News and Commentary
It’s finally out! After nearly 10 years, Google v. Oracle has been decided at the Supreme Court in favor of Google. Justice Breyer wrote the opinion, finding that the use of the application programming interfaces in question was fair use as a matter of law.
Another important fair use case was decided last week, this time with a very different result. The Second Circuit ruled that a series of illustrations made by Andy Warhol of Prince were not fair use as a matter of law.
In Jacobin, Dean Baker has an excellent writeup about the nature of government-financed research, how long-term contracts to develop new drugs would be beneficial, the role of government R&D financing during the pandemic, and the need for the fruits of government financing to be open-sourced.
TechDirt’s Copia Institute has a content moderation case study related to YouTube’s “trusted flagger” program in the context of sending automated DMCA takedown notices. Trusted flagger Topple Track started flagging acceptable content around 2018, and after EFF wrote about the improper flagging the issue was resolved and Topple Track was removed as a trusted flagger.
In a summary of the recent event “Burying Information–Big Tech and Access to Information,” the Internet Archive discusses comments made by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Brewster Kahle, and others on the need for clear systems of ownership and open access to information, rather than the current model where licensing is the main business model.
A new paper from Nicholas Shine in Patently-O Patent Law Journal examines the effects of the COVID-19 downturn on patent abandonment and application rates. He finds little effect on overall trends, hypothesizing that either innovation is resilient in the face of a pandemic or patenting activity is a poor measure of innovation.
Mark Lemley and Bryan Casey argue in a new paper that machine learning systems should have a general protection under fair use to process databases of works, whether or not the works within the database are protected by copyright.
Christophe Geiger and Bernd Justin Jütte have an article discussing the requirements under the European Union’s copyright directive to implement a “notice-and-staydown” system and how that is in tension with various other fundamental rights guaranteed by the EU, such as rights to privacy.