Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mickey Mouse's dark side; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2/27/11

Greg Victor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Mickey Mouse's dark side:

"Charles Kenney in Foreign Policy says that "behind its facade of global goodwill, Disney is playing the evil stepmother to the developing world's entrepreneurial Cinderellas."...

This prevents others from adapting works of art and, writes Mr. Kenney, "If these extreme copyright and patent claims were effectively enforced, ... developing countries would owe Western companies $20 billion a year in royalties -- a transfer of wealth so dramatic that even the Vatican recently raised concerns about the 'excessive zeal' of today's intellectual-property bullies.""

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oscars Watchdog Monitors Foul Play in Stores, Online and on Red Carpet; New York Times, 2/26/11

John Eligon, New York Times; Oscars Watchdog Monitors Foul Play in Stores, Online and on Red Carpet:

"Copyright and trademark enforcement make up most of Mr. Quinto’s Academy-related tasks, as he, almost daily, dispatches letters to companies in apparent violation. Some of the more memorable culprits: shops peddling pornographic Oscar statuettes; a Brazilian cigarette maker brandishing the Oscar on its packaging; and a winemaker that used the Oscar in its advertisements. (That last example was “quickly corked,” Mr. Quinto, who has a fondness for corny jokes, wrote in an e-mail.)"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Piracy once again fails to get in way of record box office;, 2/24/11

Nate Anderson,; Piracy once again fails to get in way of record box office:

"The movie business has—yet again—run up record numbers at the box office. In 2010, theaters around the world reported a combined total revenue of $31.8 billion, up 8 percent from 2009. While the industry certainly has its share of piracy problems, they aren't affecting box office receipts."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kindle e-book piracy accelerates;, 2/18/11

David Carnoy,; Kindle e-book piracy accelerates:

"You can argue whether it was Napster or the rise of the iPod--or most probably both--that led to the huge amount of music piracy, but the book business will also take its share of big losses as it moves further into the digital realm."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Free Trove of Music Scores on Web Hits Sensitive Copyright Note; New York Times, 2/22/11

Daniel J. Wakin, New York Times; Free Trove of Music Scores on Web Hits Sensitive Copyright Note:

"The site, the Internet Music Score Library Project, has trod in the footsteps of Google Books and Project Gutenberg and grown to be one of the largest sources of scores anywhere. It claims to have 85,000 scores, or parts for nearly 35,000 works, with several thousand being added every month. That is a worrisome pace for traditional music publishers, whose bread and butter comes from renting and selling scores in expensive editions backed by the latest scholarship. More than a business threat, the site has raised messy copyright issues and drawn the ire of established publishers."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hollywood Property Values; New York Times, 2/20/11

Randy Cohen, The Ethicist, New York Times; Hollywood Property Values:

"The added twist is that while Disney, like its industry cohort, seeks an eternal hammerlock on its productions, many of them originate in our common literary heritage — “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” “The Little Mermaid.” Such an overreaching concept of intellectual property obstructs the exchange of ideas, the referencing and reworking of earlier works that stimulate invention. For Hollywood to thwart this by appropriating our common cultural legacy is as ethically dubious as plagiarism — innovation, perhaps, but not actual progress. Like 3-D."

Thinly Veiled: Lawsuit Over Steamy Rihanna Video Sparks Debate On Copycat Culture; NPR, 2/17/11

[Podcast] Zoe Chace, NPR; Thinly Veiled: Lawsuit Over Steamy Rihanna Video Sparks Debate On Copycat Culture:

"Fashion photographer David LaChapelle is known for staging photo shoots with lots of bright colors, outrageous costumes, and sexy, surreal images. The video for Rihanna's new single, "S&M," has all three — and it looked so familiar to LaChapelle that he's filed a million dollar lawsuit against the singer, her record label, the video's director and production company for copyright infringement."

[Podcast] Stephen Colbert Retaliates Against 'Huffington Post'; NPR's Morning Edition, 2/18/11

[Podcast] NPR's Morning Edition; Stephen Colbert Retaliates Against 'Huffington Post' :

"Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert is angry. The Huffington Post, which just sold itself for millions, posts Colbert's videos without paying him. Now Colbert has re-posted the entire Huffington Post."

Libraries have limited eBooks; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2/20/11

Don Lindich, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Libraries have limited eBooks:

"Q: I am looking for an eReader that will allow me to download eBooks from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh or Ohio Public Library. With Kindle, you must buy books through Amazon. With iPad, you must buy books through iTunes. (At least that is my understanding. ) Is there an app or device that will let me "borrow" eBooks from the library? I am looking for current best-sellers.

Elizabeth Township"

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Leaks Show Real Aim Of ACTA, As Trade Chief Declares It Binding; Intellectual Property Watch, 2/9/11

Intellectual Property Watch; Leaks Show Real Aim Of ACTA, As Trade Chief Declares It Binding:

"The recently completed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), negotiated by the countries that own most of the world’s intellectual property rights, is aimed at developing countries they hope will give value to those rights by protecting them, leaked documents show, according to French group La Quadrature du Net."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tune In February 25 [2011]: The Future of Fair Use; Educause

Educause; Tune In February 25 [2011]: The Future of Fair Use:

"During this free hour-long web seminar, "The Future of Fair Use," we'll discuss ethics and strategies for overcoming institutional roadblocks to publishing and teaching with copyrighted media, including the myths and realities of fair use, best practices, DMCA exemptions, and the practicalities of working with copyrighted media across a full spectrum of scholarly and pedagogical activities."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Would the Bard Have Survived the Web?; New York Times, 2/15/11

Scott Turow, Paul Aiken, and James Shapiro; New York Times; Would the Bard Have Survived the Web? :

"The rise of the Internet has led to a view among many users and Web companies that copyright is a relic, suited only to the needs of out-of-step corporate behemoths. Just consider the dedicated “file-sharers” — actually, traffickers in stolen music movies and, increasingly, books — who transmit and receive copyrighted material without the slightest guilt.

They are abetted by a handful of law professors and other experts who have made careers of fashioning counterintuitive arguments holding that copyright impedes creativity and progress. Their theory is that if we severely weaken copyright protections, innovation will truly flourish. It’s a seductive thought, but it ignores centuries of scientific and technological progress based on the principle that a creative person should have some assurance of being rewarded for his innovative work."

Friday, February 11, 2011

How Neil Gaiman Went From Fearing 'Piracy' To Believing It's 'An Incredibly Good Thing';, 2/11/11

Mike Masnick,; How Neil Gaiman Went From Fearing 'Piracy' To Believing It's 'An Incredibly Good Thing' :

"Public Knowledge points us to a wonderful short clip of Neil Gaiman, being interviewed by the Open Rights Group, explaining how he has completely changed his mind about "piracy" and copyright".

Emma Thompson's Effie facing copyright fight; Guardian, 2/9/11

Owen Bowcott, Guardian; Emma Thompson's Effie facing copyright fight:

"Emma Thompson's latest film project – a love triangle featuring the 19th century poet and critic John Ruskin – is reported to have been placed in jeopardy by a New York copyright case."

Filesharing prosecutions will face serious problems, says judge; Guardian, 2/8/11

Josh Halliday, Guardian; Filesharing prosecutions will face serious problems, says judge:

"A senior court judge has pointed to severe problems with the way the Digital Economy Act enables copyright owners to accuse people of illegal filesharing.

Judge Birss QC said on Tuesday that the process of connecting copyright infringement to a named individual based on their use of an internet address is fraught with difficulties because internet connections, or IP addresses, are often used by more than one person."

EFF to Judge: Watch for Fairness in Mass Copyright Suits; Electronic Frontier Foundation, 2/7/11

Corynne McSherry, Electronic Frontier Foundation; EFF to Judge: Watch for Fairness in Mass Copyright Suits:

"We decided to submit a further brief, because we thought Judge Howell might like to know about various recent developments, such as the fact that federal judges in West Virginia and California have recognized that it is improper to join thousands of people in one lawsuit based solely on the fact that they all allegedly used the same software protocol to share one or more copyrighted works."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

[Podcast] Mardi Gras Indians Seek To Copyright Costumes; NPR's All Things Considered, 2/8/11

[Podcast] NPR's All Things Considered; Mardi Gras Indians Seek To Copyright Costumes:

"With one month until Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans are in the final stages of sewing their outrageously elaborate costumes. And this year, some hope they'll be able to share in the profits from photos sold of them after the parades. They're filing for copyright protection for their costumes. For more, host Melissa Block speaks to Ashlye Keaton, an adjunct professor at Tulane Law School; and Chief Howard Miller of the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians."

Monday, February 7, 2011

Online Courses, Still Lacking That Third Dimension; New York Times, 2/6/11

Randall Stross, New York Times; Online Courses, Still Lacking That Third Dimension:

"“Unlocking the Gates,” by Taylor Walsh (Princeton University Press) is a recently published history of M.I.T.’s online venture, as well as those of Columbia, Harvard, Yale, the University of California, Berkeley, and others. Comparing the book’s case studies, I found that Carnegie Mellon seems to have made the most progress in developing fully self-contained online courses. Anyone can use them free, with the proviso that Carnegie Mellon doesn’t offer credit."

US IP Enforcement Coordinator Issues Annual Report; Intellectual Property Watch, 2/7/11

Intellectual Property Watch; US IP Enforcement Coordinator Issues Annual Report:

"The United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator today issued an annual report on IP enforcement.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

All Bark, No Bite: Settlement Reached in Balloon Dog Dispute; New York Times, 2/3/11

Kate Taylor, New York Times; All Bark, No Bite: Settlement Reached in Balloon Dog Dispute:

"Clowns everywhere can breathe easier: Jeff Koons’s lawyers have backed down in an intellectual property dispute over balloon dog-shaped bookends."