Weekly Copyright Update

October 16, 2015

Google Vs. Authors Copyright Suit Nearing Landmark Decision

BY MICHELLE CHANDLER: It could itself be the subject of future books, a decade-long legal battle pitting Internet search leader Google against authors, in what could be a landmark case. And a key chapter — perhaps the final one — will soon be written. By year-end, Google (now a division of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) could hear whether it has prevailed in a lawsuit filed a decade ago by authors who objected to Google electronically scanning millions of older or out-of-print books and making large portions of them searchable online for free.

Court Rules Yoga’s 26 Poses Are Not Copyrighted

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court says a sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises used in hot yoga classes is not entitled to copyright protection. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday the yoga sequence is a process intended to improve people’s health, and copyright law does not extend to such processes. The court said a copyright on the yoga sequence would be akin to giving a surgeon the exclusive right to perform a complicated surgery.

Is Devaluation of Music Worse Than We Think?

BY CRAIG HAVIGHURST: In their many (justified) laments about the trajectory of their profession in the digital age, songwriters and musicians regularly assert that music has been “devalued.” Over the years they’ve pointed at two outstanding culprits. First, it was music piracy and the futility of “competing with free.” More recently the focus has been on the seemingly miniscule payments songs generate when they’re streamed on services such as Spotify or Apple Music. These are serious issues, and many agree that the industry and lawmakers have a lot of work to do. But at least there is dialogue and progress being made toward new models for rights and royalties in the new music economy.

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