Re:Create Recap – January 5, 2017

CES 2017 And Why Fair Use Matters. As the newest technology innovations, leaders, and big thinkers take center stage at CES 2017 this week, Re:Create has unveiled a new infographic to help people understand just how important the principle of fair use is to our ability to experience the latest that technology has to offer. The premier conference, hosted by the Consumer Technology Association, is celebrating its 50th anniversary and serves as a reminder of how much more prevalent technology is in our lives today than it was five decades ago.

Public Knowledge And R Street Push For Supreme Court Action On “Dancing Baby” Case.
In It’s time for SCOTUS to weigh in on digital fair use published in The Hill this week, Public Knowledge’s Charles Duan and R Street’s Sasha Moss weigh in on the anticipated Supreme Court action on the “Dancing Baby” case. In the piece, Duan and Moss argue that the case is not only about fair use, but also about notice and takedown, arguing, “While the dancing baby video is pretty clearly in line with what courts have determined to be fair use, another important question is whether Universal should have been allowed to send that takedown notice in the first place.”

Copyright And The Courts In 2017. Law360’s Bill Donahue previews the most prevalent upcoming copyright court battles in Copyright Cases To Watch In 2017. “From a Supreme Court case on cheerleader uniforms to a Federal Circuit battle between Google and Oracle over the fair use doctrine and everything in between, 2017 won’t be a slow year on the copyright front,” he predicts. Donahue is also keeping an eye on whether or not the Supreme Court takes up the “Dancing Baby” case as well as recent action taken by a U.S. District Court to move forward with determining if the song “We Shall Overcome” should be part of the public domain.

Thinking About What Could Have Been In The Public Domain. Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain is drawing attention to the length of copyright term by posting a list of books that would have been in the public domain on January 1, 2017 if the 1976 Copyright Act had not extended copyright term from 56 to 70 years after the date of an author’s death. This list includes To Kill a Mockingbird and Rabbit, Run, along with the films The Magnificent Seven and The Time Machine. The Center’s post notes that current laws will make the public wait until 2056 until these works enter into the public domain.

Copyright Trolls Go After Photo Of Black Bean Soup. A South Florida health blog was sued for publishing a photo of black bean soup, reports David Ovalle with The Miami Herald in Like these beans? Don’t copy the photo, or you might get a hefty bill. According to Ovalle, Fort Lauderdale’s New You Media is seeking “an $8,000 copyright infringement bill for a single image of black bean soup used on a post entitled ‘12 Easy Recipes for Shiny, Healthy Hair.’” New York lawyer Oscar Michelen offered his take on the case stating, “What makes these companies ‘trolls’ is they don’t seek fair value for the images…They demand an excessive amount, threaten a lawsuit and scare you into settling for some lower amount.”

Be Ready To Let Congress Know How Powerful Internet Users Really Are. In This Year in U.S. Copyright Policy: 2016 in Review, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) takes a look at the big copyright moments of 2016. The blog lists actions by the Obama Administration, which include international copyright treaties, personnel changes at the Library of Congress, and the release of the IPEC Joint Strategic Plan. It also highlights EFF’s work on Congress’ ongoing review of U.S. copyright law and its work to protect safe harbors for online intermediaries in the Copyright Office’s study on Section 512 of the DMCA. The blog concludes with words of caution noting that, “the entertainment and content industries haven’t let up in their pursuit of more draconian copyright laws, and there’s a risk that the copyright reform process could really go off the rails in 2017. If it does, we’ll all need to be ready to let Congress know how powerful Internet users really are.”