Re:Create Recap November 13, 2020

Library Of Congress Celebrates 20 Years Of Veterans History Project. The Library of Congress celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Veterans History Project this week with a series of virtual concerts and panel discussions. Started by Congress in 2000, the Veterans History Project was created to compile stories and recollections from U.S. war veterans and make them accessible to the public. “This important program collects and preserves firsthand remembrances of U.S. war veterans for posterity because their stories are OUR stories” said Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress.

Stakeholder Input Important Part Of Any Attempt To Change DMCA Changes. As a next step in North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis’ work to review a fundamental part of our nation’s balanced copyright laws, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, he issued an open letter to stakeholders seeking public input on a number of issues. At the start of Sen. Tillis’ review of the DMCA, Re:Create called for an open discussion and urged “caution when it comes to policy proposals that will only serve to stifle innovation and free speech at the expense of creators and consumers.” Responses are due December 1.

Estate Behind Sherlock Holmes Seeks Copyright Protection For Emotions. When the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, attempted to sue Netflix and others involved with the 2020 film Enola Holmes, it was met with a robust defense of the public domain. The estate tried to claim that certain traits and emotions of the character displayed in later works were still protected by copyright. In a motion to dismiss filed last week, Netflix attorney Nicolas Jampol wrote: “Copyright law does not allow the ownership of generic concepts like warmth, kindness, empathy, or respect, even as expressed by a public domain character — which, of course, belongs to the public, not Plaintiff.”

Songwriter Releases All Of His Work Into The Public Domain. Songwriter Tom Lehrer announced that he is putting everything he has ever written into the public domain, effective immediately. Anyone will be able to download, use or perform his lyrics and sheet music without requiring permission or payment. Although Lehrer is giving up his royalties, some say in exchange he is giving his work a big revival. Jennifer Jenkins from the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School told Variety, “There is empirical research showing that when material enters the public domain, it actually gets used more.”

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