Copyright News Round Up

Copyright News Round Up

Week of June 9, 2017

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

#AskTheAlliance Series
By Copyright Alliance | Question: Lisa, a fiber artist, asked, “My dad, who died last year, was an avid amateur photographer. In the 1960s and 70s he took many beautiful black-and-white photos of protests in NYC, mostly candid shots of protesters, and some celebrities. I’m a fiber artist, and I want to use the photos in a book project, showing readers how to transfer special photos to fabric. Can I use the photos, especially the celebrity shots, without any copyright problems? Is there anything else I need to do or consider?”

Friday’s Endnotes – 06/09/17
By Terry Hart | Patent Office Director Michelle Lee resigns —  Unexpected news this week, as Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office Michelle Lee tendered her resignation effective immediately. No reason has been given for the decision. In her place, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has named PTO Associate Solicitor Joseph Matal as Acting Director.

EFF Petition Language Used in Fake Emails to the FCC
By David Newhoff | “It’s depressing how often one reads news that makes the United States seem as though we’re reliving the 19th century rather than an enlightened 21st. With that comment, you might think I’m referring to the current administration (and I certainly could be), but at the moment, I refer to Americans across the political spectrum who seem willing to return to the political tactics of Tammany Hall, albeit in digital form.”

Can We Ever End Legalized Piracy?
By David Newhoff | “Creators of every stripe must watch Miranda Mulholland’s May 24th speech delivered to the Economic Club of Canada. The musician, composer, and label-owner, with nearly 20 years of professional experience, does an excellent job of contrasting the realities of being a professional creator in today’s market against the rhetorical promises of the corporate leaders who designed that market. In addition to answering some of the classic tech-utopian “advice”Ñlike adapting, selling CDs at venues, touring, etc.— Mulholland focuses broadly on the subject of accountability and the fact that what we normally call piracy occurs on legal platforms. She says…”

The Long, Slow Decline of BitTorrent
By Jonathan Bailey | “In 2006 BitTorrent, or specifically peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. was king. In a study from January of that year, P2P traffic accounted for over 70% of all internet traffic. Though, at that time, BitTorrent shared the file sharing crown with other networks, it quickly moved to become the number one file sharing protocol, a title it would hot decisively by 2008, in part due to an incredible period of growth in late 2007/early 2008.

Viacom, Google on Same Copyright Page in Appellate Fight Over Music Licensing
by Eriq Garner | ” The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments whether the Justice Department is right to bar BMI from issuing fractional licenses. The U.S. Justice Department’s decision last year to require “full-works licensing” by public performance outlets ASCAP and BMI may have the music industry warning that certain groups of songwriters might no longer be able to collaborate with each other, but it’s managed to unite two old copyright foes, Viacom and Google.”

Forever 21 & Urban Outfitters Are Facing A Lawsuit Over These T-Shirts
By Britni de la Cretaz | “It has not been a great week to be Forever 21. The retailer, along with Urban Outfitters, is heading to court after a celebrity photographer alleges they used his photos of Tupac Shakur on clothing without his permission. Photographer Danny Clinch filed the copyright infringement lawsuit in federal court in New York last week. The photos were from the 1993 and 1996 covers of Rolling Stone magazine.”

Beverly Hills publisher buys copyright to Pink Floyd songs, 224,000 others works
By Chris Jennewein | “The Beverly Hills-based Concord Bicycle Music publishing company announced Friday it has acquired the global independent music publishing and theatrical rights company Imagem Music Group. Imagem Music Group is comprised of three distinct business units Rodgers & Hammerstein, Imagem Music and Boosey & Hawkes.”

Territorial Licensing: A Consumer Interest
By Per Strömbäck  | “In the conversation around the Digital Single Market, the consumer interest is a big part of the motivation. The European Commission wants consumers to be able to access their online content services when travelling to a different member state. It also wants consumers to be able to access content from other member states, because if they can’t, how can it be a Digital Single Market?”

Out of the Fire and Into the Matrix
By David Newhoff | “One of the first articles I ever published (for a magazine that no longer exists) was about cogeneration. This is the process whereby the waste heat produced by a power plant is captured and used to heat the same structures to which it supplies electricity. That was in 1997, just as President Clinton was about to sign the Kyoto Climate Change Protocol to the consternation of most of the GOP. In fact, the Senate refused to ratify the treaty on the usual grounds that emissions restrictions would harm the American economy. This was also nearly a decade before An Inconvenient Truth helped bring the subject of climate change into mainstream consciousness for many Americans.”

WannaCry and China: Will This Finally Lead to Real Action against Software Piracy in China? (And bring an end to copyright enforcement with “Chinese characteristics”?)
By Hugh Stephens | “China was hit hard, very hard, by the recent WannaCry ransomware attack. Of course, government institutions and businesses world-wide suffered from the virus but it seems that China was disproportionally affected. China has a huge online population, which may be one factor explaining the widespread impact of the attack. According to media reports citing data from the China Internet Network Information Center, China’s internet users (or “netizens” to use a favoured English-language adaptation in China) totalled 731 million at the end of 2016, an increase of over 40 million from a year earlier. But the attack was directed more at institutions than individuals. The New York Times reported that over 40,000 institutions and companies in China were affected including major universities, airlines, railway stations, gas stations and social media outlets.”

‘The value of creative assets is systematically being taken away from artists and music companies’
By Music Business Worldwide | “So-called “safe harbor” laws pertaining to internet services such as YouTube and SoundCloud need revision. The whole music industry is advocating for this, and the independent music community in particular has offered many thoughtful criticisms and proposed remedies. I touched on some of them in my testimony to U.S. Congress in 2014 about the state of music licensing, made on behalf of the American Association of Independent Music and independent music companies such as the ones I am a part of, Secretly Group.”

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. So, if nothing else, the bizarre theater of obfuscation and Twitter rants coming out of the new administration seemed at least to rekindle millions of Americans’ desire for credible reportage.”

Photo Credit: Kubkoo/iStock/thinkstock & seb_ra/iStock/thinkstock

Photos edited by: Copyright Alliance

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