Copycense Clippings (Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, 2007)
This week’s edition of Clippings is a tad more svelte than those featured in previous weeks, but it still includes stories about “360 deals”; Mrs. Sonny Bono’s most recent foray into copyright extension; unique perspectives on the Writer’s Guild strike; and House Democrats hitting higher education with the financial death penalty.
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Emili Vesilind. Fashion Designers Take on Pirates. LATimes.com. Nov. 11, 2007. A Sunday feature article features commentary on the Design Piracy Prohibition Act (H.R. 2033), which features Mrs. Sonny Bono (recall the 1998 term extension?) as a co-sponsor. Categories: Fashion & Ornaments; Legislation & Regulation.
Jeff Leeds. The New Deal: Band as Brand. The New York Times. Nov. 11, 2007. Chronicles the increased frequency of so-called “360 deals,” in which recording labels “partner” with the musical act to “share” revenue sources such as licensing and performance revenue. Traditionally, those revenue streams have been exclusive to the recording artist, but in this brave new (commercial) world, the labels seek help from the artists. Never mind that most artists (individually or collectively) never will earn enough to plug the sieve of a business plan the labels have yet to change. And never mind the irony of the labels asking the artists to share revenue, after the aforementioned business model has depended (to a great degree) on taking money out of artists’ pockets. Given this history, is it any wonder Jay-Z has rapped “I’m charging labels double for what they did to the Cold Crush?” Categories: Business & Commerce; Licensing & Permissions; Music.
Hiawatha Bray. Northeastern Sues Google Over Patent. Boston.com. Nov. 10, 2007. The patent in question covers a method for chopping up database queries into multiple portions and having each part processed by a different computer. For now, all those NU engineering students seeking jobs or co-ops with Google may want to adjust their plans. Categories: Cases & Litigation; Patent; Web & Online.
Anne Broache and Declan McCullagh. Democrats: Colleges Must Police Copyright, Or Else. News.com. Nov. 9, 2007. A House bill (.pdf) sponsored by two Democrats (California Rep. George Miller and Texas Rep. Ruben Hinojosa) would require colleges and universities to deter and provide alternatives to peer-to-peer infringement or lose federal financial aid. Call this the death penalty for higher education. The story notes the House Education and Labor Committee is due to vote on the bill next week; how did something so dastardly (tucked inside a 747-page bill, mind you) get so far without being noticed before now — especially when news broke during the summer that Sen. Harry Reid was considering similar legislation? Categories: Education; File Sharing, P2P & Downloads; Legislation & Regulation.
Eric Bangeman. Major League Baseball’s DRM Change Strikes Out With Fans. Ars Technica. Nov. 7, 2007. Ars extends Allan Wood’s report about being ripped off by Major League Baseball and its download service. It seems the files no longer are operable because of copy restriction technology. Categories: DRM & Copy Protection; Web & Online.
Edward Wyatt. Some Television Writer-Producers Side With Guild. The New York Times. Nov. 7, 2007. The East Coast Times talks about the decision of some television producers who double as writers (such as Grey’s Anatomy’s Shonda Rhimes) to support the writers currently on strike by not doing any producing either. Meanwhile, the West Coast Times features an op-ed from the producer of the film “Blood Diamond,” who traces the current predicament back to 1995 and the FCC’s decision to allow television networks to own the programs they broadcast. This perspective is interesting and necessary, given the Commission’s current role in revisiting media consolidation rules. Categories: Broadcasting & Journalism; Legislation & Regulation.
Yoshikazu Suzuki. Extending Copyright Carries Complications. Daily Yomiuri Online. Nov. 6, 2007. Japan considers term extension; this article capably summarizes both sides of the debate. Categories: International; Public Domain & Term. (Attribution: The Patry Copyright Blog)
Rewind: Stories We Missed
(Interesting stories we noticed after we sent previous editions to press.)
Jonathan Bailey. Copyright Cases to Watch: MGM v. Grokster. Blog Herald. Nov. 5, 2007. Bailey revisits the Grokster case, which (despite the Supreme Court decision in 2005) remains active. Categories: Cases & Litigation; File Sharing, P2P & Copyright.
Anthony Grafton. Future Reading. The New Yorker. Nov. 5, 2007. The subtitle is “Digitization and its discontents,” which should give you a clue where Grafton’s opinion is heading. Categories: Books; Digitization.
Anthony Falzone. Diddy Could Save Sampling. Slate. Nov. 2, 2007. Stanford’s Falzone expands the thread he began two weeks ago by asking why a person like Diddy, whose recording has been marked by the extensive (if not particularly creative) use of samples, would not go to the mattresses to preserve the practice. What better way to honor the memory of Biggie than to crush copyright troll Bridgeport Music? Categories: Derivative Works & Remixes; Fair Use & Other Exceptions; Music.
Ashbel S. Green & Suzanne Pardington. UO Refuses to ID People Accused of Music Piracy. The Oregonian. Nov. 2, 2007. The University of Oregon and state attorney general Hardy Myers seek to reject RIAA’s “John Doe” subpoenas by claiming the university cannot identify the suspects without an investigation that could compromise their privacy and property rights. Recording Industry v. The People has the relevant court documents. Categories: Cases & Litigation; File Sharing, P2P & Downloads; Music; Privacy & Security.
SiliconValley.com (via Associated Press). Consumer Groups Ask FCC to Fine Comcast, End Data Discrimination. Nov. 1, 2007. Comcast likely thought its “unintentional” (but really intentional, only thought to be surreptitious) segregation of heavy Web traffic would fade away without incident or comment. The company was wrong. The timing of this request comes at an interesting time for the Commission: this request will ferret out its position on “Net neutrality” within the same time frame it is reconsidering media ownership rules. Categories: Legislation & Regulation; Web & Online.
Commonwealth of Learning. Open Licenses. Oct. 29, 2007. A pair of authors investigate the use of “open licenses” and the intersection of licensing and copyright. Categories: Bundle of Rights; Licensing & Permissions.
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