Small step for copyright, giant step for creators — The CASE Act — Under US law, copyright cases must be brought in federal courts, which, unlike many state courts, do not have a cost-effective mechanism for plaintiffs with small claims. The CASE Act addresses that issue by establishing a small claims board within the Copyright Office, giving those individual creators who cannot afford federal litigation a way to seek remedies when their rights have been infringed.
The Music Modernization Act will provide a needed update to copyright laws — Rep. Doug Collins writes, “This December, countless hours of collaboration and cooperation came to fruition in a compromise that would be the most substantial update to copyright law since 1998. Today, our jeans pockets are more likely to be lined with iPhones than lint balls, yet the laws that currently regulate how tech giants like Spotify pay songwriters were cemented before the concept of digital streaming was born. The Music Modernization Act (MMA) would literally usher copyright laws into the 21st century.”
Not So Blurred Lines — Professor (and rocker) Sean O’Connor delves into some of the underappreciated dimensions of the litigation brought by the estate of Marvin Gaye against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over claims that their song “Blurred Lines” infringed on Gaye’s 1977 classic “Got to Give it Up.” A jury returned a verdict in 2015 in favor of Gaye in the closely watched case, now currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
Wonder Women Series – Ruth Vitale — A wonderful interview with Ruth Vitale, a career film producer who now heads up the creator advocacy coalition CreativeFuture.
Photographer tries novel legal strategy to get UH to pay up — “When local photographer Jim Olive threatened to sue the University to Houston to force it to pay his price for a photo posted on a UH website, the school told him to get lost. As a state institution, the university said, it has sovereign immunity, which protects it from copyright and most other lawsuits.”