Posts by Meredith Filak Rose:

teleworking This blog post is part of a series on communications policies Public Knowledge recommends in response to the pandemic. You can read more of our proposals here and view the full series here. In response to COVID-19, public health officials have recommended a suite of changes to our daily behavior. One of the major strategies […]
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Creators have an uphill battle in enforcing their rights online. A small claims court to allow creators to exercise their rights without full federal litigation is a good goal, and one that should be pursued. The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019, also known as the CASE Act, presents one potential, but flawed framework for such a court. It is not, however, the only potential framework. A robust, well-designed system would be designed to balance the interests of legitimate claimants and defendants against those of bad actors seeking to turn the forum into a quick cash grab. Below, we look at the key features of such a system, and why they’re important.
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Misinformation — how it develops, how it spreads, and why people believe it — is an unavoidable topic in current information policy debates. And though headlines have largely focused on the high-profile impacts of misinformation on everything from public health to voting behaviors and technological literacy, there’s another, more important question at stake: How do we combat it when it emerges?
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Nothing has dominated recent music news (at least not since the passage of the Music Modernization Act) as much as Spotify’s decision to appeal the findings of the Copyright Royalty Board, or CRB. The move prompted backlash from music publishers and a rebuttal from Spotify, but the actual facts of the debate are buried under piles of legalese.
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Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a new and improved version of the Music Modernization Act, following the Senate’s lead from last week. We had expressed strong reservations about the earlier iterations of this bill, and its impact on the public domain for sound recordings. We’re happy to say that after extensive negotiations spearheaded by Senator Ron Wyden, the new version of the bill brings these works more fully into line with with the existing copyright system for legacy works and finally allows these recordings to enter the public domain. The bill now heads to the President’s desk.
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Cosplay encompasses a lot of elements beyond the clothing covering your body. Armor, decorative flourishes, and props all fall under a different (and, mercifully, clearer) legal regime than clothing.
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One of the questions about copyright that comes up most often at fan conventions is whether or not cosplay is “legal.” It’s a good question, but it gets into some of the murkiest areas of copyright law.
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Sound recordings made prior to 1972 don’t enjoy federal copyright protection. There’s a thorny legal and legislative history behind this, but the end result is that these recordings are only protected under state law. Federal copyright has evolved, with new rights, limitations, and user protections applied to copyrighted works — but not to pre-’72 recordings. And as the internet became ubiquitous, consumption of these works began to cross state lines, further muddying the waters.
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The policy sphere has its knickers in a knot over Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s meme-filled video collaboration with The Daily Caller. In the video, Chairman Pai defends his decision to repeal net neutrality protections by enumerating the things folks can still do on the internet.
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It’s almost axiomatic that independent artists face unique difficulties in the digital environment. Unlicensed commercial use of creative works is not uncommon, and the money that those uses theoretically represent in unpaid licensing fees can be substantial. So it’s understandable that artists would push for a system that makes it cheaper and easier for them to recover royalties for infringements of their copyrights.
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