Sunday, July 31, 2011

Court Ruling Says Marvel Holds Rights, Not an Artist; New York Times, 7/28/11

Michael Cieply, New York Times; Court Ruling Says Marvel Holds Rights, Not an Artist:

"The ruling, by Judge Colleen McMahon of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, declares comics and characters created by Mr. Kirby — who helped give birth to the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men, all of which now underlie valuable movie series — were works for hire under the Copyright Act of 1909, and cannot be reclaimed by the Kirby family."

The Empire Strikes Out: Artist Prevails in British Suit Over ‘Star Wars’ Costumes; New York Times, 7/27/11

Dave Itzkoff, New York Times; The Empire Strikes Out: Artist Prevails in British Suit Over ‘Star Wars’ Costumes:

"BBC News reported that the Supreme Court in Britain, the highest court of appeal for civil cases in that country, ruled on Wednesday that the costume replicas created by Mr. Ainsworth were functional rather than artistic works and thus not fully subject to copyright laws."

Mike Batt: my greatest mistake; Guardian, 7/29/11

Graham Snowdon, Guardian; Mike Batt: my greatest mistake:

"What I didn't fully appreciate was that I was signing a contract that offered me no money, no advance, not even a stipend to live on. Everything I wrote for five years would be theirs to publish on a 50:50 royalties basis. Nowadays you'd go 75:25 or 80:20 in favour of the writer. After that, they'd keep it for the full life of the copyright, 70 years after my death."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Marvel Wins Copyrights Over Kirby Heirs;, 7/28/11; Marvel Wins Copyrights Over Kirby Heirs:

"The decision is an undeniable victory for Marvel and their new parent company Disney who can now move forward with exploitation of the properties in full faith that they control all rights to the Marvel Universe. CBR legal expert Michael L. Lovitz of Lovitz IP Law put it this way: "Essentially, the Kirby heirs were unable to overcome the presumption that the works were 'work-for-hire' because they were created at Marvel's instance and expense.""

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Frank Foster, Jazz Saxophonist And Arranger, Has Died; NPR's Morning Edition, 7/26/11

NPR's Morning Edition; Frank Foster, Jazz Saxophonist And Arranger, Has Died:

"Foster had given away many of his publishing rights in youthful ignorance, which deprived him of substantial royalty payments over the years.

Last year, a team from Rutgers School of Law helped him win back his rights to collect royalties for his compositions, including "Shiny Stockings." Now, the family Frank Foster worried about for so many years will finally be able to collect on the fruits of his legacy.


More Frank Foster stories at NPR Music:
In 2010, Foster finally won back the copyright for "Shiny Stockings," among other tunes. A Blog Supreme also posted when he finally signed the paperwork."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Judge Urges Settlement In Google Books Case; Wall Street Journal, 7/20/11

Chad Bray, Wall Street Journal; Judge Urges Settlement In Google Books Case:

"A federal judge urged Google Inc. and groups representing publishers and authors to reach a revised settlement over a proposed digital library of books before the next court hearing in September, saying he would set a schedule for the case to proceed to trial if the parties aren't close to a settlement by then."

Open Information Activist Indicted for Allegedly Stealing Millions of JSTOR Articles; Library Journal, 7/19/11

Aaron Swartz, Library Journal; Open Information Activist Indicted for Allegedly Stealing Millions of JSTOR Articles:

"Aaron Swartz, former tech lead for the Internet Archive's Open Library project and founder of the progressive activist group Demand Progress, was indicted today in federal court for allegedly stealing approximately 4.8 million articles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the JSTOR journal archive."

Judge calls $1.5M file-sharing judgment "appalling," slashes to $54,000;, 7/23/11

Nate Anderson,; Judge calls $1.5M file-sharing judgment "appalling," slashes to $54,000:

"Sections of the verdict are worth quoting in full; they illustrate Judge Davis' deep common sense about the case and provide a worthwhile framework for thinking about similar P2P cases.

[Excerpt of quote] The Court concludes that an award of $1.5 million for stealing and distributing 24 songs for personal use is appalling. Such an award is so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportioned to the offense and obviously unreasonable...

As for her argument that she caused no harm to the music industry, Davis “rejects her suggestion" and calls for a penalty in order to enforce copyright law, compensate the record labels, and “deter future copyright infringement.”"

Parliament Study: ACTA Not Fully In Line With EU Rules; Intellectual Property Watch, 7/20/11

Monika Ermert, Intellectual Property Watch; Parliament Study: ACTA Not Fully In Line With EU Rules:

"The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) under negotiation by a group of countries including those in the European Union is more ambitious than current EU law and risks problems for access to medicines, concluded a recent study commissioned by the European Parliament Committee on International Trade. But the study stops short of calling for a flat rejection of the agreement."

Why I'm Not Going Near Spotify (and Why You Shouldn't Either); Harvard Business Review, 7/22/11

James Allworth, Harvard Business Review; Why I'm Not Going Near Spotify (and Why You Shouldn't Either) :

"Netflix has become so popular that it recently surpassed the amount of Bittorrent ("pirate") traffic on the web, proving that it's compelling offerings, not lawsuits, that win customer's hearts and minds. But if Hulu and Netflix are so fantastic, what's the concern about Spotify?

Simply put: the way we consume music is fundamentally different to the way we consume movies and TV."

Celine Dion shuts down parody website; Guardian, 7/22/11

Sean Michaels, Guardian; Celine Dion shuts down parody website:

"Celine Dion has taken legal action to force the closure of a blog publishing silly photographs of her, according to reports. Our Lady of Histrionics took offence to the website Ridiculous Pictures of Celine Dion, dispatching her lawyers with a cease and desist order."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

[Obituary] Sherwood Schwartz obituary; Guardian, 7/14/11

[Obituary] Guardian; Sherwood Schwartz obituary:

"[Sherwood Schwartz] was admired by Brady fans for his efforts to stop Paramount from harassing amateur theatre groups for copyright infringement when they staged productions based on the Brady Bunch."

French copyright cops: we're swamped with "three strikes" complaints;, 7/15/11

Timothy B. Lee,; French copyright cops: we're swamped with "three strikes" complaints:

"We can appreciate that Hadopi has a broad mission, but the three strikes program, with its threat to actually disconnect people from the Internet over online infringement, is what has drawn worldwide attention to France's antipiracy program. For example, we've been covering American ISPs' recent tentative steps toward a "graduated response" strategy of their own. Those ISPs took great pains to distinguish their own policies from a French-style 3-strikes plan, promising that they would not spy on their users or disconnect them from the Internet. Disconnection as a sanction has almost come under attack from the United Nations and from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, both of which say the penalty is disproportionate to the offense."

[Editorial] A New Try at Curbing Piracy; New York Times, 6/16/11

[Editorial] New York Times; A New Try at Curbing Piracy:

"It remains to be seen whether the new approach will do better in curbing piracy, which is starting to evolve from BitTorrent downloads — currently the main vehicle of piracy — to streaming and other less detectable techniques. But it is well worth a try."

[Podcast] Congress, Copyright and Monkeys; On the Media, 7/15/11

[Podcast] On the Media; Congress, Copyright and Monkeys:

"Techdirt's Michael Masnick talks about the PROTECT IP Act which is a bill making its way through Congress that would allow the DOJ to block sites it deems "infringing" on copyrighted material. Masnick isn't a fan of the legislation. His main critique is that the definition of "infringing" is way too broad. Plus, Masnick talks about standing his ground in a current copyright dispute involving Techdirt, a macaque monkey and a human photographer."

Designers Revisit Copyright Protection; New York Times, 7/15/11

Eric Wilson, New York Times; Designers Revisit Copyright Protection:

"One of the biggest differences in the new bill is that designers would have to prove that a copy is “substantially identical” to their originals, rather than “substantially similar.” And they would have to prove that their designs were truly original, that the defendant’s design was an infringement and that the defendant indeed had knowledge of their work. Also, similarities in color and patterns would not count."

Youth-Culture Photographer Ryan McGinley Sued for Copyright Violation; New York Times, 7/13/11

Randy Kennedy, New York Times; Youth-Culture Photographer Ryan McGinley Sued for Copyright Violation:

"Janine Gordon, who is known as JahJah and is also a musician and multimedia artist, has filed suit against Mr. McGinley in federal court in Manhattan, saying that at least 150 of his photographs are “substantially based” on her work and are violations of her copyright protections."

Friday, July 8, 2011

To Slow Piracy, Internet Providers Ready Penalties; New York Times, 7/7/11

Ben Sisario, New York Times; To Slow Piracy, Internet Providers Ready Penalties:

"Americans who illegally download songs and movies may soon be in for a surprise: They will be warned to stop, and if they don’t, they could find their Internet access slowing to a crawl.

After years of negotiations with Hollywood and the music industry, the nation’s top Internet providers have agreed to a systematic approach to identifying customers suspected of digital copyright infringement and then alerting them via e-mail or other means."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

[Podcast] Q&A: Kirby Ferguson; On the Media, 7/1/11

[Podcast] Alex Goldman, On the Media; Q&A: Kirby Ferguson:

"Over the past 9 months, writer, director, and editor Kirby Ferguson has been releasing episodes of Everything is a Remix, a video series about how appropriation, borrowing, and adaptation are inherent in, well, everything we as a culture create. The third installment of the four-part series just came out last week, so we thought we'd ask him a few questions about the project and his personal opinions on copyright and fair use."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ericsson Recognizes That 'Piracy' Isn't The Problem, But A Symptom Of Failed Business Models;, 7/1/11

Mike Masnick,; Ericsson Recognizes That 'Piracy' Isn't The Problem, But A Symptom Of Failed Business Models:

"Once you realize that "piracy" is a symptom of an unsatisfied consumer base, you begin to recognize that it's often the leading indicator for innovation. That's because it shows you what consumers want, and satisfying the desires of consumers is where innovation comes from."

The Fans Own the Magic; New York Times, 7/1/11

Manohla Dargis and A.O.Scott, New York Times; The Fans Own the Magic:

"Prof. Henry Jenkins of the University of California, an enthusiastic champion of fan power, has framed the fight in near-revolutionary terms, writing on his Web site that PotterWar “may have been the first successful movement of fans to challenge the rather blanket copyright assertions of the major media producers.” Certainly it was a striking moment for plugged-in Potterites, yet it’s debatable whether the type of fan triumph that Professor Jenkins and others celebrate is as radical as sometimes suggested. Warner Brothers, after all, still owns the film rights."

Google may be poised to bid for Hulu; Los Angeles Times, 7/2/11

Jessica Guynn and Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times; Google may be poised to bid for Hulu:

"This spring, YouTube secured a movie rental deal with Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Universal Studios.

But rivals Walt Disney Studios, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures have held back, amid concerns that Google has failed to do enough to combat Internet piracy. Paramount owner Viacom Inc. is still embroiled in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Google's YouTube."

Rebecca Black pulls ‘Friday’ from YouTube; Washington Post, 6/17/11

Hayley Tuskayama, Washington Post; Rebecca Black pulls ‘Friday’ from YouTube:

"The partying, partying seems to be over on YouTube. According to a message on the site, teen pop star Rebecca Black has pulled the video due to a copyright claim."

Newspaper chain fights for copyright troll's survival;, 7/1/11

David Kravets,; Newspaper chain fights for copyright troll's survival:

"The roadblock is that several judges have recently cried foul on the business model, ruling Righthaven has no legal standing to bring the cases. That’s because Stephens Media kept ownership of the copyrights in the articles, which meant Righthaven had no right to sue over the work.

Now Righthaven and Stephens Media have reworked their agreement—a contract or “assignment” that Gibson, and now Stephens Media, say grants Righthaven standing to sue."

Berlin Wall artists sue city in copyright controversy; Guardian, 5/3/11

Helen Pidd, Guardian; Berlin Wall artists sue city in copyright controversy:

"The East Side Gallery is one of Berlin's most popular tourist attractions, a 1.3km-long brightly painted stretch of the wall which divided east and west for almost 30 years.

But now the outdoor exhibition space is embroiled in an expensive copyright controversy after Berlin council destroyed some artworks painted on the wall and reproduced others without the permission of the original artists."

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Free Site Helps Find Stolen Cam; New York Times, 6/12/11

Roy Furchgott, New York Times; A Free Site Helps Find Stolen Cam:

"If you see your photos on site that you haven’t given permission to use them, you may be able to go after them for copyright infringement."