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Copyright News Round Up

Copyright News Round Up by Copyright Alliance

June 19, 2017

Week of June 16, 2017

Stay informed about all things Copyright with our weekly Copyright News Round Up.

Five Questions with Pet Artist Lili Chin
By Copyright Alliance | “I still continue to experience copyright infringement all the time, in all parts of the world. Last year, my work was ripped off by a large US apparel retailer. As I already had a copyright registration, we filed a lawsuit and the case was settled in December. This experience opened my eyes to what an expensive, time-consuming and complicated process it is to defend one’s copyrights even if the infringement appears to be clear as day and there is no question of who is in the right and who is in the wrong.”

#AskTheAlliance | Are former FBI Director James Comey’s memos protected by copyright?
By Copyright Alliance | Question: Are former FBI Director James Comey’s memos protected by copyright? Answer: Under federal law, copyright protection in unavailable for “a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties,” meaning that these works fall immediately into the public domain. So the key to answering this question is determining whether the memos were prepared as a part of Comey’s official duties as Director of the FBI.

CPIP Co-Founder Testifies at House Judiciary Committee Hearing on IP
By David Lund | “CPIP co-founder Adam Mossoff testified on June 13 before the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. He and other witnesses testified about the impact of the Supreme Courts recent decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC on innovators and the possibility of future changes to patent law.
For those not familiar with the decision, it held that patent lawsuits against corporations must be filed either where the corporation is incorporated or where it has infringed the patent and has a “regular and established placed of business.” This is different than the rule for most litigation which generally allows a lawsuit to be filed wherever a court may exercise jurisdiction over the corporation.:

DCA Report: Users Demand Some Accountability For Platforms
By David Newhoff | “On December 31, 2016, in a post called The Morning After or Social Media is a Humbug, I wondered whether or not 2017 would be the year when users, advertisers, and even the major web platforms would begin to demand more accountability online and move away from the general belief that a laissez-faire approach to all internet governance was universally beneficial.”

Google Down-Ranks Real News
By David Newhoff | “As alluded to in yesterday’s post, the 2016 shock to what we might politely call political orthodoxy provided a boost to mainstream news subscriptions. “The [New York Times] added 276,000 net digital-only subscriptions in the final three months of 2016, the best showing since it implemented its paywall in 2011. In the weeks immediately following Mr. Trump’s election in November, subscriptions increased tenfold compared with the previous year,” wrote Shannon Bond for Financial Times in February. Similar spikes occurred at The Washington Post and other traditional news sources.”

Angels and Monkeys at Appeals Court
By David Newhoff | “The Ninth Circuit, in the spotlight for ruling against Trump’s executive order known as the travel ban, heard oral arguments on June 8 in the Disney v. VidAngel case. As described in this post, VidAngel’s business model is effectively a Video On Demand (VOD) service that provides filtering for consumers who want to see mainstream fare without “objectionable” scenes that might include sex, nudity, profanity, blasphemy, and (I don’t know) rainbows?”

Artists Making Merch Should Avoid Copyright Confusion
By David Newhoff | “Ars Technica posted an article last month about copyright and tee shirt design that, in my view, jumps past the real story and may confuse a few independent artists out there that they’re opening in some new realm of IP law.
The internet industry sells a message of opportunity, and it is absolutely true that the combination of e-commerce platforms and on-demand production does create new avenues for creators to earn revenue from their work.”

YouTube and the Music Value Gap
By Hugh Stephens | “Canadian musician, songwriter, boutique record label owner and music festival organizer Miranda Mulholland made quite a splash with her cri de coeur address to the Economic Club of Canada in late May about the challenges facing performers in today’s digital world. Kate Taylor, entertainment columnist for the Globe and Mail who moderated the Economic Club event, in her article “What happens when we starve our artists”, strongly sympathized with Mulholland’s argument that musicians are being shortchanged by the digital distribution model. Mulholland took particular aim at YouTube;”

Intellectual Property 101: What Your Business Needs To Know About Copyright Law
By Art Neill | “Co-author Teri Karobonik contributed to this post*
Having an understanding of Intellectual Property law (IP) has become an essential skill for starting and growing a business. Many products, technologies, and creative works you make are protected by one of the four types of Intellectual Property Law: copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secret.”

Here’s What Website Owners Need to Know about the DMCA and Copyright Infringement
By Robert Parker | “Eureka! You’ve done it! You finally produced a website with great design and even greater content, and you’re ready for “Internet Fame” to wrap her fickle arms lovingly around you!
All is well with the world . . . and then it happens.
You awake one morning to find something missing from your site or, even worse, your site missing.”

Writers rally on copyright as Village Roadshow, Foxtel join anti-piracy alliance
By Don Groves | ” Dual campaigns to fight online piracy worldwide and to withstand any weakening of copyright protection in Australia are stepping up.
Village Roadshow and Foxtel have joined a newly-formed global coalition of 30 content creators and on-demand entertainment companies dedicated to reducing online piracy.
The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) will draw on the worldwide anti-piracy resources of the Motion Picture Association of America, in concert with the efforts of coalition members.”

Judge Overturns Jury’s Verdict That ‘Jersey Boys’ Is a Copyright Infringement
By Eriq Gardner | ” After nearly a decade in court, a Nevada judge decides that producers, writers and the director of the hit musical fairly used an unpublished biography.
The story of The Four Seasons, the 1960s pop group with mob connections and a long string of hits, was incredible enough to power Jersey Boys. A lawsuit over the creation of that mega-successful theatrical production is astonishing in its own right, with a new chapter authored on Wednesday when a Nevada federal judge decided to vacate a jury’s verdict of copyright infringement with a finding that the musical was a fair use of copyrighted material.”

Canada’s SOCAN Collected Record-Setting $249M In Royalties For 2016
By Karen Bliss | “The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) collected $330 million ($249.3M USD) in total revenues for its fiscal year, ending Dec. 31, 2016, it was announced at its Annual General Meeting in Montreal this afternoon. The figure is a seven percent year-over-year increase. The PRO said it recorded “new highs on almost every front.”
More than $289 million ($218.3M) in combined domestic and international royalties were distributed to SOCAN members, up 5 percent from 2015, and “exceeding $285-million for the first time ever,” it stated.”

Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) Unites to Fight Online Piracy
By Kevin Madigan | “As digital piracy shifts away from torrent downloads and towards unauthorized streaming and theft-based extortion, stakeholders from all parts of the creativity community are reassessing their efforts to fight online infringement. This week, a global coalition of creators and leading on-demand entertainment services joined forces to better address the ever-evolving threat that piracy poses not only to artists and copyright owners, but to consumers and end users. Named the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (or ACE), the group brings together 30 industry leaders—including Amazon, HBO, Warner Bros., Netflix, Disney, Hulu, and the BBC—to maximize consumer experience while ensuring the vibrant creative ecosystem they support is not undermined by piracy.”

What You Should Know About IPEC Nominee Vishal Amin
By GIPC | “Intellectual property (IP) industries – 81 to be exact – have a much greater influence on our economy than most Americans probably realize. According to the latest Department of Commerce report, IP impacts more than 45 million jobs and accounts for almost 40 percent of U.S. GDP. These numbers represent the many Americans that criminals – or even other countries – are stealing from when they undermine American patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.”

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