Week of September 15, 2017
Stay informed about all things Copyright with our weekly Copyright News Round Up.
Friday’s Endnotes – 09/15/17
Terry Hart | “How Silicon Valley is erasing your individuality — “Rhetorically, the tech companies gesture toward individuality — to the empowerment of the ‘user’ — but their worldview rolls over it. Even the ubiquitous invocation of users is telling: a passive, bureaucratic description of us. The big tech companies (the Europeans have lumped them together as GAFA: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) are shredding the principles that protect individuality. Their devices and sites have collapsed privacy; they disrespect the value of authorship, with their hostility toward intellectual property.”
Transformative or Derivative? KinderGuides Case Draws a Clear Line
Terrica Carrington | Early this year, Penguin Random House filed a lawsuit against the publishers of KinderGuides— a series of children’s books presenting “a condensed, simplified version” of classic American novels including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Old Man and the Sea, On the Road, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The estates of Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote, and other renowned authors and publishers were also plaintiffs in the suit.
Why is parody considered fair use but satire isn’t?
Copyright Alliance | Question: Why is parody considered fair use but satire isn’t?
Section 107 of the Copyright Act is the section that provides for fair use, a doctrine which allows certain actions which otherwise would amount to copyright infringement. The Section lists several examples of fair use, including uses of copyrighted works “for purposes such as criticism [or] comment.”
KinderGuides & Copyright: A Tale of Wishful Thinking
David Newhoff | “An important and instructive decision was handed down this week by New York District Court in the KinderGuides case. KinderGuides is a series of children’s books that include adaptations of classic works with some commentary about the authors and the stories. Publisher Moppet Books has released illustrated, young-reader versions of works from the public domain like The Odyssey and Jane Eyre. But when they decided to launch a series of modern American classics still under copyright, this prompted litigation by rights holders who had not licensed their works to Moppet for adaptation.”
Brexit and Copyright: What Happens Next?
Hugh Stephens | “When British Prime Minister Theresa May introduced her new government’s proposed legislative agenda in Westminster on June 21, (through what is known as the “Queen’s Speech) after her disastrous gamble of calling a general election in which she failed to win a majority, one of the key items announced was her intention to introduce what has colloquially been called the “Great Repeal Bill”, legally the “European Union (Withdrawal) Bill”. Given the timetable for Britain’s exit from the EU (by March, 2019), Ms. May has until then to pass legislation to ensure that British law applies to all legislation currently mandated to the EU.”
Spotify in Songwriters’ Crosshairs Again
David Newhoff | “In July, two new lawsuits were filed against the streaming service Spotify, alleging willful copyright infringement on a “staggering scale.” Publisher Bluewater Music Services and songwriter, musician, and producer Robert Gaudio (formerly of The Four Seasons) both accuse the streaming service of infringing the reproduction and distribution rights of songwriters by failing to obtain mechanical licenses for several thousand songs represented by the two complainants combined. ”
Labor and Creativity
Adam Leipzig | “My first job in any creative pursuit was in IATSE Local 44. IATSE is a labor union comprised of people who work the below-the-line jobs in film and television. I was a very junior set dresser and my first assignment on my first day was to go to a department store to get make-up and beauty supplies that would sit on Glenda Jackson’s vanity table for a scene that would shoot after lunch. “Get back here in 45 minutes,” my new boss barked at me. I hustled to the store and picked out bottles of Borghese make-up because I liked their shape. It was the first creative decision I ever got paid for.”
EU Copyright Reform Meets Resistance From Stakeholders, Some Governments
Dugie Standeford | “With a vote in the lead European Parliament committee imminent on European Commission plans to revamp copyright rules, industry stakeholders, digital rights activists and even some EU member states are troubled by various legislative amendments and EU Presidency compromise proposals. ”
Compare the Chance the Rapper track with the song a lawsuit claims he sampled without permission
Nereida Moreno | “Chance the Rapper is being sued for copyright infringement by a New York lawyer and jazz musician who claims the Chicago rapper sampled a “significant portion” of his work on the song “Windows” without permission.
Abdul Wali Muhammad filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday in Chicago accusing the rapper of “blatant and willful infringement” of the copyrighted song, “Bridge Through Time” on “Windows,” a song from Chance the Rapper’s 2012 debut mixtape “10 Day.”
‘We Shall Overcome’ Verse Not Under Copyright, Judge Rules
Ben Sisario | “A federal judge on Friday struck down the copyright for part of the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome,” saying that the song’s adaptation from an older work — including changing “will” to “shall” — was not original enough to qualify for protection.”
More Copyright Headlines here.
Photo Credit: Kubkoo/iStock/thinkstock & seb_ra/iStock/thinkstock
Photos edited by: Copyright Alliance