law


"We're taking part in Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of the law, and addressing what's at stake, and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation...

Here are this year’s Copyright Week principles:
  • Monday: Building and Defending the Public Domain. The public domain is our cultural commons and a crucial resource for innovation and access to knowledge. Copyright policy should strive to promote, and not diminish, a robust, accessible public domain.
  • Tuesday: You Bought It, You Own It, You Fix It. Copyright law shouldn't interfere with your freedom to truly own your stuff: to repair it, tinker with it, recycle it, use it on any device, lend it, and then give it away (or re-sell it) when you're done.
  • Wednesday: Transparency and Representation. Copyright policy must be set through a participatory, democratic, and transparent process. It should not be decided through back room deals, secret international agreements, or unilateral attempts to apply national laws extraterritorially.
  • Thursday: 21st Century Creators. Copyright law should account for the interests of all creators, not just those backed by traditional copyright industries. YouTube creators, remixers, fan artists and independent musicians (among others) are all part of the community of creators that encourage cultural progress and innovation.
  • Friday: Copyright and Free Speech. Freedom of expression is fundamental to our democratic system. Copyright law should promote, not restrict or suppress free speech.
Every day this week, we’ll be sharing links to blog posts and actions on these topics at https://www.eff.org/copyrightweek and at #CopyrightWeek.
If you’ve followed Copyright Week in past years, you may note that this year, we didn’t designate a specific day to focus on fair use. Fair use—the legal doctrine that permits many important uses of copyrighted works without permission or payment—is critical to the law’s ability to promote creativity, innovation, and freedom of expression. Fair use is a part of each of this year’s principles."

Sunday, January 15, 2017

ARTIST TURNS CONTROVERSIAL TRUMP QUOTES INTO COMIC BOOK COVERS; Comic News via Comic Book Resources, 1/14/17

Anthony Nash, Comic News via Comic Book Resources; ARTIST TURNS CONTROVERSIAL TRUMP QUOTES INTO COMIC BOOK COVERS

[Kip Currier: Clever examples of fair use "transformativeness"--"remixing" bonafide Donald Trump quotes with actual copyrighted comic book covers that have been satirically transformed, both textually and visually--by cartoonist Robert Sikoryak.
X-Men #1 (see below, from Marvel Database) is one of the covers that Sikoryak parodies]






"Cartoonist Robert Sikoryak, work has appeared in “Raw,” The New Yorker and Nickelodeon Magazine, has transformed some of the more controversial statements by President-Elect Donald Trump into parody comic book covers in a project he’s called “Unquotable Trump.”"

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Library of Congress and U.S. Copyright Office Roundup; Information Today, 1/10/17

Corilee Christou, Information Today; Library of Congress and U.S. Copyright Office Roundup

"Copyright Office Struggles

The overall picture at the LC certainly seems rosy. However, the U.S. Copyright Office is a different story. The office, led by then Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante, was attempting to fix its problems in 2016, but with its budget and IT systems both dependent on the LC, this was not a simple task. After only a month as the Librarian of Congress, Hayden removed Pallante from her position. She had been Register of Copyrights since 2011, after holding several positions at the Copyright Office since 2008. Never before has a Register of Copyrights been removed from his or her post by the Librarian of Congress.

Instead of taking the alternative position of senior advisor to the Librarian of Congress that Hayden offered her, Pallante resigned, effective Oct. 29. Reactions were both positive and negative."

Librarian of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights; Press Release, Library of Congress, DECEMBER 16, 2016 (REVISED JANUARY 11, 2017)

"DECEMBER 16, 2016 (REVISED JANUARY 11, 2017)Librarian of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights

Press Contact: Gayle Osterberg (202) 707-0020
Website: Librarian of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights (Survey) External
The public will have the opportunity to provide input to the Library of Congress on expertise needed by the Register of Copyrights, the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, announced today.
Beginning today, December 16, an online survey is open to the public. The survey will be posted through Jan. 31, 2017.
Link to survey: https://www.research.net/r/RegisterOfCopyrightsNR External
Deadline for submitting comments: Jan. 31, 2017
Input will be reviewed and will inform development of knowledge, skills and abilities requirements for the position.
Information provided through the survey will be posted online and submitters’ names will appear. Note that input will be subject to review and input may not be posted that is off-topic; contains vulgar, offensive, racist, threatening or harassing content; personal information; or gratuitous links to sites that could be considered spam. The Library’s complete comment policy can be viewed here: loc.gov/legal/comment-and-posting-policy/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov."

Friday, January 13, 2017

Innovators and patent holders; The Hindu, 1/13/17

Achuthsankar S. Nair, The Hindu; Innovators and patent holders:

"J.P. Subramonya Iyer, who invented the tap, was a grass-root innovator, start-up hero, global technology merchant … all ahead of his times. He served as an insurance officer in Travancore-Cochin state. Noticing the wastage of water from road-side water taps that were carelessly left open, he dreamt of an automatically closing tap and got one such tap made with the help of his engineer friends. He patented it and went on to improve it further and patented the improved tap too...

Innovation is a buzzword in academia and the business world. Government and industries seem to take it as “invention—patenting—commercialisation—economic development.” Academia has a more intellectual view of innovation, focussing on the process of development of new knowledge leading to inventions. India has declared 2010-20 as the ‘Decade of Innovation’ and established a National Innovation Council...

An innovation ultimately creates wealth, through economic, social or environmental activity, by creating value, solving problems, creating jobs and so on. The Jaison water tap is an excellent example of innovation. Its production was an economic activity that created wealth and solved the problem of water wastage in public taps, which benefited society.

Almost everything we use or see in day-to-day life was at one time an innovation or invention that had a revolutionary effect on life of those times. Clothes, wheels, toys, tools, food, building materials, construction methods, traditional home utensils, appliances..."

19th century patents see value today; Farm Forum, 1/13/17

TERRY AND KIM KOVEL Kovels’ Antiques and Collecting, Farm Forum; 

19th century patents see value today:

"The 19th century in the U.S. was a time of invention. The patent office at first required a working model of an invention, but later, just accurate drawings and details were enough. Victorians loved gadgets and specialty tools. There were hundreds of patents granted for apple peelers, lighting devices, corkscrews, fruit jars, washing machines, washboards, toasters, napkin rings and cooking pots, and today there are collector clubs for almost every one of these specialties."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

'Could You Patent The Sun?'; New York Times, January 2017

Video, New York Times; 'Could You Patent The Sun?'

"Decades after Dr. Jonas Salk opposed patenting the polio vaccine, the pharmaceutical industry has changed. What does that mean for the development of innovative drugs and for people whose lives depend on them?"

U.S. Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement Announced; Press Release, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), 12/12/16

Press Release, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); U.S. Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement Announced

[Kip Currier: The following sections of this joint strategic plan caught my attention and should be of particular interest to researchers and universities:


p. 140: "BROADER RECOGNITION OF THE ESSENTIAL ROLE UNIVERSITIES PLAY IN INNOVATION

In addition to their essential role as centers of knowledge, learning, and scholarship, universities around the world are engines for innovation. Universities are often the first step in the innovation lifecycle, but too often the big idea does not make it to the marketplace. The promise of innovation that is first conceived by professors, researchers, and students in university laboratories frequently goes unrealized." 


The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute has several initiatives to help university-based innovators get their ideas and inventions off the ground: 











p. 143: "CALLS FOR RESEARCH.

Public policy is at its best when well-grounded in sound research and data. Given the profound technological and legal changes that have taken place over the past several years, it is critical that academics, researchers, the private sector, and others continue to rigorously study the IPR ecosystem to identify areas of concern, emerging trends, and opportunities for enhanced enforcement mechanisms."

From pages 143-147 the plan presents examples of research topics and questions, e.g. 

"Research into Commercial-Scale Piracy is Needed…
  • To assess the economic scope and magnitude of digital piracy. Beyond any top-line numbers, what is the magnitude of the harm suffered by the copyright owner? What is the impact on employment in the creative sectors? Who are the entities that profit from, or may be unjustly enriched by, the unauthorized exploitation of copyrighted materials? 

[And]


  •  To examine the range of attendant harms and risks to the public. What is the relationship between pirated content and incidents of malware, phishing, or other threats to the public?"]



[Press Release] "Today, the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) released the 2017-2019 U.S. Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement, which offers a blueprint for coordinating resources and priorities to sustain a robust IP enforcement environment.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office partnered with the IPEC and agencies throughout the federal government in crafting a plan that both highlights the cultural and economic importance of intellectual property incentives, and also ensures certainty in the marketplace through enforcement mechanisms to encourage creative growth and minimize misappropriation of innovation. USPTO is proud to play a role in promoting clear, consistent, high quality and enforceable IP rights to enable market growth. The office also provides critical international leadership in protecting IP overseas and navigating international IP laws. From copyrights and trade secrets protection, to the examination and registration of patents and trademarks, the USPTO will continue to foster a balanced IP playing field for U.S. businesses to compete in foreign markets and export abroad.  
The report recognizes how IP-intensive industries continue to be an integral part of a growing economy, and identifies critical and strategic actions to safeguard that innovation and combat illicit infringement activities.

More New Ways to Explore Patent Data; Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee, Director's Forum Blog, 1/12/17

Michelle K. Lee, Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee, Director's Forum Blog; More New Ways to Explore Patent Data

"Making patent data accessible to the public has been a cornerstone of this agency’s policy since its inception. I’m pleased to announce yet another step we’ve taken at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to make such data even easier for the public to understand and use, namely the addition of new features to our patent data visualization and analysis tool, PatentsView. First launched in 2014, PatentsView provides the public a variety of ways to interactively engage, through a web-based platform, the highest-quality patent data available. The underlying database connects 40 years’ worth of information about inventors, their organizations, and their locations in unprecedented ways. PatentsView is a key component of our open data efforts to improve the accessibility, usability, and transparency of U.S. patent data...

You could argue that the innovations documented in our records may very well, collectively, constitute the world’s largest repository of scientific and technological knowledge. But the larger a data set, the more challenging it is to find useful information or trends or, put another way, to separate the signal from the noise. This collaborative tool, developed by the USPTO’s Office of the Chief Economist in conjunction with the American Institutes for Research, New York University, the University of California at Berkeley, Twin Arch Technologies, and Periscopic, aims to make that sorting and separation possible. The shared public and private effort in creating and improving the platform is symbolized in the “.org” domain of http://www.PatentsView.org.

By providing new tools and data to the public, PatentsView demonstrates this agency’s continuing commitment to open data, open government, and evidence-based policymaking."

There is no shortage of open data. The question is, is anyone using it?; Computer Weekly, 1/9/17

Jonathan Stoneman, Computer Weekly; There is no shortage of open data. The question is, is anyone using it?

"Why publishing data is not enough
So there is no shortage of open data – but is anyone using it? The UK government’s data portal, data.gov.uk, currently shows 36,552 published datasets available, and just over 30,000 of those have an open government licence. There are 6,444 more without a licence and, intriguingly, a further 3,664 are listed as “unpublished”.
Some 1,401 government departments, including local government and agencies, are listed as “publishers”. Two million datasets were downloaded in 2016, but 11,481 – 31% of the whole collection – were not, not even once.
The UK government sees publication as a measure in itself."

An overview of trade secrets; Lexology, 1/11/17

Liu, Shen & Associates, Lexology; An overview of trade secrets:

"An important form of intellectual property, trade secrets are increasingly attracting attention, particularly in regard to operational information such as customer lists and technical information in software. In China, trade secrets are mainly protected by the Law for Countering Unfair Competition and the Criminal Law."

USPTO Announces New Patent and Trademark Advisory Committee Members; Press Release, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), 1/9/17

Press Release, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); USPTO Announces New Patent and Trademark Advisory Committee Members:

"The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced new Patent and Trademark Advisory Committee Members for the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC).

The Public Advisory Committees for the USPTO were created through the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act statute in the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 to advise the Secretary of Commerce and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO on the management of patent and trademark operations. The Public Advisory Committees review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patent and trademark operations, respectively, and advise the director on these matters.  Each committee has nine voting members who are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Secretary of Commerce. Each member serves a three-year term."

What the NHL’s trademark fiasco can teach you about brand preparedness; Financial Post, 1/12/17

Chad Finkelstein, Financial Post; What the NHL’s trademark fiasco can teach you about brand preparedness:

"Whether the USPTO’s position will hold up in the United States (and what the fate of the Canadian trademarks applications are) remains to be seen, but the situation should be viewed by trademark owners and prospective trademark owners as a warning about not taking proactive steps to get trademarks registered. The longer an unregistered trademark is in use, the more it will cost to go through a rebranding."

Why Unreleased Marvin Gaye, Supremes, Beach Boys Tracks Are Suddenly Appearing: EU Copyright Law; Billboard, 1/10/17

Robert Levine, Billboard; Why Unreleased Marvin Gaye, Supremes, Beach Boys Tracks Are Suddenly Appearing: EU Copyright Law:

"On Dec 30th, without much fanfare or marketing, Universal Music Group put out Motown Unreleased: 1966, a digital-only collection of 80 previously unavailable tracks by Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and lesser-known performers like the Underdogs. It’s one of a few recent archival releases of music from 1966 that may appeal to hardcore fans – and they have the European Union to thank.

In 2011, the EU updated copyright law in a way that means officially unreleased material could fall into the public domain 50 years after it was recorded. That would mean any company would be free to release it. In order to keep the copyright to such recordings – the law applies to live as well as studio material – artists and labels have been releasing them in what some fans call “copyright collections.”"

Katy attorneys to focus on copyright basics; Houston Chronicle, 1/10/17

Houston Chronicle; 

Katy attorneys to focus on copyright basics:


"Area attorneys are invited to the Tuesday, Jan. 24, luncheon of the Katy Bar Association at 11:30 a.m. at Hasta la Pasta, 1450 W. Grand Parkway S.


Teresa Lechner-Fish, IP associate with Gardere Wynne Sewell, LLP, will present "Copyright Basics: What Are Copyrights? How Are Copyrights Created? Who Owns the Copyrights? And How Can They Be Protected."
She will identify examples of copyrights, provide guidance on how copyrights are created and who owns those copyrights, and offer suggestions on how copyrights can be protected in the marketplace.
Her law practice includes assisting growing companies as intellectual property counsel, handling copyright, due diligence, trademark, trade secret, licensing and patent matters. She has prepared and prosecuted hundreds of copyright, patent and trademark applications, and assisted patent litigation teams, involving complex technologies and litigation strategies."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tech luminaries team up on $27M A.I. ethics fund; PC World, 1/10/17

Blair Hanley Frank, PC World; 

Tech luminaries team up on $27M A.I. ethics fund:


"Artificial intelligence technology is becoming an increasingly large part of our daily lives. While those developments have led to cool new features, they’ve also presented a host of potential problems, like automation displacing human jobs, and algorithms providing biased results.

Now, a team of philanthropists and tech luminaries have put together a fund that’s aimed at bringing more humanity into the AI development process. It’s called the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund, and it will focus on advancing AI in the public interest...
[Reid] Hoffman, a former executive at PayPal, has shown quite the interest in developing AI in the public interest and has also provided backing to OpenAI, a research organization aimed at helping create AI that is as safe as possible."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Roberts Recuses From Patent Case After Discovering Conflict; Associated Press via New York Times, 1/4/17

Associated Press via New York Times; 

Roberts Recuses From Patent Case After Discovering Conflict:

"Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says he will no longer participate in deciding a patent infringement case because he discovered he owns shares in the parent company of one of the parties.

Roberts took part in arguments in the dispute between California-based Life Technologies Corp. and Wisconsin-based Promega Corp. on Dec. 6."

The Shrinking Mega-Journal; Inside Higher Ed, 1/5/17

Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed; 

The Shrinking Mega-Journal:


"The open-access mega-journal’s output, measured by how many articles it publishes a year, last year fell to 22,054 -- its lowest since 2012 and down about 30 percent since its peak in 2013. Last year brought the most precipitous drop yet. PLOS ONE published 6,052 fewer articles in 2016 than it did the year before -- a drop of about 22 percent.

The decline was first reported by Phil Davis, a consultant who specializes in scholarly publishing, in a blog post this morning.
Joerg Heber, who became PLOS ONE’s new editor in chief in September, addressed the decline in a blog post last month. Reflecting on the journal’s first 10 years, he noted that many other publishers are now using similar models for their own publications."

Open Access Trends 2017: Challenges and Opportunities; PR Newswire, Yahoo Finance, 1/10/17

PR Newswire, Yahoo Finance; 

Open Access Trends 2017: Challenges and Opportunities:

"Open access—the online digital delivery of scholarly research free of charge and without most copyright and licensing restrictions—has grown from a conceptual movement to transformational force in scientific, technical and medical (STM) publishing.

Media and publishing intelligence firm Simba Information has examined open access in two recent reports—Open Access Journal Publishing 2016-2020 and Open Access Book Publishing 2016-2020—and sees several trends developing in 2017."

After 15 Years In WTO, China Still Weak On Many IP Rights Rules, US Says; Intellectual Property Watch, 1/10/17

William New, Intellectual Property Watch; 

After 15 Years In WTO, China Still Weak On Many IP Rights Rules, US Says:


"Innovation and intellectual property rights have set the United States apart from competitors in recent history, and China seems intent on closing that gap any way it can. A US trade office report out this week on China’s compliance with World Trade Organization rules 15 years after accession show the magnitude of China’s continuing compliance problems related to intellectual property rights. 

“Serious concerns,” “problems,” “challenges,” “weakness,” “insufficient.” These and many other negative terms fill the 200-page report’s sections describing China’s treatment of intellectual property rights. There is plenty of progress cited too, but the report reads as an open to-do list with new issues arising all the time. One question is how much of this behaviour could be brought to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body. Another might be what the new US administration is going to do differently about this list.
The Office of the US Trade Representative’s 2016 Report to Congress on China’s WTO Compliance is available here [pdf]."

What does 2017 hold for open data initiatives?; Guardian, 1/6/17

Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Guardian; What does 2017 hold for open data initiatives?


"In 2016, open data was central to a growing number of projects across the globe. Throughout the year, data initiatives attempted to change the banking industry, took strides towards getting London fit, and fought “superbugs” through a real-time record of antibiotic resistance.

How will we see the open data ecosystem continue to grow in 2017? We asked the experts to tell us what the coming year will hold."

Marijuana brands can trademark almost anything, except marijuana; Los Angeles Times, 1/7/17

James Rufus Koren, Los Angeles Times; Marijuana brands can trademark almost anything, except marijuana:

"Though cannabis is legal for recreational or medicinal use in 28 states, it remains illegal under federal law. As a result, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will not register trademarks for marijuana retailers or for products that contain cannabis...


One popular strategy for cannabis companies that can’t trademark their core products is to seek protection for a host of ancillary products and services.
“I call it the ‘circle the wagons’ approach,” said Todd Winter, a Costa Mesa attorney who works with marijuana companies. “We get everything trademarked that we can, tangential to the actual cannabis product itself.”
The idea, one that is largely untested so far, is that if a cannabis company registers its trademark for other products it will scare off would-be copycats and allow the company to be first in line if the federal government eases its stance on pot."

Copyright in Klingon; Washington Post, 1/9/17

David Post, Washington Post; Copyright in Klingon:

"The court went awry, I believe, in holding additionally that the defendants “are not entitled to the fair use defense,” a holding that illustrates much that is wrong with copyright law these days.

To begin with, the fair use defense, involving a complicated balancing of defendant’s motives and purposes, the effect of the defendant’s use on the market for the original work and any number of other relevant factors, is hardly ever appropriate for disposition on summary judgment; there’s too much fact-finding required.
But more to the point, “Axanar” uses copyrighted material for a transformative purpose — creating a new and original work of art. It is not a substitute, in the market, for the original; if anything, it enhances the value of the original. This is precisely what our copyright law, through the fair use exception, should be encouraging — the production of new and original works of art that build on prior works to create something new and valuable."

Monday, January 9, 2017

Artificial Intelligence Keeps IBM Atop 2016 Patent List; CNet, 1/9/17

Stephen Shankland, CNET; Artificial Intelligence Keeps IBM Atop 2016 Patent List:

"Patents are an imperfect measure of prowess in research, development, innovation and ultimately business success. For one thing, it takes a mammoth staff and a lot of intellectual-property lawyers to rank high on the list, so startups won't make it up the list no matter how successful. For another, many patent ideas never see the light of day, or worse, emerge in a patent troll's sketchy legal action trying to extract licensing fees from big companies.

Nevertheless, patents remain an important reflection of how much a company is investing today into the technology of tomorrow. It's notable that IBM topped the list for the 24th year in a row."

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Axanar isn’t fair use, judge finds, setting stage for Star Trek copyright trial; Ars Technica, 1/5/17

Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica; 

Axanar isn’t fair use, judge finds, setting stage for Star Trek copyright trial


"In additional court filings submitted on Wednesday, CBS, Paramount, and Axanar Productions all put forward their list of witnesses. CBS said it would put John Van Citters, an executive who has worked with Paramount and CBS on Star Trek for nearly 20 years, on the stand.
Van Citters, according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, "knows the canon of Star Trek intimately as well as the history and personnel involved in the production of Star Trek in order to be able to efficiently assess whether or not material CBS is presenting to the public is accurate and fits with existing canon."
Axanar Productions, for its part, will counter with Christian Tregillis, a financial consultant who will "rebut Plaintiffs’ theory of lost profits that they claim resulted from Defendants’ alleged infringement, i.e., that funds donated to making of Defendants’ works have resulted in lost revenue or profits to Plaintiffs," according to its own filing.
The film company will also offer up Henry Jenkins, a professor of media studies at the University of Southern California, who is an expert on Star Trek’s historical relationship between its creators and its fans."

Bulgarians Listen to Classics Thanks to Copyright War; Balkan Insight, 1/5/17

Mariya Cheresheva, Balkan Insight; Bulgarians Listen to Classics Thanks to Copyright War

"At 00.01 am on January 1, 2017, instead of hearing the official Bulgarian anthem, as they do every year, listeners to Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, were surprised to hear an alternative version performed by BNR’s own choir and symphonic orchestra.


This was not an independent decision of the music editors of BNR. It turned out that they had been banned from playing the official national anthem owing to a decision of Musicautor, Bulgaria’s non-profit society of composers, lyricists and music publishers, which exists to collectively manage copyright issues.

Musicautor, which hold the copyright to over 14,000,000 songs of Bulgarian and worldwide artists, suspended its contract with BNR from the beginning of the new year, demanding higher fees.

It has banned BNR from playing much contemporary Bulgarian and foreign music until the fee issue is resolved."

Robert L. Hulseman, Inventor of the Solo Cup, Dies at 84; New York Times, 12/30/16

Richard Sandomir, New York Tines; Robert L. Hulseman, Inventor of the Solo Cup, Dies at 84:

"Robert L. Hulseman, a corporate executive who developed the sturdy red Solo cup that became indispensable at picnics, tailgate parties and barbecues and inspired a song by the country singer Toby Keith, died on Dec. 21 at his home in Northfield, Ill. He was 84...

Mr. Hulseman spent nearly all of his career at the Solo Cup Company in Lake Forest, Ill., a maker of disposable cups, plates and bowls. One of his other legacies was helping to create a coffee cup lid that may now be as prevalent as the Solo cup.

The company’s products might have been seen as unremarkable party essentials in a throwaway age if not for the creation of the Solo cup in the mid-1970s. It became a mainstay at beer keggers, where its size, typically 16 ounces, durability and opacity were prized attributes.

Mr. Hulseman preferred that his cups be used at family outings, not at rowdy, boozy blowouts.

“The cup’s design was for strength,” Paul Hulseman said in an interview. “Not for a shot, a wine and a beer.”"