Re:Create Recap – April 28, 2016

Chairman Goodlatte Pledges Commitment To Overhaul Copyright System. Speaking at a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) event in accordance with World Intellectual Property Day, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Bob Goodlatte, addressed the audience in a pre-taped video on April 26, pledging to overhaul the copyright system. Summarizing the committee’s work in the past three years Chairman Goodlatte reflected on their findings and some of the pressing issues surrounding copyright policy, including how the current framework of laws affect multiple industries and how to achieve the proper balance in the new framework of copyright law. Later in the video, Chairman Goodlatte pledged to continue the committee’s work with stakeholders saying, “In the weeks ahead, we will identify areas where there is a likelihood of potential consensus and circulate outlines of potential reforms in those areas. Then we will convene stakeholders for further work on these potential reforms.” You can view the video and the full transcript on the committee’s website.

Re:Create Members To Speak At Copyright Office’s DMCA Section 512 Roundtables In NYC And CA. Representatives of new creators, artists, musicians, Internet users, the tech industry and more will gather before the U.S. Copyright Office at public roundtables in New York (May 2-3) and Stanford, California (May 12-13) to discuss the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Re:Create Coalition members will be speaking at both roundtables to highlight the safe harbor provision as the cornerstone of the Internet economy’s success. Speakers will include Michael Petricone of the Consumer Technology Association, Kerry Sheehan of Public Knowledge, Rebecca Tushnet with the Organization for Transformative Works, Matt Schruers with the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Corynne McSherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Joshua Lamel with the Re:Create Coalition.

Op-Ed: Anne Frank’s Diary Belongs In Public Domain. The Ars Technica op-ed Copyright chaos: Why isn’t Anne Frank’s diary free now? examines the “patchwork nature of copyright in the EU, and the absurdly long duration that makes it unsuited for a digital world where sharing and reuse is the norm.” Though copyright traditionally expires 70 years after a writer’s death, Poland is the only European country that places Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl in the public domain as a recent decision added her father Otto as a co-author.

Can A Chef Copyright A Cronut?
Award-winning chef Mike Solomonov tells The Washington Post for an article on so-called “food plagiarism,” “We all copy each other…” Recipes and pre-existing dishes or techniques cannot be copyrighted, as the article notes that it’s hard to “prove that someone’s dish is a knockoff, mostly because it’s a high bar to prove that yours is original.” Food writer David Sax adds the restaurant business is an “industry where no idea is truly original…If a chef puts something on their menu that they weren’t the first to do, that’s not a crime. That’s cuisine.”

Public Domain Citation Book Renamed To Avoid Costly Litigation Threats. After a series of threatening legal letters, Techdirt reported on April 20 that the intellectual property lawyers behind a free, online guide to legal citations have renamed their project Indigo Book. Lawyers from the Harvard Law Review Association, which produces the guide Bluebook, had copyright concerns over the new guide’s initial decision to be called Baby Blue. Despite these “baseless legal threats,” the authors chose the new name to avoid costly litigation.

Anti-Bootlegging Law Does More Harm Than Good For Copyright Community. New legislation has been drafted in the U.S. Senate that would put further restrictions on an already stymied industry of creators and artists. In aligning with the WIPO’s adoption of the Beijing Treaty, the Senate has drafted a bill that would bolster a performer’s rights to his or her performance in an effort to cut down on bootlegging. In The Misguided Plan to Expand A Performers’ Veto: More “Copyright Creep” Through Policy Laundering, Corynne McSherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation explains the issues with the legislation including the length of the copyright term, how DMCA plays a role in the legislation and the vague definitions in the bill. Simply stated, McSherry labels this a “dangerous proposal.”