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Copyright and the Music Marketplace

February 25, 2015 Comments off

Copyright and the Music Marketplace (PDF)
Source: U.S. Copyright Office

Few would dispute that music is culturally essential and economically important to the world we live in, but the reality is that both music creators and the innovators that support them are increasingly doing business in legal quicksand. As this report makes clear, this state of affairs neither furthers the copyright law nor befits a nation as creative as the United States.

The Copyright Office has previously highlighted the outmoded rules for the licensing of musical works and sound recordings as an area in significant need of reform. Moreover, the Office has underscored the need for a comprehensive approach to copyright review and revision generally. This is especially true in the case of music licensing—the problems in the music marketplace need to be evaluated as a whole, rather than as isolated or individual concerns of particular stakeholders.

While this view is hardly a surprising one for the U.S. Copyright Office, it is no simple matter to get one’s arms around our complex system of music licensing, or to formulate potential avenues for change. For this reason, in early 2014, the Office undertook this study—with all industry participants invited to participate—to broadly consider the existing music marketplace.

This report is the result of that effort. In addition to identifying the shortcomings of the current methods of licensing music in the United States, it offers an in‐depth analysis of the law and industry practices, as well as a series of balanced recommendations to improve the music marketplace.

All of This Has Happened Before and All of This Will Happen Again: Innovation in Copyright Licensing

February 25, 2015 Comments off

All of This Has Happened Before and All of This Will Happen Again: Innovation in Copyright Licensing
Source: Social Science Research Network

Claims that copyright licensing can substitute for fair use have a long history. This article focuses on a new cycle of the copyright licensing debate, which has brought revised arguments in favor of universal copyright licensing. First, the new arrangements offered by large copyright owners often purport to sanction the large-scale creation of derivative works, rather than mere reproductions, which were the focus of earlier blanket licensing efforts. Second, the new licenses are often free. Rather than demanding royalties as in the past, copyright owners just want a piece of the action — along with the right to claim that unlicensed uses are infringing. In a world where licenses are readily and cheaply available, the argument will go, it is unfair not to get one. This development, copyright owners hope, will combat increasingly fair use — favorable case law.

This article describes three key examples of recent innovations in licensing-like arrangements in the noncommercial or formerly noncommercial spheres — Getty Images’ new free embedding of millions of its photos, YouTube’s Content ID, and Amazon’s Kindle Worlds — and discusses how uses of works under these arrangements differ from their unlicensed alternatives in ways both subtle and profound. These differences change the nature of the communications and communities at issue, illustrating why licensing can never substitute for transformative fair use even when licenses are routinely available. Ultimately, as courts have already recognized, the mere desire of copyright owners to extract value from a market — especially when they desire to extract it from third parties rather than licensees — should not affect the scope of fair use.

UK — Copyright and creation: a case for promoting inclusive online sharing

February 25, 2015 Comments off

Copyright and creation: a case for promoting inclusive online sharing
Source: London School of Economics

The creative industries are innovating to adapt to a changing digital culture and evidence does not support claims about overall patterns of revenue reduction due to individual copyright infringement. The experiences of other countries that have implemented punitive measures against individual online copyright infringers indicate that the approach does not have the impacts claimed by some in the creative industries. A review of the UK Digital Economy Act 2010 is needed based on independent analysis of the social, cultural and political impacts of punitive copyright infringement measures against citizens, and the overall experience of the creative industries.

CRS — Tailoring the Patent System for Specific Industries (February 6, 2015)

February 20, 2015 Comments off

Tailoring the Patent System for Specific Industries (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Congressional interest in the patent system has been demonstrated by the enactment of the LeahySmith America Invents Act (AIA) in the 112th Congress. Most of the provisions of the AIA apply to any type of patented invention, whether it consists of a chemical compound, mechanical device, electrical circuit, or other technology. However, other AIA provisions are specific to particular types of inventions, including business methods, tax strategies, and human organisms. The AIA reflects the principle that, for the most part, patentable inventions are generally subject to the same statutory provisions. However, a number of exceptions exist to this concept of technological neutrality.

And the Winner for the Most Pirated Motion Picture Is…

February 20, 2015 Comments off

And the Winner for the Most Pirated Motion Picture Is…
Source: Irdeto

Millions of people will be tuning in on February 22 to see which of their favorite films win that coveted golden statue at the 87th Academy Awards®. And while the majority of those fans have paid a premium to see these films legally, an increasing number of others chose to pirate those films instead, according to new data from Irdeto, a world leader in anti-piracy and Revenue Assurance solutions.

Irdeto monitored illegal downloads of films in the U.S. and over 200 countries worldwide from January 1 through February 14. The company revealed that the Academy Awards draws massive consumer interest outside the U.S., evidenced by a 385%1 increase in piracy worldwide for nominated films following the announcements on January 15. While Gone Girl was the early frontrunner after nominations, American Sniper took the lead and is currently the most pirated film in the world post-nomination, according to the data. This global piracy activity can be seen visually in Irdeto’s 2015 Academy Awards Piracy Heat Map.

If the awards were decided based on illegal downloads following the nomination, the category winners on Sunday would be:

  • Best Picture – American Sniper (1,389,819 downloads worldwide since Jan. 15; the top title downloaded in the U.S. as well as over 100 other countries).
  • Best Director – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman (796,697 downloads worldwide since Jan. 15; the #1 downloaded film in both Mexico and Spain).
  • Best Actress – Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl (1,252,074 downloads worldwide since Jan. 15).
  • Best Actor – Bradley Cooper, American Sniper (1,389,819 downloads worldwide since Jan. 15).

UK — Emerging technologies: big data

February 18, 2015 Comments off

Emerging technologies: big data
Source: Cabinet Office

In this paper, ‘big data’ refers to:

  • large volumes of data with high level of complexity
  • the analysis used for the data that requires more advanced techniques and technologies to gain meaningful information and insights in real time

The main trends include:

  • the emergence of cloud computing
  • new software tools and database systems for large, unstructured datasets,
  • refining analytical tools so that they can process vast quantities of data in near-real time
  • monetisation of big data sources
  • concerns around privacy of data and intellectual property
  • the rise of global smart cities

Typology of Citizen Science Projects from an Intellectual Property Perspective

February 13, 2015 Comments off

Typology of Citizen Science Projects from an Intellectual Property Perspective
Source: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Typology of Citizen Science Projects from an Intellectual Property Perspective: Invention and Authorship between Researchers and Participants, written by Dr. Teresa Scassa and doctoral candidate Haewon Chung of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, analyzes various types of volunteer citizen science activities to determine whether they raise legal questions about IP ownership. The report includes a typology comparing the IP implications of different types of citizen science projects, from transcribing or gathering data, to assisting with problem solving. This policy memo will be followed by a longer, peer-reviewed publication.

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