Can Application Programming Interfaces (“APIs”) Be Protected Under Copyright Law?

26 03 2020

LexBlog
Peggy Keene
February 4, 2020

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an incredibly important case between Oracle and Google regarding whether or not APIs can be protected under copyright law.

Oracle Accuses Google of Copying Java API, Claiming Copyright Infringement

In the case at hand, Oracle has accused Google of copying the API of Oracle’s Java programming language.  For those unfamiliar with the terminology, an API or “application programming interface” is basically the coding language that a computer relies on to execute tasks.  In other words, an API is the language that a computer relies on to know what to do.  Each API houses its own defined terms and vocabulary that includes named commands organized by grammatical structures that designate how the commands will be executed.

In this case, to execute or perform specific tasks using Java, a programmer must know “how to code in Java.” In other words, the programmer must know the predefined terms, commands, and specific grammatical structures unique to Java.

Oracle claims that the alleged copyright infringement occurred when Google copied the Java API commands wholesale in order to encourage programmers fluent in Java to program on Google’s Android operating system.  Oracle claims that Google knowingly reimplemented Java in order to entice programmers that were well-versed in Java into bringing their software and expertise to Google.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/02/04/can-application-programming-interfaces-apis-be-protected-under-copyright-law/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Video Excerpts Qualify as Fair Use (and Another 512(f) Claim Fails)–Hughes v. Benjamin

26 03 2020

Technology & Marketing Law Blog
Eric Goldman
February 5, 2020

Hughes is a YouTuber. She made a 10 minute video of Hillary Clinton’s election night party called “We Thought She Would Win” and posted it to her channel. Benjamin also is a YouTuber, but on the opposite end of the political spectrum. He created a 2 minute video called “SJW Levels of Awareness,” which consisted solely of 6 excerpts from Hughes’ video without any additional commentary. He posted this video to his channel, which contained other videos criticizing the Left, feminists, and Black Lives Matter. Hughes sent a takedown notice to YouTube, which YouTube honored. Benjamin counternoticed, which YouTube apparently honored as well. Hughes sued Benjamin for copyright infringement and a 512(f) violation due to his counternotice. The court dismisses both claims.

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2020/02/video-excerpts-qualify-as-fair-use-and-another-512f-claim-fails-hughes-v-benjamin.htm Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Can a Retweet Constitute Copyright Infringement? Uh….–Bell v. Chicago Cubs

26 03 2020

Technology & Marketing Law Blog
Eric Goldman
February 6, 2020

Bell authored a book called “Winning Isn’t Normal.” He got a copyright registration for the book and a separate registration for a 241 word passage from the book (I won’t include that passage here for reasons that soon will be obvious). Bell claims this passage is the heart of the book.

In May 2016, Moawad Group posted the passage to its social media accounts. Bell sued Moawad Group for copyright infringement. In 2018, the Moawad case survived a motion to dismiss. Bell v. Moawad Grp., LLC, 326 F. Supp. 3d 918 (D. Ariz. 2018). The Moawad case apparently settled. There are other copyright lawsuits over the passage.

Lifrak was the director of the Chicago Cubs’ mental skills program (apparently he’s now an independent consultant). In May 2016, Lifrak retweeted the Moawad post to his then-1,000 followers, which generated 9 retweets and 14 likes. Bell sued Lifrak and the Chicago Cubs for copyright infringement. The defense sought a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, which the court partially grants.

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2020/02/can-a-retweet-constitute-copyright-infringement-uh-bell-v-chicago-cubs.htm Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Lil Nas X Takes His Horse to the Old Town Road and Moves to Dismiss Producers’ Copyright Infringement Action Concerning “Rodeo”

26 03 2020

LexBlog
Josh H. Escovedo
February 13, 2020

Lil Nas X broke onto the scene in spectacular fashion when he released the viral sensation “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. Old Town Road broke the prior record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and eventually resulted in Lil Nas X receiving a Grammy award. Unfortunately, fortune and fame comes with its share of problems.

Lil Nas X was sued by producers Don Lee and Glen Keith (the “Producers”) in October 2019 for allegedly infringing their copyrighted material with his track “Rodeo.” According to the Producers, Rodeo bears a substantial similarity to their 2017 song “GwenXdonlee4-142[,]” which was subsequently incorporated into a song called “Broad Day” by PuertoReefa and Sakrite Duexe. Specifically, the lawsuit claims that there are substantial similarities between the chord progression, use of instruments, drumbeats, and other protectable characteristics from “GwenXdonlee4-142” and “Broad Day.” According to the Producers, the song was widely distributed in locations including Lil Nas X’s

Lil Nas X’s legal team responded to the lawsuit last week by filing a motion to dismiss.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/02/13/lil-nas-x-takes-his-horse-to-the-old-town-road-and-moves-to-dismiss-producers-copyright-infringement-action-concerning-rodeo/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Senate IP Subcommittee Kicks Off Year-Long Review of Digital Millennium Copyright Act

26 03 2020
IP Watchdog
Eileen McDermott
February 13, 2020
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) this week held the first in a series of eight tentative hearings scheduled for this year on the topic of updating and modernizing the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Tillis’ goal is to address changes to the internet since the DMCA was passed in 1998, and by December 2020 to release the text of a draft reform bill for stakeholder comment. Senator Coons pointed out that the IP Subcommittee has been the most active subcommittee on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Tillis said that the process will take place in the same vein as last year’s patent eligibility hearings, which involved gathering extensive input from a variety of stakeholders.

The content in this post was found at https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/02/13/senate-ip-subcommittee-kicks-off-year-long-review-digital-millennium-copyright-act/id=118866/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com



Oracle Files Opening Brief at U.S. Supreme Court in Copyright Fight with Google

26 03 2020
IP Watchdog
Nancy Braman
February 14, 2020
In the latest stage of the Supreme Court battle between Oracle America, Inc. (Oracle) and Google, Oracle filed its opening brief with the Court on February 12. Google’s petition for a writ of certiorari was granted in November 2019 and asks the Court to consider: “1. Whether copyright protection extends to a software interface” and “2. Whether, as the jury found, petitioner’s use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use.” The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) previously unanimously reversed a district court decision that held Oracle’s code as uncopyrightable, finding it well established that copyright protection for software programs can extend to both code and their structure or organization. Oracle is suing Google for $8.8 billion in lost revenue.
The content in this post was found at https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/02/14/oracle-files-opening-brief-u-s-supreme-court-copyright-fight-google/id=118895/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Supreme Court rules states are immune from copyright law

26 03 2020

ars technica
Timothy B. Lee
March 24, 2020

A state government that infringes someone’s copyright doesn’t have to worry about getting sued, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday. The high court held that federalism trumps copyright law, effectively giving states a free pass.

The case pitted a North Carolina videographer, Frederick Allen, against the state of North Carolina. The state was the legal owner of a famous shipwreck, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. It was the flagship of legendary pirate Blackbeard until it ran aground off the coast of North Carolina in 1718. A company discovered the wreck in 1996 and got a contract from the state to do recovery work. The company hired Allen to document those efforts with photos and videos.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/03/supreme-court-rules-states-are-immune-from-copyright-law/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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WIPO and U.S. Copyright Office Team Up to Talk Copyright in the Age of AI

24 03 2020
IP Watchdog
Michelle Sara King
February 17, 2020
Earlier this month, the U.S. Copyright Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) held a joint event titled, “Copyright in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” (AI) at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The event explored how global copyright law and intellectual property law, as well as broader policy, may currently address AI technology, and included dialogue about changes that may be needed. Panelists also shared how AI is being utilized now and what future technology deployment and innovation may look like. The event was part of a series of conversations organized by the U.S, Copyright Office and WIPO both in the United States and Europe, with the next conversation scheduled for May 11 and 12 in Geneva, Switzerland. The summit illustrated that AI presents unique opportunities for innovation, assuming intellectual property rights are respected, but questions remain in several areas, including whether machine learning is producing “original” work and whether the product of such software is inherently reproductive, derivative or the result of a system or process devoid of human action.
The content in this post was found at https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/02/17/wipo-us-copyright-office-team-talk-copyright-age-ai/id=118958/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Nintendo Gets ‘Dreams’ Mario Taken Down Because Of Course It Did

24 03 2020

Tech Dirt
Timothy Geigner
Mar 23rd 2020

If you haven’t heard of the Playstation 4 title Dreams, it’s a fairly fascinating little game. The entire concept of the game revolves around creating. Art, music, game mechanics, and even entire new games are all able to be created within Dreams itself. As you might imagine, while players have spent much time creating brand new content within the platform, others have also reproduced existing video game content within it as well. This is a matter of tinkering, mostly, and reproducing known content just to see what the Dreams system can do.

And, because it’s video games, one of the most common reproductions in Dreams are models of Mario from Super Mario Bros. Nintendo, however, recently got Sony to remove one popular Mario character model from the game over copyright concerns.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200323/12203744152/nintendo-gets-dreams-mario-taken-down-because-course-it-did.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Earth to Google: Here’s Why APIs Need to be Copyrightable

23 03 2020
IP Watchdog
Michael Shore
February 18, 2020
On January 6, 2020, Google submitted its brief in Google v. Oracle, kicking off the Supreme Court case that many are calling the “copyright case of the decade.” The suit pits the search engine platform controlling 93% of the worldwide search market against Oracle, the owner of the ubiquitous Java program, which submitted its response brief last week. After attempting and failing to secure the rights to Java, Google decided to cease negotiating and instead replicated 37 API packages from the copyrighted program, a decision that precipitated the years-long lawsuit.
The content in this post was found at https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/02/18/earth-google-heres-apis-need-copyrightable/id=118999/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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