Re:Create Recap – June 20, 2019

CASE Act  Would Be Windfall To Attorneys And Bad Idea For The Rest Of Us. In an op-ed on the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2019, Re:Create’s Joshua Lamel and Sasha Moss take readers back to the file sharing or “Napster wars” to explain how the flawed bill would create problems for the everyday American, as well as small businesses, nonprofits and creators. “What would happen if you combined the worst elements of the abusive legal tactics of patent trolls, with the pain and absurdity of the file-sharing copyright lawsuits? Well, this is exactly what the CASE Act would do,” wrote Lamel and Moss.

Copyright Insanity In Australia.  An Australian Aborigine flag designed in the 1970s by Harold Thomas “as a symbol of unity and national identity” continues to stoke copyright controversy. In 2010, Thomas invoked copyright claims after letting the symbol gain recognition for decades. Now, as Mike Masnick broke down for Techdirt, Thomas has gone a step further and signed a licensing deal with a clothing line. The problem with a private citizen owning the copyright to a flag that has become an “established symbol for indigenous Australians” has copyright lawyers suggesting the Australian government buy out the copyright. Masnick summed up the situation writing: “Yes, the government could do that, and it would still be fairly crazy. It seems like a better idea is recognizing that if you push something out there as a symbol for all to use, and then decades later come back with copyright demands, the copyright claims should be laughed at, rather than made real.”

Copyright Term Is Disney’s Genie In The Bottle. NPR’s Planet Money podcast used the release of Disney’s new Aladdin movie to teach listeners about copyright law and Disney’s role in extending copyright terms. The podcast pointed out how “Disney has long been a major political force in the fight to lengthen copyright” and does so because intellectual property laws that are too permissive provide little incentive to create new music or movies. However, Planet Money argued, “But, when copyright is too broad and strong, the consumer loses out. Great stories and characters can’t enter the public domain, which makes it harder to riff on old ideas. Like many of Disney’s products, Aladdin itself is a remix of an old story, one well out of reach of modern copyright laws.”

TikTok Propels Creators To Stardom. Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” is poised to be one of the top songs of the year, and it all started on the social media app TikTok. Rolling Stone explored how the app’s viral popularity is now one of the top platforms to discover new music talent and to revive old songs. The app allows users to make their own 15-second videos, inspiring millions of amateur-made music videos and dance challenges like last year’s #InMyFeelingsChallenge or this year’s #YeehawChallenge. “If you have a viral TikTok song, you can get a multi-million dollar deal,” said one talent agent. “These are massive, massive deals for a song that goes viral on TikTok.”

Game Of Thrones Memes Give Fans The Endings They Really Wanted. During the last season of “Game of Thrones” as fans began to sour on the ending, they instead turned to the internet to redeem the series and find the endings they actually wanted. The New York Times profiled this shift in media, noting how 1.6 million users signed a petition to redo the final season and the hashtag #DemThrones and its internet memes became “a messy, smart, popular vote that many enjoyed more than the show.” Even GoT actress Maisie Williams, tweeted after the finale: “just here for the memes.”