Posts by Meredith Filak Rose

The Growing List of How the Copyright Office Has Failed Us

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As we’ve been talking about recently, the Copyright Office has a long history of being bad at its job, and misrepresenting the law it’s charged with understanding. Anyone familiar with tech policy already knows about the debacle that is the exemption process under Section 1201, but it doesn’t end there. Aside from its seemingly never-ending quest to accumulate more power by pulling non-copyright issues under its umbrella, the Office pushes wildly expansive interpretations of copyright law--asserting rights that don’t exist, interpreting consumer safeguards so narrowly as to render them useless, preventing consumers from using assistive technologies, creating “solutions” that nobody asked for, and otherwise making bizarre proclamations that completely ignore relevant facts and law. Over and over again, the Copyright Office bends over backwards to align its positions with the lobbying agendas of the big entertainment conglomerates.

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Distorting the Snallygaster Market

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If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the FCC’s recent privacy rulemaking, you’ve probably heard its opponents claim that any regulation (no matter how minor, apparently) will create “distortions in the market” that would put broadband internet service providers (or BIASes) at a disadvantage. What market is that, you ask? Yeah, we’re not sure either.

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Celebrating Copyright Week with a Theatrical Copyright Revue

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Happy Copyright Week! To celebrate, I’m looking back on all the exciting copyright cases that have occurred since last year’s Copyright Week, with courts and the music industry alike tackling everything from uncredited sampling to fair use dancing babies. I’ve rounded up some of the highlights of the year’s upheaval, and took the liberty of suggesting a few edits to reflect the changing times. (And yes, that does mean I’ll be reviewing landmark music copyright cases via lyrical skits.)

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Cosplay Goes to the Supreme Court

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Yes, you read that right: the Supreme Court of the United States may get to decide the legal status of all those Jedi robes you’ve got squirreled away. The Supreme Court is considering a case that will set the standard for when clothing and costume designs can be covered by copyright—and when people who mimic them (such as costumers) can be sued for potentially enormous damages.

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NERD RAGE: Blizzard hits the (World of) Warpath

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On Monday, Blizzard—the triple-A game studio that gave the world titles such as World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Heroes of the Storm—quietly filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court for the Central District of California. In it, they accused a player who goes by the handle “Apoc” of a broad range of copyright, contract, and contractual interference violations. Apoc’s crime? Building a bot.

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Campaigns, Copyrights, and Compositions: A Politician’s Guide to Music on the Campaign Trail

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If you’re feeling a sense of deja vu this campaign season, you’re not alone. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump just earned public backlash from singer Neil Young for using Young’s song “Rockin’ in the Free World.” Young claimed that Trump used the song without seeking his permission. While true, the hitch here is that Trump didn’t actually have to ask.

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