Copyright term chart

9 10 2009
Copyright term graph

This is great.  Found this chart while researching something else.  Everyone asks me how long does a copyright last, and I have to give some hedging answer because well,  look left at how complicated it is.  Anyway, this is great.  Tuck this chart away.

Tom Bell, released it on his website under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License. In short: you are free to share and make derivative works of the file under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license identical to this one. Official license

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Featured Case: Peermusic v Motive Force- music publishers sue lyrics wiki

5 10 2009

Claims of direct, contributory, vicarious and inducement of copyright infringement filed against a lyrics wiki which allegedly scrapes hundreds of thousands of lyrics and redistributes via facebook and other sites.  Stanford Fair Use and Justia feature the case docket including the Aug 24th complaint.

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Featured case: Scott v Scribd (children’s book author claims her work downloaded over 100 times without permission)

5 10 2009

A children’s book author claims that her book, Stocks and Bonds, was uploaded on Scribd without her permission, and has been downloaded over 100 times. Scribd turns pdf files into readily accessible iPaper documents that can open inside a browser. The author talks to school children often about copyright and plagiarism.  Justia is providing the case filings here, and making them available via an RSS feed.
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A Copyright Head-Scratcher, Courtesy of Kiwi Camara

1 10 2009

Here we go again: yet another situation in which folks are trying to push a the square peg of the law into technology’s round hole. Such struggles can lead to some head-scratching, but usually make for some pretty good entertainment.

This tale comes courtesy of the WSJ’s Geoffrey Fowler, writing in this week’s Law Journal column. The debate, as he puts it, is “raging in Silicon Valley over whether copyright law protects companies who make filters that screen for — of all things — copyright theft.”

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Beats, Backing Tracks and Rap Copyrights

1 10 2009

Dear Rich: If a rapper wants to register his copyrights but the backing tracks or “beats” were “written” or created by somebody who the rapper gave like $200 for the beats, can the rapper register the copyright? Is this a work for hire? Can the rapper say he wrote the whole song and the beat maker is like a drummer in a rock band who doesn’t get songwriting credit? The short answer is that If the beatmaker’s contribution is mostly percussive, you can probably register the song copyright in your own name.

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DOJ: Google book settlement needs major rewrite

21 09 2009

The US Department of Justice has added yet another filing to the growing pile of documents that have been produced in response to impending legal action on the Google book settlement. While the DOJ accepts that the settlement may perform a public good by restoring access to out-of-print works, its filing highlights many of the same antitrust and copyright concerns that have been raised by others. As such, it recommends that the settlement be rejected in its current form, while providing a series of suggestions to guide further negotiations by the interested parties.

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Featured case: Scott v Scribd (children’s book author claims her work downloaded over 100 times without permission)

21 09 2009

A children’s book author claims that her book, Stocks and Bonds, was uploaded on Scribd without her permission, and has been downloaded over 100 times.

more


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In Google Books Suit, Parties Mulling the DOJ’s Objections

21 09 2009

Monday is the first day of fall. But no fear, we already have a guess as to what the legal theme of the upcoming season might be: the scrutinized and/or rejected settlement.

Of course, we’ve written a lot about the rejected settlement in the Bank of America/SEC matter, but another big settlement is getting an exceedingly close look prior to a hearing before New York federal judge Denny Chin on Oct. 7.

That settlement, which we’ve also written a bit about before (here and here), involves Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. Over the weekend, the parties said they were hashing out what changes they are willing to make to the agreement following the Justice Department’s objections, formally articulated on Friday.

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Scribd sued over copyright… by Jammie Thomas lawyers

21 09 2009

The law firm of Camara & Sibley has decided to take on document-sharing website Scribd in a big way, seeking class action status against the site in a lawsuit filed Friday in a Texas federal court. The charge: like YouTube, Veoh, and other user-generated content sites, Scribd makes it just too easy to upload copyrighted content without permission, and the company should be held liable… and pay up.

What about all those cases (including the recent Veoh ruling) which broadly construe the DMCA’s “safe harbor” provisions to protect these kinds of websites so long as they promptly take down content when notified? Hey, those cases are all out in California, baby! It’s time for Texas justice.

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France passes harsh anti-P2P three-strikes law (again)

20 09 2009

The French legislature today passed into law a second version of the ultra-controversial HADOPI “three strikes” law that targets illegal Internet file-swappers. The revised proposal does address the concerns of the “Sages” who sit on France’s Constitutional Council who objected to the first version of the law, but it does little to mollify critics. Internet disconnections of up to a year can be ordered by a single judge in a “streamlined” proceeding, while Internet users who fail to “secure” their connections can also be punished if other people use those connections to exchange copyrighted material.

The National Assembly passed HADOPI 2 today by a margin of 285-225; the Senate has already passed the legislation.

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