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Showing posts with label copyright.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label copyright.. Show all posts

Vermont Law School sued as it wants to cover up slave mural

Vermont Law School is being sued to prevent it covering up a painting, depicting the Underground Railway and slaves.  The Law School commissioned with work in 1994.  The artist is fighting for the integrity of the art work.  The case concerns moral rights.

The centre of the case is the Visual Artists Rights Act.  Or is the case really about changing community standards? 

A local paper has this story about the case.  An earlier newspaper article.  It is hard to determine who is morally right.

Real Estate Photographs Online

A recent Federal Court appeal considered the scope of the right to use photographs taken when marketing a house for sale.  This decision is relevant to anyone who wishes to commercialise data that they obtain for one purpose for a different purpose.

The real estate agent engages a photographer to photograph a house that is for sale, with the intent to upload the photographs onto a real estate sales portal such a RealEstate.com.au or Domain.com.au to advertise the property for sale.  The REA portal has terms that bind the real estate agent.  These terms include the right to sublicense the photographs and the listing information to CoreLogic RP Data for their property information database. 

The court found, in a 2-1 split judgment, that merely because the photographer allowed the photos to be uploaded to REA did not mean that the photographer agreed to REA's terms or agreed to allow the photographs to be sublicensed to CoreLogic RP Data.

In effect, the real estate agent is in breach of the REA contract by uploading the photos in these circumstances.  The license from the photographer to the real estate agent to allow the upload to REA is, in effect, useless unless the agent also obtains terms from the photographer that match the REA license.

CoreLogic RP Data is now in breach of the photographer's copyright.

A strange result. 

Hardingham v RP Data Pty Limited [2021] FCAFC 148

Blocking Bad Websites at the ISP

It is hard to have a bad website taken down.  In Australia, if the bad website is involved in copyright infringement, it is possible to have all Australian ISPs block the bad website, in effect making it disappear from the Internet as far as Australians are concerned.

That happened in recent Federal Court case, brought against Telstra and every other ISP in Australia, by a company that appears to operate a website for escort services.  Someone hacked their website and made copies of it.  The Federal Court blocked the copycat websites, using Section 115A of the Copyright Act.

See Gardner Industries Pty Ltd as trustee for the S M Gardner Family Trust v Telstra Corporation Limited [2021] FCA 294 (25 March 2021) (Greenwood J)

Sharing User IDs

Can you give your User ID to someone else to use your account?  And what if that someone then uses your account for a purpose not allowed by the user agreement?  Are you responsible?  This is the subject of a possible lawsuit against CoreLogic in Australia.

See BCI Media Group Pty Ltd v Corelogic Australia Pty Ltd [2020] FCA 1556 https://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/single/2020/2020fca1556


Instagram can sublicense your photos

When you make a public post on Instagram, you allow Instagram to sublicense you photo to anyone using the Instagram API.

One professional photographer found out about this the hard way.

"Unquestionably, Instagram’s dominance of photograph- and video-sharing social media, coupled with the expansive transfer of rights that Instagram demands from its users, means that Plaintiff’s dilemma is a real one. But by posting the Photograph to her public Instagram account, Plaintiff made her choice. This Court cannot release her from the agreement she made."

See Sinclair v. Ziff Davis and Mashable

Musicians Create Every Melody in Existence to Avoid Copyright Infringement

Two programmers who are musicians have supposedly created every possible MIDI melody in existence, saved this to a hard drive, copyrighted the whole thing, and then released it all to the public in an attempt to stop musicians from getting sued for copyright infringement.

Vice Article

Whether this actually accomplishes what they want to do is uncertain.

Using small snippets of public available music (or computer code) to create a work, that is the same as a well-known larger work, may still be copyright infringement.  It depends on whether the creator knew of and had access to the well-known larger work.

See Dais Studios case, where Ben Petro copied public Java script to create a larger computer program.  See also AFR Article

This also has relevance to AI programs and how they are trained.

Who owns the copyright and inventions produced by an AI machine?

These articles are some of the interesting articles dealing with ownership of copyright and patentable inventions produced by an AI machine or robot.
  • Machine learning to machine owning: Redefining the copyright ownership from the perspective of Australian, US, UK and EU Law. European Intellectual Property Review(2018) 40 (11), pp. 722-728.  https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3293518
  • Artificial Intelligence, Copyright and Accountability in the 3A Era: The Human-like Authors Are Already Here: A New Model, 2017 M. L. R<. 659   https://digitalcommons.law.msu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1199&context=lr
  • When Artificial Intelligence Systems Produce Inventions: The 3A Era and an Alternative Model for Patent Law (March 1, 2017). Cardozo Law Review, http://cardozolawreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/RAVID.LIU_.39.6.5-1.pdf
  • Recognizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) as Authors and Investors under U.S. Intellectual Property Law, 24 Rich. J.L. & Tech. i (2018), https://jolt.richmond.edu/files/2018/04/Pearlman_Recognizing-Artificial-Intelligence-AI-as-Authors-and-Inventors-Under-U.S.-Intellectual-Property-Law.pdf


  • Also, have a look at these videos about machine generated art:

    Copyright Act consultations

    The Australian Dept of Communication and the Arts has sought submissions for reforms to the Copyright Act.  The submissions are now public: https://www.communications.gov.au/have-your-say/copyright-modernisation-consultation

    See also the Productivity Commission's final report on Australia's Intellectual Property Arrangements.

    Liability of Intermediaries for copyright infringement

    At the end of last year, the Federal Court of Australia issued a judgment in against the Redbubble platform, in favour of Pokemon.

    The judgment is here:  Pokémon Company International, Inc. v Redbubble Ltd [2017] FCA 154

    This is an important copyright and consumer protection law case.  Redbubble recently appealed (and its seems that their appeal was lodged outside of the appeal window).

    There is also a similar case pending, involving the Hell's Angels.

    A good summary is located on the IP Whiteboard blog.

    United States Copyright Office Releases Report on Software-Enabled Consumer Products

    Yesterday, the U.S. Copyright Office released a report titled "Software-Enabled Consumer Products."

    The report follows a year-long process, during which the Office studied how copyright law interacts with software-enabled consumer products, from cars, to refrigerators, to mobile phones, to thermostats and the like. 

    The report explores the various legal doctrines that apply to this subset of software, which is increasingly present in everyday life, including important copyright doctrines such as fair use, merger, scènes à faire, first sale, and the section 117 exemptions. The report focuses on specific issues raised in the public comments and hearings, including how copyright law affects licensing, resale, repair and tinkering, security research and interoperability.

    The Copyright Office's report found that current legal doctrines support a wide range of legitimate uses of the embedded software in consumer products while also recognizing the importance of copyright protection to the creation and distribution of innovative products. The report does not recommend legislative changes at this time.

    The full report and executive summary are available on the Copyright Office's website at http://copyright.gov/policy/software/.

    Apple Store Privacy Issues

    Do you trust Apple Store employees when they take away your phone to fix it?

    Staff in a Brisbane Apple Store reportedly lifted photos from some Apple customers' iPhones and took more than 100 close-up and explicit photos of female customers and staff without their knowledge.

    This raises both privacy and copyright issues.  It is also creepy.

    See Brisbane Times

    Copyright in Instagram Photos

    See this article regarding a copyright claim in respect of Instagram photos.

    Story here.

    I have met a number of people who are earning good money promoting products on Instagram and on blogs.

    Ninth Circuit Rules That Copyright Holders Must Consider Fair Use Before Issuing DMCA Takedown Notice

    Media companies and other copyright holders may need to change the way they deal with infringing content on the Internet.  In a closely watched copyright case, Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. (also known as the "Dancing Baby" case), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday that copyright holders must consider fair use before issuing takedown notices to remove allegedly infringing content from websites such as YouTube and Facebook. This decision has significant implications for owners of copyright-protected content, especially studios, record labels, publishers and other entities with large content catalogs, as well as individuals and businesses that rely on fair use to exploit copyrighted material owned by others. 

    Australian Government releases survey into online copyright infringement

    The research is said to show that Australia has high levels of online copyright infringement.

    See Government Website with full survey results.

    Copyright and eBooks

    From Australian Copyright Agency:

    The UK Publisher’s Association has successfully gained an order to have that country’s five main internet service providers block consumer access to websites promoting the online theft of ebooks.
    Investigations found at least 80 per cent of the reportedly 10 million ebook titles on seven offshore websites were infringing copyright and almost a million takedown notices had been issued to the sites. The sites make substantial sums of money from referral fees and advertising, with none of that income returning to publishers or authors.
    The UK Publishers Association Chief Executive, Richard Mollet, said: “A third of publisher revenues now come from digital sales but unfortunately this rise in the digital market has brought with it a growth in online infringement. Our members need to be able to protect their authors’ works from such illegal activity; writers need to be paid and publishers need to be able to continue to innovate and invest in new talent and material.” Read the media release here.
    The UK decision reflects our own situation in Australia where a two-pronged approach aims to curb online piracy.
    Firstly, the creative and telecommunications sectors have jointly established a new code to combat internet piracy. It involves an escalating series of infringement notices being issued to repeat infringers and has been submitted for registration to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
    At the same time, the Federal Government has legislation before the Senate to allow rights holders to apply to a court for an order requiring ISPs to block offshore websites promoting online theft.
    The Copyright Agency supports these moves and will continue to campaign for copyright and stand up for creators’ rights.
    Murray St Leger,

    Chief Executive

    Dallas Buyers Club decision - who won?

    The Australian Federal Court decided today that ISP iiNet was required to identify some of its customers who have downloaded the movie "Dallas Buyers Club".  The court imposed restrictions and costs on the copyright holder.  No email addresses were ordered to be disclosed.  Dallas Buyers Club LLC v iiNet Limited [2015] FCA 317.

    See Court Decision and SMH Article.

    Music Copyright

    "On Tuesday, a federal jury in Los Angeles concluded that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, the performer and primary songwriter-producer of the 2013 pop hit “Blurred Lines,” committed copyright infringement by using elements of the 1977 Marvin Gaye song “Got to Give It Up” in their composition without proper credit. The jury awarded Mr. Gaye’s family approximately $7.3 million, a combination of profits from the song and damages. That’s an attention-getting amount of money, but the verdict itself is far more damning."

    See NYT article

    Left Shark Copyright

    An interesting story about copyright in a costume for dancing shark.  Read the lawyer's response at the end of the story.

    Copyright Infringement Detection Service

    An interesting service from South Australia, called www.plfer.com.  It is a copyright infringement detection service.  Created by the founder of Davnet.  See story here.

    Online Copyright Infringement

    The Australian Government has today released the Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper and is seeking public submissions on the draft proposals designed to address online piracy.
    Australia has one of the highest rates of online copyright piracy in the world. This has a significant impact on Australia’s creative industries, including music, television, cinema, software, broadcast and publishing industries, which employ more than 900,000 people and generates more than $90 billion in economic value each year.
    The ease with which copyrighted content can be digitised and distributed online means there is no easy solution to preventing online copyright infringement.  International experience has shown that a range of measures are necessary to reduce piracy and ensure that we can continue to take full advantage of the legitimate opportunities to create, provide and enjoy content in a digital environment. 
    Everyone has a role to play in reducing online copyright infringement. Rights holders need to ensure that content can be accessed easily and at a reasonable price. Internet service providers (ISPs) can take reasonable steps to ensure their systems are not used to infringe copyright. Consumers can do the right thing and access content lawfully.
    The Government’s preference is to create a legal framework that will facilitate industry cooperation to develop flexible and effective measures to combat online piracy. This Discussion Paper seeks the views of the public and stakeholders on proposals to establish such a legal framework.
    Importantly, the Government expects that consumer interests will be taken into account in the development of any industry scheme or commercial arrangements.
    The Discussion Paper is available on the Online copyright infringement—public consultation page of the Attorney-General’s Department website. Submissions are sought by end of 1 September 2014 and can be emailed to copyrightconsultation@ag.gov.au.
    From King & Wood Mallesons:
    The proposals are of most interest to copyright owners, to ISPs and to online intermediaries, although the proposed authorisation amendment to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) may have a broader application.
    In this alert we look at the three proposals outlined in the Discussion Paper, and further questions raised within it.

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