News and Commentary
Here’s an interesting article from The Columbia Journal of Law and Arts examining the nature of copyright law in the context of “revenge porn,” centering on to what degree someone could use copyright law to take down unwanted nude pictures posted on line. If Adam sent a nude picture to Bob, who then uploaded it without his consent, Adam is the author and could use an infringement claim to take it down. If Adam took the picture with Bob’s consent, then Adam is the author and Bob is left without recourse. If Adam and Bob collaborated on the picture, and Bob uploaded without Adam’s permission, the work would be “jointly owned,” and thus Adam could make a copyright claim to have it taken down. These are interesting legal questions, to be sure, but it raises the question of whether or not we should lean on copyright law to solve a problem it was not at all intended to address.
This piece in The National Interest focuses on the national security implications of the FTC v. Qualcomm case. The essential thrust is that by demanding the licensing fees it demanded (including from foreign competitors), Qualcomm is financing the innovation necessary for the U.S. to keep ahead in the 5G race. The issue with the piece is that while it accurately points out that a victory for FTC would ensure more reasonable licensing terms for foreign competitors, it does not examine how increased access for U.S. firms could boost innovation on this front.
The full text of the economic trade agreement between the U.S. and China has been released. The agreement contains numerous robust protections for American intellectual property holders.
As the coronavirus crisis accelerates, a group of librarians have singed onto a letter encouraging a broader and more expansive interpretation of fair use to guarantee access to teaching materials as remote learning becomes necessary.
While a great deal of rhetoric surrounding patent infringement focuses on little guys ideas being scooped up by mega-corporations, in realty much patent litigation is Goliath vs. Goliath. Here, we can see Broadcom suing Netflix for infringing on a patent related to playback and data transmission, while here we can see Airbnb sued by IBM for four software patents.
Cox Media Group has been found to have violated the copyright of a man who took a 2017 photo of a terrorist attack in Battery Park, New York.
Here’s an article in The Intercept about price gouging on drugs produced in part government-funded research. It’s a damning, well-deserved indictment of the government’s tolerance of pharmaceutical manufacturers’ excess, but is disappointing because it doesn’t mention the word “patent” once. Pieces like this create the impression that command-and-control style price regulations are necessary to make drug prices affordable, when market competition can a job as good or even better.
If you’re looking for a fun read during these gloomy times, check out this article on the history of the copyright symbol.
Here’s a great interview with an (anonymous) group of biohackers looking to develop a public domain vaccine from ReasonTV. They’re soliciting donations, and potentially test subjects.
IP is all about innovation, but what happens when we need an innovation in IP? Streaming services should absolutely be required to obtain the rights to the works they provide, but this article from Ed Klaris in Bloomberg Law writes about how the process for rights acquisition must be streamlined to address the current “catacomb” system that exists today.
This is a review of the literature surrounding international patentability criteria published by Knowledge Portal.