Friday, February 25, 2022

PRH, Internet Archive Clash Over ‘Maus’; Publishers Weekly, February 15, 2022

Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly; PRH, Internet Archive Clash Over ‘Maus’

"However, Lisa Lucas, senior v-p and publisher of Pantheon Schocken, the PRH division which publishes Maus, denies the allegation. In response, Lucas emphatically denied the claim. “That is not true,” she said, framing the issue around copyright concerns rather than consumer demand. “Art Spiegelman has never consented to an e-book of Maus," Lucas said. "Therefore, PRH asked the Internet Archive to remove the PDF and stop pirating Maus because it violates Art Spiegelman’s copyright.”

Although best known for its collection of public domain titles, the Internet Archive also offers a lending library of more than 2 million modern titles “not in the public domain,” Freeland said. IA offers digital lending of these titles under a controversial policy called Controlled Digital Lending, or CDL, in which IA scans the book and lends out a PDF of the title, one copy per lender at a time, much like a physical book.

In June 2020, four publishers, including PRH, filed a lawsuit against the IA charging it with copyright infringement. The case is still working its way through the courts."

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

You can’t copyright AI-created art, according to US officials; Engadget; February 21, 2022

K. Holt, Engadget; You can’t copyright AI-created art, according to US officials

"The US Copyright Office has once again denied an effort to copyright a work of art that was created by an artificial intelligence system. Dr. Stephen Thaler attempted to copyright a piece of art titled A Recent Entrance to Paradise, claiming in a second request for reconsideration of a 2019 ruling that the USCO's “human authorship” requirement was unconstitutional.

In its latest ruling, which was spotted by The Verge, the agency accepted that the work was created by an AI, which Thaler calls the Creativity Machine. Thaler applied to register the work as "as a work-for-hire to the owner of the Creativity Machine.”"

Monday, February 21, 2022

Court Blocks Maryland’s Library E-book Law; Publishers Weekly, February 16, 2022

Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly; Court Blocks Maryland’s Library E-book Law

"In a rebuke to Maryland state legislators, a federal judge has granted the Association of American Publishers’ motion for a preliminary injunction, blocking Maryland officials from enforcing the state's new library e-book law."

Sunday, February 20, 2022

How the intellectual property monopoly has impeded an effective response to Covid-19; The Conversation, February 14, 2022

; The Conversation ; How the intellectual property monopoly has impeded an effective response to Covid-19

"As of October 2021, only 0.7% of all manufactured vaccine doses had gone to low-income countries. Manufacturers had delivered 47 times as many doses to high-income countries as they had to low-income countries.

Since its inception, COVAX, the UN-backed initiative dedicated to promoting access to Covid vaccines, has struggled to obtain doses. It recently passed the 1 billion doses delivered – half way to its goal of delivering 2 billion doses by the end of 2021. Indeed, AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have delivered between 0% and 39% of their already inadequate commitments to COVAX in 2021.

The Global Commission for Post-Pandemic Policy, meanwhile, estimates that while Asia and Europe will be able to fully vaccinate 80% of their populations by March 2022 and North America by May 2022, Africa will not reach 80% at current rates until April 2025."

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Music group sues NBC, US figure skating pair over use of song during Winter Olympics; USA Today, February 19, 2022

Jordan Mendoza,USA Today ; Music group sues NBC, US figure skating pair over use of song during Winter Olympics

"Music group Heavy Young Heathens filed a lawsuit on Thursday against NBC, U.S. Figure Skating and figure skating pair Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, saying their copyright for the song "House of the Rising Sun" was violated when the pair used it for their short program earlier this week.

The group, comprised of brothers Robert and Aron Marderosian, are known for their compositions in numerous television shows, movies, trailers, advertisements and video games, such as ESPN's "30 for 30," Adidas, "Deadpool" and "The Simpsons." One of their compositions, "House of the Rising Sun" is based on a traditional folk song, but their version of it "is a signature song of theirs throughout the world," as it has been famously used for the film "The Magnificent Seven" and Ford auto commercials.

During the team figure skating event of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Knierim and Frazier used the composition for the short program portion of the event in which the United States won a silver medal for." 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Copyright Office Launches Digitized Copyright Historical Record Books Collection; U.S. Copyright Office, February 7, 2022

U.S. Copyright Office; Copyright Office Launches Digitized Copyright Historical Record Books Collection

"The Copyright Office today launched the first release of the digitized Copyright Historical Record Books Collection. “The Copyright Office holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of records of copyright ownership,” said Register of Copyrights Shira Perlmutter. “Today’s release of the first batch of our digitized historical record books will ensure that these records are preserved for future research and that anyone can access them from anywhere.”

This collection is a preview of digitized versions of historical record books that the Office plans to incorporate into its Copyright Public Record System (CPRS), currently in public pilot. The collection will eventually include images of copyright applications and other records bound in books dating from 1870 to 1977. This first release includes 500 record books containing registration applications for books from 1969 to 1977, with a majority of the record books being the most recent volumes from 1975 to 1977. The collection is being digitized using the Copyright Office’s internal administrative classification system in reverse chronological order. There will be periodic updates as record books are digitized and added to the collection."

U.S. Copyright Office Consultation Triggers Massive “Upload Filter” Opposition; TorrentFreak, February 16, 2022

Ernesto Van der Sar, TorrentFreak; U.S. Copyright Office Consultation Triggers Massive “Upload Filter” Opposition

"Late 2020, Senator Thom Tillis released a discussion draft of the “Digital Copyright Act” (DCA), which aims to be a successor to the current DMCA.

The DCA hints at far-reaching changes to the way online intermediaries approach the piracy problem. Among other things, these services would have to ensure that pirated content stays offline after it’s taken down once.

This “takedown and staydown’ approach relies on technical protection tools, which include upload filters. This is a sensitive subject that previously generated quite a bit of pushback when the EU drafted its Copyright Directive.

To gauge the various options and viewpoints, the Copyright Office launched a series of consultations on the various technical tools that can help to detect and remove pirated content from online platforms.

This effort includes a public consultation where various stakeholders and members of the public were invited to share their thoughts, which they did en masse."

Mephisto's Most Powerful Servant Got Marvel Sued by the Hells Angels; ScreenRant, February 10, 2022

JOSHUA ISAAK, ScreenRant; Mephisto's Most Powerful Servant Got Marvel Sued by the Hells Angels

"Hells Angel, appearing in 1992, was named Shevaun Haldane and had quite a traumatic start to her stint in comics when Mephisto brutally killed her father. She was later trapped into serving the satanic villain, but eventually broke free of his clutches. Unfortunately, she couldn't break free of the Hells Angels lawsuit, which stipulated that Hells Angel infringed on their name. Surprisingly, Marvel acquiesced to the gang's demands and changed Shevaun's character name to Dark Angel...but that only landed the company in more hot water when they were the subject of yet another lawsuit.

In addition to donating over $30,000 dollars to charity, Marvel now had to change the name to Dark Angel. Alas, the name was owned by Hart Fisher's Boneyard Press for another comic. Boneyard filed suit and the house that Stan Lee built had a choice to make: either change the character's name yet again, or fold and cancel the publication of Dark Angel. That's the choice Marvel made, and in Issue #16, the Dark Angel brand was put to rest."

The government dropped its case against Gang Chen. Scientists still see damage done; WBUR, February 16, 2022

Max Larkin, WBUR ; The government dropped its case against Gang Chen. Scientists still see damage done

"When federal prosecutors dropped all charges against MIT professor Gang Chen in late January, many researchers rejoiced in Greater Boston and beyond.

Chen had spent the previous year fighting charges that he had lied and omitted information on U.S. federal grant applications. His vindication was a setback for the "China Initiative," a controversial Trump-era legal campaign aimed at cracking down on the theft of American research and intellectual property by the Chinese government.

Researchers working in the United States say the China Initiative has harmed both their fellow scientists and science itself — as a global cooperative endeavor. But as U.S.-China tensions remain high, the initiative remains in place."

Sunday, February 6, 2022

COPYRIGHT, WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW; Hackaday, February 4, 2022


"Last week brought the story of a group of crypto enthusiasts who paid well over the going rate for a rare sci-fi book, then proposed encoding scans of all its pages in a blockchain before making and selling NFTs of them. To guarantee their rarity the book was then to be burned. Aside from the questionable imagery surrounding book burning in general, one of the sources of mirth in the story was their mistaken idea that in buying a copy of a rare book they had also acquired its copyright rather than simply paying too much for a book.

It’s an excuse for a good laugh, but it’s also an opportunity to talk about copyright as it affects our community. I’m not a lawyer and I’m not here to give legal advice. Instead this is based on the working knowledge gathered over decades working in the content publishing industries."

The Spider-Man Problem; NPR, Planet Money, January 28, 2022

, NPR, Planet Money; The Spider-Man Problem

"When Marvel licensed the Spider-Man film rights to Sony Pictures in the 1990s, the deal made sense — Marvel didn't make movies yet, and their business was mainly about making comic books and toys. Years later, though, the deal would come back to haunt Marvel, and it would start a long tug of war between Sony and Marvel over who had creative cinematic control for Marvel's most popular superhero."