‘South Park’ Wins ‘What What (in the Butt)’ Legal Fight — The Seventh Circuit affirmed a lower court’s ruling that a South Park parody of the viral video “What What (in the Butt)” was fair use. What’s notable here is that the ruling was made on a motion to dismiss, before any discovery had commenced. The court’s ruling could lower the risk of litigation for legitimate fair users.

Getting Paid is a Moral Right, too! Why Creative Commons Gets it Wrong — The 1709 Blog presents this compelling look at Creative Commons licensing from legal scholar Dr. Mira T. Sundara Rajan. “In the United States, artists who want moral rights can opt for licensing their work through Creative Commons, but (unless they choose to license only a few select works to benefit from ‘free advertising’), they cannot expect to enjoy moral rights protection and earn money from their work at the same time. Welcome to the future?”

Scenes From The Pounding Heart Of A Tech Bubble — Buzzfeed’s Jack Stuef paints a picture of TechCrunch Disrupt NYC, New York City’s largest startup conference, that is bustling with absurdity. “‘We’re the original tech vertical,’ he said, then paused. ‘It’s an ironic thing because it is disruptive,’ he continued, staring unblinkingly into my eyes. I still don’t know what that meant.”

Artists, Know Thy Enemy – Who’s Ripping You Off and How… — Another great post from The Trichordist: “Let’s be clear about this, our battle is with businesses ripping us off by illegally exploiting our work for profit. This is not about our fans. It is about commercial companies in the businesses of profiting from our work, paying us nothing and then telling us to blame our fans.”

B&N: DOJ e-book suit endangers consumers, bookstores and copyrighted expression — Barnes and Noble weighs in on the Fed’s anti-trust suit involving e-books. According to PaidContent, “B&N argues that the proposed settlement is a government action ‘analogous to a cartel imposing a detailed business model on publishers.’ It would transform the DOJ ‘into a regulator’ and would ‘injure innocent third parties, including Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores, authors, and non-defendant publishers; hurt competition in an emerging industry; and ultimately harm consumers.'”

BitTorrent Admin Jailed For Tax Evasion On Site Donations — “The former administrator of the PowerBits private tracker was found guilty of copyright infringement and tax and accounting fraud after he failed to register donations provided by the site’s users as income with the tax authorities. He will serve one year in prison.” Perhaps Sweden needs to innovate instead of relying on its outdated business model of “collecting taxes.”

Guest Post: Is Copyright a threat to Free Speech? by David Newhoff — Filmmaker Newhoff provides this provocative article arguing that, rather than clashing, copyright and free speech complement each other. “If the U.S. is founded on one idea above all others, it’s that there is a link between free enterprise and freedom itself. Yes, this ideology has its flaws, and we’re still living through the economic woes of certain kinds of enterprise run amok; but let’s not throw out the baby with the bankers just yet.”

1 Comment

  1. ‘South Park’ Wins ‘What What (in the Butt)’ Legal Fight — The Seventh Circuit affirmed a lower court’s ruling that a South Park parody of the viral video “What What (in the Butt)” was fair use. What’s notable here is that the ruling was made on a motion to dismiss, before any discovery had commenced. The court’s ruling could lower the risk of litigation for legitimate fair users.

    I suppose this is a lesson to copyright plaintiffs when opposing an improperly-labeled motion to dismiss–the court may just convert it into a motion for summary judgment and rule against them without allowing the opportunity for discovery or further briefing. Seems a bit presumptive for the appeals court to declare that discovery couldn’t possibly have helped plaintiff’s case. All in all, though, I think it’s actually a good ruling since it protects legitimate fair users from nuisance suits and helps bust the myth that there’s no such thing as “an obvious case of fair use.”