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Copyright News Round Up

Copyright News Round Up by Copyright Alliance

September 5, 2017

Week of September 1, 2017

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

Five Questions with SESAC’s Christos Badavas
Copyright Alliance | When we launched the new Copyright Alliance website, we started a series of blogs called “Five Questions with…” to highlight our individual creator members. We asked creators to answer questions about the importance of the creative community and copyright (along with their personal and professional experiences in dealing with copyright issues). We then featured their responses and photos online.

Are tattoos protected by copyright?
Copyright Alliance | Copyright can protect pictorial and graphic works so long as they are fixed in a physical object and display originality. Since tattoos are, by definition, fixed—Merriam Webster defines a tattoo as “an indelible mark or figure fixed upon the body by insertion of pigment under the skin or by production of scars”—the threshold question in determining if a particular tattoo is protected by copyright is whether the tattoo is sufficiently original.

VidAngel, VidAngel, Appeal Denied
Terry Hart | “On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit issued its decision in Disney Enterprises v VidAngel, affirming the district court’s order enjoining VidAngel after it was sued by several studios alleging copyright infringement.1 VidAngel operated an unauthorized, on-demand video streaming service that allowed viewers to filter out objectionable content, such as swearing or nudity, and argued that doing so was permissible for a variety of reasons, most notably that it was exempt from liability pursuant to an exception created by the Family Movie Act of 2005 (FMA).2 The Ninth Circuit disagreed.”

App Piracy Stifles Innovation, Harms Consumers
Ruth Vitale | “Mobile applications – the fun, useful programs that tell you how to get home, give you awesome bunny ears, introduce you to the love of your life, and let you text your friends across the world, and are cheap (maybe 99 cents) or even free – are being pirated like crazy.
But why? And if the prices range from free to cheap, who’s getting hurt anyway, right? Simple: The thousands of creatives who make the apps that make our lives easier or more fun.”

Friday’s Endnotes – 09/01/17
Terry Hart | “Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by the Tech Giant — On Wednesday, the New York Times dropped a bombshell with this story, detailing how a group whose work on platform monopolies, including Google, was removed from a think tank with strong ties to the internet giant. The story raises legitimate questions about Google’s influence on the many other non-profit and academic organizations it funds. Zephyr Teachout, who chairs the ousted group, penned an op-ed in response, Google is coming after critics in academia and journalism. It’s time to stop them.

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?”

Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by the Tech Giant
Kenneth P. Vogel | “WASHINGTON — In the hours after European antitrust regulators levied a record $2.7 billion fine against Google in late June, an influential Washington think tank learned what can happen when a wealthy tech giant is criticized.”

Digital property rights debate heats up in NAFTA renegotiation
Chris Arsenault | “TORONTO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As Canada, the United States and Mexico renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), digital property rights provisions should be amended to reflect changes in technology, said legal experts and trade groups with opposing views on what to include in the shift.
Part of the debate centers around how countries regulate so-called digital lock provisions or technological protection measures which companies place on devices or software in what they say is a tool to fight piracy. ”

More Copyright Headlines here.