Posts Tagged: "DMCA"

California Court Holds Pinterest’s Display of User-Uploaded Works Near Ads are Protected by DMCA Safe Harbor

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California this week ruled that the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects Pinterest from a photographer’s claim that the platform infringed his copyrights by displaying his works alongside advertisements in the form of “promoted pins.” Harold Davis, an artist and professional photographer, claimed that Pinterest infringed 51 of his copyrighted works. In one example, Davis’ work, “Kiss from a Rose,” was displayed next to a promoted Pin for an art print called “White Tea Roses by Neicy Frey,” which Davis contended constituted unauthorized commercial use of his work.

Right-to-Repair: Building Back Worse

A recent recommendation by the U.S. Copyright Office allowing for the bypassing of technological protection measures (TPMs) in medical devices for purposes of repair, maintenance and service has been adopted and immediately put into effect. This is bad news for patient safety. At a time when we’re loudly and publicly debating the relative merits of the Build Back Better Act, the U.S. Copyright Office’s announcement, deep inside the Federal Register and written in very user unfriendly dense government jargon, landed not with a bang, but with a whimper. On purpose. Hiding in plain sight. This terrible ruling offered without a comment period or any other appeals mechanism, will have a profoundly negative impact on America’s public health.

Roblox is Latest Online Platform to Settle NMPA Copyright Claims with Collaborative Music Licensing Agreement

On September 27, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and online game platform provider Roblox announced that the two parties had settled ongoing copyright litigation in the Central District of California over Roblox’s unauthorized use of copyrighted music on its online gaming platform. The settlement also creates an opt-in mechanism for eligible NMPA publishers and opens a negotiation period for individual publishers to engage Roblox in go-forward licensing deals.

Dorsey Responses to Senators on Copyright Reform Show Contempt for Congress and IP

On December 28, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chair of the Senate IP Subcommittee, and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Ranking Member of the Senate IP Subcommittee, sent another letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressing disappointment over the company’s continued refusal to cooperate on hearings around copyright reform. Tillis and Coons were joined by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), as they often are on IP issues. The letter reiterated the senators’ frustration that Twitter refused to provide a witness for the IP Subcommittee hearing on December 15 focused on the role existing technology plays in curbing online piracy. In an all too kind characterization, the letter sent by Senators Tillis, Coons and Hirono also expressed disappointment with the “incomplete responses to written questions sent by Chairman Tillis in advance of the hearing.” Frankly, the “answers” to the questions presented by Chairman Tillis by Dorsey for the record were completely non-responsive. Indeed, Dorsey demonstrated complete disinterest in substantive engagement, an absolute lack of good faith, and conscious disregard—near contempt really—for the duty of candor owed by witnesses to the Subcommittee.

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.   

Senate IP Subcommittee Continues Search for Balance on Potential Copyright Reforms

On September 16, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property held a hearing titled “Are Reforms to Section 1201 Needed and Warranted?”, which continued the Subcommittee’s year-long series of hearings on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Chairman Thom Tillis (D-NC) began by explaining that section 1201 was Enacted in 1998 as part of the DMCA to protect against the circumvention of technological protection measures used by copyright owners to prevent unauthorized access to or use of their works, but the “tradeoff has been that consumers have to worry about violating section 1201 when they repair their devices…whether farm equipment, or cars or iPads that happen to rely on software for their operation.” Tillis said Congress needs to ensure that the “correct balance is still being struck.”

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.