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Copyright News Round Up

Copyright News Round Up by Copyright Alliance

October 2, 2017

Week of September 30, 2017

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

The World Has Adopted the Three-Step Test. Now it’s Time for NAFTA Negotiators to Do the Same
Keith Kupferschmid | As the third round of negotiations over a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) take place in Ottawa, Canada this week, negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico will begin to consider the copyright provisions of NAFTA. Much of the discussion has focused on a provision that sets forth what test these countries should use to determine the scope of exceptions and limitations in their copyright laws. For decades, the test that has been used not only by the United States in all its free trade agreements (FTAs), but by every other country, is what is commonly referred to as the “three-step test.”

Why should I register my work if copyright protection is automatic?
Copyright Alliance | Answer:
Since copyright protection is automatic from the moment a work is created, registration is not required in order to protect your work. However, there are numerous benefits to registration and therefore it is highly recommended, if feasible. These benefits include:

Friday’s Endnotes – 09/29/17
Terry Hart | “Petition of the day — SCOTUSblog highlighted the petition in Perfect 10 v Giganews this week. Giganews initially waived its right to respond, but the Supreme Court has requested a response by October 20. The issue: “(1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit correctly held—in conflict with the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 8th Circuits—that a defendant “profits from” direct infringement for purposes of vicarious copyright liability only if a plaintiff proves that its work, as opposed to the totality of the infringing content offered by defendants, was the reason customers were drawn to the defendant’s business; and (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit correctly held—contrary to the decisions of the Supreme Court—that a defendant does not engage in direct copyright infringement when it displays, reproduces, or distributes infringing material, so long as that conduct is accomplished through an automated process.””

The Monkey Selfie Case: Will It Have Broader Repercussions for AI and Copyright?
Hugh Stephens | “I am sure that British wildlife photographer David Slater rues the day that he ever laid eyes on Naruto, the Indonesian macaque, whose “monkey selfie” photo made Slater famous, but also brought him no end of grief and financial hardship. Readers will recall that it all started back in 2011 when Slater, a reputed wildlife photographer, set up his equipment with a view to photographing the goings on of a group of macaques in Sulawesi. The resultant photos, physically taken by one or more of the macaques after Slater set up the camera equipment having noted their interest in it, were promoted by Slater’s agent as the “monkey selfie”.”

Judge Rakoff’s Kinderguides Decision
Terry Hart | “A recent copyright decision articulates in clear and direct language the underlying policies that guide copyright law. This past January, several publishers and author estates filed suit against Frederik Colting and Melissa Medina for allegedly infringing their works through a series of childrens’ books called “Kinderguides”. These books were billed as “Learning Guides” to classical works of literature by defendants; they each generally followed a similar format, with a story summary followed by a series of back-pages containing, for example, keywords and quizzes. At issue here were works still under copyright protection: Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, and 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. Defendants argued that any potential infringement was excused by fair use.”

Ooh LaLa – Copyright and Racy Content in VidAngel Case
Rebecca Cusey | “Look, I get it. I’ve been there. One awards season while I was a movie critic, a few families gathered to watch Joe Wright’s lush adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Our children ranged from middle school to mid teens but we agreed that Tolstoy’s masterpiece exploring and contrasting love in its many forms would benefit them despite its racy content. It’s great literature, after all! We agreed to simply skip the racier scenes, primarily because they were not appropriate for the children but also because ain’t nobody want to watch that kind of thing with your mama in the room.”

Dearest Unsplash, Your Photography Community is a Scam!
Ruth Vitale | “Unsplash appears to be a straightforward website – devoted solely to hosting visually striking photos.
So why does this seemingly unassuming website make us want to punch a wall? Unsplash allows users to download and use photographs that took hours to plan, shoot, and edit for free.
We can’t say that we’re surprised… After all, Unsplash epitomizes what we find ourselves thinking all the time:
We live in an age where creativity is constantly and systematically being devalued!”

U.S. Floats Nafta Proposal That Could Erode Copyright-Liability Protection
William Mauldin | “The U.S. has floated copyright language in North American Free Trade Agreement talks that could erode internet companies’ liability protections for pirated content, according to lobbyists and congressional aides familiar with the negotiations.”

American Continental Group
Content & Technology Policy Report | September 28, 2017

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