Today, Public Knowledge proudly released its new copyright educational video entitled, “Let Them Go.” The video is a parody of the well-known Disney song “Let It Go,” with revised lyrics that educate viewers on important topics in copyright, namely copyright term extension, intermediary liability, and fair use. Clips throughout the video also illustrate numerous fair uses and other adaptations of “Let It Go.”
Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) announced a proposal to reform the United States Copyright Office. The Committee has requested written comments on its proposal by January 31, 2017 and cautions that it only “marks a starting point for further discussion.”
Imagine this: Your family is at your place for Thanksgiving and, all of a sudden, your mother has a heart attack. You rush to the phone and dial 9-1-1. You’re told by an automated message that your internet has been disconnected for alleged copyright infringement, so your emergency call cannot be completed. Unbeknownst to you, HBO noticed that your roommate had been illegally downloading Game of Thrones, and called upon your Internet Service Provider to disconnect your account.
Yesterday, the Songwriters of North America (SONA), a songwriter advocacy group, sued the Department of Justice over its interpretation of the antitrust consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI, the two largest U.S. performance rights organizations (PROs). The lawsuit alleges that the DoJ has, by simply reading the the words of consent decrees, unconstitutionally seized their property. While heavy on rhetoric, the complaint is light on actionable facts. It not only misunderstands the DoJ’s mandate, but is anchored in a breathtakingly overbroad vision of copyright law that should give any sensible observer pause, and serves as a reminder of the Copyright Office’s problematic relationship with industry.