Feds Jump Into High Court’s Apparel Copyright Case — Give me an ‘S’! Give me a ‘G’! This week, the US Solicitor General filed an amicus brief in Star Athletica v Varsity Brands, where the Supreme Court is being asked to draw the line between the functional and the aesthetic in a copyright case involving cheerleader uniform designs. The SG, joined by attorneys from the Copyright Office, argues, “Nothing in the Copyright Act, which incorporates pre-existing regulatory language that authorized the registration of many designs of useful articles, supports a presumption against the copyrightability of a work that can be characterized as such a design.” The full brief can be found here.
The Paradox of Musical Description — From the Futility Closet: “Unlike the visual or literary arts, music seems to be impossible to describe in words — we’re forced to choose between the senselessly subjective and the incomprehensibly technical.” Perhaps this helps explain why the infringement analysis for musical works can seem so mystifying at times.
T Bone Burnett: Treading on Hallowed Ground – Google, the Ryman, and The Future of Nashville Music — T Bone Burnett writes, “And even when YouTube licenses music, it pays grotesquely below market royalty rates, tossing us scraps and pocket change on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis right out of the Sopranos. Don’t want to license your work at YouTube’s cut-rate rates? That’s fine, but unlicensed copies remain plastered all over the service anyhow. How does Google get away with this?”
Why innovators like Max Martin can benefit from the EU copyright directive — Helienne Lindvall reminds readers that, “songwriters innovate every day of the week. It’s not just us musicians that know this – just last week the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in the UK awarded the Innovation Award to, arguably, the most successful songwriter of the past 20 years: Auddly’s very own Max Martin.”