Re:Create Recap June 6, 2019

Poland Files Complaint Over EU Copyright Directive. Finding the EU’s new copyright rule as a censorship threat, Poland has filed a complaint with the European Court of Justice. A Reuters report quotes Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski who stated in an earlier interview with TVP Info, “This system may result in adopting regulations that are analogous to preventive censorship, which is forbidden not only in the Polish constitution but also in the EU treaties.” An Engadget report notes that Poland’s framing its concern as a free speech issue  “could at least draw attention to the possibility of unintended consequences.”

Authors Alliance Says CASE Act May Be Unconstitutional. In an analysis of the 2019 CASE Act, Kerry Maeve Sheehan with the Authors Alliance finds serious flaws with the bill leading her to conclude, “If Congress is serious about fixing Copyright’s small claims problem, it needs to do better than the CASE Act.”  While she recognizes the well-intentioned goals of the bill to help reduce barriers to copyright enforcement, Sheehan’s analysis lists several problem areas, including the fact that it may even be unconstitutional to force copyright infringement claims into an administrative forum, as Authors Alliance founder and law professor Pamela Samuelson has pointed out.

Another Victory For Fair Use In Documentary Lawsuit. A federal judge ruled that use of less than 60 seconds of the Chicago Bears’ “Super Bowl Shuffle” in a documentary is protected by fair use, according to Cook County Record and other outlets. The documentary about the 1985 Chicago Bears team used the song and music video without written permission, but each clip lasts between 1 and 8 seconds. Judge Kendall ruled that the song’s inclusion was protected by fair use because it was used as fact not musical enhancement or entertainment, and the clips don’t provide any commercial gain. Most importantly, Kendall stated that “no one would purchase the right to view [the documentary] as a substitute for doesn’t purchasing the ‘Shuffle’” so the film impact the song’s market.

CASE Act Will Encourage Copyright Trolling. TechDirt’s Mike Masnick asks the question: “Why is Congress moving forward with its plan to encourage copyright trolling?” The CASE Act would create a small claims court for copyright, but Masnick pointed out how the bill would make copyright trolling an even bigger problem than it already is. Copyright trolls currently already claim infringement “in hopes of extracting settlement fees.” Masnick explained how the CASE Act will make this even easier and more commonplace.

Disney Issues Copyright Strikes Against Commentary Videos.  In response to a series of negative commentary videos YouTubers have posted about a deleted Captain Marvel scene, Disney has blocked their videos.  The bold action has provoked an important debate over fair use. Spencer Baculi, a contributor to “nerd culture” site Bounding Into Comics has compiled many of the blocked videos which the creators believe fall under fair use. He writes: “While YouTube’s copyright system exists to prevent users from making money from the unauthorized use of copyrighted content, the videos struck by Disney fall under the category of fair use, which is also supported by YouTube, who defines fair use as including “works of commentary, criticism, research, teaching, or news reporting.”

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