French Lawmakers Dismiss Anti-Piracy Law, but Sarkosy Not Done

By: Ian McClure
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This week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy had hoped to see the passage of an anti-piracy law he was attempting to push for some time now.  The law, which purported to completely cut off the internet connection of consistent copyright pirates, would have been the most far-reaching anti-piracy law to date.  France has had to deal with a stigma of having large copyright piracy and illegal music downloading problems, and Sarkozy had hoped this would show his strong position against such activities.  According to a ... Read More

Categories: Today in IP

Can You Copyright a Tweet? (continued from Broken Symmetry)

By: Ian McClure
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Michael Martin raises an interesting question on his Broken Symmetry blog, and one that I just couldn't pass up: Are Tweets Copyrightable?. Just last week, a Wall Street Journal article announced a business plan to monetize the popularity of Twitter, which means people now have an incentive to own their tweets, or at least control them exclusively.  The question of copyrightability in this context comes down to whether a tweet is copyrightable subject matter.  To this end, Martin writes the following: That depends. The ... Read More

Categories: Copyright Caucus

Is Venture Capital for Digital Music Start-ups All But Gone?

By: Ian McClure
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That seems to be the tone that was taken at the Billboard Music and Money Symposium in New York on Thursday, where venture capitalists voiced their concerns for putting money into ventures that were so susceptible to law suits. An article for the Wall Street Journal reported on the symposium.  According to the article, digital music start-ups have only identified two revenue streams: sale of digital goods or advertising.  The sale of digital goods has become burdensome because of increased licensing price ... Read More

Categories: Today in IP

The Art of Lending on Art

By: Ian McClure
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There is a discreet lending market in New York and few places beyond that trades cash for copyrights until the cash is returned with interest.  To play in this field might actually be less of a risk than banks lending on collateralized real estate, based on the fluctuation of real estate values.  Certain and valuable copyrights hold their value quite nicely, even in a recession.  A recent story in the New York Times (which also reached a few IP blogs such as IPKat) disclosed ... Read More

Categories: Burgeoning Business, Copyright Caucus, Investment Intelligence, Portfolio Potential

Annie Leibovitz Uses Copyrights to Life’s Work as Collateral to Secure Loan with Art Capital Group

By: Ian McClure
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Annie Leibovitz, the well known celebrity photographer for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, has recently pawned her life's work of copyrights to all of her photographs in order to receive a loan from Art Capital Group, a NY-based lender, to pay off over $16M in debts.  The loan was first reported by The New York Times, which went on to describe the work of the Art Capital Group and other lenders that do so on the collateralization of artwork and photography.  According to the ... Read More

Categories: Today in IP

On Monopoly and Intellectual Property

By: Ian McClure
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Headlines of late have concerned themselves with competition, or the lack thereof, created by certain adopted business methods or maneuvers. With the inauguration of a new President came a proposed tougher stance on antitrust issues. Obama appointed Christine A. Varney to head the Justice Department's antitrust division in a move that was meant to send a warning signal that the new administration was cracking down on companies vying for monopoly market positions. Google is not new to the monopoly discussion. Varney has already ... Read More

Categories: Burgeoning Business, Copyright Caucus, Patent Prospects, Portfolio Potential

“Hot News” Claim Not Preempted by Copyright Act, says S.D.N.Y.

By: Ian McClure
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This week, a U.S. District Court in New York has upheld a "hot news" claim under New York law against a motion to dismiss, finding that the US Copyright Act does not preempt the state law claim.  The Southern District of New York is entertaining a case in which the AP has filed suit against All Headlines News Corp. (AHN) for allegedly copying and pasting the AP's news stories without expending the resources and time to actually research and uncover the stories.  ... Read More

Categories: Today in IP

Internet Radio Services Fail to Reach Deal with Recording Industry

By: Ian McClure
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This past weekend marked the two-year time limit under the Webcasters Settlement Act given to Internet Radio Services such as Pandora to reach a deal with the recording industry on streaming fees.  The deadline came and went without an agreement.  Traditional broadcasting radio stations, which also stream music on their web sites, did reach a deal with record labels (the terms of which I have yet to uncover).  The beef between the internet radio stations and the record labels is mainly over ... Read More

Categories: Copyright Caucus

Fairness and Politics: Artist Claims Fair Use Over Obama Photo

By: Ian McClure
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Artist Shepard Fairey and his atrorney, Stanford Fair Use Project director, Anthony Falzone, are claiming fair use in the Southern District of New York over the Obama picture that became the staple image of his campaign. The photograph was taken by a member of the AP, and Fairey turned the photo into the creative mix of colors that every American has presumably seen and identified the Obama campaign with. The image was sold on posters, t-shirts, and more. There is no question ... Read More

Categories: Today in IP

EU Extends Music Copyright Term to 95 years

By: Ian McClure
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The European Parliament has today extended the term of protection for music copyrights from 50 years to 95 years.  Also contained in the legislation is a provision preventing past contractual agreements from deducting new royalties resulting from the extension.  In addition, there is a provision providing for a session-musician fund to be created to which producers must pay 20% of new royalties.  The Parliament Press Release considers a meeting by January 2010 to discuss an extension for audiovisual works, and the extension for ... Read More

Categories: Today in IP

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