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.
On today's podcast, Public Knowledge's VP of Legal Affairs and resident copyright expert Sherwin Siy breaks down a big week in copyright reform! Sherwin discusses three major court decisions on copyright--involving a dancing baby, the Happy Birthday song, and the Batmobile--and talks about why the monkey selfie debate is back in the news.
This post is the third installment of #CopyrightwithCourtney, a series from Courtney Duffy on the copyright challenges faced by artists in various disciplines. Courtney, who is the Robert W. Deutsch Arts & Technology Policy Fellow at Public Knowledge, focused on authorship in her first post. In this post, she continues her three-part series on filmmaking.
Today, Public Knowledge sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Michael Froman urging him to protect the rights of American consumers of intellectual property goods. Public Knowledge remains concerned that provisions in the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement could harm Americans by weakening exceptions and limitations available under U.S. law, including fair use.
Last week, we wrote about Augustana College (SD)’s demand that 3D scans of its copy of Michelangelo’s Moses be taken down from the internet. To justify this request, Augustana cited vague (and, it should be noted, nonexistent) copyright concerns. As a result of its ridiculous assertion of a copyright interest in a copy of a 500-year-old sculpture, Augustana deprived the public of 3D scans of this public domain work.