Saturday, August 31, 2013
David Carr, New York Times; VCR’s Past Is Guiding Television’s Future: "It is a truism of all businesses, especially media, that once the consumer decides how things are going to go, it is only a matter of time before disruption occurs in fundamental ways. Just ask the record companies. And for now, the disrupters not only have the consumer on their side, but the law as well."
Friday, August 30, 2013
Maria A. Pallante, U.S. Register of Copyrights; The Next Great Copyright Act: "Tonight my topic is the next great copyright act, but before I speak about the future, I would like to talk a little about the past, including the role of the Copyright Office in past revision activities. In my remarks, I will address the need for comprehensive review and revision of U.S. copyright law, identify the most significant issues, and suggest a framework by which Congress should weigh the public interest, which includes the interests of authors. I will also address the necessary evolution of the Copyright Office itself."
Thursday, August 29, 2013
David Kravets, Wired; White House Copyright Czar Jumps to Industry Anti-Piracy Group: "Victoria Espinel, the nation’s copyright czar until two weeks ago, has been named president of an anti-piracy trade group that lobbies governments on behalf of the software industry. Espinel resigned earlier this month from the key White House post she’d held for four years. The Software Alliance, which goes by the acronym BSA, announced today that Espinel was named president of the group that bills itself as “the world’s premier anti-piracy organization.”"
Ben Sisario, New York Times; Songwriters Sue to Defend a Summer Hit: "Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is the song of the summer, spending 10 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s charts and still blaring out of cars and bars from sea to shining sea. Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up” was a clear inspiration for it, but were Mr. Thicke and his songwriting partners merely inspired by Gaye, or did they infringe on the copyright of the earlier song? That is the question at the heart of a lawsuit that Mr. Thicke and his co-writers, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr. (better known as the rapper T.I.), filed in federal court on Thursday against Gaye’s three children."
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Inside Higher Ed; U. of Maryland University College Closes Intellectual Property Center: "The University of Maryland University College recently closed its Center for Intellectual Property, citing a universitywide budget gap of $35 million that caused dozens of other layoffs. The closure of the noted center cost four people their jobs, said university spokesman Bob Ludwig. "The decision to close the Center for Intellectual Property was basically based on a process we went through to refocus our priorities and meet our budget gap we were facing for the next fiscal year," he said. "So, through that process, it was determined that the Center for Intellectual Property was not central to UMUC's core mission." The center -- whose work was followed by experts elsewhere -- worked on "education, research and resource development on the impact of intellectual property issues in higher education," according to its website."
Josh Schiller, Washington Post; Why you won’t see or hear the ‘I have a dream’ speech: "Although it has been the subject of at least two lawsuits — the King estate sued CBS and USA Today for their use of the speech, reaching undisclosed settlements — a court has never examined whether and under what circumstances the “I have a dream” speech may be used without authorization in what’s considered a “fair use” exception... As an attorney, I believe in respect for the law and observing copyright restrictions. But when it comes to observing the anniversary of such a public moment, one hopes that fair use will allow current generations to appreciate what happened 50 years ago this week and why it was such a moment in American history. The public benefit of access to historical artifacts such as King’s speech is undeniable. Any restriction on public access to the content of such a historical artifact should be enforced with caution."
Michael B. Farrell, Boston Globe; Online lecture prompts legal fight on copyright: "Famed Harvard legal professor Lawrence Lessig may be the last guy you would want to pick a fight with over copyright issues over the Internet. But that is exactly what Australian record company Liberation Music did when it threatened to sue Lessig, a leading scholar of Internet law and an advocate for fewer copyright restrictions, for allegedly violating its rights by using music from the hit song “Lisztomania” by French pop band Phoenix during a lecture... The Harvard professor filed suit in federal court in Massachusetts last week accusing the record company of abusing copyright laws to stifle his free speech, and of improperly targeting him even though it was aware his use of “Lisztomania” is protected under the fair-use doctrine of copyright law. He is asking a judge to rule that his video does not violate copyright law, and for damages for the financial losses and legal fees."
Eyder Peralta, NPR; Why It's Difficult To Find Full Video Of King's Historic Speech: "As thousands gather in Washington over the next week to the mark the , you may be moved to look for video of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech," which he delivered in front of the Lincoln Memorial during that march. It might surprise you that it is actually quite hard to find — because while many copies have been uploaded to Internet video sites, many have also been taken down. Why, you ask? It's all about copyright."
Monday, August 26, 2013
C Train Cafe? Transit Agency May Put Up Fight M.T.A. Guards Against Copyright Infringement; New York Times, 8/23/13
Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times; C Train Cafe? Transit Agency May Put Up Fight; M.T.A. Guards Against Copyright Infringement: "Powered in part by the rise of online shopping, which has helped small-time entrepreneurs market their subway-inspired creations widely, the transit agency now issues up to 600 notices a year for copyright infringements to protect trademarks on train line logos and other system imagery. That represents a more than twentyfold increase since 2005...Subway, rail and bus maps are copyright protected, and each subway line symbol is a federally registered trademark. Even in borderline cases — where a business uses a subway logo, for example, but alters the color scheme slightly — the authority often has wide latitude in issuing infringement notices “if there’s reason for confusion,” Mr. Heavey said...In 2010, Nordstrom received a letter from the authority after a dress emblazoned with a subway map was found in its online catalog. Transit officials were “pleased” that Nordstrom recognized the map as “a clever, colorful design that is fit for a silk dress,” the letter said, but less pleased about the copyright breach. A spokeswoman for Nordstrom said the dress was no longer available."
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Meg James, Los Angeles Times; CBS prevails in 'The Glass House' legal dispute: "CBS Corp. wants to send the message that it won't tolerate copycats. On Monday, the No. 1-ranked television network said that it had reached a settlement in the 15-month legal dispute over whether ABC's "The Glass House," a short-lived reality show that closely mirrored CBS' successful "Big Brother" show, constituted a violation of CBS' copyright and trade secrets."