Copyright

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  • IP Analogy to Physical Property (in Architecture)

    Copyfight
    22 Aug 2014 | 6:58 am
    An interesting note in a 7th Circuit case, M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. & Assocs., Inc. v. Strabala shows how judges are continuing to apply the standards of physical property to intellectual property. In this case a dispute arose over the authorship (if you will) of a building. The Seventh ruled that "design" is a form of creation of intellectual property creation equivalent to building or selling physical good. As such, it's subject to various regimes of ownership, trademark protection, and so on.
  • Announcing the Institute for Open Leadership Fellows

    Creative Commons » Commons News
    Timothy Vollmer
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:26 pm
    Creative Commons and the Open Policy Network are pleased to announce the first round of fellows for the Institute for Open Leadership. The Institute is a training program to develop new leaders in education, science, public policy, and other fields on the values and implementation of openness in licensing, policies, and practices. We received over 90 applications from around the world and representing a broad diversity of fields. Here are the fellows for this year. Dairo Alexander Escobar Ardila; Instituto Humboldt – SiB Colombia; Bogotá, Colombia David Ernst; University of Minnesota;…
  • Dunnington Partner Raymond J. Dowd to Speak on Stolen Art at ABA Annual Meeting in Boston on August 8, 2014

    Copyright Litigation Blog
    4 Aug 2014 | 6:58 am
    Dunnington Partner Raymond J. Dowd to Speak on Stolen Art at ABA Annual Meeting in Boston on August 8, 2014             Raymond J. Dowd, a partner in the New York law firm Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller LLP, will join a panel of museum and legal experts to discuss:  “Stolen Art: Who Owns the Art Hanging on the Wall?”  The panel, to be held on August 8, 2014 at 8:30 a.m., is part of  IPCENTRAL, a program organized by the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law from August 7-10 at the Boston…
  • Plagiarism Today Moves to HTTPS (And How You Can Too)

    Plagiarism Today
    Jonathan Bailey
    18 Aug 2014 | 1:15 pm
    Note: This is not a typical Plagiarism Today post in that it’s not about copyright or originality issues, instead, it’s about a website development issue that may impact many members of the site’s audience. Still, if you aren’t interested in the nuances of moving a site to HTTPS (HTTP Secure), feel free to skip this post, normal content to resume Tuesday.) If you haven’t visited either PlagiarismToday.com or CopyByte.com in the past few days, you might spot something new: A green lock. Both of the domains have been moved to HTTPS, meaning that they are delivered over a secure…
  • Looking on Bright Side of Book Business

    Beyond the Book
    rob@burstmarketing.com (BurstMarketing)
    21 Aug 2014 | 9:01 pm
    If winter is for pessimists – all grey and cold and bleak – then summer certainly is season for sunny dispositions. In August, though, the publishing business has seemed frozen as if in mid-January. The source of the polar vortex, of course, is the ongoing slugfest between Amazon and Hachette. Yet while the book world can hardly expect a sudden heat wave any time soon, it ought to perk up from several items of heartwarming news this week. At a press conference where Barnes & Nobleannounced a partnership with Samsung to sell the Galaxy Tab 4, B&N CEO Michael Huseby discussed…
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    Copyfight

  • IP Analogy to Physical Property (in Architecture)

    22 Aug 2014 | 6:58 am
    An interesting note in a 7th Circuit case, M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. & Assocs., Inc. v. Strabala shows how judges are continuing to apply the standards of physical property to intellectual property. In this case a dispute arose over the authorship (if you will) of a building. The Seventh ruled that "design" is a form of creation of intellectual property creation equivalent to building or selling physical good. As such, it's subject to various regimes of ownership, trademark protection, and so on.
  • That Sound You Hear is the Anti-Neutrality Dam Breaking

    16 Aug 2014 | 1:33 pm
    Here's what happens when you really put people behind an idea: First, they have a lot to say to their government, and in this case it appears to be 100% opposed to special cable-company privileges (fast lanes). 1.1 million comments; approximately 1.1 million pro-Net Neutrality. And if you push really hard, you might even move the New York Times to get on the right side of the issue. An unsigned editorial piece from the Times board no less. (h/t TechDirt for both pointers)
  • Having (Mostly) Failed with Authors, Amazon Makes a Pitch for the Readers

    11 Aug 2014 | 8:39 am
    Last week a group of over 900 writers took out a full-page ad in the Times taking Amazon to task for its tactics. The letter was signed by some big names, including John Grisham and Stephen King, and it asks readers to write to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos telling him to "stop using writers as hostages in its negotiations" with Hachette. Amazon's previous plan had been to explain to authors just how much more money they could make by doing things Amazon's way and presumably Amazon wasn't pleased when their self-centered logic got shot to pieces. We presume this because suddenly there's a Web site,…
  • And No Kill Switches, Either

    7 Aug 2014 | 8:55 am
    Our friends at ISRI pointed out to me that some mobile companies are now promoting the idea of a "kill switch" that would be under the control of someone other than the user. Such kill switches are supposedly for consumer protection - disabling stolen devices - but end up being a way for manufacturers, phone companies, etc. to keep devices off the second-hand market. Kill switches per se are not bad - they just need to be under the control of the person who purchases the device so they can be legitimately disabled. Like other such technological locks, kill switches are probably under the DMCA…
  • Uncle Amazon Knows What's Best for You (and Itself)

    5 Aug 2014 | 12:03 pm
    It's been a while since I peeked in on the ongoing slog of Amazon versus Hachette. A story from Jillian D'Onfro appeared last week, explaining what Amazon says it's up to in this fight. Amazon appears to be making a numerically based claim, in two forms. First, it is arguing for a 35 (author) / 35 (publisher) / 30 (Amazon) revenue split. It points out that 30% is what Apple and its co-conspirators wanted Amazon to take. Second, it argues that its data show a price point of USD 9.99 is better for an e-book in that it leads to more copies being sold. The number of additional copies sold is high…
 
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    Creative Commons » Commons News

  • Announcing the Institute for Open Leadership Fellows

    Timothy Vollmer
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:26 pm
    Creative Commons and the Open Policy Network are pleased to announce the first round of fellows for the Institute for Open Leadership. The Institute is a training program to develop new leaders in education, science, public policy, and other fields on the values and implementation of openness in licensing, policies, and practices. We received over 90 applications from around the world and representing a broad diversity of fields. Here are the fellows for this year. Dairo Alexander Escobar Ardila; Instituto Humboldt – SiB Colombia; Bogotá, Colombia David Ernst; University of Minnesota;…
  • Examining deficiencies of and limitations on data sharing

    Puneet Kishor
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:20 am
    Whether patients, or part of traffic, or exercising or simply walking with one of the behavioral trackers du jour, we are constantly giving data about ourselves and our surroundings to data collecters with few returns. From privacy regulations to bureaucratic barriers to collecting and locking up information just in case it might create monetary value in the future, there are a multitude of barriers between those who collect information and those who want to use it. With support from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), we are launching two projects exploring different aspects that often…
  • Fotopedia closes, but CC-licensed photos live on

    Elliot Harmon
    9 Aug 2014 | 11:02 am
    Trung Dangy / CC BY-NC-SA If you’re a fan of photo-and-knowledge-sharing community Fotopedia, you’ve likely heard that the site is closing this Sunday, August 10. When Creative Commons heard the news, we contacted Fotopedia to ask if there were some way that we could help save all of the Creative Commons–licensed photos on the site. Now, we’re working together with the staff at Fotopedia to create a new archive of all of that content. At the same time, our friends at Archive Team are creating a copy of the entire Fotopedia website. Here at CC, we’ve been big fans…
  • Dozens of organizations tell STM publishers: No new licenses

    Timothy Vollmer
    7 Aug 2014 | 9:17 am
    The keys to an elegant set of open licenses are simplicity and interoperability. CC licenses are widely recognized as the standard in the open access publishing community, but a major trade association recently published a new set of licenses and is urging its members to adopt it. We believe that the new licenses could introduce unnecessary complexity and friction, ultimately hurting the open access community far more than they’d help. Today, Creative Commons and 57 organizations from around the world released a joint letter asking the International Association of Scientific, Technical…
  • Creative Commons announces launch of CC Belarus

    Gwen Franck
    6 Aug 2014 | 4:43 am
    Creative Commons leaflet / Sviatlana Yermakovich / CC BY-SA Creative Commons is happy to announce the launch of CC Belarus. Youth organization Falanster is now the belarusian Creative Commons affiliate team! On August 29, the official launch of CC Belarus will take place in Minsk. For now, CC Belarus will focus on the following topics: researching the applicability of Creative Commons licenses in Belarusian legislation connect with foreign teams to exchange experiences organizing open discussions on adding Creative Commons licenses to Belarusian law create a platform to discuss the reform…
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    Copyright Litigation Blog

  • Dunnington Partner Raymond J. Dowd to Speak on Stolen Art at ABA Annual Meeting in Boston on August 8, 2014

    4 Aug 2014 | 6:58 am
    Dunnington Partner Raymond J. Dowd to Speak on Stolen Art at ABA Annual Meeting in Boston on August 8, 2014             Raymond J. Dowd, a partner in the New York law firm Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller LLP, will join a panel of museum and legal experts to discuss:  “Stolen Art: Who Owns the Art Hanging on the Wall?”  The panel, to be held on August 8, 2014 at 8:30 a.m., is part of  IPCENTRAL, a program organized by the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law from August 7-10 at the Boston…
  • May Germany Launder Nazi Looted Art In New York? Federal Judge Concludes "Yes"

    7 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    Pablo Picasso's Madame Soler 1905 - Stolen From Paul Bartholdy-MendelssohnIn Schoeps v. Free State of Bavaria, 13 Civ. 2048 (SDNY June 27, 2014)http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2013cv02048/409721/54  the Hon. Jed S. Rakoff dismissed a case by Jewish heirs seeking to recover Nazi looted art that had been spirited to New York, and then repurchased by Bavaria, where the stolen artwork now proudly hangs in a Munich museum.   The SDNY threw the case out pursuant to a motion to dismiss, which means that the plaintiff was deprived of…
  • Copyright Law – Ninth Circuit – Is There A DMCA Safe Harbor For Video Sharing Services?

    2 Jul 2014 | 10:13 am
      UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Shelter Capital Partners LLC, 2013 WL 1092793 (9thCir. 2013). UMG sued Veoh, a video sharing service that provides both user-generated content and licensed content, for copyright infringement.  Veoh asserted an affirmative defense under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 512(c) (the “DMCA”) which provides a “safe harbor” against liability for copyright infringement for internet service providers who qualify for and follow the statutory scheme which include implementing a notice and takedown system.  Veoh permits subscribers to…
  • Federal Civil Practice CLE Program @ SDNY - May 5

    30 Apr 2014 | 8:23 am
    Federal Civil Practice CLE Program SDNY - May 5 www.dunnington.com Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2012-2013) by Raymond J. Dowd Find Ray Dowd at Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP Copyright Litigation Handbook (West 6th Ed. 2012) by Raymond J. Dowd Purchase on Amazon.com and Westlaw (Directory: COPYLITIG)
  • George Grosz: Cultural Enemy Number One of Hitler and the MoMA - Tomorrow Night National Arts Club!

    29 Apr 2014 | 3:45 pm
    National Arts Club - 15 Gramercy Park South NYCWednesday, April 30, 8:00 PM a Roundtable / Young Members eventGeorge Grosz, Cultural Enemy Number One of the Nazis: A Legacy in Art and Law George Grosz was tried twice in Germany for his art, once for blasphemy (for his work “Shut Your Mouth and Keep On Serving”) and once for slandering the Prussian military (for his work “Fit for Active Service”). Declared Cultural Enemy Number One by the Nazis, Grosz was physically attacked, and escaped Germany in January 1933, just before Adolf Hitler burned the Reichstag and seized power. Prior to…
 
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    Plagiarism Today

  • Plagiarism Today Moves to HTTPS (And How You Can Too)

    Jonathan Bailey
    18 Aug 2014 | 1:15 pm
    Note: This is not a typical Plagiarism Today post in that it’s not about copyright or originality issues, instead, it’s about a website development issue that may impact many members of the site’s audience. Still, if you aren’t interested in the nuances of moving a site to HTTPS (HTTP Secure), feel free to skip this post, normal content to resume Tuesday.) If you haven’t visited either PlagiarismToday.com or CopyByte.com in the past few days, you might spot something new: A green lock. Both of the domains have been moved to HTTPS, meaning that they are delivered over a secure…
  • 3 Count: Expendable Flop

    Jonathan Bailey
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:12 am
    version="1The post 3 Count: Expendable Flop appeared first on Plagiarism Today.
  • Copyright 2.0 Show – Episode 339 – Twitching Out

    Jonathan Bailey
    15 Aug 2014 | 2:54 pm
    It is Friday again and that means that it is time for another episode of the Copyright 2.0 Show. This week on the Copyright 2.0 Show should come with a medical warning as some severe Twitching is possible from listening. That’s because Twitch has introduced a new copyright system that mutes audio on videos on demand that’s caused quite a controversy online. Meanwhile, in Japan we have news that SNK Playmore and Square-Enix are battling over a manga and Russian social network VKontakte has its first day in court against the record labels that are so eager to end its file sharing ways. But…
  • 3 Count: Rimini Street Life

    Jonathan Bailey
    15 Aug 2014 | 10:53 am
    Have any suggestions for the 3 Count? Let me know via Twitter @plagiarismtoday. 1: Oracle Bests Rimini Street in Latest Lawsuit Ruling First off today, Toby Wolpe at ZDNet reports that a Oracle is claiming victory in a recent court decision in their ongoing case against Rimini Street. The ruling not only dismisses Rimini Streets’s counterclaims of defamation and unfair competition, but finds that Rimini Street has engaged in “massive’ copyright infringement of Oracle’s software. Rimini Street is a company that services and supports Oracle software, often at a steep discount for what…
  • What Kind of Logo Do You Get for $50,000?

    Jonathan Bailey
    14 Aug 2014 | 1:49 pm
    Sacha Greif is the Founder of Folyo, a company that connects helps match those in need of design services with potential designers. Back in June he posted on the Folyo blog an article entitled the $5 logo, where he relayed his experiences in going undercover on Fiverr, a site that specializes in the buying and selling of $5 jobs of various kinds, to see what kind of logos he would get for just $5. To put it bluntly, Greif was not impressed with his experience. He created a fake company named SkyStats and, after weeding out several designers that had clearly plagiarized work their portfolios,…
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    Beyond the Book

  • Looking on Bright Side of Book Business

    rob@burstmarketing.com (BurstMarketing)
    21 Aug 2014 | 9:01 pm
    If winter is for pessimists – all grey and cold and bleak – then summer certainly is season for sunny dispositions. In August, though, the publishing business has seemed frozen as if in mid-January. The source of the polar vortex, of course, is the ongoing slugfest between Amazon and Hachette. Yet while the book world can hardly expect a sudden heat wave any time soon, it ought to perk up from several items of heartwarming news this week. At a press conference where Barnes & Nobleannounced a partnership with Samsung to sell the Galaxy Tab 4, B&N CEO Michael Huseby discussed…
  • Up Against Amazon

    rob@burstmarketing.com (BurstMarketing)
    17 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    In the book world, telling horror stories about Amazon is a common enough way to pass the time at conferences and receptions. The details may vary, but the plot is the same –Amazon eats publishers for breakfast. What dramatically changed this summer, however, is not the Amazon horror stories, but their arrival in the headlines and on the front pages. The focus currently is the war over pricing between Hachette and Amazon, though the antagonism goes well beyond the trade world. Indeed, academic publishers are increasingly beholden to the e-retailing giant – and growing resentful. “My…
  • The Book Fight of the Century

    rob@burstmarketing.com (BurstMarketing)
    14 Aug 2014 | 9:01 pm
    In one corner: the scrappy contender whose strongest punch is a blow to his opponent’s appetite for power and profit. And in the other corner: the towering heavyweight champion who wants to pound the contender’s prices to the mat. “I think these fighters are dancing around the ring right now,” says Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, referring to Amazon and Hachette Book Group, now locked in a slugfest over e-book pricing. “That strategy actually benefits Amazon because – to torture the metaphor further – Amazon is the undisputed heavyweight champion. Hachette…
  • Bringing Up Bookworms

    rob@burstmarketing.com (BurstMarketing)
    10 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    As foundational as it is to our lives, reading is not natural. Reading must be learned, and that means it must be taught. Whether a child enters through the printed page or a digital screen, the world of words promises rich rewards. Author of Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age, Jason Boog insists there is much a parent can do to make that world of words a more welcoming place. He has assembled what amounts to a playbook for coaching and coaxing children to be lifelong learners. The key, Boog tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally, is for parents to learn how to read to their…
  • Escape from Amazon

    rob@burstmarketing.com (BurstMarketing)
    7 Aug 2014 | 9:01 pm
    It sounds like the title of a summer blockbuster movie. Trapped in the e-commerce jungle, the denizens of the book world dream of liberation, even as they while away the time weaving fantasies of an alternate universe: a place where Amazon plays nice; a place where Amazon gets beaten at their own game; and a place where Amazon no longer roams. “Amazon is pretty good at what they do. But, alas, they are not perfect,” notes Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, after a week when the company faced broadsides against its book business from authors, Google, Barnes & Noble,…
 
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    DigitalKoans

  • Programmer Analyst 2 at Yale University

    Charles W. Bailey, Jr.
    22 Aug 2014 | 5:33 am
    Yale University is recruiting a Programmer Analyst 2 . Here's an excerpt from the ad. Reporting to the Manager of Digital Library and Programming Services, the Programmer Analyst 2 will work to deliver more library content and services to our users from our web applications by developing innovative tools that help patrons discover and use […]
  • "Keeping Up With… Net Neutrality"

    Charles W. Bailey, Jr.
    22 Aug 2014 | 5:32 am
    ACRL has released "Keeping Up With… Net Neutrality". Network neutrality, a term coined by Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu in 2003[1], is the idea that an internet service provider (ISP) should treat all the data that travels through its network equally, regardless of the source, destination, or content of that data. In practice, this […]
  • E-Research and Digital Scholarship Services Librarian at University of California, Irvine

    Charles W. Bailey, Jr.
    22 Aug 2014 | 5:31 am
    The University of California, Irvine is recruiting a E-Research and Digital Scholarship Services Librarian. Here's an excerpt from the ad. The E-Research and Digital Scholarship Services Unit is being formed within the Collection Development Department to capitalize on digital services offered locally and throughout the UC system to assist in the research, publication, and teaching […]
  • NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition

    Charles W. Bailey, Jr.
    22 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    NMC has released the NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition. Here’s an excerpt from the press release: The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition, examines key trends, significant challenges, and emerging technologies for their potential impact on academic and research libraries worldwide. While there are many local factors affecting libraries, there are also issues that […]
  • Digital Curation News (8/21/2014) #digitalpreservation

    Charles W. Bailey, Jr.
    21 Aug 2014 | 6:22 am
    Emulation as a Service (EaaS) at Yale University Library Research Data Management on a Shoestring Budget Implementation of Digital Deposit at the National Library of Norway Emerging Data Management Roles for Health Librarians in Electronic Medical Records Data Curator at New York University Data Management Lifecycle and Software Lifecycle Management in the Context of Conducting […]
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    Digitization 101

  • Article: Copyright Office Rejected My Attempt To Copyright A Tweet

    5 Aug 2014 | 12:33 pm
    Gabriel Michael conducted an experiment and tried to copyright protect a tweet by registering it with the U.S. Copyright Office.  He did this to test whether a tweet - which is less than 140 characters - is copyrightable.  The answer?  No.  You can read more about his experiment and about some photographs that may not warrant copyright protection here.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
  • My summer & search committees (and some tips for you)

    4 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Every year, summer goes by too quickly.  Even now, my memories of the end of the spring semester are still fresh, even though it ended in mid-May.  Summer doesn't feel as if it has arrived until the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference, which normally occurs in mid-June (blog posts).  After that, the days move quickly, helped by days in July when I teach or interact with new MLIS students.  Now it is August 4 and the fall semester begins in 21 days.The new Syracuse University MLIS students, who will be taking their classes online, began their program with a…
  • Let's emphasize information acquisition across formats and platforms

    18 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    In this more digital world, where people can ingest information through a variety of different media, reading is still emphasized in K-12 schools.  Educators want to create book readers; however, we should be helping students access and learn from information that is provided to them through videos, audio files, etc.  Not everyone will have reading - and by that I mean book reading - as their preferred information acquisition method.School Library SummitAt the 2014 School Library Summit in Albany, NY earlier this month, Dr. Donna DeSiato, superintendent of the East Syracuse…
  • Some people are amateurs & some are pros

    7 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    QuestionWhat is the difference between an amateur and a professional? Hold onto your answer for a few moments, while I tell you a story.In May, I had lunch with Steve Borek, who is a friend and coach, and who works with entrepreneurs.  Steve and I had a lot of catching up to do, including talking about what was fueling our drives to succeed.  It was during this conversation that Steve mentioned the book Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield.  Pressfield has had a career as a successful fiction writer and has added to his success with a couple of non-fiction books.  Turning Pro…
  • LIbrary of Congress Recommended Anolog and Digital Format Specifications

    1 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    As the web site says:Recommended Format Specifications are hierarchies of the physical and technical characteristics of creative formats, both analog and digital, which will best meet the needs of all concerned, maximizing the chances for survival and continued accessibility of creative content well into the future. And:The specifications seek to provide a framework within which creative works should have the flexibility to grow and develop, and also help ensure that these creative works be accessible and authentic into the future.The Library of Congress identified six basic areas of…
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    Dear Rich: Nolo's Intellectual Property Blog

  • Can't Put on Show Without Finding EIN!

    The Dear Rich Staff
    21 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Dear Rich: Our local community college wants to put on a musical. The rights are controlled by a New York based company that refuses to furnish a Tax I.D. Our institution is prohibited from paying without that Tax ID. This question takes us a little out of our bailiwick, but if it means we can help put on a musical, well, what choice do we have? You might want to start by getting the proper corporate name of the business by searcing the New York Secretary of State's website. We don't think the company you mentioned is publicly traded, but if it is, you can search the SEC's EDGAR database…
  • Can I Sell Dolls Made From Pattern

    The Dear Rich Staff
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Dear Rich: I recently bought a crochet book about making dolls. I was just wondering, if I make the dolls from the book and sell it, is that illegal? I see it as having paid for the rights to use the book but I don't know if it really works that way. You're not infringing copyright if you make and sell dolls based on the patterns from the book. Or put another way, a pattern maker may obtain copyright over the pattern but not the article manufactured from the pattern. If that weren't the case, we might not have the Paint By Number Museum.P.S. Paying for the book doesn't give you any…
  • Life After Reversion: Who Gives Permission?

    The Dear Rich Staff
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Dear Rich: I want to reuse a table or image from the second edition of a book. Copyright for the fourth edition of that same book has been transferred back to the author by the publisher. Would I go to the publisher or the author for the permission? Are there cases where a publisher retains rights on some editions and not others? We think the author is probably the one to give permission (assuming the author still retains copyright). However, there are a couple of caveats.Authors and copyright. Sometimes authors retain (or obtain) copyright ownership of a work but exclusively grant…
  • Celebrity Height Index

    The Dear Rich Staff
    18 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Dear Rich: I've created a list in ascending height of interesting athletes, celebrities, and historical figures. Here are some examples of figures on the list: George Washington, Peyton Manning, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, etc. I've also included some well known literary characters such as Dobby from Harry Potter and Oompa Loompa from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. All told, my list consists of 42 different figures ranging in height from 3' to 6 1/2' I'm printing the list on a wall decal and plan to sell it in toy stores for children to measure their height against. Do I need…
  • Politicians and Right of Publicity

    The Dear Rich Staff
    14 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Dear Rich: I have an idea for a product both practical and humorous (to some, at least). It does however use the likenesses of political figures. Do politicians have any claim to likeness rights? If so, what are they? The right of publicity -- the right to prevent others from using your name, image or personna for commercial purposes -- extends to all people (and yes, politicians are people). However, we don't think you will get hassled for two reasons. First, politicians have historically been hesitant to hassle merchandisers because of the possible political fallout. Second, politicians…
 
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    Brent Britton

  • Embaggen the cat, or let it out? (to NDA or not to NDA)

    bcjb
    11 Aug 2014 | 8:39 am
    When first conceiving of a new startup idea, lots of entrepreneurs experience a measure of paranoia about it and start demanding that everyone with whom they discuss it sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). My opinion is: Don’t use an NDA until you must in order to protect highly sensitive, non-public information. NDA’s protect actual secrets, not things anyone can just look up online or read about in the news. Once you’ve written some key code or developed a secret sauce that no one else has thought of, then consider assaulting people with an NDA, but not before. It turns…
  • The Company You Keep

    bcjb
    13 Nov 2013 | 7:32 am
    With few exceptions, all business should be conducted from within a company that is properly formed and organized as a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), a limited partnership (LP) or the like. Why? Four basic reasons: a. Asset Protection. Deservedly or not, almost all businesses get sued. Forming a company around the business can shield the owners’ personal assets (and other business interests) from being attached to satisfy the company’s liabilities. b. Asset Creation. A “d/b/a” does not a company make. If you’re doing business without a company,…
  • Bi-polar IP Strategy for Startups: Protect What You Can, then Tell Everyone

    bcjb
    8 Aug 2013 | 8:02 am
    If you’re starting a company, you may wish to begin in stealth mode, keeping your business idea and plans secret for a little while. During this stealth phase, consider doing the following to protect your intellectual property: Think of a name for the company. Do a trademark search before you form a company. If it’s clean, form your company with that name and file a federal trademark application at the USPTO. Also file a state trademark application in your state. If you think you’ve invented something that’s never been done before, file a provisional patent on your…
  • Copyright Duration: How Disney Moved the Finish Line

    bcjb
    6 Aug 2013 | 2:26 pm
    This post is excerpted from Ownability – How Intellectual Property Works, now available for pre-order at a 20% discount at myownability.com. In 2002, Steam Boat Willy, the first major film in which the venerable Mickey Mouse character appears, was about to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its release. Under the copyright law in force at that time, which dictated a 75-year duration for copyrights held by companies, the copyright for Steam Boat Willy was set to expire on the 75th anniversary of its release.This would have thrust the movie into the public domain for all to copy and enjoy.
  • The Light Within

    bcjb
    3 Aug 2013 | 10:25 am
    The word “namaste” roughly translates to “the light within me honors the light within you.” Beautiful, right? A really awesome way to view the world and everyone in it. But what is this light within? Can we find it? Can we become the light within? There are voices in your head, incessantly chattering at you. They narrate your day; they have an opinion about everything. Your parents are in there somewhere, I bet. And your exes. But mostly the voices are yours. There are Oscar the Grouches in there too, always threatening to drag you into their garbage cans. They are…
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    PrivacyNet

  • The Problem with “Piracy is a Pretty Good Deal”

    Gordon Platt
    19 Aug 2014 | 11:36 am
    Earlier this month we looked at the raft of hollow excuses wheeled out by illegal downloaders whenever forced to justify their theft of content. Well, it turns out we need not have bothered, as a site called The Daily Cal just published this opinion piece on “Piracy and Morality.” What we teach the next generations about online ethics is important. | Image Credit: Sheridan Flickr Ignoring for a moment that the site must have editorial standards lower than a limbo dancer’s pole, it’s depressing to read this piece and realize that Ms. Wong wasn’t applying an ironic…
  • Copyright, a Time-Honored Tradition

    Gordon Platt
    14 Aug 2014 | 6:39 am
    In running through the concept of intellectual property as a human right last week, we touched upon the roots of copyright in the U.S. constitution. A subject that warrants a series of posts all of its own, copyright has evolved a lot over the years, in response to changing standards of art, technology, and commerce. The United States Copyright Office clearly understands this and has created an interactive historic timeline of copyright law to help. The timeline lays out events both fundamental and tangential to the evolution of copyright law in the United States, from its roots before the…
  • Intellectual Property as a Human Right

    Gordon Platt
    7 Aug 2014 | 3:15 pm
    Copyright is written into the U.S. constitution | Image Credit: Wikimedia For as long as talented individuals have pursued creativity in America, they’ve been afforded the right to claim and profit from their creations. The concept of intellectual property is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution to protect artists, inventors, and all who use their creative spirit for both love and livelihood. The Copyright Act and the First Amendment have worked in tandem since the close of the 18th century, to protect free speech and encourage citizens to pursue creative endeavors.Our country’s…
  • Why the Pre-Release Movie Piracy Excuses Ring Hollow

    Gordon Platt
    5 Aug 2014 | 7:10 am
    Fighting the pre-release piracy leak | Image Credit: Wikipedia One week on from a pre-release leak of ‘The Expendables 3,’ well past one million illegal downloads of the movie and a lawsuit from Lionsgate filed against the as yet anonymous source of the leak and torrent sites that facilitated its distribution. With the title premiering in London tonight, the backdrop to its official release on August 15th is far more muted than it should be. As disappointingly predictable as all this is, the nadir comes in the form of movie piracy apologists and media pundits taking the side of…
  • British IP Police Aim to Cut Off Piracy at the Source

    Gordon Platt
    30 Jul 2014 | 12:33 pm
    After examining the various merits of Creative Content UK‘s lighter approach to copyright enforcement last week, it’s back to the UK for another anti-piracy curve ball. This time it’s London’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit, which has taken the “why didn’t we do this sooner?” approach of placing banner notifications on piracy sites that notify the user that the site is illegal. The stern warnings delivered to visitors inform them that the website has been reported to the City of London Police and to close the browser page accordingly. While the…
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