Why Music Makers Are the Real American Innovators — Musician Blake Morgan pens this stirring call to arms. “We know all about American innovation. Rock & Roll is an American innovation. Hip-Hop is an American innovation. Jazz is an American innovation. Blues, Country, Gospel, Bluegrass, each of these — and so many others — are distinct American innovations. Music is one of the things America still makes that the world still wants. The people who make that music should be paid fairly for their work.”

Why we fear Google — In this open letter to Eric Schmidt, Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE, explains why Google’s global monopoly on user data and behavior is so chilling.

Major piracy group warns games may be crack-proof in two years — Reports from a number of groups who devote their time to circumventing copying restrictions on newly released games show that the task is getting more and more difficult. This underscores the importance of anti-circumvention laws to the software industry.

Richard Russo on Authors Guild v. Google — On December 31, the Authors Guild filed a petition to the Supreme Court, asking it to review the Second Circuit’s decision involving the Google Books Project. Here, author Richard Russo shares his thoughts. “It’s completely disingenuous for [Google] to argue that their behavior is selfless when it leads directly to an improved bottom line and increases their value as a corporation. When libraries loan books, the democracy benefits, not the library. Google may be larger than many public institutions and wealthier than some nations, but that doesn’t mean they are acting in the public interest simply because they claim to be and can demonstrate some benefit to the public sector.”

Industry efforts to fight digital piracy complement government action — “While these voluntary efforts have been largely successful, more can be done. For example, the private sector still needs a stronger framework for payment processors to cut off pirate sites from their payment networks. And Internet domain name registrars, together with content creators and others, should come together to develop better methods for enforcing terms of service that prohibit criminal groups from using websites that promote the theft of digital content. Finally, the private sector should continue to improve industry efforts to demote search results that involve piracy.”

Why Canada has nothing to fear over TPP and Intellectual Property — Canadian attorney Barry Sookman responds to critics of the intellectual property provisions in the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership. The twelve nations making up the TPP hope to sign the deal in early February.

What can we expect for US copyright policy in 2016?

As I did last year, I’d like to take a brief look at what developments we may see in the copyright policy arena over the next twelve months.

House Judiciary Committee copyright review

Last year the House Judiciary Committee brought the first phase of its copyright review process to a close. Over the course of two years, the Committee had held a series of twenty hearings, featuring 100 witnesses, covering a broad array of topics. Chairman Goodlatte announced the next step would consist of meeting one on one with stakeholders to discuss their priorities and positions regarding copyright law. The Committee also traveled to Nashville, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles as part of a “listening tour” to hear from different parties.

The ultimate outcome of the review process is still undetermined. A number of bills have been introduced addressing issues such as music licensing (the Fair Play Fair Pay Act and Songwriter Equity Act), resale royalties (American Royalties Too Act), and embedded software (You Own Devices Act). None of these bills have advanced since being introduced.

US Patent and Trademark Office

This year will likely see the release of an Internet Policy Task Force’s (IPTF) White Paper on copyright policy in the digital era. In 2013, the IPTF—a Department of Commerce task force composed of Commerce bureaus including the USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration—released a Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy that examined the current legal framework related to copyright and the internet. According to remarks by PTO Director Michelle Lee, the forthcoming White Paper will contain policy recommendations on three issues: “The appropriate calibration of statutory damages; [t]he application of the First Sale doctrine to digital transmissions; and the legal status of remixes.”

Copyright Office

The Copyright Office looks like it will be keeping busy this year. At the end of 2015, the Copyright Office dropped not one but three requests for public comment on studies it is initiating. The most recent of these will look at the impact and effectiveness of the safe harbor provisions contained in Section 512 (the DMCA safe harbors). As Register Pallante observed in her testimony at the final copyright review hearing in April, “In the nearly twenty years since Congress enacted the DMCA, courts have stepped in to fill perceived gaps in the statutory framework, often interpreting provisions in ways that some believe run counter to the very balance that the DMCA sought to achieve. … The current online environment is vastly changed from the bulletin-board era in which Congress enacted the DMCA in 1998.”

The other two studies are closely related, looking at software-enabled consumer products and Section 1201 of the Copyright Act (which prohibits the circumvention of technological protection measures). As more and more everyday consumer devices—everything from toasters to tractors—include copyrighted software, a host of issues regarding the “impact of existing copyright law on innovation and consumer uses” are emerging. The Office is engaging in a separate Section 1201 study to examine more closely the anti-circumvention provisions and triennial rulemaking process for exemptions to those provisions.

The Office is collecting public input in all three studies throughout the first several months of 2016. It has stated plans for public meetings for each of these studies following the comment period, so we may see one or more of those later in the year. The software-enabled consumer products study was initiated as a result of a request from Senators Grassley and Leahy who asked that it be completed by December 15, 2016.

Still outstanding are reports on mass digitization, visual works, and making available; perhaps we’ll see one or more of these issued in 2016.

Copyright Office modernization

The operation of the Copyright Office itself promises to remain an active area of development in 2016. The department’s resources and functions—most notably its IT and technology—have been the focus of increasing attention. In the past year and a half, the Office’s operations have been discussed at an oversight hearing, a copyright review hearing, and a House Admin hearing. Last year, the issue was also explored in House and Senate appropriations hearings along with a GAO report. The Office itself most recently underscored the need for modernization in its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.

In December, Representatives Marino, Chu, and Comstock introduced legislation (the Copyright Office for the Digital Economy, or CODE, Act) that would address the significant structural challenges facing the Office by providing it with more autonomy over its budget and technology. It is likely we will see additional Copyright Office modernization developments over the next twelve months.

Library of Congress

Given that the US Copyright Office is a department within the Library of Congress and acts under its direction and supervision, who the next head of the Library will be may have copyright policy implications.

The most recent Librarian, Dr. James Billington, announced on June 10 he would retire at the end of the year. He subsequently stepped down three months early, on September 30, and deputy Librarian David Mao has been serving as Acting Librarian since then. Although names of some potential candidates have floated in the press, no one has been nominated yet.

The Administration would presumably want to have a Librarian nominated and confirmed before the end of the President’s term next January, so it’s reasonable to expect a new Librarian some time in 2016, but time is running short.

Trans-Pacific Partnership

In October, trade ministers from the twelve Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) nations announced the conclusion of negotiations, paving the way for the major trade agreement to go into effect. The US Trade Representative released the full text of the agreement in November, which covers a broad array of issues, including standards for intellectual property protections like copyright.

Conclusion of the agreement triggers a process ultimately leading to adoption. Over 2016, we will see an International Trade Commission analysis of the economic impact of the TPP, as well as any draft legislation required for implementation (the TPP’s copyright provisions should not require any legislative changes since they are consistent with US law). Though the agreement is a top priority for the Administration, it remains to be seen, whether the agreement will make it in front of Congress before the end of the year.

In closing, I’d note that the question of what we can expect in 2016 cannot help but be shaped by the November Presidential election. Though copyright has not historically been an election (or even partisan) issue, the focus on the contest will no doubt shape what policymakers do (or don’t do) in the copyright space. One immediate consequence of the election is an abbreviated Congressional calendar; the House will be in session just 111 days this year, the least amount of workdays since 2006.

In October, Judge Leval wrote the majority opinion affirming a finding of fair use in Authors Guild v. Google, based largely on his conception of fair use as hinging on transformation, a conception he himself first laid out over twenty years ago in Toward a Fair Use Standard. The Supreme Court’s adoption of that conception in 1992—it cited to Leval’s article over a dozen times in its Campbell v. Acuff-Rose opinion—is affirmation enough, but the quickness of courts to turn to the theory today in order to adjudicate cutting edge copyright issues definitely validates it.

Judge Leval is clear about the foundational principles that have animated his thinking. “The copyright is not an inevitable, divine, or natural right that confers on authors the absolute ownership of their creations,” he wrote in his 1992 piece. “It is designed rather to stimulate activity and progress in the arts for the intellectual enrichment of the public. This utilitarian goal is achieved by permitting authors to reap the rewards of their creative efforts.”

Leval’s view of copyright is not new. In 1841, Thomas Babington Macaulay addressed the British House of Commons, saying,

The principle of copyright is this. It is a tax on readers for the purpose of giving a bounty to writers. The tax is an exceedingly bad one; it is a tax on one of the most innocent and most salutary of human pleasures; and never let us forget, that a tax on innocent pleasures is a premium on vicious pleasures. I admit, however, the necessity of giving a bounty to genius and learning. In order to give such a bounty, I willingly submit even to this severe and burdensome tax. Nay, I am ready to increase the tax, if it can be shown that by so doing I should proportionally increase the bounty.

This utilitarian justification of copyright seems to predominate, at the very least, academic scholarship on the topic these days. We are indeed told by some that the Constitution itself dictates that our copyright law rests solely on utilitarian grounds. 1See, e.g., Tom Bell, Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good, pg 60 (Mercatus Center, 2014); Association of Research Libraries, “Copyright Timeline: A History of Copyright in the United States“; William Patry, “The Natural Rights Issue“, Patry Copyright Blog, Jan. 18, 2008.

But not everyone agrees with this view. In Constitutional Foundations of Intellectual Property: A Natural Rights Perspective (Carolina Academic Press), Randolph May and Seth Cooper argue that the drafters of the Constitution understood copyright as grounded in natural rights. 2Disclaimer: I received a courtesy copy of the book from Carolina Academic Press. They and early American jurists and legislators sought to protect the just claims that creators and innovators had in the products of their labor.

The book grew out of a series of essays May and Cooper wrote through the Free State Foundation. In it, May and Cooper argue that the Founders viewed copyright (and patent) as grounded in natural rights, and this is reflected in the Constitution. The argument proceeds from first principles that May and Cooper assert in the introduction. The first of these is that “every person has a natural right to the fruits of his or her own labor”—including the product of a person’s creative activity. The second is that the protection of “every person’s right to the fruits of his or her own labors through laws protecting private property” is one of the primary purposes of government. They acknowledge at the outset that a natural rights foundation for intellectual property does not necessarily mean such rights in civil society last indefinitely—”property law systems must be considered in the contexts of social institutions adjusted to various circumstances, including historical precedents, technological developments, plausibility of enforceability, and costs relative to benefits.” This is an important point almost universally overlooked by opponents of a natural rights view of copyright and intellectual property.

May and Cooper also argue that these principles are reflected in the US Constitution, including the Constitution’s Copyright Clause, which authorizes Congress to enact intellectual property legislation. They draw from the intellectual influences on the Founding Fathers—most notably John Locke and William Blackstone—along with contemporary writings of the Constitutional Framers. Chief among these are the Federalist Papers. Though the authors devote most of their attention to examining Federalist 43, where Madison describes the Copyright Clause specifically, they look at the entire set of essays to sketch a more comprehensive framework of Constitutional thought and show how intellectual property fits into that.

Pursuant to the Constitution’s Copyright Clause, the First Congress passed the 1790 Copyright Act. May and Cooper emphasize the importance of this legislation—noting that this Congress is sometimes called the “Constitutional Congress”, they write that “the proceedings of the First Congress inform our understanding of the underlying logic and significance of intellectual property (IP) rights in the American constitutional order.”

The book turns next to addressing common critiques of the natural rights view of copyright. In one chapter, they take a closer look at Thomas Jefferson’s views on intellectual property. In particular, a few scattered, brief mentions of skepticism toward IP expressed by Jefferson in private letters are often held up by critics as much more than they are, creating a “Jeffersonian mythology” in the IP world. May and Cooper respond that Jefferson’s influence on the actual Constitution, including the Copyright Clause, was peripheral at best—he was in Paris during the 1787 Philadelphia Convention. In addition, relying solely on those sentiments he expressed exaggerates his opposition to intellectual property rights in general. Jefferson, they observe, never publicly attacked patents or copyrights during his Presidency. Indeed, as president, he signed the 1802 Copyright Act, which expanded the scope of protection.

In another, they demonstrate that “intellectual property is readily conformable to the key components of the rule of law and American constitutionalism, such as according due process and equal protection and protecting vested rights.”

The book is rounded out by taking a look beyond the Founding period. May and Cooper examine Antebellum jurisprudence, which, they state, reaffirms the foundations of intellectual property rights they’ve describe above. They find these principles reflected in legal treatises such as Joseph Story’s 1830 Commentaries on the Constitution, and Chancellor James Kent’s Commentaries on American Law. 3They could have added George Ticknor Curtis’s 1847 landmark Treatise on the Law of Copyright, which explicitly embraced a natural rights approach to literary property. They look at cases like Wheaton v. Peters, which, though it rejected the existence of a federal common law copyright, still relied on the justices shared recognition “that copyright is a property right rooted in a person’s right to the fruits of his or her labor.” And finally, they see these principles embraced in a number of legislative revisions to copyright law during the time between the War of 1812 and the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln is brought in to conclude the book. May and Cooper observe that the Founders’ understanding of natural rights and Constitutional thought was embraced by Lincoln during the Civil War and Reconstruction era. They find resonance between the natural rights logic of intellectual property and the logic of “free labor” that underpinned antislavery arguments. Lincoln advocated for both—indeed, he himself was awarded a patent before becoming President of the US.

The natural rights approach that May and Cooper take has not disappeared entirely from copyright discourse these days. One hears hints of it in court opinions and policy statements, and a few intrepid academics write from such a perspective, including, for example, Adam Mossoff and Mark Schultz, who are mentioned in the book’s acknowledgements. But May and Cooper have written a thorough recitation of how copyright is justified under a natural rights theory and how that justification is reflected in US law—and a project of such a scope is increasingly rare.

Much of the history traced through the book will be familiar to US copyright scholars, though I found the discussion of the Antebellum and Reconstruction eras to cover new ground. If I had to identify a drawback, it may be that the book suffers from a bit of repetition. As noted above, it grew out of a series of previously written essays and could have benefitted from a bit more structural cohesion and a bit less redundancy. Nevertheless, May and Cooper have contributed an excellent primer on the natural rights justification for intellectual property rights in the US and its reflection in the Constitution and early American jurisprudence.

References   [ + ]

1. See, e.g., Tom Bell, Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good, pg 60 (Mercatus Center, 2014); Association of Research Libraries, “Copyright Timeline: A History of Copyright in the United States“; William Patry, “The Natural Rights Issue“, Patry Copyright Blog, Jan. 18, 2008.
2. Disclaimer: I received a courtesy copy of the book from Carolina Academic Press.
3. They could have added George Ticknor Curtis’s 1847 landmark Treatise on the Law of Copyright, which explicitly embraced a natural rights approach to literary property.

TPP, copyright, e-commerce and digital policy: a reply to Michael Geist — Barry Sookman: “Geist likes to use the emotionally super-charged metaphor of content being “locked up” or “locked down” because of copyright to garner maximum visceral reaction for his claim. It sounds from listening to him like all works that were scheduled to fall into the public domain will immediately be made inaccessible by being pulled from stores and libraries and be buried as radioactive waste at the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, or some similar facility.”

Goodbye “Incentive.” We Hardly Knew Ye. — John Degen: “Copyright protected works can be remarkably valuable. That value is a form of property, and we extend copyright terms past the death of the author in order to allow the author to leave said value to her heirs. If incentive comes into play at all in extended copyright terms, the incentive acts upon the living author to create yet more valuable property that can then be protected in her estate.”

Photographer Profile – Yunghi Kim: “I wanted to protect myself. And I wanted to empower other photographers” — “Kim’s holiday gift to photography underscores her commitment to the profession, but, moreover, her belief that there is a place in photography’s future for traditional notions of professionalism — for both intellectual property rights and creative ownership that places inherent value on work. ‘We’re not so helpless when it comes to all this,’ Kim says. ‘That’s the whole message behind the grants.'”

Music Publisher Gets $25 Million Jury Verdict Against Cox in Trailblazing Piracy Case — Following last month’s ruling that the ISP’s failure to reasonably implement a repeat-infringer policy, a jury found Cox liable for contributory infringement, awarding damages for willful infringement of nearly 1400 songs by its users.

Copyright Office Lays Out Technology Upgrade Plan, Pushes for Tech and Data Workers — “Pallante said the office would like to eventually ‘morph’ about a third of its employees (about 150 workers), into tech and data experts. ‘These experts should not merely be assigned or on-call from another part of the agency, but rather be integrated into the copyright office mission where they can work side by side with legal and business experts,’ Pallante said.”

Protecting artists from streaming piracy benefits creativity and technology — Although a viewer’s experience is essentially the same whether they download or stream a copyrighted work from a site, the potential criminal penalties for an infringing service vary widely based on this distinction. Here, CPIP’s Devlin Hartline and Matt Barblan argue that the distinction no longer makes sense, and Congress should harmonize copyright’s criminal penalties to better address wide-scale, online commercial infringement.

Streaming Now Consumes 70 Percent of Internet Bandwidth — Underscoring the above point, a new study shows that streaming has overtaken downloading—and, indeed, all other uses—in terms of consumption of internet bandwidth. Paul Resnikoff also observes that Netflix alone has grabbed an impressive 37.1% of bandwidth in North America using a paid-only model, which”raises some serious questions about Spotify’s ‘freemium’ approach.”

U.S. Copyright Office Deserves 21st Century Upgrade — “The Copyright Office’s administration of the law helps to support an industry that adds over $1 trillion to the U.S. economy every year. But it is currently subservient to the Library’s discretion, not just on IT, but budget, human resources, and every essential aspect of its operation. The result is that the systems of the Copyright Office are woefully outdated; stakeholders and policymakers unanimously agree that the Copyright Office must modernize. Congress has a perfect opportunity to give the Copyright Office the autonomy it needs to modernize according to its vision and the demands of its customers to better serve the American people and industry. That opportunity should not be missed.”

Facebook Stole My Work and All I Got Was This Hangover — A new cohort of creators have found success taking advantage of the opportunities provided by internet native platforms like YouTube to reach new audiences. But, unfortunately, they have not been immune to the harm of piracy that established media like film and television have long faced. Here, Ruth Vitale discusses the emerging problem of “freebooting”, where videos are ripped from one site, like YouTube, and reposted on another site, like Facebook, without permission or credit.

Downloading free stuff online comes with a cost – Malware — Ellen Seidler reports on a new study by Digital Citizens Alliance which shows that infringing sites pose an increased risk to consumers of being exposed to malware. As the study points out, many sites, in fact, make money primarily through the distribution of all forms of malware and use stolen content merely as bait to lure unwitting users to the site.

Finn on Deontological Justifications of Intellectual Property — Very broadly speaking, IP is justified on two grounds: effects-based, or consequentialist grounds, and rights-based, or deontological grounds. A recent Mark Lemley article attempted to argue that deontological justifications are illegitimate. Here, Finn responds that Lemley’s arguments are based on logical fallacies.

CPIP Publishes White Paper on Copyright Principles and Priorities to Foster a Creative Digital Marketplace — The Center for Protection of Intellectual Property’s white paper lays out principles that Congress should consider as it continues its review of copyright law as well as a number of priorities it should focus on. The paper is available here (PDF).

YouTube wants to compete with Netflix, seeks movie and TV show deals — But not user-generated content.

This Photographer is Paying it Forward with $10,000 from Copyright Infringers — “Yunghi Kim, a decorated photojournalist and 20 year member of Contact Press Images, is bringing more than turkey to Thanksgiving this year: she’s donating $10,000 to create ten one-time grants of $1,000 with money that she has received ‘from fees recovered from unauthorized use of my work.'”

Op-ed: John Degen on copyright and the authorship of Anne Frank — Degen responds to “what really should be a non-story”: a recent attempt by the Swiss foundation that holds the copyright in The Diary of Anne Frank to extend the duration of protection in the work, which caused a good deal of consternation among copyright skeptics. Degen explains why this is not a “terrible injustice.”

How YouTube Pays Artists by East Bay Ray — The Dead Kennedys co-founder writes, “YouTube is taking almost twice the “old evil” music companies’ cut, for basically doing no more than hosting on a server…  And if you leave it, the businessmen at Google still make big money because they do not have to get your consent to ‘monetize’ anyone’s files. Or photos. Or life. Yes anyone, including you. There’s a loophole in the law. That can be corrected.”

The Return of “In-Camera” Effects in Krampus & The Force Awakens — While not necessarily inferior to CGI effects, some filmmakers and fans do hold a particular reverence for practical effects. The Credits highlights two upcoming films that make heavy use of such effects.

Google’s DMCA Publicity Stunt — “A ‘game changer?’ Not even close. This new program really changes nothing since you can count on one hand the people who might benefit from it. The new policy is really nothing more than a publicity stunt, designed to encourage more people to upload to YouTube videos of dubious legality, while at the same time acting as an intimidation tactic to discourage the filing of valid takedown notices. Google takes this action for one reason only: to protect its bottom line.”

Industry-Wide Survey Reveals 67% of Professional Photographers Are Affected by Unauthorized Use of Photos — “According to a recent industry survey by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) on the prevalence and impact of copyright infringement among professional photographers, 67% of the nearly 2,000 respondents said they have had photographs used without their permission. Of that group, more than half estimate unauthorized uses of their images totaled five or more in the past five years.”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2‘s Production Designer on Creating the Capitol — A look at the efforts that went into translating the scenes from the book into physical sets for the final installment of the Hunger Games series.

Google’s continued do-si-do around its piracy pledge — Ellen Seidler: “Google pretends to be working on its piracy problem, but when you drill down it’s clear that the tech giant is doing everything it can to avoid taking action or responsibility. I hope those House members who sat and listened to Mr. von Lohmann will not take him at his word, but instead, examine actual facts. Google still has a very long way to go when it comes to fighting piracy.”

YouTube to Pay Fees for Some Video Makers to Fight Takedowns — The most powerful company on the planet says it may offer help to as many as four of its users.

‘All You Need to Know About the Music Business’ Author Donald Passman on ‘Freemium’, New Realities — Highlights from the latest edition of the guidebook to the music industry, with thoughts on the vinyl boom, consent decrees, and freemium.

Previously on Copyhype — On Wednesday, both parties in Fox News v. TVEyes told the court they intended to appeal the case to the Second Circuit. Fox News is appealing the court’s September 9, 2014 order, which I wrote about in Fox News v TVEyes: Fair Use Transformed.

Judge Restricts Sharing of Fox News Clips Through Email and Social Media — Following an extraordinarily broad fair use decision last year and a second, narrower fair use decision last summer, Judge Hellerstein this week ordered a somewhat surprisingly broad permanent injunction against news clipping service TVEyes, which had been sued by Fox News for copyright infringement. The injunction prohibits: “Enabling users to download to their own computers video clips of content telecast on the Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network. Enabling users to view FNC or FBN content by searching by date, time and channel. Enabling users from sharing video clips of FNC or FBN content on social media websites rather than by personally directed emails, with further limitations.”

FilmOn Can’t Use Compulsory Copyright License, Judge Says — The Aereo clone won a victory in a California court last July when a judge ruled that it could qualify for a cable compulsory license under the Copyright Act. But this week, in parallel litigation, a DC court judge ruled the opposite. The sealed ruling sets up a potential circuit split on the interpretation of 17 USC § 111.

Music piracy, copyrights and royalties in Ivory Coast — Music Africa reports: “Piracy does not only stifle distribution houses and producers. The entire chain of the music industry is affected. Recording studios no longer generate income, since there are very few albums produced. Musicians are given no contracts to sign. Graphic designers who make the covers of CDs and especially the Ivorian Office for Copyright (BURIDA) are all experiencing the downfall. Since 2006, for example, according to BURIDA figures, the number of musical registrations fell from 870 000 to 320 000.”

Google-chaired think tank says Google’s No.1 for digital rights — Orlowski: “Just fancy that! A Washington think tank chaired by Eric Schmidt, Alphabet Inc’s executive chairman, has given Alphabet Inc. an award for ‘protecting your digital rights’.”

YouTube is a hosting provider, but one with extensive duties of care, say two German Courts — The German word for “take down, stay down” is “Stoererhaftung”. “Stoererhaftung requires that YouTube has breached its duty of care after having been notified of an infringement. This duty of care (arising with notification) does not only include a mere takedown of the infringement notified, but also a stay down and the prevention of other infringements of the same kind which are also obvious. This concept applies to YouTube according to the Hamburg court.”

The Peanuts Movie‘s Animation Supervisor on Getting the Gangs into 3 Dimensions — I admit to being a bit skeptical after seeing trailers for the new Peanuts Movie, but this sounds very interesting. “We obviously started out just by studying Schulz’s wobbly pen line, his cartoon line, and the four panel strip. We definitely looked at the Christmas and Halloween specials as the Hallmark classics of the Peanuts. We studied the movies as well. We had access to every single comic, movie, special, even the commercials that they did way back before they did the specials. We studied Bill Melendez [Schulz’s trusted animator on the televised specials] and Bill Littlejohn [the lead animator with Melendez].”

Using intellectual property system to harness African creativity — “Also included are the copyright systems that reward writers, artists, musicians and other creators and allow them to market their work around the world. IP helps ensure that the product of your mind belongs to you, so that you and your family will benefit. But governments need to put in place legal, regulatory and other frameworks to maximise human creativity and assure it can be shared across boundaries.”

Will Buckley works to unite artists and fix a broken DMCA — Ellen Seidler sits down with Fareplay founder Will Buckley about his efforts advocating on behalf of artists and creators. “Artists groups: authors, filmmakers, musicians, photographers and other creators will really need to step up their game in terms of individual participation to prevail. And while there are far more creators speaking out than ever before, in the scheme of things, it is far fewer than one percent. If that doesn’t change the creative community may come away empty handed from the proceedings.”

Previously on Copyhype —This week, the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes a chapter on intellectual property, was publicly released. For background on how copyright came to be included in trade agreements, see Copyright and Trade.

Copyright for Blockheads: An Empirical Study of Market Incentive and Intrinsic Motivation — Jiarui Liu:

Even though musicians seem to primarily create music for music’s sake, copyright law could still supply powerful incentives for music production in a way that not only caters to market demand, but also allows for broader artistic freedom. Copyright piracy that does not necessarily affect musicians’ intrinsic motivations could nevertheless affect music creation in terms of the time spent on music creation, the volume of investment in music creation and, ultimately, the quality of music creation. Most importantly, copyright incentives do not function as a reward that musicians consciously bargain for and chase after, but as a mechanism that preserves market conditions for gifted musicians to prosper, including a decent standard of living, sufficient income to cover production costs and maximum artistic autonomy during the creative process.

Wil Wheaton is right: Stop expecting artists to work for free — or worse, for “exposure” — After Huffington Post asked actor Wil Wheaton to republish an article he had written for free, Wheaton went public with the story and an exhortation to fellow writers, artists, and creators to value their work and think twice about offers to work for free, even when “free exposure” is promised. As Scott Timberg observes here, “when ‘free’ becomes the way creative work gets assessed, it undercuts the market for everyone, famous and obscure alike. We end up with a race to the bottom.”

Google Books and Fair Use: From Implausible to Inevitable? — Eminent copyright scholar Jane Ginsburg on the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Authors Guild v. Google. She asks, “How did the fair use doctrine go from a safety valve to enable second authors to create new works that productively incorporate reasonable portions of prior works, to a free (in both senses of the word) pass for mass commercial digitization – at least so long as the outputs from the commercial database communicate no expression or insufficient expression to infringe?”

New Tech Plans Aim to Take Copyright Office out of the 1970s — “According to the document, the office plans to revamp its website, Copyright.gov, by improving the site’s organization and boosting its interface to make it easier to use. This overhaul would also include enhancing the public records search engine to allow users to save their queries and receive unlimited results. The office is also looking to finish digitizing its pre-1978 copyright records, according to the document.”

Protecting Authors and Artists by Closing the Streaming Loophole — “Congress has a long history of modernizing copyright law to account for ever-changing technologies. Now that the internet has advanced to where streaming is a dominant method of illicitly disseminating copyrighted works, the time has come to close the streaming loophole and to harmonize the remedies for criminal copyright infringement.”