We are happy to announce the new 2014-2016 CIS Affiliates.
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.
We are happy to announce the new 2014-2016 CIS Affiliates.
I've been a CIS non-resident fellow (or now faculty afflilaite) now for a decade, beginning in 2004. I love being associated with CIS, and many of my closest friends have come from my connections with CIS. Whereever we've moved--Tuscon, London, Seattle, or New Orleans, CIS has always been a constant. When I was on the job market in 2006, I felt part of a crowd that year that included David Olsen and David Levine, as well as others connected to Stanford. CIS is an anchor.
As Congress winds down for the holidays, it delivers yet another lump of coal for the American people.
Contained in the 2015 Intelligence Authorization Act is a provision quietly inserted by the US Senate (just prior to voting) that authorizes the “acquisition, retention, and dissemination” of all communications data from U.S. citizens without a court order and then transferred to law enforcement for criminal investigations.
This month’s stupid patent, like many stupid patents before it, simply claims the idea of using a computer for basic calculations. U.S. Patent No. 6,817,863 (the ’863 patent) is titled “Computer program, method, and system for monitoring nutrition content of consumables and for facilitating menu planning.” It claims the process of using a computer to track nutrition information like calorie or vitamin intake. It is difficult to think of a more basic and trivial use for a computer.
Sarah Morris is a well-known multimedia artist and filmmaker. In 2007, she debuted her "Origami" series, 24 paintings in which she reworked, redesigned, and reshaped origami crease patterns on canvas. Several origami artists sued Morris for copyright infringement, arguing Morris had unduly appropriated their allegedly copyrightable origami crease patterns in developing the "Origami" series. The Fair Use Project teamed up with attorneys Bob Clarida and Donn Zaretsky to defend Morris. We briefed the fair use issues on summary judgment.
Meltwater News ("Meltwater") is a search engine and research tool that allows users to search for and obtain information about news items that have been made publicly available on the Internet.
We filed an amicus brief in the Second Circuit on behalf of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts urging the appeals court to reverse a district court decision that ignored established fair use principles that many artists rely upon in creating their work.
The FUP filed this suit on behalf of a University of Denver conductor and others, challenging Congress’s restoration of copyright to works that had entered the public domain.
"Just as the US Patent Office problematically gave out patents in the past for computers doing simple things like counting votes or counting calories, the office seems prepared to give out patents on "using machine learning in obvious and expected ways." Companies like Google and Microsoft are seeking to acquire, and in some cases have acquired, patents on "fundamental machine-learning techniques," Nazer writes."
"“My my personal view is that a lot of the negative reaction was a little bit overblown,” said Daniel Nazer, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who focuses on patent reform. “I can certainly see the good arguments for why people would prefer it not to be there,” he said, “but I didn’t see it as outrageous.”"
"How was such a broad and obvious idea allowed to be patented?" asks EFF patent attorney Daniel Nazer.
"As it stands, AIs in the US cannot be awarded copyright for something they have created. The current policy of the US Copyright Office is to reject claims made for works not authored by humans, but the policy is poorly codified. According to Annemarie Bridy, a professor of law at the University of Idaho and an affiliate scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society, there’s no actual requirement for human authorship in the US Copyright Act. Nevertheless, the “courts have always assumed that authorship is a human phenomenon,” she says."
Join us for an evening conversation with CIS Executive Director of the Fair Use Project Anthony Falzone and Congressman Darrell Issa where they will discuss topics about SOPA, PIPA and internet freedom.
Hosted by the Federalist Society. More info about this event.
Anthony Falzone and Mark Schultz will debate whether significant developments in U.S. copyright law work to protect or violate individual freedom. Professor Paul Goldstein will moderate. Mr. Flazone is the Executive Director of the Fair Use Project with SLS's Center for Internet and Society. Mr. Schultz is a professor of law at Southern Illinois University School of Law, and his research focuses on the intersection of copyright and social norms.
""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.