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Posts Tagged: "digital millennium copyright act"

The Right to Repair of Medical Equipment is Not an IP Issue

How does it make any sense that fixing something, which you bought and paid for, is a violation of the manufacturer’s copyright? It’s not, and here’s why. Fixing things is legal under multiple sections of Copyright Law. Repair doesn’t modify books, music, videos or licensed software, so it’s absurd that copyright law is even being used to restrict repair.

Senator Tillis Releases Draft Bill to Modernize the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property released a discussion draft copyright reform bill titled the ‘Digital Copyright Act of 2021’ (the discussion draft). The discussion draft, which is intended to bring revolutionary changes to online copyright law, was developed based on recommendations in six hearings of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property focused on reforming copyright law in the digital environment, two staff briefings, and four extensive Copyright Office studies. This proposed DMCA reform was released in order to solicit comments from stakeholders and other interested parties.

‘We Want Action’: Rightsholder Reps Address Platforms in IP Subcommittee Hearing, as DMCA Reform Draft Looms

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property held its last hearing of the year on reforms to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) today, three days before Subcommittee Chairman Thom Tillis (R-NC) is set to release a discussion draft of a DMCA reform bill he has said will contain “revolutionary changes to online copyright law.” Tuesday’s hearing included representatives of YouTube and Facebook; Twitter refused to participate, and Tillis recently published a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressing his disappointment with the decision.

Tillis Report Sums Up Senate IP Subcommittee’s Work on U.S. IP and Innovation

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property Chair, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), who was re-elected to a second term this November with about 49% of the vote, last week released the Subcommittee’s 116th Congressional Report. According to the report, Tillis held over 90 stakeholder meetings in 2019 and over 50 meetings in 2020, when discussions had to be moved to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tillis has also held 17 Senate hearings since January 2019 on topics ranging from USPTO oversight to reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and led or co-sponsored 11 intellectual property (IP)-related bills.   

What’s Fair? Senate IP Subcommittee Contemplates Problems with Copyright Fair Use Regime

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property on Tuesday continued its year-long series of hearings on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), this time focusing on the question, “How Does the DMCA Contemplate Limitations and Exceptions Like Fair Use?” Subcommittee Chairman Thom Tillis (R-NC) said that fair use has traditionally been “a bit of a touchy subject in copyright discussions,” but plays an important role in encouraging free speech and promoting creativity. Rather than focus on legal questions of fair use like those before the Supreme Court in Google v. Oracle, Tillis said the hearing was meant to discuss how the original DMCA accounted for fair use and how a reform bill should consider it. Subcommittee Ranking Member Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) added that fair use is “a contentious and challenging subject” and needs to strike a balance between safeguarding free speech while combating digital piracy and ensuring creators are fairly compensated.

Copyright Office Begins Period of Petitioning for Exemptions to Section 1201 of the DMCA

On June 22, the U.S. Copyright Office published a request for petitions in the Federal Register, which officially kicked off the eighth triennial rulemaking process for temporary exemptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). While Section 1201 generally prohibits the circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs), which copyright owners use to prevent unauthorized access to and copying of protected works, the law instructs the Copyright Office to grant temporary exemptions every three years allowing for the circumvention of TPMs against unauthorized access in specific circumstances.

Startup and User Reps Square Off with Independent Creators in Panel Two of DMCA Hearing

Earlier this week, the Senate IP Subcommittee met to hear from two panels of witnesses about whether and how to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for the 21st Century. In the first panel, representatives for big tech and academia were juxtaposed with successful artist Don Henley of the Eagles and prolific author and Authors Guild President Douglas Preston—with tech arguing that changes to the DMCA to strengthen copyright protections would cripple the internet as we know it, and Henley and Preston painting a grim future for musicians and authors if the system is not significantly overhauled. The second panel was divided along similar lines.

Third Senate IP Subcommittee Hearing on DMCA: The ‘Grand Bargain’ is No Longer Working

In the first part of a two-panel hearing today on whether the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is working for the 21st Century, Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Intellectual Property Ranking Member Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) said he was struck by the conclusion of a recent Copyright Office report that found that Congress’ original intended balance for section 512 “has been tilted askew.” Subcommittee Chairman, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), added that fixing the problems may require designing an entirely new system, as “the grand bargain of the DMCA is no longer working and not achieving the policy goals intended.”

Senate IP Subcommittee Examines Foreign Approaches to Digital Piracy in Second Hearing on U.S. Copyright Reform

Senate IP Subcommittee Chair, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), yesterday led the second in a series of Subcommittee hearings addressing the possibility of updating the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The hearing, titled “Copyright Law in Foreign Jurisdictions: How are other countries handling digital piracy?”, was aimed at examining foreign copyright laws in order to consider what may or may not be beneficial if adopted by the United States. The first of two panels included four witnesses from academia while the second panel included members of industry and a former member of EU Parliament.

Senate IP Subcommittee Kicks Off Year-Long Review of Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) this week held the first in a series of eight tentative hearings scheduled for this year on the topic of updating and modernizing the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Tillis’ goal is to address changes to the internet since the DMCA was passed in 1998, and by December 2020 to release the text of a draft reform bill for stakeholder comment. Senator Coons pointed out that the IP Subcommittee has been the most active subcommittee on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Tillis said that the process will take place in the same vein as last year’s patent eligibility hearings, which involved gathering extensive input from a variety of stakeholders.

From the Flea Market to the Online Marketplace: How Brand Owners are Fighting to Keep Infringers at Bay

Trademark and copyright enforcement remains a significant challenge for licensors of popular brands across sports, entertainment, fashion and other industries. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of three dozen industrial countries, estimates counterfeit goods account for 3.3% of global trade. Brand owners cannot rely on the belief that their trademark and copyright registrations will be respected, and they cannot confine their enforcement to demand letters and traditional intellectual property litigation. Rather, a brand owner must avail itself of additional approaches to address both traditional and newer platforms offering infringing products. We continue to see an increase in online infringements, especially in connection with certain e-commerce sites and targeted advertisements on social media. Under the current law, enforcement against online providers can be difficult, particularly when compared to traditional infringement hot sports in the brick-and-mortar marketplace. Flea markets, swap meets and other brick-and-mortar shopping venues reported verdicts and settlements in the last 10 years that confirm commercial landlords/owners can be held liable for the trademark infringement activity of their tenants, with courts around the country extending liability for trademark infringement beyond just the party selling infringing products.

Filling in the Holes: The CASE Act is Where Good Intention Meets Good Policy

While there are a number of falsehoods being spread about the CASE Act by those who philosophically oppose any legislation that will help the creative community, there are a few honest critiques that are based on simple misunderstandings about the bill rather than malice. Take, for instance, an article published earlier this week on this blog which characterizes the CASE Act’s intentions as noble, but argues that there are “three gaping holes” that make for bad policy…. The CASE Act will not bring an end to copyright infringement, nor is it intended to. Subversive parties that intend to infringe and skirt the law are unlikely to be brought to justice under the CASE Act. But the CASE Act is good policy for achieving what it is intended to do: provide an alternative to federal court where consenting parties who presently cannot afford to, might finally get their day in court.

Why it May Be Time to Provide Criminal Remedies for Patent Infringement

Under normal circumstances, infringement and misappropriation of the intellectual property (IP) rights of others are subject to civil liability under U.S. federal (and some states’) law; the remedies for those whose rights have been violated typically include money damages or some form of equitable relief, such as an injunction. However, sometimes the conduct of offenders is so egregious and the remedies so inadequate that pursuit of a private cause of action is insufficient to make IP owners whole. To make matters worse, civil remedies do little to deter further infringement or misappropriation on the part of individuals and entities with more than enough money to game the system. Known as efficient infringers, according to some IP practitioners, they have mastered the business practice of paying out as little in damages as possible and refusing to negotiate licenses with IP owners, all the while bullying IP owners into spending their much smaller fortunes in order to defend their IP rights or to forfeit them—the end result sometimes being the invalidation or cancellation of their IP. Accordingly, lawmakers have enacted legislation with the goal of creating true deterrents against infringement and misappropriation by imposing criminal sanctions on a narrow set of conditions associated with infringement and misappropriation. However, the law does not criminally punish infringement of a particular type of IP: patents.

New DMCA Exemptions Including Use of Motion Picture Clips in Narrative Films for Parody or Historical Significance

One of the new exemptions for motion pictures includes the expansion of the exemption of TPMs protecting motion picture clips on DVDs, Blu-Rays and streaming services to include fictional films; the prior exemption only protected documentary filmmakers circumventing TPMs on those tech platforms to capture movie clips. Fictional filmmakers are now able to circumvent TPMs on the same platforms where the circumvention is intended to capture a clip for use in parody or where the clip is significant for biographical or historical reasons.

Getty Images Wins Summary Judgment in Copyright Case Over Press Photographs

This case stems back to a complaint filed by Zuma Press in August 2016, a few months after Getty displayed and offered thousands of images for commercial use that were credited to Les Walker. However, the 47,048 images making up that collection were either once owned or licensed by Zuma. Zuma requested that Getty take down the images in May and Getty complied after having earned less than $100 in total revenues for those pictures. In its lawsuit, Zuma and the other plaintiffs alleged that had committed copyright infringement and violated the integrity of copyright management information under Section 1202 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for intentionally altering the copyright attribution information embedded in those images.