Consumption is a Human Right? — Another great post from Faza, taking on the weakness of the “access to culture” argument. “As human rights go, access to culture is a rather weak one. I mean, seriously, whatever happened to food, housing and healthcare? Compared to a lack of any of those, not being able to listen to the new album from [X] is a minor tickle. So why aren’t we getting any of those for free?”
Bill would help combat copyright offenders on the Internet — The Washington Post weighs in on the PROTECT IP Act. “[It] takes pains to protect Internet service providers, search engines and others that may have done business with a rogue site … But there is a need for a legal tool that stops those who persistently leech off of the innovations of others.”
Ontario Court of Appeal Rules In Tucows v. Renner: Domain Names Are Personal Property — Before this, no Canadian appellate court had reached the issue. Matt Lonsdale of IP Osgoode examines the decision, which aligns Canada with the dominant view that domain names can be treated as property, a view shared by US courts.
HSI agents arrest website operator for illegally streaming copyrighted sporting events — ICE announced it had arrested the operator of one of the sites whose domain names had been seized as part of Operation in Our Sites. The owner of HQ-Streams.com and HQ-Streams.net has been charged with one count of criminal copyright infringement for allegedly streaming live sporting events through the website.
Hollywood Buzz in Cleveland, Ohio — Film production creates jobs and boosts local economies. Recent local news channels highlighted these positive effects in Cleveland, currently home for production of The Avengers and I, Alex Cross.
The Jobs Program — Rob Levine weighs in on Steve Jobs resignation and the success of Apple despite the company doing the opposite of what technology pundits consistently preach.
Petition of the Day: Pilgrim Films & Television v. Montz — SCOTUSBlog highlights this petition to the Supreme Court from Pilgrim and NBCUniversal, stemming from a dispute between them and a parapsychologist, who alleged the idea for the Syfy program Ghost Hunters was taken from him without compensation. The 9th Circuit ruled in favor of him; Pilgrim appeals to the Supreme Court on the basis that such a claim should be pre-empted by the Copyright Act.
Bestselling Self-Published Author Signs Deal with Simon & Schuster — John Locke, who became popular in the blogosphere after selling millions of copies of his self-released books, becomes the latest in the line of such authors to join forces with a traditional publisher.
Crowdfunding Concerns — It’s all fun and games till someone gets poked by the IRS. “Crowdfunding”, or micro-patronage, is becoming a popular alternative for raising money for a variety of creative endeavors. However, as Leslie Burns explains, creators interested in crowdfunding a project need to be careful to consider tax considerations and other legal issues before beginning.
The Potential Cost of PROTECT IP: Our Take — The MPAA comments on the Congressional Budget Office’s $47 million cost estimate for implementing the proposed legislation.
The Copyright Alert System — A couple of recent pieces exploring July’s announcement of an agreement between US ISPs and the music and film industry to fight online piracy. Songwriters Guild of America president Rick Carnes discusses the agreement at the Arts+Labs blog, while the Kluwer Copyright Blog looks at it in the context of similar international and European measures.
Book Review: Robert Levine, Free Ride — The Cynical Musician reviews Levine’s Free Ride. “Levine’s single biggest contribution to the debate on the future of online media is that he manages to demonstrate, very clearly, that rather than a question of morality or ideology, it is one of economics.”
Stop Criminalizing Our Kids: Google Drugs Pays Record $500 Million Fine to Avoid Jail … For Now — Chris Castle discusses the record forfeiture of Google’s profits in connection with ads for illegal importation of prescription drugs. The settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and Google is available here.
Documenting how a bill becomes a law — Many of the documents produced during the legislative process are available online, but compilations of a bill’s entire legislative history are not as readily available, meaning lawyers and researchers have to do a lot of legwork to piece together the reports, hearings, committee prints, and draft bills that shed light on the intent of a law. The US Department of Justice has just released a collection of compiled legislative histories for a number of landmark bills that its staff uses internally. Kudos to the DOJ for making this valuable resource available to the public.