If you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up for the webinar hosted by Niskanen Center on copyright during the pandemic. It will feature Niskanen’s Daniel Takash and Public Knowledge’s Meredith Rose, moderated by Kodiak Hill-Davis.
News and Commentary
In a strange development in a case brought by jazz musician Maria Schneider and anti-piracy group Pirate Monitor Limited against YouTube for limited access to the site’s ContentID platform, it appears that the latter created a number of fake accounts to upload content it had the rights to, only to later send DMCA takedown notices. This strange twist is reminiscent of a development in Viacom v. Youtube, where it was discovered that Viacom’s own marketing department had uploaded numerous infringing clips. These misrepresentations do not appear to have any direct link to Schneider.
In Slate, Charles Duan writes about how previous antitrust actions against AT&T could affect the Google v. Oracle ruling. In the past, AT&T (then American Bell Telephone Co.) restricted access to telephone lines from outside companies. In 1982, AT&T was required to provide calling service “equal in type, quality, and price to that provided to AT&T and its affiliates.” This mandate, though in the context of a very different market, is the kind of interoperability that a Google victory would guarantee.
In the Financial Times, Pamela Samuelson similarly argues that a victory for Oracle would pose a threat to competition in the tech industry. “If tech companies are able to limit how others use their APIs, it could allow them to block disruptive new competitors,” Samuelson wrote.
In the ongoing patent war between Sonos and Google, Sonos has sued Google for allegedly infringing on an additional five patents. Sonos is confident that the patents are valid, and they are suing in the patent troll-friendly Western District of Texas.
For JDSupra, Carolyn Toto goes through claims of copyright infringement against celebrities who, without permission, repost photos of themselves taken by paparazzi who, ironically, also likely took them without permission.
Talha Syed has a new paper on how to resolve the subject-matter eligibility dilemma currently facing patent law. She argues that patent law currently suffers from a “physicalist” misconception, where it incorrectly views a patent as a “thing” rather than “knowledge” of something, a problem which has plagued efforts to limit patentability to applied knowledge rather than basic knowledge.
Peter S. Menell has a paper examining the intersection of intellectual property and social justice, moving from a purely utilitarian approach to one which also includes considerations of inclusion and empowerment.