Week of August 25, 2017
Stay informed about all things Copyright with our weekly Copyright News Round Up.
For Sale: Gently Used MP3 Music Files?
Terrica Carrington | Nowadays there are several services that allow people to resell used goods quickly and efficiently online. And while platforms like eBay, Amazon, and LetGo are popular sites for selling everything from used furniture and clothing to electronics, another site—ReDigi—wants to allow users to resell gently used digital music files over the internet. The problem? That business model runs counter to the law.
Five Questions with Singer/Songwriter Katie Garibaldi
Copyright Alliance | This week we would like you to meet one of our Individual Creator Members, Katie Garibaldi.
1. What was the inspiration behind becoming a professional songwriter/music artist? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
I’ve had a positive reaction and closeness to music ever since I was a baby, and I created melodies and sung them since I can remember.
Copyright and the Historical Record
Terry Hart | On August 18, 1787, James Madison proposed to the Constitutional Convention what would become Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution, granting Congress the authority to make copyright (and patent) laws. To mark 230 years since that occasion, I’m posting the text of a brief talk I gave during the Center for Protection of Intellectual Property’s fourth annual fall conference October 2016 (video of the talk available here). The text is mildly edited for style, since I talk less grammatically correct than I write.
Friday’s Endnotes – 08/25/17
Terry Hart | “The tech of ‘Terminator 2’ – an oral history — A thorough story of the groundbreaking work done on the 1991 film. The FX team didn’t just create the memorable shots, they had to develop the tools to create those shots. “On my first day at work, I came in the door, they sat me down, and they showed me the storyboards, and they went through this binder. And I’d point to a page and say, ‘Oh, well that looks interesting. How are you going to do that?’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, we don’t know yet.’””
We Are Far From Skokie: Free Speech in Cyberspace
David Newhoff | ““I hate Illinois Nazis.” – Jake Blues, The Blues Brothers (1980)
I think my first introduction to the complexities of living in a nation with a constitutional right like the First Amendment was in the 7th Grade. Our teacher had the class watch and discuss the film Skokie (1981), a dramatization of the circumstances surrounding the 1977 legal case National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie. At that time, a group of about 30-50 National Socialist Party members wanted to march, dressed in Nazi-style uniforms, through an Illinois village that was home not only to a large Jewish population, but to quite a number of Holocaust survivors. Concern was reasonably high among state officials that the community’s promise to rally 12,000 to 15,000 counter-demonstrators would lead to violence.”
Wanda’s Wannabe Theme Parks in China: Lacking the “Secret Sauce” of Familiar Copyrighted Content
Hugh Stephens | “A year ago, when I wrote about Dalian Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin’s boast that he would “devour” Disney’s theme parks in China (“Mickey’s Adventures in China: Theme Park Wars and Copyright”), Wanda was riding high. From humble beginnings as a property developer in the Chinese city of Dalian, Wang had become China’s wealthiest man through building mega shopping centres, many of them anchored by large cinema complexes, and had gone on to expand abroad, buying AMC Cinemas for $2.6 billion in 2012 and Legendary Pictures for $3.5 billion in 2016. Wang’s hunger for entertainment assets (he was eyeing Paramount) created such a political backlash in the US that 18 members of Congress signed a letter to the US General Accounting Office urging that the mechanism used in the US to review foreign investments from a national security angle (the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS) consider investment from China in the entertainment sector as a possible “strategic threat”.”
Ninth Circuit Says VidAngel’s Wings Made of Wax
David Newhoff | ““Drat! Phooey! Shucks!” must be what the folks at VidAngel are saying after this morning’s opinion was handed down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Disney Enterprises v. VidAngel. Affirming the decision of a California district court, the panel agreed that the movie studio plaintiffs would very likely prevail on the merits in all of the triable issues in the case. Thus, the preliminary injunction ordered by the lower court will stand, and VidAngel will not be allowed to operate as it had been while the company considers whether or not they will take its case to trial. I’m going to bet they won’t.”
Mayweather v. McGregor Warrants Preemptive Anti-Piracy Efforts
Kevin Madigan | “This Saturday, the world will be treated to one of the most hyped events in the history of sports when “The Notorious “ Conor McGregor and Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. meet in Las Vegas to become (even more) rich while ostensibly also participating in a boxing match. The bout marks the first foray into boxing by a champion mixed martial artist—McGregor—at the height of his career, and is made even more compelling by the fact that he’ll be facing one of the greatest boxers of all time in Mayweather Jr.—albeit somewhat past his prime. The seemingly endless prefight activities have included an over-the-top press tour full of provocative trash talk, celebrity-attended training sessions, and a preventative effort by Showtime—the network airing the fight—to quash the inevitable flood of unauthorized streams that will pop up during what is predicted to be the most pirated event ever.”
Can an AI Own a Copyright?
David Newhoff | “Remember Clippy? He was the animated paper-clip assistant, who lived several years ago amid the code of Microsoft Office. He would pop up rather suddenly on your desktop and interrupt your work to offer unsolicited advice as to how the work might be improved. He was so annoying that Bill Gates reportedly sent an email memo to his staff titled Clippy Must Die. And although Clippy does indeed lie in a virtual, unmarked grave somewhere in Redmond, perhaps we are not too far from seeing consumer and business software with integrated AIs that are subtle and helpful enough to be appreciated by the market. If so, what if anything, does this mean for copyright?”
Appeals Court Grapples With Digital Files, and the Business of Selling “Used” Songs
Eriq Gardner | “Every now and then, a technology comes along that is disruptive, legally provocative and has the entertainment industry screaming and kicking and foretelling of impending doom. A million years ago, or at least that’s what 2013 now feels like in the digital era, a federal judge put the breaks on one such technology called ReDigi. Back then, consumers were getting many of their tunes by purchasing digital downloads off of iTunes. Before streaming outlets like Spotify and Apple Music really took off, ReDigi launched a service whereby consumers could sell their “used” iTunes music in a secondary market for digital files. A New York judge likened it to a “clearinghouse for copyright infringement” after the record industry brought suit.”
China says will tighten controls over intellectual property theft
Reuters | “BEIJING (Reuters) – China will tighten controls over intellectual property to provide better opportunities for foreign firms, the commerce ministry said on Friday.
The government’s crackdown on intellectual property violations will focus on trademark registration abuse and business secret theft, Wang Shouwen, a vice commerce minister told reporters at a press briefing in Beijing, adding that China’s IP protection was “not perfect” as a developing country.”
Mayweather-McGregor Fight: Pirated Live Streams Reached 2.9 Million Viewers
Todd Spangler | “Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s TKO of Conor McGregor on Saturday — in what has been expected to be the biggest pay-per-view boxing event ever — drew a massive global audience on piracy networks.
The Aug. 26 match from Las Vegas yielded 239 illegal live-streamed rebroadcasts online, reaching an estimated 2.93 million viewers worldwide, according to content-security vendor Irdeto. Of those, 67 were hosted on well-known piracy streaming websites. Pirates also used services including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter’s Periscope, Amazon-owned Twitch and media-player platform Kodi to illegally redistribute the highly anticipated event, according to Irdeto.”
To avoid copyright disaster, the future of game streaming is licensing
Brianna Howard, Jessica Walker, Jason Kunze | “We continue to sit on the edge of our seats watching the contests of League of Legends, Dota 2, and others on the big screen. But there’s a different contest to watch — online streaming platforms battling it out for the most viewers and best streamers while also steering clear of critical damage in the form of copyright infringement claims. Not only has the race for viewers started, but major players are maneuvering in the battle to provide streaming services as well.”
More Copyright Headlines here.