Re:Create Recap – March 24, 2016

Would You Take A $100 Million Chance On The Public Domain? Film producer Don Murphy has been in talks with studios to make a movie based on the iconic character Buck Rogers, which he contends is now in the public domain. However, as reported in The Hollywood Reporter’s article Judge Rejects Film Producer’s Bid to Have Buck Rogers Character Declared in Public Domain, a judge dismissed the case because the film has yet to be made. Eriq Gardner writes, “…[In] order to find out whether Buck Rogers is in the public domain, a potentially copyright infringing work has to be made. Who wants to take that $100 million chance?”

Twitter Censors Oil Data Tweets After Receiving DMCA Takedown Notices. 
Nasdaq reported on March 9 that Twitter deleted sensitive oil data after several users tweeted statistics from the American Petroleum Institute (API)’s weekly market report. Twitter removed the tweets after API, which charges a subscription for the data, issued DMCA takedown notices. However, Techdirt’s Mike Masnick notes that court decisions have “[made] it clear that purely factual data gets no copyright protection…” He goes on to explain that Twitter often complies with these notices, regardless of fair use, and removed tweets in almost 70% of cases in 2015.

TVEyes Argues For Fair Use Protection Of “Transformative” Features. News monitoring service TVEyes asked an appellate court to overturn a District Court decision from 2015 which prohibited the site from allowing users to download broadcast clips for offline viewing. The court ruled the feature was not protected by fair use. According to the Media Post article TVEyes Battles Fox News Over Downloads, Asks Appeals Court to Nix Injunction, TVEyes argues all of its features are “transformative” and allows subscribers, including journalists and the government, to access clips for research.

Another Ruling On Dancing Baby Case Clouds Initial Outcome, Fair Use. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important ruling in the “dancing baby” case last fall that affirmed copyright holders must consider fair use before issuing takedowns. In response, opposing attorneys asked for an additional en banc hearing that recently delivered an outcome weakening fair use. In Dancing Baby Trial Back On? Another Mixed Ruling in Lenz v. Universal, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)’s Corynne McSherry explains how the majority decision, while still affirming fair use, lowers the standard for how it should be applied. “[The] court did excise several paragraphs stressing that a fair use analysis need not be ‘searching or intensive’ and implying that a rightsholder could use computer algorithms and automated matching programs to largely meet its obligations.”

3D Printing Establishes Presence On Capitol Hill. Marking its fifth year on Capitol Hill, 3D/DC will hold its annual Capitol Hill briefing next month. Public Knowledge interviewed founder Michael Weinberg on the group’s inception and why it’s important the group keep a presence on Capitol Hill. “A big part of the idea behind 3D/DC was to make sure that the 3D printing industry had a relationship with policymakers before any sort of controversy erupted,” said Weinberg. “That way they could be involved with any legislative discussion as it was happening, not just trying to work within the rules after they were made. It was also designed to give the 3D printing community a familiarity with policymakers…” You can read the entire Q&A here.