Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bill Bryson's copyright stoush with Mike Gerrard has wider implications; Sydney Morning Herald, 10/18/13

Nick Galvin, Sydney Morning Herald; Bill Bryson's copyright stoush with Mike Gerrard has wider implications: "Author Bill Bryson's warm and cuddly image has been somewhat tarnished after his publishers reportedly turned on a journalist for republishing an interview from nearly 20 years ago. British travel writer and guidebook author Mike Gerrard, who interviewed Bryson in 1994, recently decided to republish the interview as an 8000-word, 27-page e-book. According to travel industry blog, World Travel Market, Bryson’s lawyers took exception to Gerrard’s enterprise, claiming it breached the award-winning author's copyright. They demanded the book be removed from the Amazon store, a request Amazon agreed to, much to Gerrard’s annoyance."

In Dispute Over a Song, Marvin Gaye’s Family Files a Countersuit; New York Times, 10/30/13

Ben Sisario, New York Times; In Dispute Over a Song, Marvin Gaye’s Family Files a Countersuit: "According to the suit, which was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, a musicologist, Judith Finell, studied “Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give It Up” and found “a constellation of at least eight distinctive and important compositional elements” between them... In a statement, Sony/ATV said that another musicologist had determined that “Blurred Lines” did not infringe on “Got to Give It Up,” and also defended its corporate role as a steward for songwriters."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

15 years ago, Congress kept Mickey Mouse out of the public domain. Will they do it again?; Washington Post, 10/25/13

Timothy B. Lee, Washington Post; 15 years ago, Congress kept Mickey Mouse out of the public domain. Will they do it again? : "For most of history, a great character or story or song has passed from its original creator into the public domain. Shakespeare and Charles Dickens and Beethoven are long dead, but Macbeth and Oliver Twist and the Fifth Symphony are part of our shared cultural heritage, free to be used or re-invented by anyone on the planet who is so inclined. But 15 years ago this Sunday, President Clinton signed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which retroactively extended copyright protection. As a result, the great creative output of the 20th century, from Superman to "Gone With the Wind" to Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue," were locked down for an extra 20 years. Without the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, the book Gone with the Wind would have fallen into the public domain at the end of 2011, and the film would fall into the public domain at the end of 2014. (MGM) It was a windfall to the families and corporations that owned these lucrative copyrights. But it meant these iconic works would be off-limits to those who wanted to reuse or reinvent them without permission. And hundreds of thousands of lesser-known works aren’t available at all, because there's no cost-effective way to obtain permission to republish them. The copyright extension Clinton signed will expire in five years. Copyright holders like the Disney Corp. and the Gershwin estate have a strong incentive to try to extend copyright extension yet further into the future. But with the emergence of the Internet as a political organizing tool, opponents of copyright extension will be much better prepared. The question for the coming legislative battle on copyright is who will prevail: those who would profit from continuing to lock up the great works of the 20th century, or those who believe Bugs Bunny should be as freely available for reuse as Little Red Riding Hood."

Copyright and Intellectual Property: Change is Coming;, 10/29/13

Vitalii Soldatenko,; Copyright and Intellectual Property: Change is Coming: "Against the backdrop of the new developments and opportunities in today’s information-centric culture, copyright registration can be an obsolete mean to an ineffective end. In many cases, it’s even a limiting factor for industry development, and oddly enough, infringes on the rights of authors. Our current intellectual property system benefits corporations by complicating the process of protecting the rights of content creators. In an era where opportunities and innovations abound our system is almost a tragic comedy."

FYI: Free Online Webinar Wed. Afternoon Oct. 30th: Copyright & Accessibility for Uploaded, Downloaded, Using Videos- esp. YouTube, October 30, 2013 3:00 PM EDT

FYI: "Free Online Webinar Wed. Afternoon Oct. 30th: Copyright & Accessibility for Uploaded, Downloaded, Using Videos- esp. YouTube, October 30, 2013 3:00 PM EDT Members Exchange: Copyright & Accessibility for Uploaded, Downloaded, Using Videos- esp. YouTube, October 30, 2013 3:00 PM EDT Bookmark and Share Members Exchange: Copyright & Accessibility for Uploaded, Downloaded, Using Videos- esp. YouTube October 30, 2013 3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time Leaders: Steve Gilbert and others Copyright for uploaded videos: Creative Commons, YouTube Accessibility for Videos: Captions, Tags, Transcription Accessibility: Google/YouTube This session is free to TLT Group Individual Members, to TOL4B registrants and planners. Don't forget to use the email address where you received this message as your username and login password when you come to the session. All of the TLT Group’s online offerings include use of “low threshold” tools, examination of controversial issues, options for participants with a range of experience, and suggestions for assessment as you integrate what you’ve learned into your repertoire. More information and online registration: Members Exchange: Copyright & Accessibility for Uploaded, Downloaded, Using Videos- esp. YouTube, October 30"

Seeking Students’ Short ‘Hamlet’ Videos; New York Times, 10/29/13

New York Times; Seeking Students’ Short ‘Hamlet’ Videos: "“Brevity is the soul of wit,” declares Polonius in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” And perhaps short videos of lines from one of the Bard’s most-loved plays will expose the souls of their performers, too. So The New York Times invites student actors and actresses to submit their performances of lines from “Hamlet” using Instagram. The Times’s critics have been cataloging the recent bounty of professional performances of Shakespeare’s plays. And with several stagings of “Hamlet” opening soon, we’d like to see how high school and college students interpret key lines from the play using the cameras and apps on the smartphones they might be carrying... The deadline to submit a video link is Dec. 1, [sic???] 2103. The best videos will be featured on later in December... By submitting to us, you are promising that the content is original, doesn’t plagiarize from anyone or infringe a copyright or trademark, doesn’t violate anybody’s rights and isn’t libelous or otherwise unlawful or misleading. You are agreeing that we can use your submission in all manner and media of The New York Times and that we shall have the right to authorize third parties to do so. And you agree to the rules of our Member Agreement, found online at our website."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Web inventor's open data organisation announces new global network; Guardian, 10/29/13

Peter Kimpton, Guardian; Web inventor's open data organisation announces new global network: "Just one year after its foundation in London, an organisation created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt to stimulate economic, environmental and social innovation through a system of open data sharing and analysis, has announced rapid global expansion of its ambitions. The Open Data Institute has announced the launch of 13 international centres, known as "nodes", each of which will bring together companies, universities, and NGOs that support open data projects and communities. The nodes will be based in the US, Canada, France, Dubai, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Argentina, with two extra US nodes Chicago and North Carolina. Three further UK nodes are to open in Manchester, Leeds and Brighton. The new ODI nodes will variously operate at local and national levels. Each one has agreed to adopt the ODI Charter, which is a open source codification of the ODI itself, and embodies principles of open data business, publishing, communication, and collaboration."

Star Characters, Spun Anew, May Live Well More Than Twice; New York Times, 10/22/13

Sarah Lyall, New York Times; Star Characters, Spun Anew, May Live Well More Than Twice: "Authors’ estates that still hold copyright — in the case of Fleming, this will last until 2034, 70 years after his death — stand to make tidy profits from licensing the rights for sequels, and can also lure new readers to old franchises. “This is bringing a fresh, new interesting life to Bond,” said Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications. It’s “about the heritage,” she said, not the money... As for Mr. McCall Smith’s plans to rework “Emma,” various commenters groused on the BBC Web site that if there was ever a case to be made for not tampering with perfection, this was it. Mr. McCall Smith, though, said his assignment was simply to use “Emma” as a starting point for his own imagination. Austen has developed into a cottage industry, with reimagined books and movies — “Clueless,” “The Jane Austen Book Club,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” to name a few — appearing all the time. And the publishing world is littered with the entrails of authorized sequels to Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind,” including Emma Tennant’s “Tara” (the book fell apart when she fell out with the Mitchell estate) and Alexandra Ripley’s “Scarlett,” a commercial success but a critical disaster."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Judge weighs restraining order in copyright case; San Francisco Chronicle, 10/24/13

San Francisco Chronicle; Judge weighs restraining order in copyright case: "A federal judge is mulling whether to issue a restraining order against a former Idaho National Laboratory researcher being sued for copyright infringement of cybersecurity software he helped design as an employee of the lab. Lawyers for INL operator Battelle Energy Alliance filed a lawsuit earlier this month against Corey Thuen and his private company, Southfork Security. BEA attorneys contend Thuen copied cybersecurity software called Sophia, which tracks the network connections of energy facilities to detect unusual activity and alert the operator. The software is designed specifically for facilities that provide oil, electricity and natural gas across the nation."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

“What Is Open Access?” An Explanatory Video; Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/23/13

George Williams, Chronicle of Higher Education; “What Is Open Access?” An Explanatory Video: "As I wrote on Monday, it’s currently Open Access Week. If you’re unclear what, exactly, all the hubbub is about, then you’re in luck! Last year, a roughly 8-minute, animated video was created by Jorge Cham — creator of the comic strip PhD Comics — Nick Shockey of the Right to Research Coalition, and Jonathan Eisen, a biologist at the University of California Davis. You can watch the video embedded above, or go directly to the YouTube page where the video is hosted."

Open Access Week 2013: The Time for Reform Is Now; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), 10/21/13

Adi Kamdar, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); Open Access Week 2013: The Time for Reform Is Now: "Today kicks off the sixth annual global Open Access Week. Open Access Week is at once a celebration and a call to action. Universities, libraries, organizations, and companies are hosting events all around the world to promote the ideals of open access: free, online availability of and unfettered access to scholarly works... On the national level, the most movement recently has occurred in the Executive Branch, where over twenty federal agencies have submitted open access plans to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in order to implement the White House's public access directive... While we are encouraged by the progress that has been made on the part of the agencies, we are concerned that the publishers are pushing an alternative plan—known as CHORUS—that would seriously cripple public access. In this scenario, the publishers themselves would be in charge of providing the nation public access to scholarly works according to their own rules... We've put our weight behind the Fair Access to Science & Technology Research Act (FASTR), which would open up a host of important and potentially life-saving research to the world at large. Although not perfect, the bill reduces the "embargo" period on papers to six months, meaning such papers must be freely available no later than half a year after publication."

Is The NFL Committing Copyright Infringement By Using Photos Without Consent?; Forbes, 10/23/13

Darren heitner, Forbes; Is The NFL Committing Copyright Infringement By Using Photos Without Consent? : "On October 21, 2013, seven photographers filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the National Football League (NFL), Replay Photos, Getty Images and the Associated Press. The lawsuit requests damages for copyright infringement from all the defendants, damages for vicarious and contributory copyright infringement, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. The basis for the action is that the NFL has used photos in violation of the photographers’ copyrights in the same. The photographers further allege that the NFL’s failed to receive consent to use the photos in connection with the NFL’s advertisements, news, promotions and products."

Sony Music Sues United Airlines Over In-Flight Music; Hollywood Reporter, 10/23/13

Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter; Sony Music Sues United Airlines Over In-Flight Music: "On Tuesday, Sony Music and various subsidiary labels brought a lawsuit against United Airlines, Inflight Productions and Rightscom over copyrighted music being made available through in-flight systems. According to a complaint filed in New York federal court, the defendants are duplicating sound recordings and music videos, installing the allegedly infringed copies to servers located on board aircraft and then transmitting performances to passengers. All without paying any baggage fees."

Questions Concerning Copyright Of Athlete Tattoos Has Companies Scrambling; Forbes, 8/14/13

Darren Heitner, Forbes; Questions Concerning Copyright Of Athlete Tattoos Has Companies Scrambling: "The ink issue is over who owns the copyright to the images depicted by the tattoos emblazoned on athletes’ bodies. According to sources speaking to FORBES on condition of anonymity, the issue of copyright ownership concerning tattoos on football players has very recently been labeled as a pressing issue by the NFL Players Association. One source said, “I don’t blame [the NFLPA], but they should have been on top of it earlier. It was something that was mentioned at the NFL Combine — that was the first I had ever heard them mention anything on the issue of tattoos. They advised agents to tell their players that when they get tattoos going forward they should get a release from the tattoo artist and if they can track down their former artists, they should get a release.” While it is just now garnering attention within the world of sports, copyright ownership of body ink was the subject of a contentious lawsuit between S. Victor Whitmill and Warner Bros. when the film studio placed a tattoo on the face of actor Ed Helms in “The Hangover Part 2″ that mirrored the popular tattoo Whitmill designed for the face of former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world Mike Tyson. Before the case settled out of court, Whitmill alleged that he owned the copyright to the design of the face tattoo. This raised the question: does the person who receives a tattoo own the images that are tattooed on him or is the copyright owned by the tattoo artist? It is a question that has not been ruled upon by the U.S. Supreme Court... The question of whether a tattoo even warrants copyright protection is answered by Jeffrey Harrison, University of Florida Levin College of Law professor of Copyright. ”If it is copyrightable on paper, it’s similarly copyrightable on any medium that lasts, including skin,” said Harrison to FORBES."

Goblin topplers video removed after Utahn files copyright claim; Salt Lake Tribune, 10/23/13

Jim Dalrymple II, Salt Lake Tribune; Goblin topplers video removed after Utahn files copyright claim: "The Goblin Valley topplers video, which sparked outrage across the Internet, is disappearing. By Wednesday afternoon the video posted by The Salt Lake Tribune Oct. 17 had been removed from YouTube. In its place, the video hosting site displayed a short message: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Dave Hall." Hall shot the video, which showed Glenn Taylor pushing over a "goblin" rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park, then uploaded it to Facebook. After the video attracted attention from media and officials on the social network, The Tribune broke the story about the incident and an ensuing criminal investigation."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How Open Access Scholarship Saves Lives; American Libraries, October 22, 2013

Nella Letizia, American Libraries; How Open Access Scholarship Saves Lives: "According to Jason Priem, ImpactStory cofounder and doctoral student in information science at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, important parts of the scientific process, once hidden, are gradually being exposed online. As the workflows of scholars are moving online, the stuff of day-to-day science— conversations, arguments, recommendations, reads, bookmarks—leave traces on websites such as Mendeley, Twitter, blogs, and Faculty of 1000. Mining these traces, in addition to utilizing traditional metrics such as citation counts and journal impact factors, can give researchers and publishers faster, more diverse, and more accurate data of scholarly impact. Cancer detection breakthrough thanks to open access Open access caught international attention recently in part because of high-school student Jack Andraka of Crownsville, Maryland, who, in 2012 at the age of 15, developed a revolutionary cancer detection test. Designed to detect the presence of a protein for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer at the early stages, the test costs 3 cents, takes five minutes to run, and is more than 90% accurate, according to the Right to Research Coalition. The test is also 26,667 times cheaper, 168 times faster, and 400 times more sensitive than the current pancreatic cancer test. To research his cancer detection method, Andraka read free online articles he found at scientific journal websites and the PubMed Central. But, he noted, paid subscription requirements from other journals were an impediment."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Not-So-Great Expectations; Inside Higher Ed, 10/18/13

Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed; Not-So-Great Expectations: "Politics aside, Slocum’s case and others like it in recent months raise an important question: In the age of social media and smartphones, what expectations – if any – should professors have for privacy for lectures and communications intended for students? Very little, said Slocum – but that’s “an acknowledgement of fact, of the way the Internet works, rather than a normative statement.” Privacy and intellectual property experts agreed, saying that such communications are fair game for students to share. Higher education has a complicated relationship with copyright and other ownership questions, experts said, due to historical concerns about academic freedom. Legally, however, most all of what professors say to students in lectures and in e-mails would pass the "fair use" doctrine test, making it O.K. for students to record, share and comment on even copyrighted material for non-commercial purposes. “All of us have to figure out what our expectations should be in an age of smartphones and the Internet,” said Jessica Litman, a professor of law and information at the University of Michigan who specializes in intellectual property -- professors included... “Copyright doesn't protect extemporaneous utterances unless they are recorded with the permission of their author -- here, the speaker -- so he would have no copyright claim,” she said. If Penn’s lecture had been written down – including the “rant” – he could have a copyright claim, Litman said. But in that case, the student who recorded it would have a plausible fair use defense, she added, referring to the section of copyright law that allows for unlicensed, non-commercial use of copyrighted material."

Friday, October 18, 2013

Copyright Pirates Vow To Fight On After Filesharing Site Isohunt Walks The Plank; Forbes, 10/17/13

Jasper Hamill, Forbes; Copyright Pirates Vow To Fight On After Filesharing Site Isohunt Walks The Plank: "Internet pirates are preparing to set sail for new waters following the shutdown of the decade-old filesharing site Isohunt. Following a long court battle, the world-famous site agreed to switch off the lights for good today and pay out a mammoth $110 million settlement, although there’s little sense of where this cash will come from and how it will be handed over to movie studios. However, supporters claimed the court case represented little more than a “paper victory” in an age where content was freely available to anyone who knows where to look. They vowed to continue campaigning for copyright reform."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

In Higher Ed Some Intellectual Property Counts More Than Others; Library Journal, 10/16/13

Steven Bell, Library Journal; In Higher Ed Some Intellectual Property Counts More Than Others: "The new AAUP Draft Intellectual Property Statement has nothing to say about works of scholarly publication. Are they not intellectual property? Or does some property count more than others? Faculty have always created content for their institutions. In the pre-digital world, there was far less tension between institutions and their faculty over who owned syllabi or course notes. The opportunity for mass distribution and potential profit beyond the institution was rare. Fast-forward to an age where online course content is widely produced by faculty, as well as marketable inventions that might offer big returns to universities. To maintain peace on campus, it’s critical for institutions to develop ownership policies that guide how faculty content and patentable inventions are managed and shared. This is particularly important as higher education increasingly goes online, and faculty seek clear rights to their video lectures and other content that is easily distributed and offered by other faculty at the same or other institutions. As higher education monetizes its intellectual goods, why are some scholarly assets being ignored?"

Kim Dotcom's Mega 'not being used for wide-scale copyright infringement'; Guardian, 10/17/13

Stuart Dredge, Guardian; Kim Dotcom's Mega 'not being used for wide-scale copyright infringement' : ""Kim Dotcom may be seen as a villainous pirate-king by the creative industries, but his Mega cloud storage service is attracting white-collar professionals, according to its chief executive Vikram Kumar. "The segment that seems to be most interested in Mega, and in paying for space, security and privacy tends to be professionals," Kumar told the Copyright and Technology conference in London this morning, beaming in for his keynote interview via Skype. "Accountants, lawyers, financial advisers, architects... These are people that want to use the internet, are concerned that their confidential client information may get compromised, and who are willing to pay for security and privacy online.""

An Alliance in Media Petitions Justices; New York Times, 10/11/13

Brian Stelter, New York Times; An Alliance in Media Petitions Justices: "The nation’s biggest television broadcasters are collectively asking for the Supreme Court’s support in their quest to stop Aereo, a small Internet start-up that threatens some of the underpinnings of the TV business. In a filing on Friday, the media companies petitioned the court to determine whether Aereo’s method of sending television signals to paying subscribers from small antenna farms violates decades-old copyright law. Aereo says it does not, but the companies say it does. Lower court rulings on the matter have mostly favored Aereo to date. “Today’s filing underscores our resolve to see justice done,” one of the petitioners, Fox Television Stations, said Friday. “Make no mistake, Aereo is stealing our broadcast signal.” The other petitioners included divisions of the Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC; Comcast, which owns NBC and Telemundo; CBS, PBS and Univision. All of the companies own local television stations that transmit over the public airwaves and normally compete with one another; by joining together they are presenting a united front against what they say is Aereo’s illegal disruption of their business model. They are aware that they face long odds: the court grants about 1 percent of all petitions filed... Aereo, which is backed by the former Fox network co-founder Barry Diller, exploits what some analysts have called a loophole in copyright law involving public performances."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10/22/13 & 10/24/13 Copyright/Open Access Presentations at University of Pittsburgh

John Barnett, University of Pittsburgh ULS Scholarly Communications Librarian, has kindly provided the information below about two upcoming presentations: Event #1- Copyright & Your Research Tuesday, October 22, 4 to 5 pm Ballroom A, University Club Speaker: Peter B. Hirtle, Senior Policy Advisor, Cornell University Library, and Research Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet Security and Society, Harvard University * Learn about copyrights, author agreements, and publishing contracts * Learn to navigate public access requirements in federal grants * Discover new publishing options for Pitt authors Event #2- Open Access Policies: Coming Attractions Thursday, October 24, 4 to 5 pm Ballroom A, University Club Speaker: Michael W. Carroll, Professor of Law and director, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, American University, Washington College of Law * Learn more about the White House directive on Open Access and the University of California System policy on Open Access * Better understand how scholarly publishing will be impacted * Discover the importance of reuse rights for Open Access works

Suit Filed Against Warner Bros. in Screenplay Theft; New York Times, 10/10/13

Michael Cieply, New York Times; Suit Filed Against Warner Bros. in Screenplay Theft: "In Hollywood, where everyone is eager to claim credit for a great idea, charges of script theft are as common as cocktail receptions, and usually as fleeting. Few lawsuits ultimately prevail, partly because claimants often overvalue an idea’s originality. But the aggrieved keep trying. Just last week, James Cameron was granted dismissal of a suit — one of several similar actions against him — that claimed he had misappropriated material in creating “Avatar.” Two days earlier, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in a copyright case connected to the 1980 film “Raging Bull.”"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Apple Makes Questionable Copyright Claim To Pull Down iTunes Contract;, 10/14/13

Mike Masnick,; Apple Makes Questionable Copyright Claim To Pull Down iTunes Contract: "There had been some buzz a while back when Digital Music News published an entire iTunes Radio contract, which was targeted at smaller indie labels, showing how Apple got to throw its weight around, presenting terms that were very much in Apple's favor over the labels if they wanted to participate in iTunes Radio. However, while it took a few months, Apple's lawyers finally spotted this and they have apparently made a copyright claim to get the contract taken down... That said, I question whether or not this really is a legit takedown. While Apple can claim a copyright on the contract, it seems that DMN has a really strong fair use claim."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Copyright theft harms China, too; South China Morning Post, 10/14/13

South China Morning Post; Copyright theft harms China, too: "China is constantly at the sharp end of Western accusations that it is infringing intellectual property rights. The latest US government violations report keeps it on a priority watch list of 10 nations, expressing "grave concerns" about misappropriation of trade secrets and "incremental progress" in meeting perceived obligations. But theft of patents, designs and copyright is not just a problem in the countries that are named and shamed. It is an international phenomenon that has no boundaries. Hon Lik, the Chinese inventor of the electronic cigarette, well knows that. He claims he is being robbed of a fortune by companies in China and elsewhere that are unlawfully making copycats."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

US Copyright Reform Hearing Rescheduled To 12 December [2013]; Intellectual Property Watch, 10/11/3

Intellectual Property Watch; US Copyright Reform Hearing Rescheduled To 12 December [2013] : "A hearing to consider a United States government “green paper” as part of the ongoing reform of the US copyright system has been moved to 12 December due to the government shutdown."

US Signs WIPO Marrakesh Treaty On Copyright Exceptions For The Blind; Intellectual Property Watch, 10/11/13

Intellectual Property Watch; US Signs WIPO Marrakesh Treaty On Copyright Exceptions For The Blind: "Despite signing, the United States might be a long way from ratifying the June 2013 treaty, as noted by Jonathan Band of policybandwidth in Washington, DC, who first announced the US signing. “Of course, signing the treaty is different from ratifying it,” he said on a listserv. “Signing the treaty was a decision within the control of the Obama Administration. Ratification requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, and the Senate Republicans have refused to ratify over 30 treaties signed by a variety of administrations over the past four decades, if not longer.”"

Friday, October 11, 2013

You Can't Copyright The Budget Shutdown In Washington; Forbes, 10/4/13

Jess Collen, Forbes; You Can't Copyright The Budget Shutdown In Washington: "The shutdown has had an immediate impact and presence in the everyday life of my office. There are daily questions of conflict, ownership rights, transfers and legal protection. People log onto the Copyright Office website all day long. We rely on the information it supplies to help understand ownership rights if someone is threatening a claim against a client. It helps us identify properties when there is a merger or acquisition. Sometimes we use its useful research tool to see what registrations are owned by a particular company or for a special type of work. Losing the website sends us back to the Dark Ages... These things are likely not as mission critical as the shutdown effect in many areas, maybe even most. But adding up all the dollars of all the hundreds of thousands of people who are daily involved in various intellectual property-based endeavors in the knowledge economy, the impact probably touches more lives than one might think. This will be the least compelling story you will read all week about the shutdown. I know that. But there is an insidious impact maybe thinly, but certainly broadly, felt. And, lawyers being lawyers, there will be no absence of papers filed in the weeks to come blaming delays and uncertainly on the “impossibility” of taking certain actions or filing certain papers because the Copyright Office was down. Wait and see."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cheating’s Surprising Thrill; New York Times, 10/7/13

Jan Hoffman, New York Times; Cheating’s Surprising Thrill: "When was the last time you cheated? Not on the soul-scorching magnitude of, say, Bernie Madoff, Lance Armstrong or John Edwards. Just nudge-the-golf-ball cheating. Maybe you rounded up numbers on an expense report. Let your eyes wander during a high-stakes exam. Or copied a friend’s expensive software. And how did you feel afterward? You may recall nervousness, a twinge of guilt. But new research shows that as long as you didn’t think your cheating hurt anyone, you may have felt great. The discomfort you remember feeling then may actually be a response rewritten now by your inner moral authority, your “should” voice. Unethical behavior is increasingly studied by psychologists and management specialists. They want to understand what prompts people to abrogate core values, why cheating appears to be on the rise, and what interventions can be made. To find a powerful tool to turn people toward ethical decisions, many researchers have focused on the guilt that many adults feel after cheating. So some behavioral ethics researchers were startled by a study published recently in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by researchers at the University of Washington, the London Business School, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. The title: “The Cheater’s High: The Unexpected Affective Benefits of Unethical Behavior.”... The impact is real: According to some estimates, software piracy costs companies $63 billion a year globally."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Marvel Sends Cease-and-Desist to Anticipated Punisher Fan Film;, 10/8/13

Steve Sunu,; Marvel Sends Cease-and-Desist to Anticipated Punisher Fan Film: "In May, CBR debuted a teaser for the impressive Punisher fan-made film "The Dead Can't Be Distracted," based on Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto's acclaimed run on Marvel Comics' "Punisher." Filmmaker Mike Pecci has updated fans about the status of the film on his personal website, and the news isn't good for those expecting the film to see the light of day. Marvel has sent Pecci a cease-and-desist letter, demanding that Pecci "immediately stop [the] unauthorized use, advertising, sale and/or distribution of any production of The Punisher or any other Marvel character-based films." "According to Marvel it would 'confuse the audience' into believing that it's an official Marvel production," Pecci said of his fan film."

USPTO Lays Out Process For Public Input To Copyright Policy Reform; Intellectual Property Watch, 10/8/13

Intellectual Property Watch; USPTO Lays Out Process For Public Input To Copyright Policy Reform: "A 4 October blog by USPTO Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs Shira Perlmutter describes the process... Perlmutter added: “As explained in the Federal Register Notice, we are particularly seeking comments on five specific topics raised in the green paper: (1) establishing a multistakeholder dialogue on improving the operation of the notice and takedown system for removing infringing content from the Internet under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA); (2) the legal framework for the creation of remixes; (3) the relevance and scope of the first sale doctrine in the digital environment; (4) the application of statutory damages in the contexts of individual file sharers and of secondary liability for large-scale infringement; and (5) the appropriate role for the government, if any, to help improve the online licensing environment, including access to comprehensive databases of rights information.”"

Monday, October 7, 2013

Open-Access Journals Hit By Journalist's Sting; NPR, 10/4/13

NPR; Open-Access Journals Hit By Journalist's Sting: "Although many open-access scientific journals claim the articles they publish are subject to peer review, that doesn't always happen. Science magazine contributor John Bohannon sent out bogus papers about a fictitious cancer experiment, papers that should have raised red flags. But more than 150 journals offered to publish his work. Bohannon talks to Renee Montagne about the implications of his sting operation."

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Modernizing an English Garden; New York Times, 10/4/13

Adam Nicolson, New York Times; Modernizing an English Garden: "The National Trust accepted Sissinghurst in 1967, and my father entered the last decades of his life secure in the idea that he had done the right thing. He was known as the Resident Donor and presided happily over the place as it boomed with the tourist revolution over the next three decades. He became a sort of constitutional monarch: advising and consulting. He built himself a little writing room in the garden, where visitors would find him charmingly and delightfully welcoming. His part-skeptical children used to call it the Resident Donor Display Cabinet. He was a caretaker, spending his days as the protector of his parents’ creation. When he fell ill in 2004, my wife, Sarah, and I and our two daughters, Rosie and Molly, left our own farmhouse and went back to live at Sissinghurst. And when he died later that year, we stayed on, largely, I think, out of a sense of duty to this strange unowned inheritance, a mere tenancy at a place everything encouraged us to think of as ours. It did not go well. The new setup was something of a shock. We had moved into a museum: our dogs not allowed in the garden, being shouted at by gardeners if they did wander in; our children not allowed near the greenhouses; our cars to be parked in exactly prealigned ways; instructions that we were not to have parties on the weekends; that any photograph we took inside or outside the house was to be the copyright of the National Trust — I said no to the most invasive of these requests — and so on."

Friday, October 4, 2013

Use of Third-Party Artwork in Video Backdrop Is Fair Use in Copyright Claim; National Law Review, 10/4/13

Elisabeth Morgan, National law Review; Use of Third-Party Artwork in Video Backdrop Is Fair Use in Copyright Claim: "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed that the unauthorized use of an artist’s illustration in a video backdrop featured in rock band Green Day’s stage show did not violate the Copyright Act, finding, in part, that the use was sufficiently transformative and did not affect the market value of the work. Seltzer v. Green Day, Inc., et al, Case Nos. 11-56573, -57160 (9th Cir. Aug. 7, 2013) (O’Scannlain, J.)"

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The copyright cartel's plot to indoctrinate California kindergartens; Guardian, 9/29/13

Dan Gillmor, Guardian; The copyright cartel's plot to indoctrinate California kindergartens: "Hollywood and the recording industry (aka the Copyright Cartel) are leading the charge to create grade school lessons that – at least, in their draft form, as published by Wired – have a no-compromise message: if someone else created it, you need permission to use it. Sounds wonderful, until you think about how creativity actually works. And never mind that the law, already tipped in favor of copyright holders, doesn't hold such an absolutist position. It's no surprise to learn that America's biggest internet service providers – let's call them the Telecom Cartel, since that's what they've become – are part of this propaganda scheme. It's sad to learn, however, that the California School Library Association has climbed aboard; the organization helped produce the lessons that, thankfully, are still only in draft form. But they are likely to reach California classrooms later this school year and, presumably, other parts of the nation later on... There's a concept called "fair use" – deliberately ignored in the lesson, on the absurd basis that kids can't understand it – that explicitly allows others to make use of our work in ways we don't like, or anticipate."

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Free Sherlock Holmes: the Copyright Battle of Baker Street; The Conversation, 9/30/13

Matthew Rimmer, The Conversation; Free Sherlock Holmes: the Copyright Battle of Baker Street: "Who owns Sherlock Holmes, the world’s greatest detective? Is it the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? Or the mysterious socialite Andrea Plunket? Or does Sherlock Holmes belong to the public? This is the question currently being debated in copyright litigation in the United States courts, raising larger questions about copyright law and the public domain, the ownership of literary characters, and the role of sequels, adaptations, and mash-ups."

Defining and Demanding a Musician’s Fair Shake in the Internet Age; New York Times, 9/30/13

Ben Sisario, New York Times; Defining and Demanding a Musician’s Fair Shake in the Internet Age: "As the leader of the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, Mr. Lowery had a modicum of fame in the 1980s and ’90s. But over the last year, he has become a celebrity among musicians for speaking out about artists’ shrinking paychecks and the influence of Silicon Valley over copyright, economics and public discourse. In public appearances and no-holds-barred blog posts, Mr. Lowery, 53, has come to represent the anger of musicians in the digital age. When an NPR Music intern confessed in a blog post last year that she paid very little for her music, he scolded her in a 3,800-word open letter that framed the issue in moral terms... The issue has become hot as technology companies like Pandora and Google have replaced major record labels as the villains of choice for industry critics."

Justices to Hear ‘Raging Bull’ Copyright Appeal: New York Times, 10/1/13

Adam Liptak, New York Times; Justices to Hear ‘Raging Bull’ Copyright Appeal: "The copyright case concerns collaborations between the boxer Jake LaMotta and a friend, Frank P. Petrella, including a book and two screenplays, one of which was called “The Raging Bull.” Paula Petrella, Mr. Petrella’s daughter, contends that these works formed the basis for “Raging Bull,” the 1980 movie starring Robert De Niro. She did not sue the movie’s owners until 2009, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, said that was too late. The copyright law itself would have allowed the suit, as its three-year statute of limitation starts to run anew every time there is a fresh infringement. The question for the justices, one that has divided the lower courts, is whether the suit should nonetheless have been dismissed based on a doctrine known as laches, which bars suits brought after unreasonable delays."