ENTRIES TAGGED "licensing"

The Kirtsaeng ruling: What’s your opinion?

This wasn't the outcome I was anticipating

Wow. I’m very surprised by the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Kirtsaeng vs. Wiley case. I figured it would go the other way. Here’s a nice summary of the majority opinion from the Supreme Court (you’ll find more detailed analysis here):

Putting section numbers to the side, we ask whether the “first sale” doctrine applies to protect a buyer or other lawful owner of a copy (of a copyrighted work) lawfully manufactured abroad. Can that buyer bring that copy into the United States (and sell it or give it away) without obtaining permission to do so from the copyright owner? Can, for example, someone who purchases, say at a used bookstore, a book printed abroad subsequently resell it without the copyright owner’s permission?

In our view, the answers to these questions are, yes. We hold that the “first sale” doctrine applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad.

Read more…

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The complex world of copyright, licensing, and piracy

The complex world of copyright, licensing, and piracy

Bill Rosenblatt untangles several thorny areas of IP distribution and ownership

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Our TOC theme this month is “legal” and I thought it would be interesting to have a conversation with Bill Rosenblatt covering a variety of topics in the legal realm. Bill is a recognized authority on intellectual property in the online world. He’s also an author of the Copyright and Technology blog as well as the founder of GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies.

Key points from the interview include:

  • Copyright vs. Creative Commons — As Bill says, “copyright law is a huge mess”, and Creative Commons (CC) is a viable alternative. CC has never fully embraced the commercial content community though. CC also doesn’t really make enforcement of IP ownership any easier.
  • Libraries and sales vs. licensing — I feel our industry is overcomplicating the library channel situation but Bill explains how digital content isn’t subject to copyright but rather to whatever licensing terms are being offered. Bill feels libraries are “screwed” unless there’s a change in the law. It doesn’t help that libraries aren’t accustomed to trying to operate like businesses.
  • First-sale doctrineReDigi is a great example of a company that’s pushing the envelope on sale vs. licensing of content. Bill feels it’s unlikely ReDigi will prevail in the current litigation to resell digital music. (See related TOC article here.)
  • Piracy — Bill points out that obscurity is indeed a bigger problem than piracy…until you become famous. He asserts that Lady Gaga doesn’t benefit from piracy but I’m not sure I agree. After all, maybe future paying Gaga fans start off pirating a song or two before they get hooked.

This post is part of the TOC podcast series. You can also subscribe to the free TOC podcast through iTunes.

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Mark Cuban: Copyright Law Gives Hulu Advantage Over YouTube

Mark Cuban says the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (PDF) gives Hulu a distinct advantage over YouTube: Hulu has one HUGE advantage over YouTube, it has the right to sell advertising in and around every single video on its site. It can package and sell any way that might make its customers happy. YouTube on the other hand, has that right…

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Ruling: First Sale Doctrine Applies to Promotional CDs

Universal Music Group (UMG) tried to prevent sales of promotional CDs labeled "Not for Resale," but a federal district court says the first sale doctrine extends to these promotional discs. From the Electronic Frontier Foundation: In its ruling, the district court found that the initial recipients of "promo CDs" own them, notwithstanding "not for resale" labels. The court rejected…

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Copyright Clearance and Transaction Use Permits

There are times at a conference when several people tell you, “You have to talk to Person-X” and no matter how hard you try to align schedules, it just doesn’t happen.  At the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference, for me, that Person-X was John Billington of the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC).  John is the Product Manager for New Media at…

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