Goodlatte, Conyers, Grassley, Feinstein, Leahy Call for Quick Action on Legislation to Provide Selection Process for Register of Copyrights — An issue with bipartisan, bicameral support? Yes, please. Late Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers, along with 29 cosponsors, introduced a bill that would change the appointment process for the Register of Copyrights, a position that has not had anyone permanently in the role since last October. The bill is the first step in broader efforts beginning four years ago to modernize the US Copyright Office.
What the Supreme Court’s First Ruling on Fashion Copyrights Means for the Runway — It’s not often I get to link to a story on Vogue. The fashion magazine speculates on the impact of Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision in Star Athletica v Varsity Brands, which laid out a new test for conceptual separability.
Understanding ownership and property in the Digital Age — ICLE’s Geoffrey Manne and Neil Turkewitz explain why a “buy” button for digital files doesn’t deceive consumers, despite the fact that most often digital files are licensed rather than sold. “Quite simply, we are accustomed to buying licenses as well as products. Whenever we buy a ticket — e.g., an airline ticket or a ticket to the movies — we are buying the right to use something or gain some temporary privilege. These transactions are governed by the terms of the license. But we certainly buy tickets, no?”
Fox Television Stations v Aereokiller: Ninth Circuit Holds FilmOn X Not a “Cable System” Entitled to Compulsory License; Implicates Federal Agency Deference Doctrines — The 9th Circuit this week issued its opinion in the FilmOn case, holding that services which retransmit video over the internet are not eligible for copyright’s §111 cable compulsory license. Scott Sholder of law firm CDAS takes a look at the decision.
Google ‘promotes copyright piracy’: Getty Images — The Australian reports, “Getty Images has launched a blistering attack on Google’s attempts to water down Australian copyright laws, accusing the company of ‘adversely affecting’ its business and ‘promoting piracy’. The government is seeking to extend the copyright safe harbour provision to online intermediaries such as Google and Facebook, giving them immunity for infringing user-uploaded content on their platforms. A majority of local major rights holders in the entertainment and sports worlds have joined forces to oppose the proposal.”