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’s expertise is in intellectual property and internet law. After clerking for the Honorable Fred I. Parker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and practicing at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, DC, he joined the Loyola University Chicago law faculty in 2002. He has held visiting appointments at Cornell and Fordham.
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.
I’m told that August is a slow month in D.C., but there is nevertheless policy drama in the air for the telecommunications and copyright nerds among us. I blogged last week about the battle currently being waged over the FCC’s effort to introduce competition into the market for cable set-top boxes—a market currently controlled by cable companies to the tune of about $20B a year.
In 2013, in a lecture at Columbia University, Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante announced an ambitious vision for the “Next Great Copyright Act.” That vision appropriately included a prominent role for the Copyright Office in helping policy makers work through some difficult issues relating to copyright and evolving technologies.
Today the Supreme Court issued a decision that will have a massive impact on patent troll litigation. In TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods, the court ruled that patent owners can sue corporate defendants only in districts where the defendant is incorporated or has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.
In a ruling this week that will cheer up patent trolls, the Supreme Court said patent owners can lie in wait for years before suing. This will allow trolls to sit around while others independently develop and build technology. The troll can then jump out from under the bridge and demand payment for work it had nothing to do with.
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.
"Elon Law Associate Professor David S. Levine traveled to Williamsburg, Virginia, in October for the 28th Annual Intellectual Property Seminar: The Evolving Landscape of IP, co-hosted by the Virginia CLE and the Intellectual Property Section of the Virginia State Bar.
""That would be the understanding the majority of law professors would advocate for," suggested Prof Andrea Matwyshyn from Northwestern University in Boston.
She said while design of, say, a carpet could be considered the be-all-and-end-all of its success, a smartphone is a far more complex device. Design is important, but not the only factor.
The fact that Apple is pushing for full damages is a strategy that suggests extreme confidence in its ability to stay ahead of the curve in technology, Prof Matwyshyn said.
"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.
DPLA West—taking place on April 27, 2012 in San Francisco—is the second major public event bringing together librarians, technologists, creators, students, government leaders, and others interested in building a Digital Public Library of America. Convened by the DPLA Secretariat at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and co-hosted by the San Francisco Public Library, the event will assemble a wide range of stakeholders in a broad, open forum to facilitate innovation, collaboration, and connections across the DPLA effort. DPLA West will also showcase the work of the interim technical development team and continue to provide opportunities for public participation in the work of the DPLA.
Come see the Bay Area screening of Documentary Film Program participant No Way Out But One. This inspiring true story is about Holly Collins and her children—the first U.S. citizens to be awarded asylum by the Netherlands for protection from domestic violence.
Lark Theater, Larkspur, CA
Q & A with Garland Waller after the screening
""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.