Wow–talk about awkward moment.
Pres. Obama criticizes Supreme Court right to their faces, as Justice Alito shakes head and says “not true”January 28, 2010
I start teaching a new seminar tomorrow. It’s called copyright in the 1st century. This week, we discuss whether copyright law needs to be changed to accommodate remix. Above is a video I’ll be using from RIP: a remix manifesto. Also will be using the Lessig TED talk below. The class should be fun!
Well, finally, YouTube has reinstated PS22 chorus’s original YouTube channel, including the past 7 million plus views total for all the videos. Too bad YouTube didn’t do this sooner–and it makes you wonder why YouTube made Breinberg go through the rigamarole of uploading all his videos again. In any event, the PS22 chorus videos can be found here. Let the kids sing.
News: Great news from Tony Falzone of Stanford Center for Internet and Society:
We’re thrilled to report the Court has upheld our challenge to the constitutionality of the URAA’s restoration of copyrights in public domain works. Today, the Court granted our summary judgment motion, holding the URAA violates the First Amendment insofar as it suppresses parties’ rights to keep using works they exploited when those works were in the public domain.
Needless to say, this is a big deal. It is the first time any part of the Copyright Act has been held unconstitutional and the first time any court has held the First Amendment places specific limits on the government’s ability to raid the public domain. It is also the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of CIS lawyers dating back to 2001, including myself, Larry Lessig, Chris Sprigman, Edward Lee, Jennifer Granick, Lauren Gelman, Colette Vogele, Julie Ahrens, Chris Ridder, and others.
I expect there will be more to come, including a return to the Tenth Circuit. Look for updates here. In the meantime, Judge Babcock’s order is attached below.
News: Lessig and Techdirt have excellent posts about the controversy caused by the Authors’ Guild over the new Kindle 2 by Amazon. The Kindle 2 had a cool feature that would allow it to read the text aloud. The Authors Guild objected, apparently claiming the new feature would cause infringement of its copyrighted works read on the Kindle. Amazon said there was no infringement b/c the Kindle made no copy of the work when the text is translated into speech. But Amazon still caved in to the Authors Guild by deciding to utilized the text-to-speech function on a per work basis for those authors who grant permission.
News: YouTube announced this week:
“We are always looking for ways to make it easier for you to find, watch, and share videos. Many of you have told us that you wanted to take your favorite videos offline. So we’ve started working with a few partners who want their videos shared universally and even enjoyed away from an Internet connection.
Many video creators on YouTube want their work to be seen far and wide. They don’t mind sharing their work, provided that they get the proper credit. Using Creative Commons licenses, we’re giving our partners and community more choices to make that happen. Creative Commons licenses permit people to reuse downloaded content under certain conditions. “
He’s represented by Anthony Falzone of the Stanford Fair Use Project.
Fascinating story about Prof. Charlie Nesson and his team of Harvard Law Students taking on the RIAA.
News: Big news. More here.
I just heard a song from the new Franz Ferdinand album. It’s the best new song I heard in 2009!!
I have just finished writing a draft of an essay titled “Decoding the DMCA Safe Harbors.”
The Essay analyzes some of the key uncertainties about the DMCA safe harbors that may figure into the copyright lawsuits against YouTube.
The DMCA is a decade old, which, in Internet time, may well be closer to a century. Although the DMCA safe harbors have helped to foster tremendous growth in web applications in our Web 2.0 world, several very basic aspects of the DMCA safe harbors remain uncertain. These uncertainties, along with the relative lack of litigation over the DMCA in the past ten years, have threatened to undermine the whole purpose of the DMCA safe harbors by failing to inform the public and technology companies of what steps they need to undertake to fall within the safe harbors. In several high profile cases against MySpace, YouTube, and other Internet sites, the clarification of the DMCA safe harbors could prove to be just as important to the Internet as their enactment in 1998. This Essay has attempted to clear up two of the biggest uncertainties regarding the DMCA’s relationship to vicarious liability, and the so-called “red flags” theory of knowledge on the part of the Internet service provider. Specifically, under a proper interpretation of the DMCA, courts should (i) reject the “loophole” theory that posits that the DMCA safe harbors provide no immunity from vicarious liability at all, and (ii) require a high burden for proving a “red flags” theory by requiring knowledge of facts that show specific and “obvious” or “blatant” infringement. This Essay offers five principles for courts and Congress to consider in applying or amending the DMCA safe harbors in the future. The DMCA safe harbors should be made truly “safe” harbors, in a way that encourages greater investment in and the development of speech technologies on the Internet, all while encouraging copyright holders to share the burden of reducing infringement by utilizing the DMCA notice and take-down procedure.
You can download a copy from SSRN by clicking on this link and clicking from there the “Download” button.
Blagojevich says the “fix is in.”
News: Ty is way out of line. Not only is this a potential right of publicity violation, it is downright tacky. (More)
Pres. Obama takes Oath of Office again on Wednesday after Chief Justice Roberts messed up oath @ InaugurationJanuary 22, 2009
News: As the blogosphere was buzzing yesterday, Chief Justice Roberts goofed up or messed up the Oath of Office as written in the Constitution, which led Pres. Obama to mess up the Oath, too, on the placement of the word “faithfully.” You can watch the video here.
Well, today, Pres. Obama took the Oath all over again in a closed meeting with Chief Justice Roberts. Hopefully, they got it right this time!! AP has more on the 2nd Oath of Office administered today.
News: Wow, it caused President Obama to mess up, too. Two Harvard Law grads mess up the Constitution! Because of the slip up with “faithfully,” Obama never said the exact words in the same order as in the Constitution. Need a redo.
UPDATE: Some law profs say Obama needs to take the oath again. Seriously.
If you’re wondering how the Oath should sound, listen to oaths by President Clinton and Kennedy.
UPDATE: Redo actually happened. On Wednesday, Pres. Obama took the Oath of Office again with Chief Justice Roberts. You can listen to the audio (there’s no video) by clicking here.
RIAA afraid of webcast of court proceedings in its copyright case; seeks writ of mandamus to stop public webcast of public court proceedingsJanuary 18, 2009
News: The RIAA appears to be running scared from the recent district court granting Harvard Professor Charlie Nesson’s request to webcast Thursday’s court proceedings in the RIAA’s music file sharing case against BU student Joel Tennenbaum. The RIAA has now sought a writ of mandamus from the First Circuit to stop the webcast. The RIAA must realize it looks bad to be suing students, but here’s the spin it is using:
“Petitioners [the labels] are concerned that, unlike a trial transicipt, the broadcast of a court proceeding through the Internet will take on a life of its own in that forum. The broadcast will be readily subject to editing and manipulation by any reasonably tech-savvy individual. Even without improper modification, statements may be taken out of context, spliced together with other statements and rebroadcast as if it were an accurate transcript. Such an outcome can only do damage to Petitioners’ case.”
Charlie Nesson scores victory vs. RIAA: court to webcast lawsuit proceeding in RIAA music file sharing lawsuitJanuary 15, 2009
News: Charles Nesson is a Harvard law professor and member of the Berkman Center. In a RIAA copyright lawsuit against Boston University students, Nesson is representing the students and has just pulled off some pretty deft strategic maneuvers against the RIAA, not only challenging the constitutionality of the RIAA’s lawsuit but also persuading the judge to webcast next week’s (Jan 22) hearing over the Internet. I will post a link to the webcast when I find it.
Analysis: Charlie Nesson was my evidence law professor, only he didn’t really teach us evidence. By then, he was much more interested in this new technology called the Internet. Nesson is an incredibly creative and “out of the box” (and sometimes “out there”) thinker whose imagination knows no bounds. I look forward to what he chalks up on Thursday of next week!!
Joe Satriani v. Coldplay [lawsuit just filed]
Creaky Boards v. Coldplay
Analysis: My guess: Coldplay settles! I wonder if Coldplay can still win the Grammy for “Viva la Vida,” with all these copyright infringement allegations swirling?