Why “Stairway to Heaven” Doesn’t Infringe “Taurus” Copyright: analysis & demo of “scenes a faire” motif common to both — Rockers Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are in court this week defending against a claim they copied from an existing song to create the classic Stairway to Heaven. Here, Professor Sean O’Connor provides a thorough analysis arguing there is no infringement, complete with video demonstrations.
IP Scholars to FCC: It’s not about “the Box” — “Put simply, the proposed rules would take away the ability of creators and copyright owners to license their works on their own terms. It would give third parties all of the benefits afforded to pay-TV providers by their agreements with copyright owners without the burdens of paying a license or agreeing to the underlying contract terms. This isn’t about “the box,” and it isn’t about what consumers do with the creative works they receive in their homes. The issue is what goes into “the box,” and more importantly, how it gets there.”
Why Photographers Need a Copyright Small Claims System — The Professional Photographers of America has been hard at work in recent weeks making the case for a copyright small claims process. As they note, “Recent surveys have found that 70% of professional photographers have dealt with copyright infringement, and most within the past 5 years. But the problem is that most infringements are valued at $3,000 or less, and 2/3 of intellectual property lawyers say they wouldn’t take a copyright case with a potential payout of less than $30,000.”
Opinion analysis: Court clarifies availability of fee awards in copyright cases — Yesterday, the Supreme Court released its decision in Kirtsaeng v John Wiley & Sons, which is an iteration of its 1994 Fogerty v Fantasy decision providing guidance on what courts should look at when determining whether to award attorney’s fees to prevailing parties in copyright cases. Here is SCOTUSBlog’s analysis of the opinion.
House Creative Rights Caucus: Protecting Intellectual Property Rights Protects American Jobs — Last week, the House Creative Rights Caucus, along with a number of creative associations, put on a panel discussion with individuals involved in making the Academy Award winning film Spotlight. The panel focused not only on the importance of being able to create important films like Spotlight, but also the importance of being able to engage in the type of investigative journalism that is the subject of the film.