Tony Falzone is the Deputy General Counsel at Pinterest, Inc.
The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
A healthy copyright system must balance the need to provide strong economic incentives through exclusive rights with the need to protect important public interests like free speech and expression. Fair use is foundational to that balance. It's role is to prevent copyright from stifling the creativity it is supposed to foster, and from imposing other burdens that would inhibit rather than promote the creation and spread of knowledge and learning.
The Fair Use Project (FUP) was founded in 2006 to provide legal support to a range of projects designed to clarify, and extend, the boundaries of fair use in order to enhance creative freedom and protect important public rights. It is the only organization in the country dedicated specifically to providing free and comprehensive legal representation to authors, filmmakers, artists, musicians and other content creators who face unmerited copyright claims, or other improper restrictions on their expressive interests. The FUP has litigated important cases across the country, and in the Supreme Court of the United States, and worked with scores of filmmakers and other content creators to secure the unimpeded release of their work.
Tony Falzone is the Deputy General Counsel at Pinterest, Inc.
Brett Frischmann joins Villanova as The Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics, effective August 1, 2017. In this new role, Professor Frischmann will promote cross-campus research, programming and collaboration; foster high-visibility academic pursuits at the national and international levels; have the ability to teach across the University; and position Villanova as a thought leader and innovator at the intersection of law, business and economics.
Lauren is an experienced attorney, frequent speaker and start-up advisor who has worked in the field of Internet law and policy since 1995. She is the founder of BlurryEdge Strategies, a legal and strategy consulting firm located in San Francisco that advises technology companies and investors on cutting-edge legal issues.
The Fourth Circuit has issued its decision in BMG v. Cox. In case you haven’t been following the ins and outs of the suit, BMG sued Cox in 2014 alleging that the broadband provider was secondarily liable for its subscribers’ infringing file-sharing activity. In 2015, the trial court held that Cox was ineligible as a matter of law for the safe harbor in section 512(a) of the DMCA because it had failed to reasonably implement a policy for terminating the accounts of repeat infringers, as required by section 512(i). In 2016, a jury returned a $25M verdict for BMG, finding Cox liable for willful contributory infringement but not for vicarious infringement. Following the trial, Cox appealed both the safe harbor eligibility determination and the court’s jury instructions concerning the elements of contributory infringement. In a mixed result for Cox, the Fourth Circuit last week affirmed the court’s holding that Cox was ineligible for safe harbor, but remanded the case for retrial because the judge’s instructions to the jury understated the intent requirement for contributory infringement in a way that could have affected the jury’s verdict.
Popularity doesn't equal truth. And yet Facebook's recent proposal to rank the trustworthiness of news sources based on popularity is loosely equating truth with popularity. In so doing, Facebook may be putting form over function.
(NB: This headline does not obey Betteridge’s Law.)
Hollywood studios, led by Universal, have sued TickBox TV in federal district court in California, bringing their campaign against set-top box (STB) piracy stateside after a big win earlier this year in the EU. Last spring, the Dutch film and recording industry trade association BREIN prevailed in copyright litigation against the distributor of a STB called the Filmspeler. The CJEU held that the Filmspeler’s distributor, Wullems, directly infringed the plaintiffs’ copyrights—specifically, their right of communication to the public—by selling STBs loaded with software add-ons that provided easy access to infringing programming online. (I blogged about the Filmspeler case here.)
As you might have noticed, there is a lot of activism on the copyright/intermediary liability side in Europe at the moment. Hence, I'm here announcing another opinion that I have co-drafted with an amazing team of scholars, including Martin Senftleben (lead author), Christina Angelopoulos, Valentina Moscon, Miquel Peguera and Ole Rognstad, and has been endorsed by more than sixty other acadamics so far:
We filed an amicus brief on behalf of a group of library associations and others asking the Second Circuit to reverse a lower court’s injunction of the publication of 60 Years Later: Coming through the Rye an unauthorized story based on J.D. Salinger’s in Catcher In The Rye.
We filed an amicus brief in the Federal Circuit on behalf of the Warhol Foundation and Warhol Museum, contemporary artists and law professors in support of the U.S. Postal Service, urging affirmance of the district court’s finding of fair use.
We defended the publisher of the Harry Potter Lexicon against suit from J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers.
Yoko Ono and EMI sued a documentary filmmaker for using a short clip from the John Lennon song “Imagine” as part of a critique of the lyrics of the song. We defended the filmmaker and successfully argued that the use of the copyrighted song was fair use.
"Ben Depoorter, a professor at UC Hastings College of the Law who is an expert in copyright law, says this is typical of entertainment companies that worry about alienating potential buyers by having their performers associated with politics. Exhibit A is the country group the Dixie Chicks, who criticized then-President George W. Bush on stage in 2003 and faced a backlash that nearly ended their careers.
"Universal, which is represented by Sidley Austin and Munger, Tolles & Olson, argues that a takedown notice doesn’t require a fair use assessment. It also argues that Lenz never had standing to bring her suit because her video was restored to YouTube long before she went to court. Lenz “seeks only a symbolic vindication of a bare statutory right,” Sidley’s Mark Haddad wrote in Universal’s petition.
"That trend is likely to continue, said Annemarie Bridy, a University of Idaho law professor and expert in intellectual property and technology law. "Information is very valuable, and as more and more of the value in our economy is attributable to information and intellectual property, you would expect the control of that information to become more and more contested," Bridy said."
"EFF Staff Attorney Daniel Nazer said that the ruling was unsurprising, but pointed out that the decision does not give free reign to judges to issue pumped-up awards.
"EFF is glad to see that the Court emphasized that enhanced damages should still be reserved for the most egregious cases," Nazer told The Register.
"We agree with the concurrence that district courts should be cautious not to impose enhanced damages too often, especially where non-practicing entities send threat letters out to numerous small businesses.""
JOIN US TO DISCUSS:
""Ideas, before you actually put them to work, are very vulnerable to stealing," said University of California, Hastings law professor Ben Depoorter. "We give protection to someone who can make good on that idea, and put it into a particular application, practice, expression, art form.
The song “Happy Birthday” has a long, litigious history dating back to the 1930s. Every year, people spent millions in royalties to use the song, until a class action lawsuit was brought challenging whether the owner, Warner/Chappell Music, actually owned the copyright it so aggressively enforced. Elizabeth Townsend-Gard, Tulane School of Law professor specializing in copyright law, discusses the case of “Happy Birthday.”
CIS Affiliate Scholar David Levine interviews Prof. Andrea Matwyshyn of Northeastern University Law School, on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Volkswagen fraud scandal.
Read or listen to the full interview at NPR.
NPR's Audie Cornish talks to Daniel Nazer of the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the impact of this ruling. An appeals court ruled the music used in the video was an instance of fair use.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
When Stephanie Lenz saw her toddler jamming out in the kitchen to the Prince song "Let's Go Crazy," naturally she took a video and posted it to YouTube.