News and Commentary
Though TransUnion v. Ramirez did not involve copyright, is it possible that the decision will have implications for copyright law? In it, a 5-4 court found that absent a concrete harm, a plaintiff did not have standing under Article III of the Constitution. For Techdirt, Mike Masnick argues that when Justice Kavanaugh said, “But under Article III, an injury in law is not an injury in fact. Only those plaintiffs who have been concretely harmed by a defendant’s statutory violation may sue that private defendant over that violation in federal court” could imply that statutory damages may not be available absent a concrete harm to the plaintiff.
Also on Techdirt, Masnick writes about a copyright claim which took down Britney Spears’ testimony in the L.A. Superior Court. While the court (very good) has rules against unauthorized recording, any copyright claim against a recording posted on YouTube would not be covered by them.
In Bloomberg, Justin Sink writes about a new order from the Biden Administration to the Federal Trade Commission to draft rules which would expand right to repair. While the executive order has not yet been released, it will likely include measures requiring parts and manuals to be made available on reasonable terms.
An article in Bloomberg by Joshua Brustein outlines the “anatomy of a copyright troll.” The subject, Larry Philpot, had devised a rather ingenious scheme to easily trap people into accidentally infringing on copyright. The plan functioned by taking a picture of a famous celebrity, putting it on a site (such as Wikipedia) where it will be easily found, and then posting it under terms that are easy to misuse. While Creative Commons licenses generally allow the free use of a photo, they come with strings attached (such as attribution) and if those terms are not followed the user could be liable for copyright infringement.
Jessica Silbey has published a new paper discussing how artists and creators view intellectual property rights–and how their desires differ from what is currently defined by U.S. copyright law. In general, she finds that artists and inventors are more interested in protecting “truly” novel innovations and creations, with less concern about copyright of lower-quality innovations. Additionally, while failure to attribute is a serious professional faux pas that (rightfully) angers those who are copied, the more general practice of remixing and reimplementation with attribution is far less controversial and recognized as part of the creative process.
A new NBER publication examines the increase in financial innovation in the 21st century by examining patents granted in the financial sector. It found a significant increase in patenting driven by IT firms, and that financial patenting increased in regions with looser financial regulations compared to those with more stringent rules.
A new paper from the American Economic Journal examines the relationship between R&D and advertising. The paper found that R&D and advertising were substitutes, and that firm size was was negatively correlated with R&D intensity and R&D growth.