This Week in Intellectual Property, July 14th

This Week in Intellectual Property, July 14th

News and Commentary

Exciting news for right-to-repair advocates! Co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak produced a ten-minute Cameo video discussing the early foundation of Apple and his early days as a tinkerer, saying that absent a regime with broad right-to-repair Apple wouldn’t have come into being. His is perhaps the most prominent voice in the tech world to support R2R legislation, and it’s particularly ironic considering Apple’s staunch opposition to such reforms.

As part of President Biden’s executive order on competition in the United States economy, there was plenty of discussion about the role intellectual property plays in entrenching firms and limiting competition. This subject deserves a deeper dive, but at FOSSPatents Florian Mueller offers an international perspective on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing comparing the recent history of United States and Europe on the issue and what implications the EO will have on FRAND policies.

Writing for Brookings, Darrell M. West and James Seddon discuss the implications of the Biden executive order’s right-to-repair provisions. While it is undoubtedly a good, aggressive first step, they acknowledge that there will likely need to be both further federal and state action, including legislation, to ensure a fully competitive repair ecosystem.

Here’s a very interesting case from abroad: the photojournalist Francisco Leong is trying to gain the copyrights to photographs he took for the news agency Agence France-Presse. He signed an agreement which would give AFP the rights to the photographs, but Leong argues that such an agreement violates Portuguese law. Where this case gets interesting is in AFP’s argument that the news distributed by the union representing Leong and photographs which “merely” report it are not creative and thus do not deserve copyright protection.

Writing for Plagiarism Today, Jonathan Bailey writes about an interesting development related to GitHub’s coding AI tool “copilot” which is able to assist coders and output whole sections of code. There is some controversy over whether or not the AI and outputs are exceeding the scope of the licenses in the open-source software community, raising two interesting questions for copyright law: First, is the data mining used to teach the AI not a copyright infringement? Second, is the output of the AI an infringement, and if so who is liable?


New Research

A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research examines the “bias” of online platforms, where a platform “is biased against a product type if the type attains greater success, conditional on ex ante assessment.” Using this framework, it uses the case of Spotify and finds that in the case of the 2017 New Music Friday playlists, finding there was a bias in favor of independent-label music, with some evidence of a bias toward women artists.

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By |2021-07-14T14:36:07-07:00July 14th, 2021|Blog, Intellectual Property|