"Back in 2010, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig gave a lecture on copyright law. Speaking at a conference for the organization Creative Commons, he used YouTube clips of fans dancing to Phoenix's song "Lisztomania" as an example of proper "fair use" principles. He later uploaded the full lecture, which included the clips, to YouTube. Liberation Music, the firm that licenses the Phoenix song in Australia and New Zealand, disagreed with Lessig's take. The firm issued a YouTube takedown order, asking that the lecture video be removed, and later threatened their own lawsuit against Lessig. As perhaps was to be expected when one sues a law professor, Lessig and the Electronic Frontier Foundation countersued for "misusing copyright law." The flurry of suits finally came to an end this week, according to Billboard, after Liberation admitted being in the wrong and would pay compensation associated with the cases."
Friday, February 28, 2014
August Brown, Los Angeles Times; After suits, Phoenix backs fair use and copyright law changes:
Copyright meets “Innocence of Muslims”: Ninth Circuit orders removal of movie from YouTube, on copyright grounds; Washington Post, 2/26/14
Eugene Volokh, Washington Post; Copyright meets “Innocence of Muslims”: Ninth Circuit orders removal of movie from YouTube, on copyright grounds:
"Garcia’s theory is that (1) she owns the copyright to her own performance, (2) Youssef never properly acquired the rights to that performance — for instance, because there was no express assignment of rights — and therefore (3) a court should order Google to take down the video that infringes Garcia’s copyright. The Ninth Circuit held for Garcia, by a 2-1 vote. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote the majority opinion, and was joined by Judge Ronald Gould. Judge N.R. “Randy” Smith dissented."
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Ariel Smilowitz, HuffingtonPost.com; Unlocking the Benefits of Open Data:
"This past weekend marked the third annual Open Data Day, an international event that gathers people around the globe each year in an effort to support and encourage the adoption of open data policies by the world's governments and institutions. Open data is defined as "data that can be freely used, shared, and built-on by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose". With this in mind, over the weekend, designers, coders, statisticians, and those interested in open data participated in workshops and open data hackathons. Ultimately, each event provided participants with the chance to "write applications, liberate data, create visualizations, and publish analyses using public open data." In other words, participants were given a space to come together and collaborate on new ways to visualize, analyze, and spread information throughout the world. All in all, Open Data Day connected over 100 cities on five continents."
Michael Cieply, New York Times; Judge Likely to Dismiss Script Case:
"A federal judge here said she expected to grant summary judgment against a producer who accused Warner Bros. and others of basing the Clint Eastwood baseball film, “Trouble With the Curve,” on a script that belonged to him. At a hearing on Monday, Judge Dale S. Fischer of the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles said she was unconvinced by expert testimony about similarities between the Eastwood film, which was directed by Robert Lorenz, and a script that had been written for the producer Ryan Brooks, who brought the suit. “They’re not substantially similar,” said Judge Fischer, who said she had watched the film and read the scripts."
Leslie Kaufman, New York Times; TV Networks Ask Supreme Court to Shut Down Aereo:
"Aereo, the start-up that uses tiny antennas to stream the free signals of TV stations to its customers’ Internet-connected devices for a fee, is stealing from the broadcast networks on a giant scale, the broadcasters asserted in a filing with the Supreme Court on Monday. “The Copyright Act does not tolerate business models premised on the unauthorized exploitation of the copyrighted works of others,” said the brief, which was filed by broadcasters including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. On April 22, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo, a case that has significant implications for a television industry undergoing profound changes, as well as challenges from upstart competitors like Netflix and Amazon."
Ed Christman, Billboard; New Legislation Seeks to Modernize Copyright Act to Benefit Songwriters:
"A member of Congress has introduced legislation this morning aimed at ensuring that the Copyright Royalty Board also consider fair market value when setting songwriter mechanical royalty rates for digital services. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, carrying the name the Songwriter Equity Act. Its purpose is to update provisions in the Copyright Act to level the playing field for songwriter, composers and publishers to receive fair compensation for the use of their intellectual property."
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Julia Fraser, Intellectual Property Watch; European Union Sees Flurry Of Activity On Copyright Policy:
"There have been several important developments related to copyright in the European Union in the past week. Below is a summary."