Shampooing Baby Elephants, Buddha’s Tooth, and the World Intellectual Property Organization — Longtime copyright attorney Michael Remington recollects, “Almost three decades ago, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) invited Ralph Oman (then the U.S. Register of Copyrights), and me (at the time, a counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, specializing in intellectual property matters) to travel to Sri Lanka and participate in a ‘regional training course on intellectual property for developing countries of Asia and the Pacific.’ The setting was Colombo, the country’s capital; the timing, late July 1991. Our rough assignment was to discuss U.S. copyright law through oral presentations, interaction with trainees, and answers to questions. . . .”
South Africa President sends controversial copyright bill back to Parliament — Emmanuel Legrand reports, “South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has decided on June 16 to refer back to Parliament the controversial Copyright Amendment Bill and Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill for reconsideration. The President’s office said questions of constitutionality have been raised regarding certain provisions in the text.”
Court Reconsiders Mashable’s Win in Embedding Suit — Eriq Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter writes about an about face in a case that caught the attention of copyright fans (and includes a copy of the actual decision in the article). “In April, U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood granted a motion to dismiss with a provocative opinion that leaned on how Sinclair had signed up for Instagram service and had posted some of her work there. ‘Here, [Sinclair] granted Instagram the right to sublicense the Photograph, and Instagram validly exercised that right by granting Mashable a sublicense to display the Photograph,’ ruled Wood at the time. . . . In Sinclair’s suit against Mashable, Wood is now backing off her original conclusion just a bit. The judge maintains that by agreeing to Instagram’s terms, Sinclair authorized the social media service to grant users a sublicense to embed. But there’s a difference between having power and using power. ‘The Court does, however, revise the Opinion by finding that the pleadings contain insufficient evidence that Instagram exercised its right to grant a sublicense to Mashable,’ writes Wood in granting a motion for reconsideration.”
WIPO Releases Secure Content Timestamping Service — Bill Rosenblatt takes a look at an interesting new service from the World Intellectual Property Organization: “For a nominal price of CHF 20 ($21), you can obtain a token–a small file–from WIPO that contains a tamper-proof timestamp with a cryptographic hash of the file’s contents, evidence that you had possession of the digital file at a certain point in time.” As Rosenblatt correctly points out, such a service has no value in the United States due to the copyright registration requirement, but it may provide some value in countries where registration is not a prerequisite for litigation.
U.S. Copyright Office Announces Start of Eighth Triennial Rulemaking Proceeding under Section 1201 — “Section 1201 provides that the Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, may adopt temporary exemptions to the DMCA’s prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The ultimate goal of the proceeding is to determine whether there are particular classes of works as to which users are, or are likely to be in the next three years, adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses due to the prohibition on circumventing access controls.”
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