Re:Create Recap – June 30, 2016

Music Industry Continues To Face Heavy Criticism Amid Push To Change The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). A recent attack on the DMCA by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sparked criticism from diverse groups and organizations. Josh Lamel, Executive Director of the Re:Create Coalition, directly refutes the RIAA’s claims in a June 23 Medium post highlighting how the internet has fostered a flourishing community: “Over the past two decades innovations that were once viewed as disruptive technologies are now household names. This has been good for entrepreneurs, artists, companies and individual creators at all levels.” And in an op-ed published in The Hill on June 27, internet advocate Marvin Ammori writes that the “music industry’s renewed assault on Internet freedom would relitigate the SOPA debate and threaten free speech and innovation online.”

If You Love The Internet, You Should Thank The DMCA. That’s according to Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association, in a June 22 Medium post. Despite the success of the DMCA, Beckerman notes “there is a call by some to unwind the balance struck in the law and hold internet companies liable for policing every single piece of online content.” Meanwhile, Corynne McSherry with the Electronic Frontier Foundation raises a red flag on new safe harbor regulations proposed by the U.S. Copyright Office that would make service providers comply with more burdensome regulations, squeezing creators with more costs.

“Happy Birthday” Song Coming To A TV Near You. On June 27, Chief U.S. District Judge George King approved a settlement agreement to end Warner/Chappell Music’s copyright claims for the classic song “Happy Birthday to You,” reports Fortune. The song will enter the public domain, and the music companies will reimburse the $14 million collected from the song’s royalties. Experts estimate Warner/Chappell made as much as $2 million a year from the song. Plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Rifkin called the settlement a “huge, huge victory for artists and the public around the world.”

Writing A Goodnight Moon Spinoff? Expect To Hire Lawyers. NPR sat down on June 16 with reporter Keith Romer to explore the possibility of writing a prequel to the classic children’s book Goodnight Moon. The report explained Romer’s fair use legal defenses, including parody, before ultimately concluding “[he’d] have a pretty good argument, but…can’t guarantee it.” The interview illustrates the murky legal issues that Romer would have to fight against, including selling for a profit and taking a potential market away from the original copyright holder.

Star Trek Fan Film Copyright Lawsuit Continues To “Live Long And Prosper.”
Despite JJ Abrams’ assurances that the Star Trek fan film copyright lawsuit was reaching an amicable end, The Wall Street Journal reports Copyright Claims Against “Star Trek” Fan Film Kling On. “Nothing has changed,” fan director Robert Meyer Burnett told The Los Angeles Times. “It has been going through the court system exactly the same way it had been before [Abrams] made that announcement…I think, unfortunately, the outcome ultimately is not going to be favorable to us and certainly not for our fans and our donors.” Burnett also has concerns that the lawsuit could threaten the future of all fan films.