Thursday, February 16, 2012
Some proposed changes in an existing IP policy at the University of Louisiana system have some faculty extremely upset. The changes, which actually tweak IP policy already in place but apparently overlooked, would allow University administrators to claim 60 percent of faculty royalties earned for academic writings and to hold proposed contracts for up to four months while the administration decided whether it wanted to claim any rights in the proposed works. IP experts at other universities say the general policy seems to be a departure from those in place at other institutions. More here from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Here's a link to the AAUP webpage offering "sample intellectual property policy & contract language."
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The Warner Brothers lawyers have advised Charlie Sheen that he will be facing yet another lawsuit if he uses WB copyrighted material to advertise his new show, "Anger Management." Shots of Mr. Sheen in his "Two and a Half Men" character have been included in promo material for his new show; the WB attorneys are notifying Mr. Sheen officially that use of such material is copyright infringement. More here from the Hollywood Reporter.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Graham Greenleaf, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, has published IP, Phone Home: The Uneasy Relationship between Copyright and Privacy, Illustrated in the Laws of Hong Kong and Australia at 32 Hong Kong Law Journal 35 (2002). Here is the abstract.
The author argues that privacy's relationship to copyright is that the right to experience intellectual works in private - free from surveillance - is part of the public domain aspect of copyright works (in Boyle's terms) or the creative commons (in Lessig's terms).
The development of content-protection technologies (CPT) and digital rights management systems (DRMS), despite their benefits to rights holders, pose many dangers to the protection of privacy, which some have said could mean an end to the privacy of reading. Hong Kong and Australia are two of the earliest jurisdictions in the world with laws implementing the anti-circumvention and rights management information (RMI) protection provisions arising from the WIPO Copyright Treaty 1996 (WCT). They are also two of the few jurisdictions outside Europe with privacy (data protection) laws applying to the private sector. These two jurisdictions, therefore, give two of the best illustrations of the tensions now arising between copyright and privacy: property versus privacy. In this article, the author explores how CPT and DRMS affect privacy, how existing data protection and privacy laws affect the operation of CPT and DRMS, and whether laws against copyright circumvention devices and interference with RMI prevent privacy protection. The author concludes that privacy could now be unduly prejudiced in favour of property, and suggests reforms which may help restore the balance. The first decision on the Australian provisions, Sony v Stevens  FCA 906, also indicates that the Courts may also be interpreting anti-circumvention provisions narrowly, avoiding some of their dangers to privacy.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.