Copyright law under fire…

If you produce Intellectual Property (IP) and copyright it, you need to pay attention to this…

For years companies like Google and Spotify, whose revenue streams depend on content and profits depend on how cheaply they can acquire it, have worked to weaken copyright protections. They know they can’t get what they want through a transparent legislative process, so they’ve set their sights on effectively changing the law by using “a well-established legal organization to ‘restate’ and reinterpret our copyright laws for the nation’s judicial system.”

The organization, American Legal Institute (ALI), an invite-only organization for legal scholars, is known for its Restatements of Law, which have been described as “Cliff’s Notes” guides to various legal topics:

Full article HERE, from J. Van Laar at RedState

And a follow-up article.

Now a massive astroturfing effort is happening in the field of copyright law, and anyone who produces creative content should be paying close attention. As I wrote last week, there are major problems with the American Law Institute’s Restatement project, starting with how the project was initiated (at the request of a Google-funded, anti-copyright law activist professor) and the Lead Reporter’s unacknowledged conflicts of interest.  

Full article HERE, from J.Van Laar at RedState

And then there is THIS stupidity…

As if they aren’t coming after us hard enough, now they want more… Especially Google.

If you use Google Docs, you REALLY need to read the TOS. Effectively they ‘own’ anything you put up there, and if you use Google drives, they can take everything down and kill your account and you have NO recourse to recover any items.


Copyright law under fire… — 14 Comments

  1. Without commenting on the kerfuffle discussed above, our copyright law needs serious revision anyway. Lifetime plus 70? 120 years for anonymous publications? WTW? I’ve read some pretty good articles on how this stifles creativity but can’t find the links off the top of my head.

    • You are referring to the Sonny Bono copyright extension, otherwise known as the “Micky Mouse” law, where Micky Mouse was going to go into the public domain, and Disney successfully got copyright extended to prevent that.

      And that is why I’m conflicted about this. I think copyright has been extended beyond all intent, to benefit certain corporations. However, I don’t want Google taking over either.

  2. I wonder how this is going to affect all of the schools (K-12 and postsecondary) who use a google platform for their email, google drives, etc.?

    Or those of us still on blogger?

    • I assume that G00gle owns everything I have to put on G-mail. Which makes every e-mail about a student a potential FERPA violation, should someone at G–gle decide to look at the files, or if someone hacks/buys access to the G-mail files.

      Yes, those are supposed to be on our locked servers. But this is G–gle, and the internet.

  3. Wow, wait till somebody who doesn’t understand patent law (especially “patent exhaustion”) buys a gizmo marked with its patent number and believes that he can now produce and sell copies of the device because HE PAID FOR the one original item.

    I *did* have a case like that; I got two patents issued to an inventor of an assembly which has an internal component previously invented (and patented to) some other company let’s call “JZL Co.”
    If my inventor buys the component from JZL or its authorized reseller, then builds and sells his assembly, he’s fine.
    If he makes his own copy of the component and builds his assembly, he’s infringing JZL even before he sells his product.
    Also note that JZL’s patents will run out before my inventor’s so he will have a number of years at the end of his own patents where he CAN produce the component himself because the component will have become public domain by then.
    Copyrights last way, way longer than patent rights, so it’s unlikely that we would ever see (legal) derivative works on current era copyrighted characters within our own lifetimes.
    But Winnie the Pooh came into public domain this year, along with the music of Jim Morrison, Louis Armstrong, and Igor Stravinsky.
    Here’s a nice site listing other works of 1926 and earlier which are now free to use and abuse:

  4. Are they actually looking to get people to arm up and go after them?
    After all, with the sad state of the legal profession, from SCOTUS to ambulance chaser, I wouldn’t trust any law at this time to rule without “woke” considerations all around.

  5. I don’t get it. Why would anyone use “the cloud” to store anything. I get the convenience of it all, especially if you are sharing across platforms, but the downsides are just too many. If you put something up on THEIR servers, then THEY own it. Period! If you don’t care, then fine. But if you DO care, then just don’t do it. Backup storage is too cheap nowadays to put your trust in a corporation like Google, Microsoft or Apple.

    • Some companies want all their data in a cloud so that:
      – they can have an all-WFH/remote workforce, there’s no corporate HQ building overhead
      – If you have an office you can equip it with “thin client” computers that are pretty much just the monitor/kbd/mouse. Some companies use proximity badges as employee IDs so that when you leave a station your screen locks, and then you can approach any workstation and your session will pop up on that screen wherever you left off
      – If a physical break-in occurs, theives can steal the equipment but the they won’t have access to company data (customer records, banking & credit account info, proprietary engineering files, trade-secret recipes, etc.)
      – If an employee drowns a laptop in coffee, little to none of the “real” data is lost, your IT techie sets up security/authentication on a replacement unit.
      But you’re right, unless YOU own and maintain the cloud server or frequently back up your database to a company-owned storage unit, you have to keep paying SOMEBODY or else *poof* your entire company can be wiped out.
      BTW I recently went to a ham-fest and a bunch of amateur radio operators in the SW Phoenix AZ area have set up a peer-to-peer “private cloud” on the 2m band. Members can access it wirelessly over about a 25mi diameter area and they can store and retrieve encrypted files at any time. WILD stuff!

  6. There are all sorts of issues with Copyright and other IP law. I think the point that Heresolong/Steve have about the Sonny Bono is very relevant. That law actually put items back under copyright that had moved to the public domain. I think it also violated the Constitutional statement of protection for a limited amount of time with the time periods it established.

    I also think that Big Tech, as pointed out, is trying to steal and monetize other peoples’ works by diluting the interpretation of the standing law. There is a certain level of fair use, but they want to exceed that.

    Then there are people like Seton Motley at Redstate that go to the polar extreme of what Google and Spotify want. They think all intellectual property should be owned by someone in perpetuity.

  7. Roy/Guy- Agreed.

    Bill- Agreed

    LSP- Or keep everything in three separate places, NONE of which is in the cloud.