“Music confounds the machine” — The transcript of T Bone Burnett’s keynote address at the AmericanaFest is a must read. A sample: “Technology does only one thing- it tends toward efficiency. It has no aesthetics. It has no ethics. It’s code is binary. But everything interesting in life- everything that makes life worth living- happens between the binary. Mercy is not binary. Love is not binary. Music and art are not binary. You and I are not binary. Parenthetically, we have to remember that all this technology we use has been developed by the war machine: Turing was breaking codes for the spies, Oppenheimer was theorising and realising weapons. Many of the tools we use in the studio for recording—microphones and limiters and equalizers and all that—were developed for the military. It is our privilege to beat those swords into plowshares.”
Green v DOJ Memorandum in support of Defendant’s motion to dismiss — Yesterday, the DOJ moved to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the EFF challenging Section 1201 of the Copyright Act under the First Amendment. The Section in part prohibits the circumvention of technological protection measures used to control access to copyrighted works, but as the DOJ points out in its memo here, “laws barring unauthorized circumvention of access controls do not regulate speech any more than laws barring unauthorized access to museums or libraries.”
Google swallows 11,000 novels to improve AI’s conversation — A Google spokesperson claims the use of the novels is fair use, “But [Authors Guild Executive Director Mary] Rasenberger isn’t convinced. ‘The research in question uses these novels for the exact purpose intended by their authors – to be read,’ she argues. ‘It shouldn’t matter whether it’s a machine or a human doing the copying and reading, especially when behind the machine stands a multi-billion dollar corporation which has time and again bent over backwards devising ways to monetise creative content without compensating the creators of that content.'”
Professors Mislead FCC on Basic Copyright Law — In a letter to the FCC regarding its set-top box proposal, a group of IP professors made the claim that a copyright owner’s right to distribute her work does not apply to electronic transmissions of works. But as Devlin Hartline explains here, “every single court that has ever considered this argument on the merits has rejected it.” Yesterday, FCC Commissioners decided at the last minute to postpone the set-top box proposal vote, which was subject to broad criticism by the creative community, among others.
Third Circuit Upholds Jury’s Award of $1.6 Million in Actual Damages for Infringement of Rare Photographs — In a July decision, the Third Circuit affirmed the lower court’s use of “multipliers” in calculating the actual damages to be awarded in an infringement lawsuit. The judge “applied a multiplier of three to five times the benchmark to account for the ‘scarcity’ or ‘rarity'” of the infringed photos “and a multiplier of 3.75 to 8.75 to account for the ‘exclusivity’ of [the] images during the infringement period.”