Deadline: April 14th. Public invited to weigh in on orphan works – US Copyright Office

2 12 2015

Standford University Library

March 12, 2014

Mary Minow

 

ORPHAN WORKS is red hot again.  After a number of failed legislative attempts and a couple of high profile court cases, its back to the drawing board, albeit a better defined drawing board.  On the one hand, most everyone agrees that  for true orphans, it would be great for us all to be able to digitize, copy, adapt, distribute and otherwise use them. On the other hand, how do we know it’s a true orphan? What if there is an “orphan” owner?

The Copyright Office just held two days of public roundtables on Orphan Works (See twitter #orphanworks for some flavor of the sessions). The Copyright Office has now opened up the floodgates for public comment from those of us who were not in D.C.

 

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Not So Fast – “Happy Birthday To You” May Not Be in the Public Domain

24 09 2015

The World’s Most popular Song

You all know the tune, so why do you rarely hear the song Happy Birthday To You in movies and on television? The reason is that from 1988 until yesterday Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. had been demanding royalties on the lyrics to the song. 1988 was the year Warner/Chappell purchased purchased Birchtree Ltd., the purported owner of the copyright in the lyrics, for an estimated $25 million, placing an estimated value on the Happy Birthday To You portion of the purchase at a reported $5 million. Since that time, Warner/Chappell has been collecting a reported $2 million per year in royalties on the lyrics. That all ended on September 22, 2015, when a California U.S. District Judge George H. King ruled that Warner/Chappell was not the owner of the copyright in the lyrics to the world’s most popular song.

[ed: the discussion is about the various rights . . . noting that the rightful owner of the copyright on the lyrics is not identified, so the lyrics are “orphans.”]

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The content in this post was found at http://blawgit.com/2015/09/23/not-so-fast-happy-birthday-to-you-may-not-be-in-the-public-domain/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



The Problem of “International Orphan Works” (Guest Blog Post)

4 01 2013

By Guest Blogger Marketa Trimble

The U.S. Copyright Office recently extended the deadline by which the public may submit comments on issues related to orphan works until February 4, 2013. The Office is gathering suggestions for shaping future U.S. legislation and taking other actions to address the issues of works whose copyright has not expired, yet the owner of the copyright cannot be identified or located. However, legislating on orphan works at the national level cannot solve an important problem: the problem of establishing the status of an orphan work internationally. The solution to this problem is crucially important for anyone hoping to use orphan works on the internet – particularly entities that are among the most active lobbyists for orphan works legislation.

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Amazon: Google book deal possibly illegal, definitely bad

3 09 2009

This Friday is the deadline for documents to be filed with the court that’s overseeing the Google book settlement, which will absolve the search giant from liability for its book scanning activities and set up an independent entity that will oversee the distribution of e-books from its digital stacks. Amazon, given its sales of both print and e-books, has joined a group that opposes the deal, but that hasn’t stopped it from filing an objection to it individually. Amazon’s lawyers spend over 40 pages arguing why that the deal should be rejected on copyright and antitrust grounds, while throwing in a very explicit admission that it’s bad for its business model.

The proposed settlement arose form a series of lawsuits that accused Google of violating copyrights via its book-scanning agreements with various libraries. The settlement would absolve the company of further claims and set up an independent body, the Books Rights Registry, which would oversee payments for authors arising from Google’s use of the works; the Registry would also have the right to license the digital library to commercial or private entities.

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Fairey and Fair Use

13 02 2009

The AP photo and Fairey’s interpretation are compared side by side.

Shepherd Fairey, the designer of the Hope and Change iconography which helped Barack Obama become elected last November, is being taken to task for his use of a photo of Obama owned by Associated Press. This has brought issues of copyright, ownership and fair use to the forefront of our news media, and is significant in light of the fact that copyright laws may be changing and Creative Commons is so widespread.

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