News and Commentary
In Forbes, Peter Suciu discusses latest social media crackdowns on copyright infringement, most recently by Twitch, pushed mostly by the RIAA in a manner reminiscent to the late-’90s moral panic over piracy.
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a district court’s denial of subpoena authority to Strike 3, a pornography studio, in a case against a “John Doe” defendant. Without a subpoena to Comcast, Strike 3 cannot move forward to sue the alleged infringer, as they only have the IP address and not the identity of the infringer. The Court of Appeals rejected the district court’s rulings that the “salacious nature” of the works required a higher standard, Strike 3’s history as a “copyright troll,” and the fact that the owner of an IP address isn’t necessarily the infringer in question.
Karen Kerrigan of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council writes in Morning Consult about how the patent troll Neodron is using the International Trade Commission to stop the importation of allegedly infringing technologies. These technologies make up 90% of the devices used by small businesses across the country. Joe Mullin of EFF has a thorough discussion of ITC’s expansion of patent enforcement authority here.
Netflix is being sued for allegedly copying “plot, sequence, characters, theme, dialogue, mood, and setting, as well as copyrighted concept art” from a script for the unproduced film Totem owned by Irish Rover Entertainment for the show Stranger Things.
Video game companies typically don’t pursue streamers and uploads that use small portions of video game music, but independent scammers are claiming the rights to small snippets of music used by streamers and demanding revenue from the videos. It’s a fraudulent scam, plain and simple.
In another example of rampant copyright trolling, a 512(f) and RICO claim has been filed against the copyright troll Okularity, Inc. for filing DMCA takedown notices against social media accounts and demanding payment for them to be reinstated.
A prequel to The Great Gatsby is set to be released early next year, days after the copyright to the 1925 novel expires.
There’s a strong risk that a potential vaccine for COVID-19 won’t be shared on equitable terms with lower-income nations, and Gavi–the public/private vaccine organization–hasn’t done enough to demand concessions of pharmaceutical firms including the suspension of any patents on the drug.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has vacated and remanded a Florida district court’s denial of attorney’s fees to ShoppersChoice, sued by the patent troll Electronic Communication Technologies, citing the fact that the district court did not consider “a pattern of litigation abuses characterized by the repeated filing of patent infringement actions for the sole purpose of forcing settlements, with no intention of testing the merits of one’s claims.”
A paper from the National Bureau of Economic research finds that when pharmacy benefit managers adopted “closed formularies,” which excluded insurance coverage for certain drugs, pharmaceutical R&D shifted away from classes of drugs which were unlikely to be covered by insurers.
An NBER paper examines the dynamics of technology diffusion across countries, observing that early adoption of a technology by some users decreases the adoption costs by others, and that labor and other input prices will govern the cost of adoption.
Writing for the Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project, Adam Mossoff, Randall Rader, and Zvi Rosen examine how online streaming has been excluded from felony copyright infringement and how to equalize the penalties with other forms of infringement.