Chiang on the Property Theory of Copyright’s First Amendment Exemption — Lawrence Slolum highlights law prof Tun-Jen Chiang’s recent article Rehabilitating the Property Theory of Copyright’s First Amendment Exemption. Highly recommended for anyone interested in copyright and free speech issues. “A continuing controversy in copyright law is the exemption of copyright from First Amendment scrutiny. The Supreme Court has justified the exemption, based on the history and the intentions of the Framers, but this explanation is unpersuasive on the historical facts. There is an alternative explanation: copyright is property, and private property is generally exempt from scrutiny under standard First Amendment doctrine.”
White House must strengthen foundation of US innovation — Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn shares some thoughts on copyright. “America has always been a society that rewards good ideas and protects property rights in a free-market capitalist system, not one premised on permission-less innovation where others can free-ride or take someone’s creation without even asking.”
The Power of Repeated Listening — Jeremy Schlosberg discusses how appreciation of good albums grows over repeated listens and how there’s a danger of forgetting this as we become increasingly surrounded by ever more and newer stuff to catch our attention. Great stuff.
Nimmer on Copyright: Celebrating 50 Years — Video from the U.S. Copyright Office event last May, held as part of its Copyright Matters series. David Nimmer discusses the influential treatise, started by his father, the late Melville Nimmer, half a century ago. Nimmer is joined by other copyright luminaries who share insights on the impact of Nimmer on Copyright.
A Guide to Music Performance Royalties, Part 1 — News about disputes over royalties between Pandora and musicians is often accompanied by misunderstandings about the different rights and royalties at play. Chris Castle offers a helpful primer on these topics. Also check out the Trichordist’s take, The Digital Royalty Fight: A Primer for Business Journalists. Part 1.
Copyright and the Creative Process — David Newhoff: “While planning the production of goneElvis, I wanted to use my friend Martin Ruby’s cover of ‘Tonight’s the Night,’ famously recorded by The Shirelles, but I was turned down by the publishers when I requested the license for which I could not of course pay. It seems the tendency these days is to view this kind of obstacle as unfair or muting the creative process of the next generation; but this attitude is a mistake, and I’d venture that almost any serious artist will agree. Because I couldn’t have what I thought I wanted in the first place, I ended up with something much better simply because I was forced to go look for it.”