Friday, October 16, 2020

The ultimate crash course on protecting Intellectual Property; Lexology, October 13, 2020

Dennemeyer – The IP Group - Irene Corn, Lexology; The ultimate crash course on protecting Intellectual Property

"Why is it essential to protect your IP?

Your IP — including blueprints, artistic representations, and other information regarding your products, services, publications and branding — is your organization's lifeblood. Without it, those assets would simply not exist because you would have no incentive to create them in the first place.

If IP in business were free for the taking, overall competition among different companies in the same field would be severely limited. It would ultimately be dependent on mundane factors, like marketing and distribution budgets. Moreover, businesses and individual authors alike would get stuck and feel no pressure to create something new; similarly, in the patent field, thousands of the most notable technological advancements of the last century might not have come to pass. The stakes may not be as high for trademarks, but they are still immensely important because of how they express your brand's identity."

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Supreme Court Without RBG May Impact Hollywood's Grip on Intellectual Property; Billboard, September 21, 2020

Eriq Gardner, Billboard; A Supreme Court Without RBG May Impact Hollywood's Grip on Intellectual Property


[Kip Currier: This is a note I posted for my Intellectual Property and Open Movements course I'm teaching this term...

Timely and fascinating article regarding the recent passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her "copyright hawk" impact on many landmark Intellectual Property cases, like some we have already examined this term, e.g. Golan v. Holder (public domain) and Eldred v. Ashcroft (20 year extension of U.S. copyright protection period to Life of the Author plus 70 years.) In noting Ginsburg's judicial philosophy that tended to favor copyright maximalism, while a staunch civil rights defender and advocate for the equal rights of marginalized persons to the end, this article reminds us that people are often much more complex and less easily-defined than the boundaried labels that are often ascribed to them. And Justices are no different in that regard.]


 "Ginsburg gravitated to intellectual property disputes almost from the moment the Brooklyn, NY-born attorney was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. More often than not, when a big ruling on the subject was on the table, it was she who carried the big pen. Notably, in 2003, Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion in Eldred v. Ashcroft that blessed an extension of the copyright term over a free speech challenge. Almost a decade later, she reached a similar conclusion in Golan v. Holder, which dealt with works taken from the public domain to comply with an international treaty. Ginsburg also shaped who could sue for copyright infringement — and when — with her majority opinions in Petrella v. MGM (2013) and Fourth Estate Pub. Benefit Corp. v. (2019). She also wrote a concurring opinion in MGM Studios v. Grokster, the case which apportioned secondary copyright liability in the file-sharing age.

Ginsburg was certainly hawkish when it came to copyright. And her view can be most sharply contrasted with those of Justice Stephen Breyer, demonstrating that there's more to judicial philosophy than a conservative-liberal divide...

Now comes Google v. Oracle, which has been hailed for good reason as the "copyright case of the century." It concerns Oracle's efforts to punish Google for allegedly infringing computer code to build the Android operating system. At issue in the case is the scope of copyright. Does the structure, sequence, and organization of application programming interfaces get protected? And separately, does Google have fair use to whatever is copyrighted? The movie industry is backing Oracle in the case —and the high court's conclusions will surely have an outsized influence both on the development of technology as well as how future copyright cases get adjudicated. Ginsburg's passing is probably bad news for Oracle's chances here. Of all the justices, she was least likely to read limits to copyright protection."

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Judge Rules in Favor of Nicki Minaj in Tracy Chapman Copyright Dispute; Variety, September 16, 2020

Gene Maddaus , Variety; Judge Rules in Favor of Nicki Minaj in Tracy Chapman Copyright Dispute

"A judge handed a significant win to Nicki Minaj on Wednesday, finding that she did not commit copyright infringement when she created a song based on Tracy Chapman’s “Baby Can I Hold You.”

The ruling protects the industry practice of developing a new song based on existing material, and then seeking a license from the original artist prior to release. U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled that Minaj’s experimentation with Chapman’s song constitutes “fair use” and is not copyright infringement."

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Google v. Oracle: Fair Use and the Seventh Amendment; JD Supra, September 15, 2020

 Dorsey & Whitney LLP, JD Supra; Google v. Oracle: Fair Use and the Seventh Amendment

"On August 7, 2020, Google and Oracle submitted their final written arguments to the Supreme Court regarding their decade-long copyright battle over the source code animating the Android platform. Now, we focus on the second question presented to the Supreme Court: whether Google’s copying of Oracle’s Java source code is a non-infringing fair use.

Recall that in December 2019 we introduced “the copyright lawsuit of the decade.” In March 2020, we covered the first of two questions presented to the Supreme Court: whether Java software interfaces are protected by copyright. Before we could address the second question presented, however, the Supreme Court delayed oral arguments on the matter to the October 2020 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Supreme Court also requested that Google and Oracle submit supplemental briefs addressing the standard of review relating to the fair use defense—i.e., whether the Federal Circuit gave the proper deference to the jury’s finding of fair use when it reviewed it de novo and reversed it...


The Supreme Court is finally set to resolve important questions regarding the scope of copyright protection and the fair use doctrine that could have huge ramifications for the software industry … or is it? As detailed above, the Supreme Court may lean on the standard of review applied by the Federal Circuit to delay further comment on whether Google’s copying constituted fair use. We will update you again after oral argument, which is scheduled for October 7, 2020."

Censoring Jon Hamm's Penis Doesn't Violate Copyright Law, Federal Judge Rules; Gizmodo, September 11, 2020

Matt Novak, Gizmodo; Censoring Jon Hamm's Penis Doesn't Violate Copyright Law, Federal Judge Rules

"The lesson for all you meme-makers out there? Make sure your images are transformative and put a black box over those bulging packages."

Nicki Minaj-Tracy Chapman copyright battle sets stage for future of music recording; Marketplace, September 14, 2020

Sabri Ben-Achour, Marketplace ; Nicki Minaj-Tracy Chapman copyright battle sets stage for future of music recording

"Tracy Chapman is suing Nicki Minaj for using part of one of her songs. The case has the potential to upend the way music is written and how artists borrow from one another.

Minaj’s song “Sorry” obviously takes from Chapman’s song “Baby Can I Hold You.”Nobody disputes that. Minaj and her people asked Chapman for permission during and after production of “Sorry,” and Chapman and her reps said no, multiple times. So Minaj didn’t release the song on her 2018 album.

“What complicates it in this case is that there was further redistribution,” said Eugene Volokh, a professor at UCLA School of Law."

When a Right Click Is Wrong; Comstock's Magazine, September 16, 2020

Lila Wallrich, Comstock's Magazine; When a Right Click Is Wrong

How to avoid creative copyright infringement in your promotion and presentations

"Check the Public Domain

When copyright expires or is voluntarily surrendered, work enters the public domain and becomes available for all. Exclusive rights are nonexistent, and no permission is needed. You just need to do some research to find what you need, starting here: 

  • Wikimedia Commons is one of the largest public domain resources for free photographs. 
  • Unsplash is a collective of photographers offering high-resolution images for free. 
  • Magdeleine is another high-quality resource for free photography. 
  • YouTube Audio Library offers free music and sound effects. Search by genre, mood or instrument and download as an MP3 file."

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Historic Court Cases That Helped Shape Scope of Copyright Protections; Library of Congress, September 9, 2020

 , Library of Congress; Historic Court Cases That Helped Shape Scope of Copyright Protections

"As the Copyright Office celebrates its 150th birthday, we can look back more than 240 years through the history of copyright protections in the United States to see how the law has changed in response to changing technologies and economics.

The authors of the U.S. Constitution believed that copyright was important enough to explicitly grant the federal government the power to grant authors the exclusive right to their writings.

When the first U.S. Congress convened in 1789, it put enactment of the country’s first Copyright Act on its agenda. The Copyright Act of 1790 extended copyright protections to “maps, charts, and books.” But copyright protection in 2020 covers many more types of creative expression.

The federal courts have been crucial in looking at creative media and setting the boundaries of what is protected and what isn’t. This is a look back at some of the most important court rulings on what is and isn’t protectable throughout the years under U.S. copyright law.

These cases reflect some of the landmarks for American courts for defining the scope of copyright protection: (1) Is a system of accounting and its ledgers protected? (2) Is a photograph protected when the law doesn’t explicitly mention photographs? (3) Is an advertisement protected? And (4) Is a creative work incorporated into a useful article protected?"

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Fair Use, "The Frankenstein," and the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler; Lexology, August 9, 2020

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC - Brian Murphy, Lexology; Fair Use, "The Frankenstein," and the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

"Larry Marano is the professional photographer (and self-described dedicated fan of hard rock and heavy metal music) who snapped the above photo of Van Halen. Marano sued the Met in the Southern District of New York, alleging that the use of his photograph was unauthorized and infringed upon his copyright. Two days after Marano filed, Judge Valerie Caproni ordered him and his attorney (Richard Leibowitz - see this post) to show cause why the complaint shouldn't be dismissed on fair use grounds.

As a preliminary matter, the court noted that even though the case was at the pleading stage, dismissal on fair use grounds would be appropriate if "transformativeness [could] be determined by doing a side-by-side comparison of the original work and the secondary use." After the matter was briefed, the court concluded that such a determination was indeed possible in this case and that the complaint should be dismissed.
Here's a rundown of the court's analysis of the statutory factors:

Marano v. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 19-CV-8606 (VEC), 2020 WL 3962009 (S.D.N.Y. July 13, 2020)."

What I Wish They Taught Me about Copyright in Art School; Library of Congress, September 1, 2020

, Library of Congress; What I Wish They Taught Me about Copyright in Art School

"I have a confession to make. I made it all the way through a BFA in photography without knowing what exactly copyright was or what it meant for me and my work. It’s not that my professors did anything wrong. They were inspiring, wonderful, and talented creators. It’s never too late to learn though. All of us creators need to understand copyright because it so closely affects us, our work, and our careers. So with classes starting back up both in person and remotely this fall, I wanted to take a moment to speak directly to young creators about what copyright is and how it can help YOU as you start your careers. Why? If it’s worth creating, it’s worth protecting."

A Spider-Man Comic Was Written By A.I. And The Result Is Madness; Screen Rant, August 31, 2020

Kevin Erdmann, Screen Rant; A Spider-Man Comic Was Written By A.I. And The Result Is Madness

"Some DC Comics fans may be familiar with the Batman script that's long been trending on the internet created by Keaton Patti. He wrote it using a bot he forced to watch 1,000 hours of Batman films, resulting in a wild and wacky script of epic proportions. Recently, Marvel Comics reached out to Keaton, asking him to have his bot create a Spider-Man story in the same vein as part of their 25th issue of the current Amazing Spider-Man series. The result is one of the greatest and most hilarious short Spidey stories of all time.

The story itself is featured at the end of Spider-Man #25. Titled "Robo-Helpers," it was written by Patti's bot, reportedly after having it read every Spider-Man comic ever, with the art coming from humans Dan Hipp and Joe Caramanga."

'Electric Avenue' Singer Files Suit Against Trump Campaign for Copyright Infringement: Exclusive; Billboard, September 1, 2020

Gil Kaufman, Billboard; 'Electric Avenue' Singer Files Suit Against Trump Campaign for Copyright Infringement: Exclusive

"Eddy Grant argues his signature hit was used without permission in a campaign video. "This is copyright 101," his lawyer tells Billboard.

Singer Eddy Grant filed a copyright lawsuit against Pres. Donald Trump's campaign on Tuesday (Sept. 1) over a campaign video that his lawyers say illegally uses the singer's iconic 1983 song "Electric Avenue."
The suit is tied to a bizarre animated ad posted on Twitter by Trump's campaign on Aug. 12 which depicts a cartoon version of Trump's White House rival, former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, driving an old-fashioned train car while a speeding train that says "Trump Pence" and "KAG 2020" zips through a desolate town.
There is no context for the use of the song, which plays as the animated Biden hand-pumps his way through the empty streets in a handcar labeled "Biden President: Your Hair Smells Terrific" while random snippets of old quotes and interviews are played. The lyrics of the song, which include the lines, "Down in the streets there is violence/ And a lot of work to be done," were written by the Black Guyanese-British singer in reaction to the 1981 race riots in Brixton, England. The track spent five weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1983."

Will the Supreme Court Provide the Fair Use Clarity that IP Law Needs?; IP Watchdog, August 18, 2020

Terry Campo ,  IP Watchdog; Will the Supreme Court Provide the Fair Use Clarity that IP Law Needs?

"As reported in IP Watchdog on August 4 by lawyer and professional lecturer Steven Tepp, the high court will hear Google v. Oracle, a landmark copyright case, in October. Legal experts have labeled it “the copyright case of the century,” and for good reason. Since the case revolves around fair use, it will allow the nine justices to provide judicial clarity over the doctrine the nation’s innovators have desperately needed for decades."

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Pirated Versions of ‘Tenet,’ ‘New Mutants’ Appear Online; Variety, August 31, 2020

Brent Lang, Variety; Pirated Versions of ‘Tenet,’ ‘New Mutants’ Appear Online

"Poorly recorded, pirated versions of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” leaked online last week. Both are camcorded copies of negligible quality — at least one has Korean subtitles and another has German subtitles. It is unclear how widely seen the illegal copies of the sci-fi thriller were, but it comes as theaters are starting a major campaign to bring audiences back to cinemas, which have been largely closed for months due to coronavirus."

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

This Guy is Suing the Patent Office for Deciding an AI Can't Invent Things; Vice, August 24, 2020

Todd Feathers, Vice; This Guy is Suing the Patent Office for Deciding an AI Can't Invent Things

The USPTO rejected two patents applications written by a "creativity engine" named DABUS. Now a lawsuit raises fundamental questions about what it means to be creative

"A computer scientist who created an artificial intelligence system capable of generating original inventions is suing the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over its decision earlier this year to reject two patent applications which list the algorithmic system, known as DABUS, as the inventor.

The lawsuit is the latest step in an effort by Stephen Thaler and an international group of lawyers and academics to win inventorship rights for non-human AI systems, a prospect that raises fundamental questions about what it means to be creative and also carries potentially paradigm-shifting implications for certain industries."

Intellectual-Property Assets Are Getting More Valuable; The Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2020

Intellectual-Property Assets Are Getting More Valuable 

Covid-19 highlights importance of intellectual-property assets, particularly what happens with licensing contracts if a company goes out of business

"Intellectual-property assets such as brand names, customer data and trademarks are gaining value as the Covid-19 pandemic upends traditional models for retailers, restaurants and other struggling businesses."

Trade Secret Theft: Investigation Into Theft of Intellectual Property from GE Leads to Two Guilty Pleas; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), July 29, 2020

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Trade Secret Theft

"The investigation showed that Delia and Sernas stole elements of a computer program and mathematical model that GE used to expertly calibrate the turbines used in power plants.

Since GE also manufactured the turbines, they had complete understanding of them. “The company had a skill set and engineering-level details that no one else could offer,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York Wayne Myers.

Because of their expertise, power plant operators from all over the world hired GE’s performance engineers to help their turbines achieve peak performance for the climate and conditions in which they were installed. The service could increase the efficiency of the turbines enough to substantially lower the plants’ operating costs."

'The Terrible Towel' trademark owners sue Indiana county store over 'The Terrible Mask'; WTAE, August 23, 2020

WTAE; 'The Terrible Towel' trademark owners sue Indiana county store over 'The Terrible Mask'

"The owner of The Terrible Towel's trademark is suing an Indiana County store for selling a face covering called, The Terrible Mask...

Pittsburgh sports broadcaster, Myron Cope, created the Terrible Towel. 
After Cope's death in 2008, the rights were gifted to the Allegheny Valley School Foundation, now known as the Eamon Foundation."

Monday, August 24, 2020

Any Way You Slice It, D.C. Circuit Holds That &Pizza Can’t Get Piece of @Pizza; Lexology, July 23, 2020

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP - Jessica L. Hannah and Margaret A. Esquenet, Lexology; Any Way You Slice It, D.C. Circuit Holds That &Pizza Can’t Get Piece of @Pizza

"IMAPizza LLC operates the &pizza chain in the United States. IMAPizza alleged that At Pizza Ltd., an Edinburgh, Scotland company, operating under the name @Pizza, created an unauthorized copycat version of IMAPizza’s &pizza restaurant. The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of IMAPizza’s copyright and trademark infringement claims against At Pizza. The D.C. Circuit agreed with the district court’s conclusions that IMAPizza failed to allege any domestic copyright infringement or that At Pizza’s actions created any effect on U.S. commerce that could justify extraterritorial application of the Lanham Act."

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

A New Copyright Office Warehouse–25 Years in the Making; Library of Congress, August 19, 2020

, Library of CongressA New Copyright Office Warehouse–25 Years in the Making

"The following is a guest post by Paul Capel, Supervisory Records Management Section Head.

The United States Copyright Office holds the most comprehensive collection of copyright records in the world. The Office has over 200,000 boxes of deposit copies spread among three storage facilities in Landover, Maryland; a contracted space in Pennsylvania; and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility in Massachusetts. Even with these three warehouses, that’s not enough space. Each day, the Office receives new deposits, and despite the increase in electronic deposits, our physical deposits continue to grow year after year.

These deposits are managed by the Deposit Copies Storage Unit, a dedicated team that springs into action to retrieve deposits when requested by examiners or researchers or for litigation cases. In this type of work, speed and efficiency of retrieval are critical. Managing deposits across three storage locations can present a challenge to our ideal retrieval times. When our records are stored in several locations, the potential for miscommunication or misplaced deposits increases.

This October, the Office will be opening a new 40,000 square foot warehouse that has been in discussion for over twenty-five years. We will be moving our deposits out of facilities that are more than forty years old to centrally locate them in a new state-of-the-art facility. This is a huge undertaking, and we are aiming to move 88,000 boxes from Landover in under 45 days. The new space is environmentally controlled and meets preservation requirements for the storage of federal records. Even more importantly, the new facility will allow the Office to maintain control over all our records in a single location, which will improve our retrieval times and will enable us to serve our stakeholders better.
This new facility is a great start, but we have an even bigger vision for our deposits. To truly inventory and track our deposits, the Office is investigating a warehouse management system that will help staff inventory, track, locate, and manage all the items in our warehouse. This type of system will help the Office enhance the availability and accessibility of materials, decreasing manual processing, and allowing for real-time tracking of deposits at any given time. It will also let us know who has them and when their period of retention ends.
This system will provide all the notifications  expected from any modern delivery service. Copyright Office staff will be able to obtain a copy of their order and tell when it is in transit, know when it has been delivered, and sign for it digitally. This system will also provide transparency to others who might have an interest in requesting the same deposit, to see where it currently is, who has it, and how long they have had it."

Self-Driving to Federal Prison: The Trade Secret Theft Saga of Anthony Levandowski Continues; Lexology, August 13, 2020

Seyfarth Shaw LLP - Robert Milligan and Darren W. DummitSelf-Driving to Federal Prison: The Trade Secret Theft Saga of Anthony Levandowski Continues

"Judge Aslup, while steadfastly respectful of Levandowski as a good person and as a brilliant man who the world would learn a lot listening to, nevertheless found prison time to be the best available deterrent to engineers and employees privy to trade secrets worth billions of dollars to competitors: “You’re giving the green light to every future engineer to steal trade secrets,” he told Levandowski’s attorneys. “Prison time is the answer to that.” To further underscore the importance of deterring similar behavior in the high stakes tech world, Judge Aslup required Levandowski to give the aforementioned public speeches describing how he went to prison."

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Intellectual Property ‘Grab’; Inside Higher Ed, August 17, 2020

Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed; Intellectual Property ‘Grab’

"COVID-19 has upended so many academic norms. Now Youngstown State University may be poised to turn another tradition on its head: faculty ownership of textbooks, articles and other nonpatentable works.

According to documents from the university’s ongoing contract negotiations with its faculty union, Youngstown State wants to fundamentally change how it defines scholarship, copyright, intellectual property, distance education and the legal term "works for hire." It also wants to introduce the concept of commercialization into the faculty contract."

Volvo says copyright claim to photo of SC-made S60 doesn’t extend to Instagram; Post and Courier, August 16, 2020

David Wren, Post and Courier; Volvo says copyright claim to photo of SC-made S60 doesn’t extend to Instagram

"The Facebook-owned photo- and video-tagging app has created a legal gray area by requiring its users to grant the social media site a copyright license for any images they upload. Instagram can then sublicense those rights to others. In a recent similar case, however, Instagram said anyone who reposts images also might need a license from the original photographer."

Sunday, August 16, 2020

The cool story behind popsicles; CBS Sunday Morning, August 16, 2020

CBS Sunday Morning; The cool story behind popsicles

"...Frank Epperson would have to grow up before he patented his idea, in 1924.

"He called it 'Ep-sicle,'" said Kathleen. "Ep for Epperson, and sicle because it looked like an icicle."

But his four-year-old son George came up with a catchier name: "He ran up and he put his arms around his father's leg and he said, 'Pop, pop, can I have a 'sicle? I want a popsicle!'""

Will Online College Courses Help Reduce Textbook Prices?; Forbes, August 7, 2020

Robert Farrington, Forbes; Will Online College Courses Help Reduce Textbook Prices?

"Sympathetic professors often don’t even require textbooks at all, or they make it easy for students to access materials online — and this was even before the pandemic took hold. 

Movement To Open Educational Resources (OER)

Schools who planned to transition online this year due to Covid-19 had the entire summer to figure out ways to present their materials, whether that includes Zoom meetings, message boards, their own platforms, or the many other options available. It’s likely that some of them will have moved a lot of their course material entirely to the web, which could eliminate the need for physical textbooks altogether for some classes. 
But there was a major move toward free college textbooks that predates the pandemic, according to Brian Galvin, the Chief Academic Officer for Varsity Tutors. Galvin says that the biggest lever colleges have to pull is the popularity of the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, which has seen professors choose to teach courses using e-textbooks that are essentially "open-source" and made available by nonprofits that aim to reduce the cost of learning."

Australia to reform copyright laws in face of digital and COVID-19 world; ZDNet, August 13, 2020

, ZDNet; Australia to reform copyright laws in face of digital and COVID-19 world

The changes include a new fair dealing exception that allows cultural and educational institutions, governments, and other persons engaged in public interest or personal research to quote copyright material.

"The Australian government has announced it will make reforms to the nation's copyright laws in a bid to better support the needs of Australians in an increasingly digital environment.

The decision comes after two years of industry consultation and is the government's response to copyright recommendations made by the Productivity Commission four years ago...  

"The need for change has been further highlighted during COVID-19, with schools, universities, cultural institutions, and governments moving more services online."  

The proposed copyright reforms are focused on five main measures: Introducing a limited liability scheme for use of orphan works; a new fair dealing exception for non-commercial quotation; amendments to library and archives exceptions; amendments to education exceptions; and streamlining the government's statutory licensing scheme."

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Why Patents Don't Stop People From Stealing Your Invention; Forbes, June 4, 2020

Stephen Key, Forbes; Why Patents Don't Stop People From Stealing Your Invention

"Here are effective and practical ways of protecting your ownership of your creativity."

Explainer: who owns the copyright to your tattoo?; The Conversation, August 10, 2020

, The Conversation; Explainer: who owns the copyright to your tattoo?

"So, why don’t tattooists sue over copying?

In some art industries, there can be a big gap between holding rights and exercising them. 
To tattooists, appropriation is mostly seen as a matter of ethics or manners rather than law...
These norms aside, copyright law does apply to tattoos. Whether or not more tattoo enthusiasts will seek an appropriate licence, as occurred in the case of Jarrangini (buffalo), or a copyright owner will sue for a rights violation, is another matter."

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Intellectual Property and Education in the Age of COVID-19; Research Symposium, QUT Faculty of Law via, July 29, 2020

, Research Symposium, QUT Faculty of Law via; Intellectual Property and Education in the Age of COVID-19


This event will consider the relationship between intellectual property and higher education in the age of the public health crisis over the coronavirus COVID-19. It will bring together scholars, experts, and practitioners in law, business, and education, and examine this topic from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

Universities and educational institutions will play a key role in our local, national, and global response to the public health crisis of the coronavirus COVID-19. Professor John Shine — the President of the Australian Academy of Science — has stressed: ‘As a repository of knowledge, networks, infrastructure and smart, agile people, university science has the capacity to address global challenges.’ Shine suggests: ‘People trained by university science and working within the research sector are the people whose expertise will deliver on this global challenge.’ He has concluded: ‘It’s the capacity to innovate in our university science that will bring us through this crisis.’

This symposium will consider the role of universities and educational institutions as creators, intermediaries, and users of copyright work. It will also examine how universities rely upon trade mark law, branding, marketing, and Internet Domain Names. This symposium will explore the role of universities in respect of research, development and deployment of patented inventions in key fields — including agriculture, biotechnology, medicine, and clean technologies. This event will also consider the tension between the open access culture of universities, and the push towards the protection of trade secrets and confidential information. It will look at recent concerns about the cyber-hacking of universities, educational establishments, and research institutions.

This symposium will also provide an Australian launch of Professor Jacob Rooksby’s Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (Edward Elgar, 2020) — which includes a contribution from a QUT researcher on intellectual property, 3D printing, and higher education."

CBS’ overzealous copyright bots hit Star Trek virtual Comic-Con panel; Ars Technica, July 23, 2020

. Ars Technica; CBS’ overzealous copyright bots hit Star Trek virtual Comic-Con panel

"Media companies that usually have a large presence at events like SDCC worked hard to create streaming alternative content—but it seems they forgot to tell their copyright bots.

ViacomCBS kicked things off today with an hour-long panel showing off its slew of current and upcoming Star Trek projects: Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, and Strange New Worlds...

Even if the presentation didn't look like a real episode of Discovery to the home viewer, it apparently sounded close enough: after the Star Trek Universe virtual panel began viewers began to lose access to the stream. In place of the video, YouTube displayed a content ID warning reading: "Video unavailable: This video contains content from CBS CID, who has blocked it on copyright grounds."

After being blacked out for about 20 minutes, the panel was restored, and the recording of the virtual panel has no gaps in playback."

Saturday, August 8, 2020

U.S. Copyright Office: DMCA Is “Tilted Askew,” Recommends Remedies for Rightsholders; JDSupra, August 7, 2020

Aylin Kuzucan, Fenwick & West LLP, JDSupra; U.S. Copyright Office: DMCA Is “Tilted Askew,” Recommends Remedies for Rightsholders

"On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Copyright Office released its first full report—based on 92,000 written comments, five roundtables and decades of case law—on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. § 512). The analysis was intended to determine whether the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions effectively balanced the needs of online service providers and rightsholders. The Copyright Office concluded that the balance is “tilted askew,” with largely ineffective copyright infringement protections for rightsholders...

Going forward, the Copyright Office plans to post a new website——with several educational and practical elements, including model takedown notices and counter-notices. In addition, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property plans to draft changes to the DMCA by the end of 2020. Any changes made will be critical for the copyright community to monitor closely."

Friday, August 7, 2020

CCC Salutes and Celebrates the US Copyright Office’s 150th Anniversary; Copyright Clearance Center, August 5, 2020

Copyright Clearance Center;

CCC Salutes and Celebrates the US Copyright Office’s 150th Anniversary

"CCC salutes and celebrates the historic milestone passed recently by the US Copyright Office: its 150th year of continuous operation...

In 1906, Mark Twain addressed Congress, appearing in his famous white suit for the first time, in pursuit of additional copyright protection for authors (which did not actually occur until 1976): 

“I am interested particularly and especially in the part of the bill which concerns my trade. I like that extension of copyright life to the author’s life and fifty years afterward. I think that would satisfy any reasonable author, because it would take care of his children. Let the grand-children take care of themselves. That would take care of my daughters, and after that I am not particular. I shall then have long been out of this struggle, independent of it, indifferent to it.”"

Thursday, August 6, 2020

U.S. Copyright Office Celebrates 150 Years of Fostering American Creativity and Innovation; U.S. Chamber of Commerce, August 4, 2020

Frank Cullen, U.S. Chamber of Commerce;

U.S. Copyright Office Celebrates 150 Years of Fostering American Creativity and Innovation

"Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) joins the U.S. Copyright Office in celebrating its 150th-anniversary as an essential leader in fostering American creativity and innovation.

The office was established during the wake of the Civil War when Librarian of Congress Ainsworth Spofford lobbied and convinced Congress to unify the copyright registration system in the Library of Congress."

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Can Neil Young Sue Donald Trump Into Silence?; Rolling Stone, August 5, 2020

Amy X. Wang, Rolling Stone; Can Neil Young Sue Donald Trump Into Silence?

"The lawsuit is just the latest in a long line of clashes between Young and Trump — dating back to June 2015, when Trump played “Rockin’ in the Free World” after announcing his presidential run. Trump most recently played the Freedom cut at events in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Mount Rushmore, despite Young’s longstanding objection.

But does the musician have a case? “It’s absolutely a license issue,” Gary Adelman — a New York-based entertainment business attorney at Adelman Matz — tells Rolling Stone. He notes that the case will hinge on whether the artist has specifically removed those particular songs from his public performance organization’s blanket licenses: “If he has withdrawn those two particular songs from BMI’s political license program, then the Trump administration does not have a license to play them at a political rally and they have a good case that they will more likely win.”"

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Sold: An 1891 Patent by Granville T. Woods, Innovative Black Engineer; Atlas Obscura, July 22, 2020

Matthew Taub, Atlas Obscura; Sold: An 1891 Patent by Granville T. Woods, Innovative Black Engineer

Woods was prolific, but was largely forgotten for many years after his death.

"Despite his striking productivity, Woods had a difficult time profiting from his inventions. Rayvon Fouché, a professor of American Studies at Purdue University who studies technology and invention, says it’s a common misunderstanding that patents lead to wealth. More often, competition with other inventors—or a simple lack of commercial interest in the product—prevents innovators from seeing major returns, says Fouché, who is also the author of Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation: Granville T. Woods, Lewis H. Latimer, and Shelby J. Davidson."

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Internet Archives Fires Back in Lawsuit Over Covid-19 Emergency Library; Vice, July 29, 2020

Matthew Gault, Vice; Internet Archives Fires Back in Lawsuit Over Covid-19 Emergency Library

"In a brief filed in a New York district court on Tuesday night, the Internet Archive fired back in response to a lawsuit brought against it by five of the world’s largest publishers. The lawsuit seeks to shut down an online National Emergency Library started by the Internet Archive during the Covid-19 pandemic and levy millions of dollars in fines against the organization."

Friday, July 24, 2020

Internet Archive to Publishers: Drop ‘Needless’ Copyright Lawsuit and Work with Us; Publishers Weekly, July 23, 2020

Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly; Internet Archive to Publishers: Drop ‘Needless’ Copyright Lawsuit and Work with Us

"During a 30-minute Zoom press conference on July 22, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle urged the four major publishers suing over the organization’s book scanning efforts to consider settling the dispute in the boardroom rather than the courtroom.

“Librarians, publishers, authors, all of us should be working together during this pandemic to help teachers, parents, and especially students,” Kahle implored. “I call on the executives of Hachette, HarperCollins, Wiley, and Penguin Random House to come together with us to help solve the challenging problems of access to knowledge during this pandemic, and to please drop this needless lawsuit.”

Kahle’s remarks came as part of a panel, which featured a range of speakers explaining and defending the practice of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), the legal theory under which the Internet Archive has scanned and is making available for borrowing a library of some 1.4 million mostly 20th century books."

Attorney Gregory S. DeSantis Breaks Down Copyright Law—and Just What Constitutes 'Fair Use'; Playbill, July 21, 2020

Gregory S. DeSantis, Playbill; Attorney Gregory S. DeSantis Breaks Down Copyright Law—and Just What Constitutes 'Fair Use'

"With theaters of all sizes closed, performing artists find themselves at home with an uptick in weekly screen time. Entrepreneurial-minded performers are attempting to benefit from this trend by producing more digital content than before. As a result, a lot of exciting streaming content has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic from Star Wars-themed ballet classes to at-home musicals. However, anyone using another copyright- or trademark-protected work risks receiving cease and desist letters, monetary fines and potentially imprisonment when incorporating protected content into their online brand."

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Reforming Digital Lending Libraries and the End of the Internet Archive; Jurist, July 20, 2020

, Jurist; Reforming Digital Lending Libraries and the End of the Internet Archive

"The lack of certainty relating to the legality of CDL as fair use is hampering its growth by creating a chilling effect. Libraries are under the fear of costly litigations. IA itself is under the risk of bankruptcy, as the publishers are not inclined to take back their suit, even after IA stopped ELP. This is the very problem section 108 intended to resolve. Hence, it is pertinent that the section is amended to meet the needs of the digital age and provide certainty in this regard. Some countries have already moved in this direction. While Canada has permitted a limited right to provide digitized copies to patrons of other libraries, the EU has been considering proposals to allow digitization of cultural heritage institutions, including libraries."

Open-access Plan S to allow publishing in any journal; Nature, July 16, 2020

Funders will override policies of subscription journals that don’t let scientists share accepted manuscripts under open licence.

"Funding agencies behind the radical open-access (OA) initiative Plan S have announced a policy that could make it possible for researchers to bypass journals’ restrictions on open publishing. The change could allow scientists affected by Plan S to publish in any journal they want — even in subscription titles, such as Science, that haven’t yet agreed to comply with the scheme.

Plan S, which kicks in from 2021, aims to make scientific and scholarly works free to read and reproduce as soon as they are published. Research funders that have signed up to it include the World Health Organization, Wellcome in London, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, and 17 national funders, mostly in Europe. The European Commission also says it will follow the plan.

Under the initiative, scientists funded by Plan S agencies must publish their work OA. If a journal doesn’t allow that, researchers can instead post an accepted version of their article — an author accepted manuscript, or AAM — in an online repository as soon as their paper appears. This kind of author-initiated sharing is sometimes called green open access. Under Plan S, it comes with a key condition that has so far been anathema to many subscription journals: the AAM must be shared under a liberal ‘CC-BY’ publishing licence that would allow others to republish and translate the work."