Marvel and the Kirbys’ eleventh-hour settlement—just as SCOTUS was poised to decide whether to take up the case—has been interpreted by some as an admission on Marvel’s part that the Kirbys’ case was stronger than they first allowed. It does seem reasonable to infer that Marvel was incented to settle before things got more complicated, or hazardous, for them. Yet the fact that the case never came to trial (the original 2011 decision was a summary judgment, not a trial verdict) makes it hard to know just what the calculations were on both sides. Interpreting the result as an unalloyed triumph or affirmation for either side would probably be too big a leap. Again, nothing is yet known publicly beyond the official joint statement: a single sentence.The long running lawsuit Marvel had undertaken against the estate of Jack Kirby was recently settled. Kirby scholar Charles Hatfield examines what this settlement might mean for the Kirby estate and comics in general. [more inside]
"I'm hardcore and I know the score And I am disgusted by the poor..." [NSFWish lyrics] [more inside]
What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2013?:'Under the law that existed until 1978 … Works from 1956.' Yesterday was Public Domain Day, with many works entering the public domain, depending on jurisdiction. [more inside]
By securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries
Current copyright law does not merely distort some markets – rather it destroys entire markets. (PDF) [more inside]
Tim Langdell started Edge games in Pasadena in 1990. The studio has produced no games, and has instead made a name for itself as a trademark troll: it attempts to sue almost anyone (flickr) who dares to use the word "edge" in their titles. Recently, the tables have turned, when Electronic Arts asked the United States to cancel all trademarks associated with Langdell, after Langdell attempted to claim copyright for the title Mirror's Edge. [more inside]
While Courtney pulled an Albini, Jeff handed out the bread. Are the peasants acting like emperors, or do they still want something shiny, aluminum, plastic, and digital? Debacle or cage, something's got to give (pdf). Alternatively, you can just roll your own.
So, when did Canada become the globe's official Progressive Society Laboratory? They've got the health care, they've got the gay marriage, and now, they've got 100% legal file-sharing -- a judge has ruled that not only is downloading copyrighted material legal, but sharing it is as well. Um, whoa? How long can this stand on appeal? Is anyone here a Canadian legal expert who can tell us about how Canadian copyright law differs from our own? (Tall order, I know...)
Left Gets Nod from Right on Copyright Law - A darling of the conservative movement, federal Judge Richard Posner criticizes the Sonny Bono Act and attacks the Patent and Trademark Office for granting "very questionable" business method patents at a lecture organized by the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution. (via How Appealing)
"This website comprises hundreds of documents (texts, scores, audio and video files) associated with music copyright infringement cases in the United States from 1845 forward. All of these documents have been collected, edited, digitized, organized, analyzed, and commented upon by staff at Columbia Law Library and the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning." Under the discussion section, there a write-up entitled "Notation Software and Determination of Melodic Similarity". For all those music majors out there who are thinking about law school, this is definitely an alternative career waiting for you where you don't have to throw away all the music.
Mickey Mouse draws "get out of jail" card. US Supremes agree to hear challenge to the 1998 "Sonny Bono" retroactive copyright extension.