Tuesday, May 30, 2017

As Computer Coding Classes Swell, So Does Cheating; New York Times, May 29, 2017

Jess Bidgood and Jeremy B. Merrill, New York Times; 

As Computer Coding Classes Swell, So Does Cheating

"In interviews, professors and students said the causes were not hard to pin down.

To some students drawn to the classes, coding does not come easily. The coursework can be time-consuming. Troves of code online, on sites like GitHub, may have answers to the very assignment the student is wrestling with, posted by someone who previously took the course.

“You’ve got kids who were struggling with spending a third of their time on their problem sets with the option to copy from the internet,” said Jackson Wagner, who took the Harvard course in 2015 and was not accused of copying. “That’s the reason why people cheat.”

Complicating matters is the collaborative ethos among programmers, which encourages code-sharing in ways that might not be acceptable in a class. Professors also frequently allow students to discuss problems among themselves, but not to share actual code, a policy that some students say creates confusion about what constitutes cheating."

The Coat of Arms Said ‘Integrity.’ Now It Says ‘Trump.’; New York Times, May 28, 2017

Danny Hakim, New York Times; 

The Coat of Arms Said ‘Integrity.’ Now It Says ‘Trump.’

Britain’s trademark office would not initially acknowledge the earlier application by Mr. Trump. It provided a copy last month only after The New York Times made a Freedom of Information request, and would not say why the application was rejected, citing a law restricting its ability to release information.

The College of Arms, which oversees coats of arms in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, provided more detail. The emblem originally submitted in 2007 by Mr. Trump to Britain’s trademark office matched one that had been granted to Mr. Davies, an American of Welsh descent who once served as ambassador to the Soviet Union.

“It couldn’t be a clearer-cut case, actually,” said Clive Cheesman, one of the college’s heralds, who oversee coats of arms, their design and their use.

“A coat of arms that was originally granted to Joseph Edward Davies in 1939 by the English heraldic authority ended up being used 10 or 15 years ago by the Trump Organization as part of its branding for its golf clubs,” said Mr. Cheesman, a lawyer by training. “This got them into difficulty.”"

Supreme Court decision allows resale of used ink cartridges despite patent holder restriction; ABA Journal, May 30, 2017

Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal; Supreme Court decision allows resale of used ink cartridges despite patent holder restriction

"A patent holder that restricts the reuse or resale of its printer ink cartridges can’t invoke patent law against a remanufacturing company that violates the restriction, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.

The court ruled that Lexmark International’s patent rights are exhausted with its first sale of the cartridges, despite restrictions it tried to impose."

Intellectual Property (IP) Through Stories; BananaIP.com, May 2017

BananaIP.com; Intellectual Property (IP) Through Stories

"Storytelling Based Corporate IP Training and Knowledge Development Program
“You may forget a concept or a principle, but you will never forget a well told story.”
BananaIP offers story based intellectual property training and knowledge development programs for corporates and businesses. Unlike the standard IP training programs, which are typically delivered through talks, presentations and cases, BananaIP’s IP through Stories Program teaches IP concepts and skills through creative and interactive storytelling. Program participants will learn basic and advanced concepts of IP through entertaining, educative and imaginative stories told by some of the leading experts in the field.
Over the years, BananaIP’s Team of experts and Trainers have taught more than ten thousand corporates at different levels in the organization structure from CEOs to Fresh Recruits. The IP through Stories Program takes that experience a step forward by integrating innovative IP teaching techniques with storytelling."

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Rise and Fall of Yik Yak, the Anonymous Messaging App; New York Times, May 27, 2017

Valeriya Safronova, New York Times; The Rise and Fall of Yik Yak, the Anonymous Messaging App

"At the end of that year, Mr. Droll and Mr. Buffington laid off 60 percent of their employees, and last month, they shut down the operation, selling off intellectual property and employee contracts to Square Inc., a mobile payment company, for $1 million. A few months earlier, Hive, a college-based chat app with a similar color scheme to Yik Yak’s, popped up in the iTunes and Google Play stores, with Mr. Buffington in one of the screenshots. Whether it was an attempt at reinvention under the Yik Yak umbrella or a side project is unclear, but it is no longer available...

Morgan Hines, who will start her fourth year at Northeastern University in Boston this fall, never encountered nastiness on Yik Yak. “I thought it was funny,” she said. “It formed a lot of camaraderie between students. There would be random shout-outs to things happening on campus, like people who are attractive or being annoying in the library, or a fire alarm going off at 4 a.m.”

But Ms. Hines criticized Yik Yak’s hyper-localization. “Yik Yak was for pockets of people on campus,” she said. “If the fire alarm went off at 4 a.m., it only went off at your building, so no one else will give it a thumbs-up.”

That hyper-localization is also what made the cases of harassment particularly galling. Ms. Musick, one of the plaintiffs, said, “With Yik Yak, in the back of your mind, you know they’re not from around the world or other parts of the state, they’re right there in your classroom, in your dining hall. On a campus with 4,500 students, that’s a pretty small group of people. This isn’t some creepy guy in his mom’s basement in Indiana.”"

Swiss keep up the patent pace; swissinfo.ch, May 24, 2017

Luigi Jorio, swissinfo.ch; Swiss keep up the patent pace

"A machine for sorting gravel, a barometer that works by atmospheric humidity and a special electric writing machine: these are just a few of the patents that were filed in Switzerland over a hundred years ago and very probably reviewed by a certain Albert Einstein
external linkThe famous German physicist worked at the Swiss Federal Office of Intellectual Property in Bern from 1902 to 1909, a place he spoke of as a worldly cloister where he hatched his most beautiful ideas."

Fair Use Under the Trademark Laws; New York Law Journal, May 23, 2017

Howard Wintner, New York Law Journal; 

Fair Use Under the Trademark Laws

"The doctrine of fair use is usually associated with the copyright laws. There is, however, also a doctrine of fair use under the trademark laws. There are two branches of trademark fair use. One is descriptive fair use, which is often referred to as classic fair use. The other is nominative fair use. In classic fair use, the defendant uses the plaintiff's trademark to describe its own product or service. Nominative fair use occurs when the defendant uses the plaintiff's trademark to describe the plaintiff's product or service, even though its ultimate goal is to describe its own product or service. This article will discuss descriptive or classic fair use. The doctrine of nominative fair use is worthy of another article."

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Episode 774: Unspeakable Trademark; NPR, Planet Money, May 26, 2017

[Podcast] Jacob Goldstein, Ailsa Chang, NPR, Planet Money; 

Episode 774: Unspeakable Trademark

"Warning: This episode has explicit language, for unavoidable and soon-to-be obvious reasons...

Today on the show, a fight over a band name that turns into a fight about free speech. It goes all the way to the Supreme Court."

Hedwig Village man at center of international espionage investigation; ABC13, May 24, 2017

Miya Shay, ABC13; 

Hedwig Village man at center of international espionage investigation

"In reality, the allegations are wide ranging and shocking. Federal investigators say Shi, along with six others, tried to trade secrets from a business in the U.S. on behalf of a company in China that was engaged in manufacturing a high-performance, naval-grade product for military and civilian uses. Prosecutors allege Shi used his companies CMB-International Inc. and Deepoil.com as fronts to gather trade secrets and pay others."

Jury Rules With School in Fight Over California Strawberries; Associated Press via New York Times, May 24, 2017

Associated Press via New York Times; 

Jury Rules With School in Fight Over California Strawberries

"A renowned strawberry researcher in California broke patent law and violated a loyalty pledge to his former university by taking his work with him to profit from it in a private company, a jury in San Francisco decided Wednesday.

Professor Douglas Shaw formed his own research firm with others after retiring from the University of California, Davis, where for years he had overseen the school's strawberry breeding program, developing a heartier and tastier fruit.

Jurors in the federal court decided that he used seeds developed at UC Davis without gaining the university's permission."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Patent decision bad for East Texas hospitality; Houston Chronicle, May 25, 2017

Chris Tomlinson, Houston Chronicle; 

Patent decision bad for East Texas hospitality

"Business travelers are the mainstay of the hospitality business and the U.S. Supreme Court just dealt a blow to East Texas hoteliers and restaurateurs.

The number of out-of-town attorneys and paralegals trekking to Tyler and Marshall will likely plummet now that the court has limited where patent trolls can use the judiciary to extort money from major corporations...

The patent-holders don't choose East Texas because they live there, nor are the defendant companies based in East Texas. The plaintiffs choose the district because the judges move through the cases quickly and the juries consistently rule against big companies.

The plaintiffs get away with it because the products with the intellectual property in question are sold in the district. So every month, dozens of attorneys and paralegals make the trip to East Texas to argue the cases they couldn't settle out of court.

But no more. Maybe."

SCORE: Trademark basics for small business owners; Traverse City Record-Eagle, May 21, 2017

Ed Ketterer, Traverse City Record-Eagle; 

SCORE: Trademark basics for small business owners

"To learn more about trademarks, visit the USPTO website (www.uspto.gov) where you’ll find detailed information and links to helpful resources. You’ll also want to attend SCORE’s free workshop “Intellectual Property 101: Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents and Internet Law” on Tuesday, June 13, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Traverse Area District Library Woodmere branch. To reserve your seat, visit www.upnorthscore.com"

Obama chief data scientist: Trumpcare health plan would ‘cripple’ precision medicine; FedScoop, May 24, 2017

Billy Mitchell, FedScoop; Obama chief data scientist: Trumpcare health plan would ‘cripple’ precision medicine

"DJ Patil, U.S. chief data scientist in the latter years of Barack Obama’s presidency, wrote on Medium that Trumpcare, as the AHCA is nicknamed, would threaten the country’s ability to leverage data to advance medical science, particularly in the fight against major diseases like cancer. The White House’s proposal would allow insurance companies to deny coverage or charge more when people have preexisting medical conditions. That provision could make people less willing to share important information about themselves with researchers, Patil says, because of fear it could be used against them later.

“[M]y deep fear is that people won’t be willing to donate their data. And there are too many people who have diseases that need us to donate our data to help,” Patil writes.

At the center of the Precision Medicine Initiative introduced under Obama is the “responsible collection of large amounts of data to be able to develop truly customized medical treatments for each patient,” Patil explains. The Trump legislation essentially threatens that project."

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Supreme Court’s big ruling on ‘patent trolls’ will rock businesses everywhere; Washington Post, May 23, 2017

Brian Fung, Washington Post; The Supreme Court’s big ruling on ‘patent trolls’ will rock businesses everywhere

"So what does the Supreme Court's ruling mean for this system?

It's a big deal, particularly for smaller companies. The court voted unanimously to say that patent lawsuits should be tried where the defending company is based, rather than in a court of the plaintiff's choosing.
Legal analysts say this decision could shift a huge number of cases away from “plaintiff-friendly” districts and toward more “neutral” venues where a defending company stands a better chance of fending off a suit.
“From here out,” according to Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, “defendants can still be sued in a district such as E.D. Tex. if they have a regular and established place of business in it, but the decision is likely to shrink what I called in my January preview a ‘jackpot patent litigation sector.’ ”"

Supreme Court Ruling Could Hinder ‘Patent Trolls’; New York Times, May 22, 2017

Adam Liptak, New York Times; 

Supreme Court Ruling Could Hinder ‘Patent Trolls’

"More than 40 percent of patent lawsuits, for instance, are filed in a federal court in East Texas.

In recent years, a single judge based in Marshall, Tex., oversaw about a quarter of all patent cases nationwide, more than the number handled by all federal judges in California, Florida and New York combined.

Monday’s decision was a victory for big technology companies and other patent holders, which have complained about what they called forum shopping in patent cases. Other companies have argued that it makes sense to let cases be considered by courts that have developed expertise in patent matters."

Pandora Just Taught Every Business Out There What Not to Do In Logo Redesign; Inc.com, May 24, 2017

Wanda Thibodeaux, Inc.com; Pandora Just Taught Every Business Out There What Not to Do In Logo Redesign

"It's one of the most basic rules of business: Choose a logo that represents you and only you. After all, logos are supposed to be an identifier for your brand. But apparently, it's a lesson that Pandora hasn't quite learned yet. As Nicole Gallucci of Mashable reports, PayPal is suing the music streaming company for trademark infringement, claiming that Pandora's 2016 logo redesign is too similar to its own...

7 tips to avoid Pandora's trouble

If you, like Pandora, have to come up with something new, keep these rules in mind:..
Oh, and when in doubt? There are these great professionals known as lawyers. Talk to one."

Canada needs an innovative intellectual property strategy; Globe and Mail, May 19, 2017

James Hinton and Peter Cowan, Globe and Mail; 

Canada needs an innovative intellectual property strategy

"The recent federal budget signalled a dramatic shift in Canada’s approach to innovation. By announcing a national intellectual property (IP) strategy, the government finally addressed the calls of innovation experts who understand the critical role of IP in a 21st-century economy...

Canadian innovators have only a basic understanding about IP
Canadian entrepreneurs understand IP strategy as a defensive mechanism to protect their products. In reality, IP is the most critical tool for revenue growth and global expansion in a 21st-century economy. Cross-discipline awareness and education is needed so that our innovators know how to generate IP through technology standards, regulatory design, ecosystem-licensing strategies, litigation, trade agreements and so on. Companies should also have access to pro bono and low-cost services at all publicly funded institutions."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

American Bar Association Webinar: Trump's Presidency to Date: Effects on IP Law, Business and our Profession, Tuesday, June 6, 2017

American Bar Association Webinar: Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Trump's Presidency to Date: Effects on IP Law, Business and our Profession

Trump's Presidency to Date: Effects on IP Law, Business and our Profession

Tuesday, June 6, 2017
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EST
1.50 Non-ethics CLE Credit Hours
How has President Trump's first 100 days affected, and will continue to affect, IP law regarding patents, trademarks, and copyrights?
This webinar will discuss the state of IP law coming into the new presidency and what, if anything, has changed or will change. A panel of IP experts will explore a broad range of IP topics, such as selections for future leadership of the USPTO Office, the US withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership, and the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice. In addition, the panel will review congruencies in historical political events effecting IP law and will further discuss the effects of presidential and legislative policies that may affect all types of IP, business and our profession.
  • David Postolski, Gearhart Law, Summit, NJ (Moderator)
  • Thomas Stoll, American Bar Association, Washington, DC
  • Brigid Harrison, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
  • Wendell Potter, To Be Fair, Inc.; Tarbell.org, Philadelphia, PA

Creative Commons' annual State of the Commons Report, May 23, 2017

Ryan Merkley, Creative Commons; Welcome to Creative Commons' annual celebration of the global commons movement—our State of the Commons report.

"SOTC explores the wide array of creativity and knowledge that is freely available to the world under CC licenses. Throughout the report, we’ll show how the body of work in the commons has grown and developed this year, and explore the impact the commons is making on our culture.
In previous editions of SOTC, we've focused our efforts on measuring and reporting quantitative data—for instance, the total number of openly-licensed works online, the percentage of CC licenses used across various fields, and the volume of CC-licensed works that are available to the public through the many online sharing platforms where our legal tools are prevalent. That data is still here, but this year we’ve gone further: CC's new organizational strategy is focused on increasing the vibrancy and usability of the commons (not just its breadth and volume), so we’re focusing on the stories and people behind the creativity in the commons as well."

Monday, May 22, 2017

Justices Make It Easier for Companies to Defend Patent Cases; Associated Press via New York Times, May 22, 2017

Associated Press via New York Times; 

Justices Make It Easier for Companies to Defend Patent Cases

"The Supreme Court on Monday made it easier for companies to defend themselves against patent infringement lawsuits in a ruling that places strict limits on where such cases can be filed.

The justices ruled unanimously that patent owners must bring lawsuits only in states where the targeted company is incorporated. The issue is important to many companies that complain about patent owners "shopping" for favorable courts in other parts of the country to file lawsuits."

Biltmore Company wins trademark infringement case; WLOS, May 22, 2017

Jennifer Saylor, WLOS; 

Biltmore Company wins trademark infringement case

"The verdict is in, and the plaintiff, the Biltmore Company, has won a trademark infringement case between it and Biltmore Bride, Prom and Tux.

The Biltmore Company sued the bridal company, claiming trademark infringement and cyberpiracy, as well as unfair and deceptive trade practices."

How to Fight Back Against Revenge Porn; New York Times, May 18, 2017

Niraj Chokshi, New York Times; 

How to Fight Back Against Revenge Porn

"Consider criminal action

Despite increasing awareness about the issue, many officials may still be unaware of legal protections in place for victims of nonconsensual porn, according to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. So victims should researchstate laws targeting nonconsensual porn before approaching the authorities.

And while the decision to prosecute lies with the government, victims can help by providing documentation. “In order to have a successful prosecution, you’ve got to have evidence,” Ms. D’Amico said.

Victims may help to strengthen a case, and penalty, by highlighting violations of related laws, including those aimed at child pornography, harassment, stalking, extortion and copyright. The Initiative maintains a list of such laws and encourages victims to bring printed copies when filing a police report."

The World’s Best-Selling Drug Just Lost a Key Patent Battle; Fortune, May 18, 2017

Sy Mukherjee, Fortune; 

The World’s Best-Selling Drug Just Lost a Key Patent Battle

"The rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis medicine has recently been a target of biopharma companies that are trying to make generic Humira copycats called "biosimilars."...

Once the drug does fall off the patent cliff, however, AbbVie could be in for some rough times. Humira sales make up more than 60% of its revenues."

Sunday, May 21, 2017

What the world’s most avid pizza box collector thinks of Apple’s patented pizza box; Washington Post, May 19, 2017

Herman Wong, Washington Post; What the world’s most avid pizza box collector thinks of Apple’s patented pizza box

"The wider world became aware of the circular carrier with a perforated lid after it was mentioned briefly in a recent Wired article about Apple Park, the Silicon Valley giant’s new campus in Cupertino, Calif. In a parenthetical, the magazine noted that Francesco Longoni, “the maestro of the Apple Park café, helped Apple patent a box that will keep to-go pizzas from getting soggy.” A caption added that it was “for workers who want to take the café’s pizza back to their pods.”

The patent describes the container as “a lid portion that is coupled to the base portion through a hinged connection such that the entire container is singularly constructed from a single piece of material.” Or you could just look at this video..."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Google Just Dropped Some of Its Patent Claims Against Uber; Gizmodo, May 17, 2017

Kate Conger, Gizmodo; 

Google Just Dropped Some of Its Patent Claims Against Uber

"Waymo quietly dropped several of the patent claims in its explosive lawsuit against Uber last night, admitting in a new court filing that although it stands behind its allegations of trade secret theft and may pursue new patent claims later, it isn’t moving forward with its current patent infringement claims against one of Uber’s lidar devices."

"Foolish Visionary"; Bizarro, May 20, 2017

Dan Piraro, Bizarro; "Foolish Visionary"

Friday, May 19, 2017

Can You Copyright Your Dumb Joke? And How Can You Prove It's Yours?; NPR, May 17. 2017

Laurel Wamsley, NPR; 

Can You Copyright Your Dumb Joke? And How Can You Prove It's Yours?

"In 2008, law professors Dotan Oliar and Christopher Sprigman published a paper that explored the norms comics had established to protect their intellectual property: their jokes...

Can you really copyright a dumb joke?

"The question really focuses on originality, and there is no freestanding barrier to copyright extending to a joke on any topic ... so long as that joke meets the fairly minimal requirements for originality," says Perzanowski. "That means it has to demonstrate some low level of creativity and importantly that it not be copied from some other source."

"Copyright will give you protection for this specific arrangement of words," he says, but not for a whole subject matter.

When it comes to topical comedy, he says, the question is whether one can separate an idea (which can't be copyrighted) from its expression (which can).

Judge Sammartino agrees. "[T]here is little doubt that the jokes at issue merit copyright protection," she writes, citing the relevant case law, "noting originality requires only independent creation of a work that 'possess[es] some creative spark, "no matter how crude, humble or obvious" it might be.'"

However, she adds, the jokes here "are similarly constrained by their subject matter and the conventions of the two-line, setup-and-delivery paradigm."

The result is that for O'Brien's jokes to infringe on Kaseberg's copyright, they must be "virtually identical," one step below verbatim."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Remarks by Director Michelle K. Lee to Commemorate World IP Day 2017; U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, April 26, 2017

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office; Remarks by Director Michelle K. Lee to Commemorate World IP Day 2017

"Remarks by Director Michelle K. Lee to Commemorate World IP Day 2017

For more than two centuries, the United States of America has promoted and protected intellectual property rights. In the process, we have made revolutionary advances in science and technology. We have become a global leader in innovation, and we have helped create a strong IP system throughout the world. The USPTO is committed to continue working with the IP offices of the world to ensure that all of our IP systems continue to foster innovation.
The theme of this year’s World IP Day—improving lives through innovation—could not be more relevant. We have seen the profound impact that good ideas, protected through a world-class IP system, can have on humanity. From new and powerful technology that we can wear on our wrists and carry in our pockets, to new methods of diagnosing and treating disease, intellectual property can not only improve lives, it can save lives. It can also create new jobs and grow our economy, which is why we must always ensure that our IP system supports small businesses, startups, and individual inventors. Rewarding new ideas with IP rights guarantees that new improvements keep coming. In fact one of you may hold the next idea that could shape our lives for years to come.
So, please, get out there and invent and create. And don’t forget to protect your great ideas. Thank you for being a part of World IP Day!"

Fair Use Too Often Goes Unused; Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2017

Noah Berlatsky, Chronicle of Higher Education; 

Fair Use Too Often Goes Unused

"Only if authors can’t track down permissions holders, [Julia] Round [editor of the journal Studies in Comics] said, does the journal consider printing small images under the legal doctrine of fair use.

But while publishers want authors to get permission, the law often does not require it. According to Kyle K. Courtney, copyright adviser for Harvard University in its Office for Scholarly Communication, copyright holders have certain rights — for instance, if you hold rights for a comic book, you determine when and by whom it can be reprinted, which is why I can’t just go out and create my own edition of the first Wonder Woman comic. But notwithstanding those rights, fair use gives others the right to reprint materials in certain situations without consulting the author — or even, in some cases, if the author has refused permission...

Seeking permission may seem safe, but it can have serious ethical and practical downsides."

A Fair Use Primer for Graduate Students; Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2017

Heather Van Mouwerik, Inside Higher Ed; 

A Fair Use Primer for Graduate Students

"Although we, as graduate students, frequently employ materials under this provision, I find we rarely take time to understand exactly what it entails. I have come across professors and other instructors who span the gamut on this issue. Some seem to think that anything is covered under fair use, like a copyright carte blanche to do what they want with others’ materials; others interpret the flexibility as a constant threat looming over them, so they avoid utilizing copyrighted materials at all costs.

As usual, the truth lies somewhere in between. Instead, I prefer to see the fair use doctrine as a safeguard against accidental plagiarism, recognition for the rights of the original author, and protection against copyright infringement.

Because each situation is slightly different and technology far outpaces legal code, the doctrine of fair use is meant to be flexible and particular to most situations."

Monday, May 15, 2017

U.S. Judge Demands Uber Return Downloaded Documents to Waymo; New York Times, May 15, 2017

Reuters via New York Times; 

U.S. Judge Demands Uber Return Downloaded Documents to Waymo

"A U.S. judge ordered Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] to promptly return any files that had been downloaded and taken from Alphabet Inc's Waymo self-driving car unit but said the ride-services company could continue work on its autonomous car technology.

The latest court ruling in a high-profile trade secrets case from U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco, made public on Monday, granted a partial injunction against Uber, which Waymo has accused of using stolen information to accelerate the building of its autonomous cars.

Alsup said in the ruling that Uber "likely knew" or should have known that the former Waymo engineer, Anthony Levandowski, who now works at Uber, took Waymo materials.

The case hinges on more than 14,000 confidential files that Waymo alleges Levandowski stole before he left the company."

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The tech industry is eroding copyright law. Here's how to stop it; Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2017

Jonathan Taplin, Los Angeles Times; The tech industry is eroding copyright law. Here's how to stop it

"The only way to get Internet companies to honor the widely accepted understanding of fair use is to make it law. Although the current legal definition makes one thing crystal clear — you cannot use a work in its entirety and still claim fair use — it leaves many aspects of the doctrine open to interpretation. The Registrar of Copyrights should codify a 30-second time limit for audio and video clips and require that content be used in a transformative or interpretive way.

With concrete guidelines in place, regulation would have to be built in. For instance, when a user asserts fair use for a work that YouTube identifies as being blocked by the copyright holder, the clip would have to be sent to a human screener for evaluation. If it is longer than 30 seconds or does not appear in a transformative work, the clip would remain blocked. YouTube already has this process in place for screening pornography, ISIS videos and the like.

The ambiguous definition of fair use allows for its continued abuse, and this abuse has become a gateway for the further eroding of copyright law. By now it is well understood that the rise of tech monopolies such as YouTube and Google has hastened the decline of publishing industries. If we don’t move to safeguard copyright law now, there will be no new content to remix."

How to Patent Your Business Idea: A Step by Step Guide; Small Business Trends, May 11, 2017

Due.com, Small Business Trends; 

How to Patent Your Business Idea: A Step by Step Guide

"Throughout history, ingenious and innovative ideas have been copied, or outright stolen. Guglielmo Marconi is credited with inventing the radio, even though it originated from Nikola Tesla. Nowadays it’s easy for a business owner to patent a great idea.
Robert Fulton took the idea for the steamboat engine from John Fitch. Lizzie Magie invented the board game “Monopoly” in 1903, but it was patented by Clarence B. Darrow in the 1930s. Even Apple has been accused of stealing ideas from Google, Microsoft, and Samsung.
Instead of letting another party run away with your great ideas and make a fortune, you need to protect your ideas from the get-go."

It's not what you say, it's how quickly you trademark it; Reuters, May 11, 2017

Barbara Goldberg, Reuters; 

It's not what you say, it's how quickly you trademark it

"From President Donald Trump's dash to own "Keep America Great" for his 2020 re-election campaign even before he took office to a rush by a foundation for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to claim "Let's Roll" just days after New York's Twin Towers were reduced to rubble, Americans [sic] rushing to trademark catchy phrases.

There were 391,837 trademark applications filed last year, with the number growing an average of 5 percent annually, government reports show. The USPTO does not break out how many of those applications were for phrases.

The upsurge is the result of headline-grabbing cases like socialite Paris Hilton's winning settlement of a lawsuit over her trademarked catch-phrase "That's Hot" from her former television reality show, said trademark attorney Howard Hogan of Washington."

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Taking Pittsburgh’s Open Data on the Road; Government Technology, May 8, 2017

Robert Burack, Government Technology; 

Taking Pittsburgh’s Open Data on the Road

[Kip Currier: 2017 marks the 10th year of this blog. This post is the 3,000th:  an illustrative "lessons-learned" case study of "grassroots" Open Data sharing between City of Pittsburgh data analysts and neighborhood residents.]

"This story was originally published by Data-Smart City Solutions.

When Pittsburgh developed Burgh’s Eye View, the city’s recently-launched open data application, the city’s Analytics & Strategy team visited 26 community meetings in early 2017 to gather actionable feedback and share the application with the community...

The team of analysts offered short presentations focused on how residents might use the application to understand what’s happening in their neighborhood, solicited suggestions for improvements and additional data to include in future updates, and engaged in one-on-one conversations to gain a better understanding of individual residents’ needs.

The team had to thoughtfully consider how to “filter out the tech speak” and present in an accessible and digestible way. The resulting takeaways from the team outline pathways for transforming city analysts into user advocates, show the value of building a broad constituency and taking iterative action based on resident feedback, and provide insight into why cities should pursue open data civic engagement in addition to user research."

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Intellectual Property, Long Story Short; The Scholarly Kitchen, May 9, 2017

Karin Wulf, The Scholarly Kitchen; Intellectual Property, Long Story Short

"Siva Vaidhyanathan is a professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia, and the author of books including Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry). Amazon helpfully reminded me that I bought the latter just shortly after it was published in 2011, thereby underscoring one of its broader points. Googlization wasn’t about, as one review asked, whether Google “turned evil,” but about the impact of information aggregation and dissemination organized by algorithms designed for market rather than knowledge development. Awareness about the business models driving services we have welcomed into our daily practices has been a key part of recent discussions in scholarly communications, though I sometimes wonder whether we have fully digested the import of this insight or if it’s still a lump in the middle of the python. Debates about the character of search engines, analysis of scholarly research through citation and other metrics, and for-profit networks such as Academia.edu are all part of a growing comprehension that the structures around us were not built for the uses to which we put them; we search for information online, and as we do so those search engines are compiling a lot more information about us.

Vaidhyanathan has now written a book with the premise that understanding the basics, and by extension, some of the subtleties involved in how intellectual property law and practice has evolved, really matters. It’s clearly part of his larger interest in revealing, if not as dramatically as Neo taking the red pill to reveal The Matrix, the structures to which we’ve become so accustomed and the contours of which are now so indistinct that even resistance to them can be misdirected. Vaidhyanathan has chosen to (or rather, was encouraged by an editor) write this in a slightly unusual format, the Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions (VSI) series. Launched in 1995, the series of now over 500 titles offers “concise and original” treatment of a vast array of topics."