Feds Jump Into High Court’s Apparel Copyright Case â€” 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.â€ The full brief can be found here.
The Paradox of Musical Description â€” From the Futility Closet: “Unlike the visual or literary arts, music seems to be impossible to describe in words â€” weâ€™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 â€“ Google, the Ryman, and The Future of Nashville Music â€” 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. Donâ€™t want to license your work at YouTubeâ€™s cut-rate rates? Thatâ€™s fine, but unlicensed copies remain plastered all over the service anyhow.Â How does Google get away with this?”
Why innovators like Max Martin can benefit from the EU copyright directive â€” Helienne Lindvall reminds readers that, “songwriters innovate every day of the week. Itâ€™s not just us musicians that know this â€“ 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: Auddlyâ€™s very own Max Martin.”