Saturday, April 30, 2022

Neal Adams, Comic Book Artist Who Revitalized Batman and Fought for Creators’ Rights, Dies at 80; The Hollywood Reporter, April 29, 2022

Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter; Neal Adams, Comic Book Artist Who Revitalized Batman and Fought for Creators’ Rights, Dies at 80

"Adams also worked tirelessly to promote better working conditions and, radically at the time, creators’ rights, especially for their work. He early on recognized the value of creators and was a thorn in the side of publishers, demanding compensation for himself and others when their characters were adapted off the page.

He, along with Stan Lee, formed the Academy of Comic Book Arts, hoping to start a union that would fight for benefits and ownership on behalf of writers and artists. Lee wanted an organization that was more akin to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the two parted ways.

In the late ’70s, when a new federal work-for-hire law was being enshrined, Marvel and then editor-in-chief Jim Shooter distributed contracts that stated freelancers could not assert copyright over their creations. As detailed in Reisman’s 2021 Lee biography, True Believer, Adams sent around a copy of the contract, scrawling on top, “Do Not Sign This Contract! You Will Be Signing Your Life Away!” While it caused a ruckus and awareness, the effort didn’t have its intended effect as Marvel flexed its muscle and threatened anyone who tried to unionize with a drying up of the freelance well."

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

World IP Day 2022—IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future; Library of Congress, April 26, 2022

 , Library of Congress; World IP Day 2022—IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future

"The U.S. Copyright Office joins intellectual property organizations around the world in celebrating World Intellectual Property Day. The theme, set by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future. In announcing the theme, WIPO states: “World Intellectual Property Day 2022 is an opportunity for young people to find out how IP rights can support their goals, help transform their ideas into reality, generate income, create jobs, and make a positive impact on the world around them. With IP rights, young people have access to some of the key tools they need to advance their ambitions.”

Everyone, no matter their age, is a creator. And under U.S. copyright law, there is no minimum age to create a copyright-protected work and have the work registered with the Copyright Office. The Office’s exhibit, “Find Yourself in Copyright,” highlights Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex’s work A Face without Freckles . . . Is a Night without Stars, which she created as part of an eighth-grade school project in 1996 and registered with the Copyright Office as a high school student."

Friday, April 22, 2022

AI and Copyright in China; Lexology, April 15, 2022

 Harris Bricken - Fred Rocafort, Lexology; AI and Copyright in China 

"In the landmark Shenzhen Tencent v. Shanghai Yingxun case, the Nanshan District People’s Court considered whether an article written by Tencent’s AI software Dreamwriter was entitled to copyright protection. The court found that it was, with copyright vesting in Dreamwriter’s developers, not Dreamwriter itself. In its decision, the court noted that “the arrangement and selection of the creative team in terms of data input, trigger condition setting, template and corpus style choices are intellectual activities that have a direct connection with the specific expression of the article.” These intellectual activities were carried out by the software developers.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has distinguished between works that are generated without human intervention (“AI-generated”) and works generated with material human intervention and/or direction (“AI-assisted”). In the case of AI-assisted works, artificial intelligence is arguably just a tool used by humans. Vesting of copyright in the humans involved in these cases is consistent with existing copyright law, just as an artist owns the copyright to a portrait made using a paintbrush or a song recorded using a guitar. The scenario in the Tencent case falls in the AI-assisted bucket, with Dreamwriter being the tool." 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Save America’s Patent System; The New York Times, April 16, 2022

THE EDITORIAL BOARD, The New York Times; Save America’s Patent System

"Let the public participate. For too much of its history, the patent office has treated inventors and companies as its main customers while all but ignoring the people whose lives are affected by patenting decisions. That needs to change. Officials can start by appointing more public representatives to the patent office’s public advisory committee. Right now, six of the committee’s nine members are attorneys who represent commercial clients or private interests; only one works in public interest.

Officials should also establish a public advocate service similar to the one that exists at the Internal Revenue Service and should make a concerted effort to ramp up their public outreach. “The patent system has gotten so complicated that it’s impossible for anyone who’s not an inventor or a lawyer to penetrate it,” said Mr. Duan.

The patent system affects everyone, though. It’s time the people in charge of it recognize that."

Saturday, April 16, 2022

California police department investigates officers blaring Disney music; The Guardian, April 15, 2022

 , The Guardian; California police department investigates officers blaring Disney music

"California police department has launched an investigation into its own officers who were filmed blaring copyrighted Disney music in attempts to prevent residents from recording them...

The incident reflects an apparently growing trend in which police officers play copyrighted music in order to prevent videos of them from being posted on to social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, which can remove content that includes unauthorized content."

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Copyright Office Launches New Copyright Claims Board Website; U.S. Copyright Office, April 7, 2022

Issue No. 954 - April 7, 2022, U.S. Copyright Office; Copyright Office Launches New Copyright Claims Board Website

"Today, April 7, 2022, the U.S. Copyright Office launched, a website serving as a gateway to the first copyright small-claims tribunal in the United States, the Copyright Claims Board (CCB). The launch of is a major milestone toward the full opening of the CCB to creators and users of copyrighted materials later this spring. 

The website is the new online home of the CCB and is focused on helping everyone understand the mission and the processes of the CCB. Once the CCB starts hearing claims later this spring, will become the primary location for information about filing and responding to claims, opting out of a proceeding, accessing the CCB’s Handbook, and contacting the CCB with questions.

The new website features clear, helpful information about the CCB, including what potential claimants and respondents need to know about CCB proceedings. The website will also host the CCB’s Designated Service Agent Directory, the list of libraries and archives that have preemptively opted out of CCB proceedings, and updates on the status of CCB-related rulemakings.

The CCB’s Designated Service Agent Directory is a public directory in which corporations, partnerships, and unincorporated business entities can designate an individual to receive service of the initial notices of all proceedings and claims asserted against them before the CCB. The directory is now accepting submissions and will be regularly updated. Please note that this directory is different from the existing section 512 designated agent directory under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The CCB’s Libraries and Archives page will feature a public list of the libraries and archives that have preemptively opted out of CCB proceedings. A form for libraries and archives to preemptively opt out is now available on, and the list of libraries and archives, when compiled, will be regularly updated. A library’s or archives’ opt-out election also covers those entities’ employees acting within the scope of their employment.

Please bookmark for future reference."

Jacklyn Napier Named Assistant Register and Director of Operations of the U.S. Copyright Office; U.S. Copyright Office, Issue No. 953 - March 29, 2022

 U.S. Copyright Office; Jacklyn Napier Named Assistant Register and Director of Operations of the U.S. Copyright Office 

"Register of Copyrights Shira Perlmutter has announced the appointment of Jacqueline “Jacklyn” Napier as Assistant Register and Director of Operations of the United States Copyright Office, effective March 27, 2022. Napier will have responsibility for an extensive portfolio of financial, budget, and operational issues for the Office. 

“I am pleased to welcome Jacklyn to her new position,” said Perlmutter. “She brings to the Copyright Office deep skills in financial and budget management and internal control operations. She will be an important addition to our senior management team.”

Napier comes from the Department of the Navy, where she served as integrated risk management program manager and as deputy director of financial operations, leading enterprise financial accounting and internal control operations for nineteen budget offices. Previously, she held several senior positions, including acting director and deputy director of financial operations and deputy chief financial officer, with the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, both in the Department of Homeland Security. There she provided financial reporting, audit remediation, internal controls, financial systems management, and policy advice. She has also led business transformation, including projects involving financial systems modernization, and has experience in risk management. 

Napier is a certified public accountant and chartered global management accountant. She earned a bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Colorado and an executive master’s degree in public administration with honors from American University. 

Napier succeeds Jody Harry, who provided outstanding service as the first Assistant Register and Director of Operations and retired in November 2021. Maria Strong has served in an acting role in the interim period."

Senate Approves Kathi Vidal for Patent and Trademark Office; Bloomberg Law, April 5, 2022

 Samantha Handler, Bloomberg Law; Senate Approves Kathi Vidal for Patent and Trademark Office

"Kathi Vidal, President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, was confirmed by the Senate by voice vote on Tuesday.

Vidal is the second woman to hold the dual roles of under secretary of Commerce for intellectual property and USPTO director. She brings experience as a litigator who’s been on both sides of patent disputes, most recently as managing partner of Winston & Strawn LLP’s Silicon Valley office.

She’s also the first Senate-confirmed director since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year in United States v. Arthrex Inc. that the patent office leader has the power to overturn decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, a tribunal that reviews the validity of issued patents...

With a permanent leader, the PTO could also provide guidance on issues such as patent eligibility under Section 101 of the Patent Act and proposed policy changes on patents essential to industry standards, retired Federal Circuit Judge Kathleen O’Malley told Bloomberg Law in March. 

Additionally, Vidal will have the opportunity to move forward policy to increase the number of women and minority patent attorneys in patent tribunal appearances, and oversee the PTO’s ongoing efforts to increase gender and racial diversity in inventorship."

After 61 Years, McDonald's Just Revealed Some Big Plans That Nobody Could Have Predicted; Inc., April 2022


After 61 Years, McDonald's Just Revealed Some Big Plans That Nobody Could Have Predicted

A lot has changed since May 4, 1961.

"This is a story about McDonald's, trademarks, and the metaverse--plus, how to find good ideas for your business with almost no effort.

Let's start by explaining where to look: Go to the website for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Click through to the Trademark Electronic Search System.

Then, look up your competitors. Or else, search for companies that strike you as innovative and creative, or that are big enough to invest a lot into research and design and marketing.

You might be amazed at what you'll find."

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Three Ways Meghan Markle Shows Us That Copyright Registration Is for Everyone; The Library of Congress, March 31, 2022

, The Library of Congress; Three Ways Meghan Markle Shows Us That Copyright Registration Is for Everyone

"You are a creator. You are a copyright owner. You are a user of copyright. Copyright law encourages all walks of human life to express their creativity. Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, is a prime example of just how wide copyright law’s inclusivity stretches and proves that registration is within reach for all of us.

Here are three ways Meghan Markle shows us that copyright registration is truly for everyone:"

Sound familiar? Taking songwriters to court; CBS News, April 3, 2022

CBS News; Sound familiar? Taking songwriters to court

"Sound familiar? Taking songwriters to court

When two songs share a melody, some chords, or even just a vibe, can the songwriter be taken to court? Correspondent David Pogue looks at how music copyrights have become an increasingly disharmonious area of litigation."

How a Dracula Lawsuit Helped Create the Modern Vampire; CBR, April 2, 2022

 CARLOS T. LOPES, CBR; How a Dracula Lawsuit Helped Create the Modern Vampire

"Dracula and the elements that make a vampire didn't all come from Bram Stoker's novel. After Nosferatu first premiered in Germany, exactly 100 years ago, Florence Stoker, the author's widow, attempted to sue the filmmakers over a freely adapted script, later creating a copyright lawsuit nightmare that almost killed the movie. The aura around this subject fascinated audiences and artists, which created the lore that defines modern vampires today."

She Took the White House Photos. Trump Moved to Take the Profit.; The New York Times, March 31, 2022

Eric Lipton and  , The New York Times; She Took the White House Photos. Trump Moved to Take the Profit.

"There is no legal prohibition on Mr. Trump assembling and publishing photographs that a White House staff member took during his tenure; under federal law, those photographs are considered in the public domain and not subject to copyright. There is a public Flickr account, now managed by the National Archives, that has 14,995 photos from the Trump White House, a third of them listing Ms. Craighead as the photographer."

Open source intelligence observers gain growing role in how war is viewed; Stars and Stripes, March 29, 2022

ALISON BATH, Stars and Stripes ; Open source intelligence observers gain growing role in how war is viewed

"Citizen intelligence analysts are spotlighting the Russian navy’s role in its war on Ukraine, using publicly available information to report on missile launches, blockades and other actions in the Black and Mediterranean seas.

The information gathered using open-source intelligence, or OSINT, offers a glimpse into Russia’s maritime war activities and sometimes challenges information released by government sources.

Dozens of private citizens are parlaying their prior military experience, specialized knowledge of the Russian navy and online information-mining skills into robust, almost-real-time coverage of Russia’s full-scale invasion, which began Feb. 24."