Re:Create Recap- October 4, 2018

Libraries: Keep Copyright Office In Library Of Congress. An article in American Libraries Magazine from Alan S. Inouye urged libraries and librarians to contact their representative and oppose S. 1010, which would remove the Copyright Office from the Library of Congress. American Libraries Association (ALA) copyright counsel Jonathan Band was a witness at last week’s hearing, where he stated that “it is difficult to understand how the public or Congress itself would benefit from politicization of the Register’s position by making it subject to presidential appointment and Senate confirmation…Such politicization of the position necessarily would result in a Register more actively engaged in policy development than in competent management and modernization. Additionally, a politicized selection process likely would result in a Register who does not balance the competing interests of all stakeholders in the copyright system.”

Revised Music Modernization Act Heads To President’s Desk. On September 25 the House passed the Hatch Goodlatte Music Modernization Act, sending the bill — which streamlines the music licensing process — to the President’s desk for his signature. In a statement, Re:Create Executive Director Joshua Lamel said, “The final terms of the Music Modernization Act reflect the importance of protecting and preserving the public domain and the priority Congress has placed on passing legislation that addresses consumer interests.” “While the copyright terms in the revised bill aren’t perfect, they are vastly improved from the House version, and avoid locking away pre-1972 sound recordings for many more decades than necessary,” said Public Knowledge policy counsel Meredith Rose. “And the bill now guarantees that old sound recordings will clearly and fully enter the public domain after the expiration of this new federal right.”

Re:Create Statement: USMCA Doesn’t Fully Guarantee American Copyright Law. Re:Create Coalition Executive Director Joshua Lamel issued a statement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA) and its failure to explicitly guarantee fair use. “The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s unbalanced intellectual property chapter is both a win and loss for creativity and innovation,” Lamel stated. “Unfortunately, the negotiators missed a crucial opportunity to explicitly guarantee fair use and other copyright limitations and exceptions, and instead chose to hide behind the weak Berne language. Fair use is a critical part of American copyright law — exporting copyright enforcement without fair use will endanger the jobs of 18 million U.S. workers and hurt industries who account for 16 percent of the U.S. economy.”

New Trade Deal Fails Fair Use. In response to the announcement of the new USMCA, Public Knowledge posted a blog expressing concern that the agreement’s IP chapter “reflects the priorities of major corporate rightsholders while neglecting consumer and public interests.” “The USMCA’s IP chapter is a missed opportunity to truly adapt NAFTA to the 21st century. The agreement’s IP chapter, and particularly its copyright provisions, promotes the major interests of big entertainment and technology companies but fails to protect consumers, users, entrepreneurs, and the public at large,” stated Gus Rossi, Global Policy Director at Public Knowledge. Rossi’s statement points out the agreement fails to require copyrights be subject to the principles of fair use “without which the everyday activities of scholars, social media users, search engines, and many artists would be illegal.” Additionally, the Association of Research Libraries posted a blog on the trade agreement that examines, “what’s in—and out” of the IP chapter provisions, as compared to both the original NAFTA text and the TPP text.

Examining Fair Use In New Trade Deal. In a blog on the “good” and “bad” of the new USMCA trade deal, Techdirt’s Mike Masnick recognized that the agreement establishes strong intermediary liability protections which have been under attack and examined the murky copyright limitations and exceptions provisions and the disagreement over what this means for fair use. Masnick wrote, “the ‘good’ part is that the agreement includes something on user rights, but the bad part is that it defaults to the three step test which could be used to significantly limit just how fair use is applied,” and notes that “some interpret the three step test to limit fair use.”

Muralist Vs. Singer-Songwriter In Nashville Copyright Lawsuit. The painter behind a popular Nashville mural sued singer-songwriter Hollyn for featuring his mural in her latest music video, claiming copyright infringement. “The lawsuit highlights a possible copyright conflict between the city’s unyielding boom of public murals and an array of artists who are likely to film music videos in front of them,” reported The Tennessean. Hollyn’s video had already received 111,000 views on YouTube before she had to take it down and post an audio-only version.

New Creator Spotlight: Yoga With Adriene. “I’m not hyperbolising when I say she changed my life,” said a fan of yoga instructor Adriene Mishler, who has earned 4 million subscribers to her YouTube channels. The Guardian profiled Mishler’s career, which started with videos that allow viewers to perfect their yoga practice in the privacy of their home. Today, she’s also offering a European ticketed tour, receiving sponsorships from brands like Adidas, and earning revenues from the millions of users watching her YouTube videos.