Friday, April 27, 2012

At 92, Bandit to Hollywood but Hero to Soldiers; New York Times, 4/26/12

Alan Schwarz, New York Times; At 92, Bandit to Hollywood but Hero to Soldiers: "“Big Hy” — his handle among many loyal customers — would almost certainly be cast as Hollywood Enemy No. 1 but for a few details. He is actually Hyman Strachman, a 92-year-old, 5-foot-5 World War II veteran trying to stay busy after the death of his wife. And he has sent every one of his copied DVDs, almost 4,000 boxes of them to date, free to American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the United States military presence in those regions dwindling, Big Hy Strachman will live on in many soldiers’ hearts as one of the war’s more shadowy heroes. “It’s not the right thing to do, but I did it,” Mr. Strachman said, acknowledging that his actions violated copyright law."

Music Film Is Delayed by Fees for Songs; New York Times, 4/25/12

Larry Rohter, New York Times; Music Film Is Delayed by Fees for Songs: "But there’s just one problem, and it has held up commercial release of “The Wrecking Crew” since 2008, when the documentary made its debut at the South by Southwest film festival. The film includes dozens of snippets from songs the Wrecking Crew played on, but the record companies that own the recordings want so much money from Mr. Tedesco, whose total budget was less than $1 million, that he has turned to a fund-raising campaign, including an event scheduled for New York in mid-June, to meet their demands."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Art Is Long; Copyrights Can Even Be Longer; New York Times, 4/24/12

Patricia Cohen, New York Times; Art Is Long; Copyrights Can Even Be Longer: "Artists’ copyright is frequently misunderstood. Even if a painting (or drawing or photograph) has been sold to a collector or a museum, in general, the artist or his heirs retain control of the original image for 70 years after the artist’s death. Think of a novel. You may own a book, but you don’t own the writer’s words; they remain the intellectual property of the author for a time. So while MoMA owns the actual canvas of “Les Demoiselles,” the family of Picasso, who died in 1973, still owns the image. And under existing law, the estate will continue to own the copyright until 2043. If someone wants to reproduce the painting — on a Web site, a calendar, a T-shirt, or in a film — it is the estate that must give its permission, not the museum. That is why, despite the expansion, Google Art Project still does not contain a single Picasso."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

High court steps into key online copyright case; Salt Lake Tribune via Associated Press, 4/16/12

Mark Sherman, Salt Lake Tribune; High court steps into key online copyright case:

"The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide a copyright case with important implications for the large and growing markets in discount and Internet sales...

The issue at the Supreme Court is whether U.S. copyright protection applies to items that are made abroad, purchased abroad and then resold in the U.S. without the permission of the manufacturer. The high court split 4-4 when it tried to answer that question in a case in 2010 involving Costco and Swiss watch maker Omega."

Warner Bros. Claims "Significant Victory" In Superman Lawsuit;, 4/17/12; Warner Bros. Claims "Significant Victory" In Superman Lawsuit:

"In a significant victory for Warner Bros. in its lengthy and increasingly bitter battle over the rights to the Man of Steel, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the attorney representing the estates of Superman co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster must turn over documents stolen from his office in 2008.

The sensitive papers, which lawyer Marc Toberoff had argued were protected by attorney-client privilege, were taken from his office by disgruntled former associate David Michaels and delivered anonymously to Warner Bros. in December 2008."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Film’s Superheroes Include the Director; New York Times, 4/12

Dvae Itzkoff, New York Times; A Film’s Superheroes Include the Director:

"With a cast overflowing with stars like Robert Downey Jr. (who reprises his role as the reckless billionaire Tony Stark and his alter ego, Iron Man), Samuel L. Jackson (as the law-enforcement agent Nick Fury) and Scarlett Johansson (the superspy Black Widow); a roster of copyrighted characters that are now loyal subjects of the Walt Disney empire; and a budget of more than $220 million “The Avengers” would seem like the epitome of the blockbuster summer movie: flashy, corporate and above all, big."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Annual Report on Intellectual Property Enforcement; Educause, 4/4/12

Joan Cheverie, Educause; Annual Report on Intellectual Property Enforcement:

"On Friday, March 31, 2012, the White House issued its Annual Report on Intellectual Property Enforcement. The 130-page document outlines the Administration’s achievements in and strategies for protecting intellectual property in 2011. Released annually and bearing the seal of the Obama administration's Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, the report notes the steps taken to implement the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. (See earlier blog for background information.)"

A Boss for ‘Six Strikes’ Copyright Enforcement; New York Times, 4/3/12

Ben Sisario, New York Times; A Boss for ‘Six Strikes’ Copyright Enforcement:

"Last summer, Internet service providers and entertainment trade groups agreed to a “six strikes” plan for controlling online piracy — a system of escalating pokes, prods and throttled Internet access for users suspected of infringing copyrights.

A new group, the Center for Copyright Information, was set up to put the plan into effect. On Monday the group finally named an executive director and four board members, earning approving if still skeptical nods from some observers."

Appeals Court Revives Viacom Suit Against YouTube; New York Times, 4/5/12

Brian Stelter, New York Times; Appeals Court Revives Viacom Suit Against YouTube:

"A federal appeals court on Thursday reversed a lower court’s decision to throw out a $1 billion lawsuit filed against YouTube by Viacom and other media companies five years ago.

The copyright infringement suit, which has become a symbol of the clash between entrenched media companies and the upstarts that compete with them, sought damages for unauthorized video clips from shows like “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” that had been uploaded by users to YouTube."

The Apple ebook price-fixing lawsuit has terrifying implications; Guardian, 4/13/12

Alison Flood, Guardian; The Apple ebook price-fixing lawsuit has terrifying implications:

"The DoJ lawsuit plays, it seems to me, right into the hands of Amazon. Yes, we'll have cheaper books, but at what cost? Is it worth paying a little bit less for a title if it threatens the future existence of the publishers who are bringing us the books? Or will we be happy getting everything we read from a vastly reduced pool of presses?"