Each quarter, Copyright Clearance Center and the Copyright Alliance team up to share a curated selection of important articles from the past few months on copyright issues in the U.S. Check out the following blogs and articles from summer 2018:
Is a remastered track of an oldie substantially different enough to constitute a new creation with its own copyright protections? The answer determines whether royalties for use of the remastered track are due to the original musician, or to the producers of the new master. The 9th Circuit’s recent decision reversed a trial court opinion that the remastering process produced enough originality to warrant a new copyright, which had raised the specter that works could end up with eternal copyrights as long as they were remastered regularly.
“Senate Passes Music Modernization Act” via Variety
Recently approved by the Senate, new legislation supported by tens of thousands on social media continues on-track to become a law that would “fix” licensing and royalty legislation for the streaming era.
“The CASE Act is the Solution to the Alleged Copyright Troll Problem, Not the Cause” via Copyright Alliance
H.R. 3945 – the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017 – would offer a speedier “small claims court” for individual creators and small businesses that are victimized by infringement but can’t afford to enforce their rights in federal court. (Editor’s note: as of mid-September, the bill is waiting action in the House Judiciary Committee.)
“Appeals Court Won’t Take Up Copyright Decision That Raised Alarm About Embedding, Linking” via The Hollywood Reporter
A professional photographer’s image of Tom Brady went viral on social media, and in February a judge ruled that embedding social posts with the image constituted infringement. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency appeal of that ruling as “unwarranted” (although it may be appealed in the ordinary course when proceedings conclude in the trial court).
Some experts consider photography protections seriously at risk after a judge from the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that a film festival’s commercial use of an image found online (and flagged “all rights reserved”) was fair use.