Sunday, December 30, 2012
Jonathan Stempel, Reuters; Stallone did not copy screenplay for "The Expendables": judge: "A federal judge has reaffirmed his decision to dismiss a lawsuit accusing actor Sylvester Stallone of copying someone else's screenplay to make his popular 2010 movie "The Expendables." U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan on Thursday rejected claims of copyright infringement damages by Marcus Webb, who contended that the movie's screenplay contained 20 "striking similarities" to his own "The Cordoba Caper.""
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Mark Sweney, Guardian; Game of Thrones most pirated TV show: "Game of Thrones was the most-pirated TV show of the year, with a single episode being illegally downloaded by more people than typically watch the hit programme in the US. HBO's Game of Thrones, which in the UK is aired on Sky Atlantic, knocked off last year's "winner", serial killer show Dexter to be named the most-pirated TV show of 2012. The annual report, by news site TorrentFreak, found that one episode of Game of Thrones was downloaded 4.28m times."
Mark Sweney, Guardian; UK copyright laws to be freed up and parody laws relaxed: "The government is to scrap an archaic law that makes it illegal for music fans to download a legally-purchased CD onto a laptop, smartphone or MP3 player, and has rejected calls from record companies for a tax to cover lost sales as a result. Vince Cable, the business secretary, unveiled the plans on Thursday in a 52-page report detailing a freeing up of the UK's intellectual property and copyright laws. Cable, responding to the Hargreaves report on the future of intellectual property published last year, proposed changes including making "format shifting" legal and relaxing parody laws to allow comedians, broadcasters and other content creators more scope."
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
WIPO To Negotiate Treaty For The Blind In June; ‘Still Some Distance To Travel’ ; Intellectual Property Watch, 12/18/12
Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch; WIPO To Negotiate Treaty For The Blind In June; ‘Still Some Distance To Travel’ : "In a swift 15 minute session this morning delegates at the World Intellectual Property Organization extraordinary assembly agreed to convene a high-level meeting in Morocco in June to finalise a treaty on international exceptions to copyrights on books in special formats for visually impaired people."
Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter; Alicia Keys Sued Over 'Girl on Fire': Is It Based on a Blogger's Ear? : "Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" is featured prominently in a current American Express commercial and this week sits at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It's also the subject of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed last week in California federal court. The plaintiff is Earl Shuman, an accomplished songwriter who in 1962 co-authored the composition, "Lonely Boy," a song that reached No. 2 on Billboard's chart in 1970 after being recorded by Eddie Holman as "Hey There Lonely Girl."
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Timothy B. Lee, ArsTechnica.com; Staffer axed by Republican group over retracted copyright-reform memo: "The Republican Study Committee, a caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives, has told staffer Derek Khanna that he will be out of a job when Congress re-convenes in January. The incoming chairman of the RSC, Steve Scalise (R-LA) was approached by several Republican members of Congress who were upset about a memo Khanna wrote advocating reform of copyright law. They asked that Khanna not be retained, and Scalise agreed to their request."
Andy Newman, New York Times; Feeling the Heat, Yoga Chain Bows to Bikram, Despite Federal Ruling: "A popular New York-based chain of yoga studios accused by Bikram Yoga of copyright infringement has decided to let go, despite a Copyright Office ruling that supported its position. The chain, Yoga to the People, has agreed to stop offering its high-temperature classes that are patterned after Bikram Yoga in order to settle a federal lawsuit filed by Bikram, according to a joint press release issued by both parties last week. But Yoga to the People’s founder, Greg Gumucio, said on Monday that he was not getting out of the hot-yoga business: Yoga to the People is working on a new sequence that will also be offered in a super-heated room and incorporate some poses from the sequence popularized by Bikram’s founder, Bikram Choudhury, but will also include other poses... Correction: December 10, 2012 An earlier version of this post stated erroneously that the federal Copyright Office did not specifically mention Bikram yoga in its ruling that a sequence of exercises cannot be copyrighted. In fact, the the Copyright Office did cite Bikram yoga as an example of an uncopyrightable exercise sequence."
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
eBooks For Libraries Web Site Relaunches, Focus is Now Public Awareness About Issues; Library Journal,12/11/12
Gary Price, Library Journal; eBooks For Libraries Web Site Relaunches, Focus is Now Public Awareness About Issues: "The eBooks For Libraries web site, sponsored by Library Renewal and the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in Kansas, has relaunched and will now provide public awareness and news about ebooks for libraries. David Lee King writes, “Our goal isn’t to complain, but to share information about the current ebook landscape, and how it affects libraries. We’ll explain current issues, and what they actually MEAN for libraries.”"
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Adam Gabbatt, Guardian; Richard O'Dwyer's two-year extradition ordeal ends in New York: "A British student's two-year fight to avoid extradition to the US ended in less than five minutes on Thursday, when Richard O'Dwyer signed an agreement in a New York court to avoid prosecution and a potential 10-year jail term for breaking copyright laws with the file-sharing website he set up as a teenager."
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Jeff John Roberts, paidContent.org; Publishers brace for authors to reclaim book rights in 2013: "Termination rights are not a new idea and have been the subject of famous court cases involving John Steinbeck, Lassie and Superman. The difference is that these older cases are based on a pre-1978 law that often required an author to exercise renewal rights which, in many cases, the author had signed away. The new law has fewer such loopholes and will also mean that what has been a drip-drip of old copyright cases could turn into a flood as nearly every book published after 1978 becomes eligible for termination. The 1978 law also means a threat to the back list of titles that are a cash cow for many publishers."
Meredith Schwartz, Library Journal; Posting A Parody Video? Read This First: "While Good Morning America’s film crew was at the library, the show received Sony’s statement above, which Good Morning America, the library, or both interpreted to mean that they now had permission to show the video on YouTube and other third party sites, not just the library website. While that interpretation may have been overly broad, it was apparently good enough for YouTube: according to Giannella, the library didn’t have to re-upload the video, it is now available again at the original URL. Ironically, in an instance of the Streisand Effect, the main result of the temporary blockage has been to gain a far bigger viewership for “Read It” than it ever would have had otherwise."
Sean Michaels, Guardian; Beastie Boys call for sampling lawsuit to be dismissed: "In the Beastie Boys' response to the lawsuit, filed on Monday, they questioned the two-decade gap between their albums' release and TufAmerica's complaint. "Plaintiff is attempting to sidestep the Copyright Act's three-year statute of limitations," their lawyers wrote, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Although TufAmerica argued that the samples are "concealed … [to] the casual listener" and were only detectable "after conducting a careful audio analysis", the hip-hop crew said this means their work is sufficiently different and they should be exempt from damages."