Saturday, October 29, 2022

Descendant of Doctor Zhivago author loses copyright court case; The Guardian, October 25, 2022

, The Guardian; Descendant of Doctor Zhivago author loses copyright court case

"A descendant of the Doctor Zhivago author, Boris Pasternak, has lost a claim for copyright infringement against the writer of a novel about the publication of the Russian epic.

Anna Pasternak claimed seven chapters in Lara Prescott’s work of historical fiction, The Secrets We Kept (TSWK), copied elements from her own book Lara, a 2016 biography of her great uncle’s lover Olga Ivinskaya."

Saturday, October 22, 2022

A.I.-Generated Art Is Already Transforming Creative Work; The New York Times, October 21, 2022

Kevin Roose, The New York Times ; A.I.-Generated Art Is Already Transforming Creative Work

"These programs use what’s known as “generative A.I.,” a type of A.I. that was popularized several years ago with the release of text-generating tools like GPT-3 but has since expanded into images, audio and video.

It’s still too early to tell whether this new wave of apps will end up costing artists and illustrators their jobs. What seems clear, though, is that these tools are already being put to use in creative industries."

Who Owns the Copyright in A Tattoo?; Lexology, October 17, 2022

McKee Voorhees & Sease PLC - Brandon W. Clark, Lexology; Who Owns the Copyright in A Tattoo?

"In this, the first ever case of its kind to reach a jury, the jury found in favor of Alexander. However, the decision was something of a hollow victory for Alexander as the jury only awarded damages of $3,750. This case illustrates many of the issues with putting a copyright case in front of a jury as the court removed many of Take Two’s potential defenses from the jury’s consideration including de minimus use, an implied license, and waiver.

While the issues are novel and some of the case specific facts are fascinating, the outcome of the case could have a significant impact on copyrights and licensing for video games, television, motion pictures, and photographs. It is too early to tell what specific impact the result could have, and the minimal damages award will likely prevent an onslaught of similar cases, but the result does indicate a potential increase in risk when using someone’s name, image, and likeness, and will likely change the way these licenses are drafted in the future.

From a practical perspective, since copyright rights can only be transferred via a signed writing, the one sure way to avoid this risk is to ensure that tattoo artists sign a copyright assignment at the time the work is completed."

Obituary: Marybeth Peters, Former Register of Copyrights; Publishers Weekly, September 30, 2022

Jim Milliot, Publishers Weekly; Obituary: Marybeth Peters, Former Register of Copyrights

"Marybeth Peters, who served as the U.S. Register of Copyrights from 1994 to 2010, died on September 29. She was 83.

Peters spent her career working in the copyright field, and was considered a leading expert on both international and domestic copyright issues. Prior to her appointment as Register of Copyrights, Peters held a variety of positions in the copyright office. During her time there, Peters played a key role in adapting copyright to the digital age, including helping to implement both the 1976 Copyright Act and the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The controversial Google Book Search lawsuit also took place during her tenure, and Peters was critical of the proposed settlement, arguing that it was at odds with the law. The settlement was eventually rejected by Judge Denny Chin."

The Supreme Court meets Andy Warhol, Prince and a case that could threaten creativity; NPR, October 12, 2022

Nina Totenberg, NPR ; The Supreme Court meets Andy Warhol, Prince and a case that could threaten creativity

"You know all those famous Andy Warhol silk screen prints of Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor and lots of other glitterati? Now one of the most famous of these, the Prince series, is at the heart of a case the Supreme Court will examine on Wednesday. And it is a case of enormous importance to all manner of artists...

However the Supreme Court rules, its decision will have rippling practical consequences. So it is no surprise that some three dozen friend of the court briefs have been filed arguing on one side or the other, and representing everyone from the American Association of publishers and the Motion Picture Association of America to the Library Futures Institute, the Digital Media Licensing Association, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the Recording Industry Association of America and even the union that represents NPR's reporters, editors and producers, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

The outcome could shift the law to favor more control by the original artist, but doing that could also inhibit artists and other content creators who build on existing work in everything from music and posters to AI creations and documentaries."

Ralph Lauren apologizes after wife of Mexico's president accuses US fashion giant of 'plagiarism' by appropriating Indigenous designs from country's pre-Hispanic cultures for $360 cardigan; Daily Mail, October 21, 2022

 Daily Mail; Ralph Lauren apologizes after wife of Mexico's president accuses US fashion giant of 'plagiarism' by appropriating Indigenous designs from country's pre-Hispanic cultures for $360 cardigan

"Ralph Lauren has apologized after the wife of Mexico's president accused the luxury US clothes brand of plagiarizing indigenous designs, which she described as an appropriation of the work of the country's pre-Hispanic cultures."