Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Making a Federal Case Out of Peer-to-Peer Internetnews.com has this report on the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act, a piece of proposed legislation that would instruct the FBI to "develop a program to deter members of the public from committing acts of copyright infringement," and would require the DoJ to formulate programs to educate the public on the copyright laws.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Supreme Court OKs Requirement for Porn Filters in Libraries The AP has this report.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Court Rejects Bid by Original "Roe" to Revisit Roe v. Wade The AP is reporting that a federal district court has rejected the now anti-abortion Norma McCorvey's motion for relief from judgment. McCorvey sought to have the case reopened after 30 years to adduce evidence that abortion hurts women.
Sixth Circuit Rejects Likeness as Trademark The New York Times is reporting that the Supreme Court has rejected a claim by Tiger Woods' licensing agent that a painting of Woods' 1997 Masters victory violates the Lanham Act. Upholding the lower court's decision against Woods' claims, the Court held that "as a general rule, a person's image or likeness cannot function as a trademark."
Congress to Hold Hearing on Controversial Provision of DMCA Reuters is reporting that Sen. John McCain, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, has agreed to hold a hearing on a proposed bill that would require copyright owners to file a formal lawsuit before ISPs would be required to turn over subscriber information on accused copyright infringers. Currently, under the DMCA all that is required is a court clerk's signature.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Rowling to Fanfic Writers: Not So Fast The Washington Post is reporting on J.K. Rowling's efforts to reign in NC-17 themed fanfic, discussing the copyright implications of such work. And they quote Wendy!

Monday, June 16, 2003

Can You Say "Conflict of Interest"? Rep. Mary Bono, major proponent of the Sony Bono Copyright Term Extension Act and founder of the new Congressional caucus on piracy and copyright issues, has announced she would like to be chief executive of the RIAA.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

RIAA: 2, Verizon: 0 The AP is reporting that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has rejected Verizon's motion to delay turning over the names of four subscribers suspected of copyright infringement. Additional reporting by Reuters at Wired.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

If At First You Don't Succeed... Wired is reporting that the RIAA has filed yet another lawsuit against Streamcast Networks, the company which distributes the popular file swapping software Morpheus. In its complaint, the RIAA alleges that Streamcast, in preparation for a Web radio service that never launched, copied thousands of CDs into a digital database without the permission of the copyright owners.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Extend Copyright Protection Via Trademark Law The Washington Post has this report about the Supreme Court's recent decision in Dastar Corp. v. 20th Century Fox Film Corp.. At issue in the case was whether or not Dastar committed "reverse passing off" by modifying footage from a 20th Century Fox World War II documentary, which was then sold under a new title and with new production credits, with no attribution to the makers of the original series. Interpreting the meaning of "origin" in the Lanham Act's prohibition on false designation of origin, the Supreme Court in an 8-0 decision authored by Justice Scalia determined that "origin" does not refer to the source of the ideas or communications embodied in the work, but instead refers to the source of the physical product (in this case, the videotape). The Court held that a contrary interpretation would result in an irreconcilable conflict between the trademark and copyright laws. A copy of the opinion can be found here.