"In the year since the release of ChatGPT, generative AI has been moving fast and breaking things — and copyright law is only beginning to catch up.
Friday, December 1, 2023
Friday, November 24, 2023
FAU, NAI OFFER STUDENTS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CERTIFICATE; Florida Atlantic University (FAU), November 8, 2023
Florida Atlantic University (FAU); FAU, NAI OFFER STUDENTS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CERTIFICATE
"Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and the National Academy of Inventors® (NAI) have announced the expansion of an intellectual property certificate for all undergraduate and graduate engineering students at FAU. The certificate program was launched this spring for senior engineering students at FAU, and to date, more than 700 have graduated with the certificate.
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Vox Pop, WAMC Northeast Public Radio; Copyright Forum 11/22/23
Her Music Fell Into Obscurity. Now It’s Back at the Philharmonic.; The New York Times, November 20, 2023
Garrett Schumann, The New York Times; Her Music Fell Into Obscurity. Now It’s Back at the Philharmonic.
"When Perry died, she had no children and only a few published works. Although scholars have identified about 100 of her manuscripts and scores, dozens cannot be performed or recorded because there is no established copyright holder. As Christopher Wilkins, the music director of the Akron Symphony, said, “all the work is protected; it just hasn’t been licensed, and can’t be until whoever controls it negotiates that.”
Wilkins first found Perry’s compositions in 2020, and marveled at what he saw. She, he said, “may be the most accomplished and celebrated composer ever to emerge from Akron.” He then asked the soprano and scholar Louise Toppin, who leads the African Diaspora Music Project, to help him explore Perry’s output and edit some of her manuscripts...
The Akron Symphony has also engaged a local lawyer to help resolve the copyright ambiguities that ensnare many of Perry’s compositions — a barrier to overcome for those interested in her music, beyond historical practices of exclusion among American institutions."
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Roundtable discussion: Tribes, intellectual property, and consumer protection; United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), November 30, 2023 9 AM EST - 5 PM EST
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ; Roundtable discussion: Tribes, intellectual property, and consumer protection
Join intellectual property (IP) experts, senior officials from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and other federal agencies, and Tribal representatives for an in-depth examination of consumer protection, the protection and enforcement of IP, and the impact of counterfeit goods on the economies of Native American communities.
Patent Poetry: Judge Throws Out Most of Artists’ AI Copyright Infringement Claims; JD Supra, November 20, 2023
"One of the plaintiffs’ theories of infringement was that the output images based on the Training Images are all infringing derivative works.
The court noted that to support that claim the output images would need to be substantially similar to the protected works. However, noted the court,
Trademark judge rules in favor of Arkansas State University in logo dispute; KAIT8, November 20, 2023
"In a significant legal development, a trademark judge has ruled in favor of Arkansas State University in a copyright infringement case against the Chattanooga Red Wolves over using the Red Wolves name and logo.
The decision was handed down by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board after the administration at Arkansas State University initiated legal proceedings earlier this year.
The dispute centered around the similarity between the logos.
The ruling emphasized that the Chattanooga Red Wolves’ logo was deemed too like Arkansas State University’s logo. The legal action was prompted by A-State’s administration, which filed a copyright infringement case, asserting its ownership rights over the Red Wolves name and associated branding elements."
Sunday, November 19, 2023
‘Please regulate AI:' Artists push for U.S. copyright reforms but tech industry says not so fast; AP, November 18, 2023
"Most tech companies cite as precedent Google’s success in to its online book library. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 let stand lower court rulings that rejected authors’ claim that Google’s digitizing of millions of books and showing snippets of them to the public amounted to copyright infringement.
But that’s a flawed comparison, argued former law professor and bestselling romance author Heidi Bond, who writes under the pen name Courtney Milan. Bond said she agrees that “fair use encompasses the right to learn from books,” but Google Books obtained legitimate copies held by libraries and institutions, whereas many AI developers are scraping works of writing through “outright piracy.”
Perlmutter said this is what the Copyright Office is trying to help sort out.
“Certainly this differs in some respects from the Google situation,” Perlmutter said. “Whether it differs enough to rule out the fair use defense is the question in hand.”"
Friday, November 17, 2023
Two arrested after US storage facility emptied of $1bn in ‘massive amounts of knock-off designer goods’; The Guardian, November 16, 2023
"Federal prosecutors arrested two men on Wednesday and seized more than 200,000 counterfeit handbags, clothes and other luxury items worth $1.03bn, making it “the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in US history”...
Ivan Arvelo, special agent in charge of homeland security investigations, praised the findings in a statement, claiming it “underscores the unwavering commitment of HSI New York in the fight against intellectual property theft and serves as a testament to the dedication of our team and partner agencies, who have tirelessly pursued justice, culminating in the largest-ever seizure of this kind”...
Hand added that the counterfeit market is a “significant problem not just for luxury fashion brands and the dilution of their trademarks’ values but also for consumers and society at large as many counterfeit products are produced in oppressive labor environments and without any adherence to ecological production methods (if implemented by brands)”."
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
U.S. Copyright Office Extends Deadline for Reply Comments on Artificial Intelligence Notice of Inquiry; U.S. Copyright Office, November 15, 2023
U.S. Copyright Office, Issue No. 1026; U.S. Copyright Office Extends Deadline for Reply Comments on Artificial Intelligence Notice of Inquiry
"The U.S. Copyright Office is extending the deadline to submit reply comments in response to the Office’s August 30, 2023, notice of inquiry regarding artificial intelligence and copyright. The deadline will ensure that members of the public have sufficient time to prepare responses to the Office’s questions and submitted comments and that the Office can proceed on a timely basis with its inquiry of the issues identified in its notice with the benefit of a complete record.
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
"Where the scope of the right to repair is headed depends, as so much does, on politics. Consumers and their advocates have every interest in securing a right that is as broad as possible, at least until prices move upward. Manufacturers have no reason to give up on their arguments to constrain the right, recognizing that some arguments are likely more effective than others, e.g., cybersecurity and data leakage risks may carry more water than claims that non-authorized repair shops will disappoint consumer with poor services. It is possible that some manufacturers in competitive markets will see and seize an opportunity to compete on what might be called “repair liberality,” and in so doing preempt legislation. Or, reaching the same result by different ends, the intuitive appeal of advocates’ argument that “ownership includes repair” may overwhelm opposition. Looking only at the recent increase in proposed legislation, it would seem that manufacturers are on the back foot, but maybe all they need is to hone their arguments. One publicized case of a right to repair “going wrong,” perhaps a data breach, could move the parties into—or keep them at—equilibrium. What’s certain is that things will keep breaking, and need fixing."
YouTube to offer option to flag AI-generated songs that mimic artists’ voices; The Guardian, November 14, 2023
"Record companies can request the removal of songs that use artificial intelligence-generated versions of artists’ voices under new guidelines issued by YouTube.
The video platform is introducing a tool that will allow music labels and distributors to flag content that mimics an artist’s “unique singing or rapping voice”.
Fake AI-generated music has been one of the side-effects of leaps forward this year in generative AI – the term for technology that can produce highly convincing text, images and voice from human prompts.
One of the most high-profile examples is Heart on My Sleeve, a song featuring AI-made vocals purporting to be Drake and the Weeknd. It was pulled from streaming services after Universal Music Group, the record company for both artists, criticised the song for “infringing content created with generative AI”. However, the song can still be accessed by listeners on YouTube."
Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Blue Moose in Topeka is among a dozen bars and restaurants being sued. Here's why.; The Topeka Capital-Journal, November 7, 2023
Keishera Lately , The Topeka Capital-Journal; Blue Moose in Topeka is among a dozen bars and restaurants being sued. Here's why.
"What other restaurants and bars are being filed against?
Among The Blue Moose Bar & Grill, 11 other restaurants and bars nationwide have been filed against by the ASCAP for copyright infringement.
Those restaurants and bars include Commonwealth (Las Vegas), Dublin Square (East Lansing, Michigan), Fable Lounge (Nashville, Tennessee), Hennessy Tavern (Laguna Beach, California), Liquid Joe's (Salt Lake City, Utah), Lonerider Brewery (Raleigh, North Carolina), Olympix Sports Bar (Houston, Texas), Slide & Ride 2 (Jackson, Tennesse), The Stetson Bar (San Antonio, Texas), The Tonidale Pub (Oakdale, Pennsylvania), and Xpose (Beaverton, Oregon)."
Monday, November 6, 2023
"Rather than remove copyrighted material from ChatGPT’s training dataset, the chatbot’s creator is offering to cover its clients’ legal costs for copyright infringement suits.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said on Monday: “We can defend our customers and pay the costs incurred if you face legal claims around copyright infringement and this applies both to ChatGPT Enterprise and the API.” The compensation offer, which OpenAI is calling Copyright Shield, applies to users of the business tier, ChatGPT Enterprise, and to developers using ChatGPT’s application programming interface. Users of the free version of ChatGPT or ChatGPT+ were not included.
OpenAI is not the first to offer such legal protection, though as the creator of the wildly popular ChatGPT, which Altman said has 100 million weekly users, it is a heavyweight player in the industry. Google, Microsoft and Amazon have made similar offers to users of their generative AI software. Getty Images, Shutterstock and Adobe have extended similar financial liability protection for their image-making software."
Sunday, November 5, 2023
Artists may “poison” AI models before Copyright Office can issue guidance; Ars Technica, November 3, 2023
"Rather than rely on opting out of future AI training data sets—or, as OpenAI recommends, blocking AI makers' web crawlers from accessing and scraping their sites in the future—artists are figuring out how to manipulate their images to block AI models from correctly interpreting their content."
Friday, November 3, 2023
Alex Marshall, The New York Times; An Apparent Cyberattack Hushes the British Library
"Tasmina Islam, a lecturer in cybersecurity education at King’s College London said in an email that the motivation for attacking a library could be financial.
“Cybercriminals can access a lot of information from a library, including users’ personal data,” she said. Libraries also “store electronic books, research articles and various intellectual properties, all of which cybercriminals can exploit for illegal distribution,” Islam added.
The British Library incident “served as a warning for other libraries and institutions to assess their own security measures thoroughly,” she said."
Rory Cooper honored at White House by President Biden; University Times, University of Pittsburgh, November 2, 2023
University Times, University of Pittsburgh; Rory Cooper honored at White House by President Biden
"Rory Cooper, who has been given a slew of awards over the years for his work in rehabilitation sciences, found himself at the White House last week, where President Joe Biden bestowed on him the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement.
and Hard Fork, The New York Times; The Copyright Battle Over Artificial Intelligence
"President Biden’s new executive order on artificial intelligence has a little bit of everything for everyone concerned about A.I. Casey takes us inside the White House as the order was signed.
Then, Rebecca Tushnet, a copyright law expert, walks us through the latest developments in a lawsuit against the creators of A.I.-image generation tools. She explains why artists may have trouble making the case that these tools infringe on their copyrights."
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
MPA Sees “No Need” For New AI Copyright Legislation Or Special Rules, Warns Of “Inflexible” Guidelines; Deadline, October 31, 2023
"The studios’ positions on a host of issues regarding AI were outlined in a Motion Picture Association filing with the U.S. Copyright Office. AI also is said to be a major point of contention in talks between the SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP.
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Georgia State Hosts Deep-Dive Event on Intellectual Property and AI; Georgia State News Hub, October 26, 2023
Georgia State News Hub; Georgia State Hosts Deep-Dive Event on Intellectual Property and AI
"Experts from inside and outside Georgia State University gathered for “Protect Your Ideas: IP, AI and Entertainment,” a first-of-its-kind forum that gave students, faculty and staff a chance to share and learn about intellectual property and artificial intelligence with an eye toward entertainment. The Oct. 10 event was jointly sponsored by the university’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, the College of Law and Popular Culture Collective.
“Atlanta is a national hub for creativity, commerce and research, so it makes sense that we at Georgia State strive to educate people about intellectual property,” said university President M. Brian Blake, who gave opening remarks at the event. “Understanding how to protect your ideas is critical, regardless of your field.”...
After remarks by leadership, Kenny Franklin, senior licensing associate with Georgia State’s Office of Technology Transfer & Commercialization, hosted a fireside chat with College of Law alum Scott Frank, president and CEO of AT&T Intellectual Property LLC and chair of the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance. The dialogue helped define intellectual property and reflected on its meaning in today’s knowledge economy.
Judge pares down artists' AI copyright lawsuit against Midjourney, Stability AI; Reuters, October 30, 2023
"A judge in California federal court on Monday trimmed a lawsuit by visual artists who accuse Stability AI, Midjourney and DeviantArt of misusing their copyrighted work in connection with the companies' generative artificial intelligence systems.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick dismissed some claims from the proposed class action brought by Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan and Karla Ortiz, including all of the allegations against Midjourney and DeviantArt. The judge said the artists could file an amended complaint against the two companies, whose systems utilize Stability's Stable Diffusion text-to-image technology."
What 70% of Americans Don’t Understand About Intellectual Property; Stites & Harbison, October 26, 2023
"The United States Intellectual Property Alliance (USIPA) recently published the results of its US Intellectual Property Awareness & Attitudes Survey. Among its findings, the survey results revealed that 70% of Americans are unable to distinguish between mechanisms – patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets – for protecting Intellectual Property (IP).
Kyle Jahner, Bloomberg Law; Justices Will Probe Trademarks’ Nature in ‘Trump Too Small’ Case
"The fight over ‘Trump Too Small’ is the latest in a series of cases the court has faced in recent years raising First Amendment questions over trademark registrations. Although the justices skipped deciding the broader constitutional questions when they struck down different statutory registration bans in 2017 and 2019, this time the nature of the government’s argument may force the justices to now draw a line in the sand, he said."
Peter Coy, The New York Times; The Patent Fight That Could Take Apple Watches Off the Market
"Masimo argues that Apple’s reputation for innovation is undeserved and that the company has made a practice of “efficient infringement” — using other companies’ technologies without permission and dealing with the legal fallout as necessary. The company points to something that Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, said in 1996: “Picasso had a saying. He said, ‘Good artists copy; great artists steal.’ And we have, you know, always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”
Apple, of course, rejects this characterization and says the company respects other companies’ intellectual property. In Apple’s defense, it’s fair to assume that Jobs was speaking metaphorically, and not copping to a crime, when he said that the company stole."
Monday, October 30, 2023
Brigham Fay | MIT Libraries, MIT News; Books under attack, then and now
"Richard Ovenden was dressed appropriately for the start of Banned Books Week. He proudly displayed the American Library Association’s “Free people read freely” T-shirt as he approached the podium at Hayden Library on Oct. 2. Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian at the University of Oxford, spoke about the willful destruction of recorded knowledge for an event titled “Book Wars,” the inaugural event in a new series called Conversations on Academic Freedom and Expression (CAFE), a collaboration between the MIT Libraries and History at MIT.
“The idea for CAFE is to introduce the MIT community to the broader landscape of what’s going on in the world of academic freedom and free expression, beyond some of our local exchanges,” says Malick Ghachem, history professor and department head and a member of MIT’s Ad Hoc Working Group on Free Expression.
“The libraries were a natural partner for the CAFE series,” says Chris Bourg, director of MIT Libraries. “The value of free and open access to information underpins everything we do.”
Ovenden, who writes extensively on libraries, archives, and information management, is the author of “Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge,” which was shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize in 2021. In his MIT talk he provided a historical overview of attacks on libraries — from the library of Ashurbanipal in the Assyrian capital of Nineveh (now northern Iraq), destroyed by fire in 612 BC, to book burning under the Nazi regime to current efforts across the United States to remove or restrict access to books.
In spite of this history of loss, Ovenden finds hope in “the human impulse to preserve, to pass on, to bear witness, to allow for diverse ideas to thrive.” He detailed the extraordinary actions people have taken to save knowledge, citing the “Paper Brigade,” a forced labor unit of poets and intellectuals in Nazi-occupied Vilnius who smuggled and hid rare books and manuscripts, and the tragic death of Aida Buturovic, a 32-year-old librarian who was killed as she tried to rescue books during the 1992 assault on the National and University Library in Sarajevo.
Ovenden concluded by making the case that libraries and archives are the infrastructure for democracy — institutions dedicated not only to education, but to safeguarding the rights of citizens, providing reference points for facts and truth, preserving identity, and enabling a diversity of views. Despite millennia of attacks, libraries continue to fight back, most recently with public libraries expanding digital access to combat book bans nationwide.
Following Ovenden’s talk, Ghachem led a discussion and audience Q&A that touched on the connections between book bans and so-called “cancel culture,” how censorship itself is used as a means of expressing political views, and growing distrust of expertise.
The CAFE series is one of several opportunities to engage the Institute community that emerged from the Report of the MIT Ad Hoc Working Group on Free Expression. Ghachem also started a new first-year advising seminar, “Free Expression, Pluralism, and the University,” and the Institute Community and Equity Office launched Dialogues Across Difference: Building Community at MIT. A second CAFE event is being planned for the spring term.
“At this moment in our history, we should try to encourage discussion, and not debate,” said Ovenden. “We must try to move away from this idea that it’s a contest, that it’s a battle, and encourage and foster the idea of listening and discussion. And that's all part of the deliberation that I think is necessary for a healthy society.”"
Sunday, October 29, 2023
NATIVE NEWS ONLINE STAFF , Native News Online; Feds Seek Tribal Input on Tribal Intellectual Property Issues
"The U.S. Department of Commerce, through the United States Patent and Trademark Office, on Tuesday announced it seeks tribal input on tribal intellectual property issues...
In the upcoming consultation, the USPTO wants tribal input on how to best protect genetic resources, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions as they are being discussed at the World Intellectual Property Organization.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) were quick to applaud the decision to hold this long overdue consultation...
“The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ rights to their cultural and intellectual property, as well as the obligation for the United States to take measures to protect those rights. It is good that the United States is living up to its obligation to consult with Tribal Nations, and the concern now is to ensure that the consultation is meaningful and actually impacts the United States’ negotiation positions,” explained NARF Staff Attorney Sue Noe.
The Federal Register notice provides details for online webinars to be held in January 2024. Two of the four webinars will be for federally recognized Tribal Nations and two will be for state-recognized Tribal Nations, tribal members, Native Hawaiians, and inter-tribal organizations. The USPTO also invites related written comments, to be submitted by February 23, 2024...
More information is available on the Federal Register."
Saturday, October 28, 2023
An AI engine scans a book. Is that copyright infringement or fair use?; Columbia Journalism Review, October 26, 2023
MATHEW INGRAM, Columbia Journalism Review; An AI engine scans a book. Is that copyright infringement or fair use?
"Determining whether LLMs training themselves on copyrighted text qualifies as fair use can be difficult even for experts—not just because AI is complicated, but because the concept of fair use is, too."
Thursday, October 26, 2023
Intellectual Property Careers: Top 9 Jobs to Consider and the Skills Needed to Get Them; The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property, October 26, 2023
The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property ; Intellectual Property Careers: Top 9 Jobs to Consider and the Skills Needed to Get Them
"When it comes to Intellectual Property (IP), many envision legal battles and courtrooms. However, the world of IP is a vast ecosystem with roles that extend well beyond IP attorneys. While lawyers are essential in this dynamic field, the career opportunities presented by the myriad variety of intellectual property jobs are as diverse as the creations they protect...
Skills and Qualities for Success in IP Careers
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Taco Bell has squeezed out its last big challenger to the Taco Tuesday trademark; Quartz, October 25, 2023
"“Taco Tuesday” is free for all restaurant owners to use now.
Up until May of 2023, the trademark for the phrase was held by the Taco John’s restaurant chain in 49 states and Gregory’s in New Jersey for decades. But then, the Yum Brands’ fast-food giant Taco Bell filed a petition with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to cancel the trademarks and free the “generic” term.
After six months, Taco Bell has finally won. In July, Taco John’s relinquished the trademark, and earlier this week, so did Gregory’s."
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
"The message in the open letter sent to Congress on Sept. 11 was clear: Don’t put new copyright regulations on artificial intelligence systems.
The letter’s signatories were real players, a broad coalition of think tanks, professors and civil-society groups with a stake in the growing debate about AI and copyright in Washington.
Undisclosed, however, were the fingerprints of Sy Damle, a tech-friendly Washington lawyer and former government official who works for top firms in the industry — including OpenAI, one of the top developers of cutting-edge AI models. Damle is currently representing OpenAI in ongoing copyright lawsuits...
The effort by an OpenAI lawyer to covertly sway Congress against new laws on AI and copyright comes in the midst of an escalating influence campaign — tied to OpenAI and other top AI firms — that critics fear is shifting Washington’s attention away from current AI harms and toward existential threats posed by future AI systems...
Many of the points made in the September letter echo those made recently by Damle in other venues, including an argument comparing the rise of AI to the invention of photography."
International Open Access Week
October 23-29, 2023
This year’s theme encourages a candid conversation about which approaches to open scholarship prioritize the best interests of the public and the academic community—and which do not."