News and Commentary
The Cato Institute’s Building Tomorrow podcast features Joel Waldfogel discussing how the digitization of the cultural economy, far from harming the growth and production of creative works, has been a boon for both the quality and quantity of such works.
Neil Young has filed a copyright infringement suit against the Trump Campaign for playing “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” at his Tulsa campaign rally. “Plaintiff in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate” reads the complaint.
In a request for amici, Patrick Arenz discusses the request for cert by Denise Daniels against Disney for the latter’s infringement on her “Moodsters” characters in the film Inside Out. He discusses the various standards used when determining if a character is eligible for copyright protection, arguing that prominence favors only the most established artists and companies at the expense of less prominent artists, reducing the incentive to create original characters.
A blog post at Legal Desire provides a nice rundown of the various theories (and their respective criticisms) for intellectual property.
Carl Benjamin, the far-right YouTuber, has prevailed in a copyright infringement suit brought about by the comedian Akilah Hughes and gained almost $40,000 in attorneys fees. Benjamin used Hughes’ work in a way that was clearly fair use, and statements made by Hughes made it clear that her intent was to promote herself and bankrupt Benjamin in the process.
The Italian government has published a new regulation mandating all pharmaceutical firms disclose the amount of government support provided for the creation of new drugs.
In Fast Company, Dario Taraborelli writes about how the pre-print process, where scientists are able to publish their findings online for everyone to review–without paywalls or peer reviews–has revolutionized the publishing process and responded to the urgent need created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Jurist, Brian L. Frye writes about the most recent developments in publishers’ lawsuit against the Open Library, and how there’s a distinction to be made between the “landlord” desire to collect rent on property and hiding behind concern for access to knowledge to justify requiring readers to pay.
Mark Lemley and Carl Shapiro have written a new paper about “patent holdup” the practice of patent holders demanding royalties or fees grater than those which are “reasonable and non-discriminatory,” recent reversals of progress by the DOJ’s antitrust division, and suggestions for improvement going forward.