Thursday, April 25, 2019

Faculty Council reexamines lost intellectual property rights policy; The Ithacan, April 24, 2019

Ashley Stalnecker, The Ithacan; 

Faculty Council reexamines lost intellectual property rights policy

"Peter Rothbart, professor in the Department of Music Theory, History and Composition, said that when he was the chair of the Faculty Council before Swensen took over the position in Fall 2016, the Intellectual Property Policy Committee extensively researched documents from other academic institutions and asked for input on the policy from staff, students, faculty and administrators.

“The resulting document was among the most liberal and supportive of creators of content and invention offered by any academic institution,” Rothbart said."

Peloton owners are pissed about bad music after copyright lawsuit; The Verge, April 24, 2019

Natt Auran, The Verge; Peloton owners are pissed about bad music after copyright lawsuit

"The changes in music selections resulted from a lawsuit Peloton faced last month, when the company was sued by members of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) for failing to obtain a sync license to use some labels’ musical work in their exercise videos. Peloton customers now say they have noticed a significant downgrade in music quality, with remixed versions of a popular song instead of an original, or limited song variety from an artist. Users also note that classes they’ve favorited have disappeared from the catalog, since they contain songs that were named by the lawsuit as having violated copyrights...

It may seem silly to lament over music selections in an exercise class, but it’s an issue that fitness companies may increasingly face as they transform from traditional health companies into media publishers. Let’s face it: working out can be boring, and people are willing to pay top dollar to have someone yell at us while sweating to the latest Migos track. Combine that with the flexibility to exercise in your own home on your own time and it’s a revenue strategy that has helped brands like Equinox, Pure Barre, SoulCycle, and Physique 57 tap into a demographic that previously found the studios inaccessible. Even companies like ClassPass and Fitbit have also expanded beyond their initial product of a subscription service and fitness trackers, offering their own guided fitness sessions for $8 to $15 a month.
But as fitness companies dabble in media creation, they’re also navigating into the pains of becoming an entertainment company."

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Technion sues own lecturer, claims intellectual property infringement; The Jerusalem Post, April 23, 2019

Eytan Halon, The Jerusalem Post; Technion sues own lecturer, claims intellectual property infringement

"The Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa has filed a rare lawsuit, the first in over two decades, against one of its own members of staff.

The research university is suing Prof. Eli Ben-Sasson, a senior lecturer in computer science at the Technion, for 50% of his stake in blockchain company StarkWare Industries. The Technion alleges that he founded the company based on intellectual property that he developed at the university.
The Technion is also suing Michael Riabzev, a PhD candidate in computer science, who co-founded StarkWare with Ben-Sasson."

What the EU’s copyright overhaul means — and what might change for big tech; NiemanLab, Nieman Foundation at Harvard, April 22, 2019

Marcello Rossi, NiemanLab, Nieman Foundation at Harvard; What the EU’s copyright overhaul means — and what might change for big tech

"The activity indeed now moves to the member states. Each of the 28 countries in the EU now has two years to transpose it into its own national laws. Until we see how those laws shake out, especially in countries with struggles over press and internet freedom, both sides of the debate will likely have plenty of room to continue arguing their sides — that it marks a groundbreaking step toward a more balanced, fair internet, or that it will result in a set of legal ambiguities that threaten the freedom of the web."

Monday, April 22, 2019

Wary of Chinese Espionage, Houston Cancer Center Chose to Fire 3 Scientists; The New York Times, April 22, 2019

Mihir Zaveri, The New York Times; Wary of Chinese Espionage, Houston Cancer Center Chose to Fire 3 Scientists

"“A small but significant number of individuals are working with government sponsorship to exfiltrate intellectual property that has been created with the support of U.S. taxpayers, private donors and industry collaborators,” Dr. Peter Pisters, the center’s president, said in a statement on Sunday.

“At risk is America’s internationally acclaimed system of funding biomedical research, which is based on the principles of trust, integrity and merit.”

The N.I.H. had also flagged two other researchers at MD Anderson. One investigation is proceeding, the center said, and the evidence did not warrant firing the other researcher.

The news of the firings was first reported by The Houston Chronicle and Science magazine.

The investigations began after Francis S. Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, sent a letter in August to more than 10,000 institutions the agency funds, warning of “threats to the integrity of U.S. biomedical research.”"

Iancu v. Brunetti Oral Argument; C-SPAN, April 15, 2019

April 15, 2019, C-SPAN; 

"Iancu v. Brunetti Oral Argument

The Supreme Court heard oral argument for Iancu v. Brunetti, a case concerning trademark law and the ban of “scandalous” and “immoral” trademarks. Erik Brunetti founded a streetwear brand called “FUCT” back in 1990. Since then, he’s attempted to trademark it but with no success. Under the Lanham Act, the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) can refuse an application if it considers it to be “immoral” or “scandalous” and that’s exactly what happened here. The USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board also reviewed the application and they too agreed that the mark was “scandalous” and very similar to the word “fucked.” The board also cited that “FUCT” was used on products with sexual imagery and public interpretation of it was “an unmistakable aura of negative sexual connotations.” Mr. Brunetti’s legal team argued that this is in direct violation of his first amendment rights to free speech and private expression. Furthermore, they said speech should be protected under the First Amendment even if one is in disagreement with it. This case eventually came before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. They ruled in favor of Mr. Brunetti. The federal government then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. The justices will now decide whether the Lanham Act banning “immoral” or “scandalous” trademarks is unconstitutional."

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Marvel's Kevin Feige Says It's 'Wonderful' to Have X-Men, FF Rights Back; Comic Book Resources, April 16, 2019

Colin Hickson, Comic Book Resources; Marvel's Kevin Feige Says It's 'Wonderful' to Have X-Men, FF Rights Back

"Despite their prominence in Marvel Comics, many fans were disappointed that the X-Men and the Fantastic Four were not included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since their film rights were owned by 20th Century Fox. However, with Disney's purchase of the rival studio, Marvel has regained access to the two franchises, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige couldn't be happier.

"The specifics of what it means remains to be seen, but overall it's wonderful and it feels like these characters have come home", Feige said in an interview with Variety. "It will be nice to have what every other [intellectual property] holder that I can think of has, which is access to all their IP.
Imagine if Donald Duck was at another studio. Imagine if Goofy or Moana were someplace else and you didn’t have access to them even though they are yours.""

Trademark Battle: Pitt Football Forced To Remove ‘412’ From New Helmets; KDKA 2 CBS Pittsburgh, April 13, 2019

KDKA 2 CBS Pittsburgh; Trademark Battle: Pitt Football Forced To Remove ‘412’ From New Helmets

"Just a week after the University of Pittsburgh released new uniforms, they already came under fire with a reported trademark issue.

The Pitt Panthers unveiled new helmets that feature the numbers “412” above the visor. However, this did not sit well with officials at Pittsburgh-based clothing company Shop 412."

Monday, April 15, 2019

EU approves tougher EU copyright rules in blow to Google, Facebook; Reuters, April 15, 2019

Foo Yun Chee, Reuters; EU approves tougher EU copyright rules in blow to Google, Facebook

"Under the new rules, Google and other online platforms will have to sign licensing agreements with musicians, performers, authors, news publishers and journalists to use their work.

The European Parliament gave a green light last month to a proposal that has pitted Europe’s creative industry against tech companies, internet activists and consumer groups."

Friday, April 12, 2019

Post-Elsevier breakup, new publishing agreement ‘a win for everyone’; University of Caifornia, April 11, 2019

, University of California; Post-Elsevier breakup, new publishing agreement ‘a win for everyone’

"Six weeks after ending negotiations with academic publishing giant Elsevier, the University of California announced April 10 that it’s entered into its first open access agreement with a major publisher — Cambridge University Press. The agreement maintains UC’s full access to all scholarly journal articles published by Cambridge University Press and also provides open access publishing in those journals to authors on all 10 UC campuses."

The open access research model is hurting academics in poorer countries; Quartz, April 12, 2019

Brenda Wingfield, University of Pretoria & Bob Millar, University of Pretoria, Quartz; The open access research model is hurting academics in poorer countries

"There is however, little focus on the costs of open access to researchers in the developing world. Most people we have spoken to inside academia are under the impression that these costs are waived. But that’s only the case for some journals in 47 of the world’s “least developed” nations; researchers in the 58 other countries in the developing world must pay the full price...

The cost of a PlosOne article is 20% of the cost of a Masters student’s scholarship. So the choice is “do I give a Masters student a scholarship, or publish more in open access journals?” We are trying to do both and we are sure that’s the approach many research programs are trying to take. But as more journals take the open access route this is going to be more difficult. In future, if we want to publish more articles in open access journals, we will have to reduce the number of Masters, Doctoral and post doctoral students in our programs."

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Nobel laureate takes stance against allowing research to be intellectual property; The Auburn Plainsman, April 11, 2019

Trice Brown, The Auburn Plainsman; Nobel laureate takes stance against allowing research to be intellectual property

"George Smith, recipient of a 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, spoke to a crowd of students and faculty about the problems that arise from making publicly funded research intellectual property.

Smith said one of the greatest problems facing the scientific research community is the ability of universities to claim intellectual property rights on publicly funded research.

“I think that all research ought not to have intellectual — not to be intellectual property,” Smith said. “It’s the property of everyone.”"

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Pride and profit: Why Mayan weavers fight for intellectual property rights; The Christian Science Monitor, March 27, 2019

, The Christian Science Monitor;

Pride and profit: Why Mayan weavers fight for intellectual property rights

Why We Wrote This

Who owns culture, if anyone? It’s a complicated question that can seem almost theoretical. But its real-life consequences are keenly felt by many traditional artisans.

"Dr. Little fears that looking at textile design through the lens of fashion essentially “freezes it in time as a kind of folk art or folk material and that doesn’t allow it to actually live.”

“I think of [weaving] like a language,” he adds. Among indigenous communities, “it’s more vibrant when everyone is using it, fooling around with it, taking from others, and making new combinations. Vibrancy in language indicates strength, and in textiles it’s the same way.”"

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Toyota is giving automakers free access to nearly 24,000 hybrid car-related patents; TechCrunch, April 3, 2019

Kirsten Korosec, TechCrunch; Toyota is giving automakers free access to nearly 24,000 hybrid car-related patents

"Toyota said Wednesday it will give royalty-free access to its nearly 24,000 patents related to electrification technology and systems through 2030 in a move that aims to encourage rival automakers to adopt the low-emissions and fuel-saving technology.

Collectively the patents represent core technologies that can be applied to the development of various types of electrified vehicles, including hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles, Toyota said. This follows Toyota’s decision back in 2015 to offer 5,680 patents related to its fuel cell electric vehicles."

Highly Profitable Medical Journal Says Open Access Publishing Has Failed. Right.; Forbes, April 1, 2019

Steven Salzberg, Forbes; Highly Profitable Medical Journal Says Open Access Publishing Has Failed. Right.

"What Haug doesn't mention here is that there is one reason (and only one, I would argue) that NEJM makes all of its articles freely available after some time has passed: the NIH requires it. This dates back to 2009, when Congress passed a law, after intense pressure from citizens who were demanding access to the research results that they'd paid for, requiring all NIH-funded results to be deposited in a free, public repository (now called PubMed Central) within 12 months of publication.

Scientific publishers fought furiously against this policy. I know, because I was there, and I talked to many people involved in the fight at the time. The open-access advocates (mostly patient groups) wanted articles to be made freely available immediately, and they worked out a compromise where the journals could have 6 months of exclusivity. At the last minute, the NIH Director at the time, Elias Zerhouni, extended this to 12 months, for reasons that remain shrouded in secrecy, but thankfully, the public (and science) won the main battle. For NEJM to turn around now and boast that they are releasing articles after an embargo period, without mentioning this requirement, is hypocritical, to say the least. Believe me, if the NIH requirement disappeared (and publishers are still lobbying to get rid of it!), NEJM would happily go back to keeping all access restricted to subscribers.

The battle is far from over. Open access advocates still want to see research released immediately, not after a 6-month or 12-month embargo, and that's precisely what the European Plan S will do."

Faculty Council discusses intellectual property rights; The Ithacan, April 3, 2019

Ashley Stalnecker, The Ithacan; Faculty Council discusses intellectual property rights

"Costa said the current policy on student work at the college differs from the typical policies of higher-education institutions. Currently, the college deems any work created by a student in a class under the jurisdiction of a professor to be the property of the faculty member or the college. Costa said this means that if the faculty memberearned any royalties, they would be required to share it with the college but not with the student who created it.

Costa said that normally among higher-education institutions, student-created work is the copyright of the student. In this case, the student would earn any royalties associated with the work. For commissioned work, the person who made the commission would own the copyright. Because the work was paid for, the person who paid for it owns the work."

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

‘Blurred Lines’ on Their Minds, Songwriters Create Nervously; The New York Times, March 31, 2019

Ben Sisario, The New York Times; ‘Blurred Lines’ on Their Minds, Songwriters Create Nervously

"“There’s no question in my mind that there has been a chilling effect,” Ms. Lepera said. “People have thrown a lot of weight behind this — more weight than it deserves. Defendants may be more inclined not to put up a fight.”

And for songwriters, the impact is still often felt when thoughts about the courtroom intrude in the studio.

“I’m not going to stop writing songs,” said Busbee, who has written hits for Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum. “But it puts a massive damper on the process, if you’re concerned that you will be sued.”"