Weekly Copyright Update
September 18, 2015
BY CHRIS COOK: If you’re bored of Justin Bieber’s record breaking first-week streams and Sam Smith’s record breaking 67 weeks in the top ten, here’s a different broken record. Google processed 16.68 million takedown notices in just one week last month, according to Torrentfreak, the highest number ever in seven days. In a single week in August 2011 just 158,000 takedown requests were processed by the web giant. Such growth! If only someone could work out a way to monetise it.
BY JOE REINARTZ: Intellectual property and copyright protection are no laughing matters, but Taylor Swift’s legal team has been so protective of her copyrighted material it’s become an internet meme.
Swift began registering trademarks in October 2014 for catch phrases like “this sick beat” (from the song “Shake It Off”) and “Nice to meet you, where you been?” The intention was to thwart the efforts of unauthorized T-shirt vendors during her 1989 World Tour, which began in Japan in May. However, the copyrights have been aggressively protected to the point where tweets from a New Zealand fan page were reportedly being withheld on copyright grounds. And then there was the Citizen Radio podcast.
BY DEVLIN HARTLINE: The Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Lenz v. Universal is out, and it’s a doozy. The main issue in the case is whether a rightholder has to consider fair use before sending a DMCA takedown notice. Section 512 requires the sender to state that she “has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.” Section 107says that “the fair use of a copyrighted work . . . is not an infringement of copyright.” The question is whether fair use, which “is not an infringement” under Section 107, is therefore “authorized by . . . the law” under Section 512.
BY KING & WOOD MALLESONS: Posting a cringeworthy meme can often cost you a few Facebook friends. But what if the next meme you post costs you almost $900?
German blog Geeksisters found out the hard way when Getty Images asked them to pay €785.40 in back licensing fees for posting the famous Socially Awkward Penguin meme to their website. (Ironically, the offending blog entry is about how the penguin is the writer’s favourite meme, and how great the internet is. Someone should direct them to Bad Luck Brian.)
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