Saturday, February 25, 2023

Science Fiction Magazines Battle a Flood of Chatbot-Generated Stories; The New York Times, February 23, 2023

Michael Levenson , The New York Times; Science Fiction Magazines Battle a Flood of Chatbot-Generated Stories

"Elaborating on his concerns in the interview, Mr. Clarke said that chatbot-generated fiction could raise ethical and legal questions, if it ever passed literary muster. He said he did not want to pay “for the work the algorithm did” on stories generated by someone who had entered prompts into an algorithm.

“Who owns that, technically?” Mr. Clarke said. “Right now, we’re still in the early days of this technology, and there are a lot of unanswered questions.”"

Thursday, February 23, 2023

What’s the Real Deal between AI Art & IP?; The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property, February 22, 2023

Executive Editor: David Orozco, J.D., Bank of America Professor at Florida State University & Editor-in-Chief at American Business Law Journal, The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property ; What’s the Real Deal between AI Art & IP?

"Can Creatives Fight Back Using IP? 

Artists and creatives may use U.S. copyright law to protect their works from unauthorized use or infringement, including works generated by AI. However, the exact extent of protection will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the application of relevant legal principles, such as fair use and the doctrine of originality.

For instance, if an AI-generated work is deemed to be a “derivative work” based on the original creative work of an artist, the artist may have the right to control the use and distribution of that derivative work. On the other hand, if the AI-generated work is considered a “transformative” use of the original work, it may qualify for protection under the doctrine of fair use, which would allow it to be used without permission from the original artist."

AI-created images lose U.S. copyrights in test for new technology; Reuters, February 22, 2023

, Reuters; AI-created images lose U.S. copyrights in test for new technology

"Images in a graphic novel that were created using the artificial-intelligence system Midjourney should not have been granted copyright protection, the U.S. Copyright Office said in a letter seen by Reuters.

"Zarya of the Dawn" author Kris Kashtanova is entitled to a copyright for the parts of the book Kashtanova wrote and arranged, but not for the images produced by Midjourney, the office said in its letter, dated Tuesday."

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

#WeWednesday from Phoenix: Finding options to fund your business; United States Patent and Trademark Office; February 22, 2023 at 11:30 AM MT, 1:30 AM ET

United States Patent and Trademark Office; #WeWednesday from Phoenix: Finding options to fund your business

composite of several female faces combining to a single figure next to the words WE: Women Entrepreneurs

"Calling all current and future women entrepreneurs! Join us for our next #WEWednesday event virtually or in person at the Phoenix Bioscience Core, known as 850 PBC, located in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday, February 22 at 11:30 a.m. MT.

The event will kick-off with a fireside chat between Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Sally Morton, Executive Vice President & Professor, ASU Knowledge Enterprise, and will be followed by a panel of experts sharing stories and tips on how to secure options for funding a small business. 

Confirmed speakers:

  • Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO
  • Alika Kuma, Executive Director, Arizona MBDA Business Center
  • Crys Waddell, Creative Strategist and Chief Operating Officer, Hustle PHX
  • Keneshia Raymond  Director of Programs and Access to Capital, Startup Tucson
  • Shruti Gurudan, Partner, Rose Law Group & Co-Founder, Telev√ęda 
  • Tracy Lea, Director of Venture Development, J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute (emcee)"

Register today

Libraries offering Intellectual Property workshop series; WV Mountaineer ENews, February 13, 2023

WV Mountaineer ENews; Libraries offering Intellectual Property workshop series

"This series of Intellectual Property workshops includes introduction, copyright, trademarks, and patents. While these workshops primarily focus on how to search, the participant will learn different aspects of IP as well as familiarity with websites. 

Trademarks: What's In a Name
If you have a new business name or a new product, attend this workshop and learn how to protect your name and avoid counterfeiting someone else’s. 
Register for this workshop scheduled for 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21

Patents: Learning How to Search
Knowing how to search patents is helpful for inventors to see what similar items already exist and it can help in researching older technologies and figuring out how a new technology works. Attend this workshop to learn about how searching patents using classification will assist you.
Register for this workshop scheduled for 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 

Copyright and your Thesis or Dissertation
Join us for a workshop specifically about copyright and graduate student work. We will cover copyright issues specific to theses and dissertations, including your rights as a user of others’ work, the permissions you need to gain, and your own rights over your ETD.
Register for the workshop scheduled for 11 a.m. to noon Monday, March 27 

Register for the workshop scheduled for 2-3 p.m. Tuesday, April 4

Register for the workshop scheduled for 2-3 p.m. Tuesday, April 12"

I Can't Get No Compensation: AI Image Generators and Copyright; Lexology, February 15, 2023

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP - James RosenfeldBarry A. Stulberg and Stevin S. George, Lexology; I Can't Get No Compensation: AI Image Generators and Copyright

"This case (and those mentioned in footnote 1), together with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Foundation v. Goldsmith case argued October 12, 2022, before the U.S. Supreme Court (addressing the question of what does it mean for a work of art to be transformative "fair use" under U.S. copyright law, docket 21-869) will require courts to balance the competing interests of content owners and AI innovators."

This Inner Richmond Bar and Club Could Face A $30,000 Fine for Copyright Infringement; Eater San Francisco, February 21, 2023

 Paolo Bicchieri , Eater San Francisco; This Inner Richmond Bar and Club Could Face A $30,000 Fine for Copyright Infringement

"Neck of the Woods, a Clement Street haunt for college students and fans of lowkey shows, is being sued by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). That makes it one of 12 such nightclubs throughout the country the group is taking to task over allegedly not paying ASCAP licensing fees, for which fines could reach up to $30,000. Hoodline writes the fee is a relatively small payment bars throughout the country commonly pay to play songs on jukeboxes, at open mics, and at events of that nature.

A prominent bar owner in San Francisco, who chose to remain anonymous, told the outlet the fee is somewhere in the range of $1,000 a year. The San Francisco Examiner reports Neck of the Woods kept a license with the ASCAP from 2009 to 2015 but, even then, failed to pay its dues and had its license with the ASCAP terminated. The payment is compensation for musicians who are, ever more so in the digital age, often paid poorly for their talents."

Oral Argument Set in Internet Archive Copyright Case; Publishers Weekly, February 21, 2023

Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly; Oral Argument Set in Internet Archive Copyright Case

"The contentious copyright case has engaged a wide range of stakeholders, with amicus briefs filed on both sides."

Bad Spaniel's: barking the line between permitted parody and trademark infringement; Reuters, February 15, 2023

, and Reuters; Bad Spaniel's: barking the line between permitted parody and trademark infringement

"The 9th Circuit ultimately vacated the district court's judgment on trademark infringement, based on the two-part Rogers test. The Rogers test was established in the 1989 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Rogers v. Grimaldi, and balances trademark and free speech rights. Under this test, a trademark can be used without authorization as long as it meets a minimal level of artistic expression and does not explicitly mislead consumers.

To overcome VIP's First Amendment right to humorous expression, Jack Daniel's was required to show that VIP's use of its trademarks is either (1) not artistically relevant to the underlying work, or (2) explicitly misleads consumers as to the source or content of the work. The trial court did not apply the Rogers test as part of its analysis...

The 9th Circuit's application of the Rogers test — which has traditionally been used for expressive works like movies, music, and books — to the commercial setting has garnered the attention of attorneys and brand owners alike. The outcome of this case has far-reaching implications for gag gifts, novelty T-shirts, and even subtler fashion products."

Friday, February 10, 2023

Librarians Are Finding Thousands Of Books No Longer Protected By Copyright Law; Vice, February 9, 2023

Claire Woodcock, Vice; Librarians Are Finding Thousands Of Books No Longer Protected By Copyright Law

Up to 75 percent of books published before 1964 may now be in the public domain, according to researchers at the New York Public Library. 

"On January 1, 2023, a swath of books, films, and songs entered the public domain. The public domain is not a place—it refers to all the creative works not protected by an intellectual property law like copyright. 

Creative works may not have intellectual property protections for a number of reasons. In most cases, the rights have expired or have been forfeited. Basically, no one holds the exclusive rights to these works, meaning that living artists today can sample and build off those works legally without asking anyone’s permission to do so. 

The books in question were published between 1923 and 1964, before changes to U.S. copyright law removed the requirement for rights holders to renew their copyrights. According to Greg Cram, associate general counsel and director of information policy at NYPL, an initial overview of books published in that period shows that around 65 to 75 percent of rights holders opted not to renew their copyrights. 

“That’s sort of a staggering figure,” Cram told Motherboard. “That’s 25 to 35 percent of books that were renewed, while the rest were not. That’s interesting for me as we think about copyright policy going forward.”"

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey Is Building to an Anti-Disney Horror Universe; CBR, February 9, 2023

ANDREAS NEUENKIRCHEN, CBR ; Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey Is Building to an Anti-Disney Horror Universe

Disney characters beware -- Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey intends to kick off a shared universe of public domain properties in a horror setting.

"Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey portrays the title character and his companion Piglet as bloodthirsty, feral slashers after having been abandoned by their friend Christopher Robin. This new interpretation became a possibility when the first Winnie-the-Pooh book by A. A. Milne went into the public domain in January 2022 (Disney still holds the rights to its specific depictions of the characters)."

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Bear goes selfie-crazy by snapping 400 pictures on Colorado wildlife camera; The Guardian, January 29, 2023

Guardian staff, The Guardian; Bear goes selfie-crazy by snapping 400 pictures on Colorado wildlife camera

[Kip Currier: A fun story, but, unfortunately for this ursine selfie-snapper, U.S. copyright law requires creators to be human. So, this bear can't claim copyright on these pics. See https://www.copyright.gov/comp3/docs/compendium-12-22-14.pdf 

Naruto v. Slater affirmed this human creator requirement at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a highly-publicized case answering "No" to the issue of whether a selfie-taking crested macaque monkey named Naruto, represented by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. (PETA), could constitute a copyright creator under the U.S. statute.]

"Most animals don’t notice the cameras, but officials said the bear appeared enthralled by this one."

Friday, February 3, 2023

Artists file class-action lawsuit saying AI artwork violates copyright laws; NPR, February 3, 2023

Darian Woods, Adrian Ma, NPR; Artists file class-action lawsuit saying AI artwork violates copyright laws

"Artificial intelligence has advanced enough to create a seemingly original artwork in the style of living artists within minutes. Some artists argue that these AI models breach copyright law."

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Failures are valuable IP: Protect your startup’s negative trade secrets; TechCrunch via JDSupra, January 23, 2023

Eugene Y. MarThomas J. PardiniTechCrunch via JDSupra; Failures are valuable IP: Protect your startup’s negative trade secrets

"Technology companies and start-ups are familiar with protecting inventions with patents, and protecting their secret formulas, source code, and algorithms as trade secrets. But tech companies may not be aware of another powerful form of IP protection in California known as “negative trade secrets,” which are intended to protect a company’s secret know-how gained from extensive research investment about what does not work."

Column: How Trump tried to trademark and profit off the phrase ‘Rigged Election!’; Los Angeles Times, February 2, 2023

NICHOLAS GOLDBERG, Los Angeles Times; Column: How Trump tried to trademark and profit off the phrase ‘Rigged Election!’

"Lehrer released records, played the Cambridge coffee shop scene and San Francisco nightclubs and became world famous before mostly disappearing from public view and going back to being a math teacher, much of the time at UC Santa Cruz. About songwriting, he told the Washington Post: “My head just isn’t there anymore.”

But his songs remained popular and he presumably continued to make money from them.

Then, late in life, he decided he was done profiting from his work. A couple of years ago he announced that he intended to put all his music into the public domain. In late November, he posted another note on his website saying that “all copyrights to lyrics or music written or composed by me have been permanently and irrevocably relinquished.” 

“In short,” he wrote, “I no longer retain any rights to any of my songs. So help yourselves and don’t send me any money.”

OK, I’ll admit I found this moving, an example of a well-known person putting the public good over the private good, at some financial cost to himself. It’s true that Lehrer is in his 90s and, as far as I can tell, has no children, although surely he’s got heirs of one sort or another. Admittedly, this is not as big a deal as if we heard that the songs of Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney were suddenly free for public use (which they aren’t). But Lehrer’s gesture is generous and selfless nevertheless, because the public domain is, in the end, the public domain. 

People who want to use or perform or record or rearrange or tinker with his songs may now do so “without payment or fear of legal action,” Lehrer wrote."

Lizzo Granted Trademark for '100% THAT Bitch' in Reversal After Application Was Rejected; People, February 2, 2023

, People; Lizzo Granted Trademark for '100% THAT Bitch' in Reversal After Application Was Rejected

"The USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) reversed its decision after rejecting Lizzo's application last year.

An examining attorney previously argued that the phrase is "a message of self-confidence and female empowerment," which fans "may associate" with Lizzo, but "does not entitle the applicant as a singer-songwriter to appropriate for itself exclusive use of the phrase.""

Who Owns Bob Woodward's Trump Interview Recordings?; Law360, February 1, 2023

 Hannah Albaraz, Law360 ; Who Owns Bob Woodward's Trump Interview Recordings?

""Best practice," Reid said, "is to get a release or transfer [of] rights at the outset. The complaint suggests this didn't happen."

Reid, who co-chairs UNC Chapel Hill's Center for Media Law and Policy, said the complaint doesn't paint a full picture of what exactly the parties agreed to before the interviews. She said she is interested to see how Woodward and his publishers respond to Trump's claim seeking declaratory relief regarding ownership of copyrights.

Trump's complaint cites no legal precedent, but it does reference the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, which states that if an interviewer or an interviewee seeks to register a copyright for an interview, the individual must have the other person transfer over his or her ownership rights.

The complaint doesn't suggest that either Woodward or Trump did so.

It may be that the U.S. Copyright Office would consider both Trump and Woodward the owners of their respective parts of the interview, and if so, a court may find that Woodward owes Trump some portion of the proceeds from the audiobook.

However, there is at least one case dealing with the ownership of interviews in which a court has held that the interviewer is the copyright owner of an interview."

AI Image Generators Can Exactly Replicate Copyrighted Photos; PetaPixel, February 2, 2023

 MATT GROWCOOT, PetaPixel; AI Image Generators Can Exactly Replicate Copyrighted Photos

"The team recreated a portrait of Ann Graham Lotz using Stable Diffusion, a side-by-side comparison reveals flaws such as distortion and noise in the AI image but there is little doubt that it is the same picture. 

However, two of the researchers revealed to Gizmodo that the team tried 300,000 text prompts and found that the AI image generators only recreated an exact image 0.03% of the time, the rate was even lower for Stable Diffusion which is available to the public, unlike Google’s Imagen.

“The caveat here is that the model is supposed to generalize, it’s supposed to generate novel images rather than spitting out a memorized version,” Vikash Sehwag, a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, tells Gizmodo

Despite the low rate of image recreation, the fact that this happens at all is alarming. Some AI image generators reserve rights to their images, effectively claiming copyright. This could be problematic if the AI generates the exact same image taken by a photographer."

The AI boom is here, and so are the lawsuits; Vox, February 1, 2023

 Peter Kafka, Vox; The AI boom is here, and so are the lawsuits

What can Napster tell us about the future?

"Briefly: “File-sharing” services blew up the music industry almost overnight because they gave anyone with a broadband connection the ability to download any music they wanted, for free, instead of paying $15 for a CD. The music industry responded by suing the owners of services like Napster, as well as ordinary users like a 66-year-old grandmother. Over time, the labels won their battles against Napster and its ilk, and, in some cases, their investors. They also generated tons of opprobrium from music listeners, who continued to not buy much music, and the value of music labels plummeted. 

But after a decade of trying to will CD sales to come back, the music labels eventually made peace with the likes of Spotify, which offered users the ability to subscribe to all-you-can-listen-to service for a monthly fee. Those fees ended up eclipsing what the average listener would spend a year on CDs, and now music rights and the people who own them are worth a lot of money.

So you can imagine one outcome here: Eventually, groups of people who put things on the internet will collectively bargain with tech entities over the value of their data, and everyone wins. Of course, that scenario could also mean that individuals who put things on the internet discover that their individual photo or tweet or sketch means very little to an AI engine that uses billions of inputs for training."

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

10 Best Comics Using Public Domain Characters; ScreenRant, February 1, 2023

GEORGE CHRYSOSTOMOU, ScreenRant; 10 Best Comics Using Public Domain Characters

"Many of the best comics in the world have used public domain characters at some point in their run. Indeed, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe launching into its fifth phase in 2023 there will likely be further examples of those out-of-copyright figures making their way from the page to the big and small screen. The benefit of using one of these figures is that mainstream audiences will immediately recognize them from previous projects, building in a sense of connection. But Marvel Comics isn't the only publisher to feature these universally beloved characters as part of their printed narratives over the years.

Some of the most well-known comic book companies, Image to DC Comics to Dynamite Entertainment, have all turned to familiar faces for a little boost in star power. Often these figures are brought into pre-existing comic lore to help build out the mythology of those particular universes, but it's also always fun to see a new interpretation of a pop culture figure, especially in the comic book medium. These examples always found worthwhile ways to include them within a significant narrative."

James Gunn Elaborates On What Might Happen When Superman Goes To Public Domain; ComicBook.com, January 31, 2023

KOFI OUTLAW, ComiCBOOK.comJames Gunn Elaborates On What Might Happen When Superman Goes To Public Domain

"For instance: Superman is set to enter the public domain in the 2030s, according to US law, which currently states that works introduced before 1978 enter the public domain 95 years after first publication. That timetable is one that will see Disney having to challenge Public domain rights to Mickey Mouse in coming years, while DC and Warner Bros. will see their core Trinity cross that barrier. Superman will be up in 2034; Batman in 2035, and Wonder Woman in 2037... 

QUESTION: "This is kind of a long-term question, but I mean, Superman is going to be entering the public domain in the decade from now. And you have a lot of classic characters that are going to be coming up with that issue. How is that ultimately impacting the way that you are defining who these characters are at this moment?"

JAMES GUNN: "Well, I mean, number one, it's a very complicated issue. It's not cut and dry. There's a lot of technical stuff around what pieces actually enter the public domain, which you may or may not know about. So there's that. But there's also that's one of the reasons why we have Superman and that's why we're bringing the Authority into mainstream. I mean, who would've thought 11 years ago the two most popular rides in the world are Guardians of the Galaxy ride. Two most popular rides in the world are based on a comic that f*cking 20,000 people knew. And so being able to try to create these other properties, use our diamonds, our Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, to prop up our Booster Golds or Green Lanterns or Plastic Mans or whatever is important."

At this point, it's hard to say which way the wind will blow on this. It definitely seems like the next big battleground in creative entertainment – when we get there."