November 22, 2011
Penguin Publishers Alters Ebook Lending Policies
Penguin Publishers has suspended a number of e-titles previously available for lending, citing "security concerns" but has not released a list of the titles affected. This move affects the Kindle, Amazon's popular ebook reader. More here from the Associated Press, via Findlaw.
Ofcom To Investigate X Factor Judge's Use of Tattoo: Does It Promote Product?
Hip-hop star and X-Factor judge Tulisa may not be allowed to use a famous move, flashing her tattooed arm to her fans before the show, after Ofcom investigates allegations that the tattoo constitutes improper advertisement of her new fragrance, "The Female Boss." Tulisa has the phrase permanently inked on her arm. More here from the Guardian. The Daily Mail points out here that the performer wore X Factor-like colors at a recent event to promote her perfume.
November 21, 2011
The Viacom/YouTube Debate
Nirajan Man Singh, University of California, Berkeley, has published Viacom v. Youtube: Should the Second Circuit Protect Youtube? Here is the abstract.
Viacom sued YouTube for more than $1 billion for copyright infringement because hundreds of thousands of clips from Viacom programs have been uploaded to YouTube without Viacom’s permission. These Viacom programs have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times. (Viacom is not claiming that remixes and mashups are infringing, only verbatim copies of the whole or substantial parts of the programs.) The direct infringement claims are for violation of the public performance, public display, and reproduction rights. The indirect infringement claims are for inducement of infringement, contributory infringement and vicarious infringement.
The full text is not available from SSRN.
Fair Use In European Law
P. B. Hugenholtz and Martin Senftleben, University of Amsterdam, have published Fair Use in Europe: In Search of Flexibilities. Here is the abstract.
There appear to be good reasons and ample opportunity to (re)introduce a measure of flexibility in the national copyright systems of Europe. The need for more openness in copyright law is almost self-evident in this information society of highly dynamic and unpredictable change. A historic perspective also suggests that copyright law, particularly in the civil law jurisdictions of Europe, has lost much of its flexibility in the course of the past century. By contrast, with the accelerating pace of technological change in the 21st Century, and in view of the complex process of law making in the EU, the need for flexible copyright norms both at the EU and the national level is now greater than ever.
Against this background, the authors argue that the EU copyright acquis leaves considerably more room for flexibilities than its closed list of permitted limitations and exceptions suggests. In the first place, the enumerated provisions are in many cases categorically worded prototypes rather than precisely circumscribed exceptions, thus leaving the Member States broad margins of implementation. In the second place, the EU acquis leaves ample unregulated space with regard to the right of adaptation that has so far remained largely unharmonized. A Member State desiring to take full advantage of all policy space available under the Information Society Directive, might achieve this by literally transposing the Directive’s entire catalogue of exception prototypes into national law. In combination with the three-step test, this would effectively lead to a semi-open norm almost as flexible as the fair use rule of the United States. Less ambitious Member States seeking to enhance flexibility while keeping its existing structure of limitations and exceptions largely intact, can explore the policy space left by distinct exception prototypes. In addition, the unharmonized status of the adaptation right would leave Member States free to provide for limitations and exceptions permitting, for example, fair transformative uses in the context of producing and disseminating user-generated content.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.