Intellectual Property Professors Call on Congress to Modernize the Copyright Office

24 12 2016

As the Library of Congress ushers in a new era with a new Librarian, the time is ripe to ensure that the Copyright Office has the accountability and authority to best serve all of its stakeholders—most of all the American public. The nomination of Dr. Hayden as the next Librarian of Congress provides us with the opportunity to clarify the importance of the roles both the Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office play in creating, cataloging, and administering the systems that preserve and promote our nation’s culture, by ensuring that the two talented leaders have a close partnership and a direct working relationship, with appropriately defined authority and responsibility for their respective areas of expertise.

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‘Happy Birthday To You’ Now In the Public Domain

2 12 2015

IPWatchdog

October 28, 2015

Renee C. Quinn & Brian Focarnio

For as long as I can remember, whenever we celebrated a birthday, we inevitably would gather around the birthday boy or girl and sing “Happy Birthday To You.” But now that the copyright is in question, new evidence brought to light that the song belonged in the public domain. Happy Birthday may very well be the oldest – and most widely recognizable – orphan work of all time. In 2013, a documentary filmmaker challenged the copyright on the world’s most popular song, calling Warner/Chappell Music’s claim to copyright royalties bogus. The filmmakers’ claim was no small declaration. By 1996, Warner/Chappell, who since 1988 has purported to own the rights to the song, was collecting over $2 million per year in licensing fees. The basis of Warner/Chappell’s claim is a copyright registration from 1935, made by the Summy Company, Warner/Chappell’s predecessor in interest.

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Is it in the Public Domain? Review by Peter Hirtle

2 12 2015

Standford University Library

June 9, 2014

Mary Minow

[UPDATE from Peter Hirtle: That didn’t take long.  The authors of the handbook have responded to my specific issues below by updating and/or correcting the handbook.  A new version is available at http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/FINAL_PublicDomain_Handbook_FINAL(1).pdf.  A very good resource has become even better.]

Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center Advisory Board Member Peter Hirtle reviews Is it in the Public Domain?

Peter Hirtle, Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center Advisory Board

It is very difficult to determine whether works are in the public domain in the United States.  That is why I had to create my duration chart as an aidemémoire: any time I tried to remember the various options, I got them wrong.  It is also why I felt compelled to write an article highlighting some of the traps lurking within the seeming clear-cut categories.  And it is why Stephen Fishman needs 700+ pages in his legal treatise, Copyright and The Public Domain.

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Public Domain Handbook – Samuelson clinic

2 12 2015

Standford University Library

June 6, 2014

Mary Minow

The Samuelson clinic has put together what  looks like a useful, thorough new handbook to help you determine if a work is in the public domain. http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/Final_PublicDomain_Handbook.pdf

Most helpful is the complete FLOW CHART. We’ll put both the handbook and the flowchart in our CHARTS AND TOOLS section for your hand reference. http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/Final_PublicDomain_Flowcharts(6).pdf

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Strong IP protection provides inventors and creators the economic freedom to create

20 10 2015

Critics argue that intellectual property is bad for innovation in part because it allows for “monopolies” that prevent the public from using certain creations without permission for a period of time. As a preliminary matter, the use of the misleading scare-term “monopolies” to describe property rights in inventive and creative labor is clearly an attempt to skew the debate from the outset. After all, you wouldn’t call property rights in hard-copy creations, like the crops a farmer harvested, “monopolies” in those creations. Furthermore, if public access is the concern, a system that fails to provide inventors and creators the economic freedom to create things to market to the public in the first place will be far more harmful than a system that secures justly-earned property rights in inventors’ and artists’ productive labors.

The post Strong IP protection provides inventors and creators the economic freedom to create appeared first on IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law.

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