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Category Archives: Copyright

Paper – Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling

Sag, Matthew and Haskell, Jake, Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling (March 28, 2017). Iowa Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2933200

“In this Article, we offer both a legal and a pragmatic framework for defending against copyright trolls. Lawsuits alleging online copyright infringement by John Doe defendants have accounted for roughly half of all copyright cases filed in the United States over the past three years. In the typical case, the plaintiff’s claims of infringement rely on a poorly substantiated form pleading and are targeted indiscriminately at non-infringers as well as infringers. This practice is a sub-set of the broader problem of opportunistic litigation, but it persists due to certain unique features of copyright law and the technical complexity of Internet technology. The plaintiffs bringing these cases target hundreds or thousands of defendants nationwide and seek quick settlements priced just low enough that it is less expensive for the defendant to pay rather than to defend the claim, regardless of the merits of the claim.  We report new empirical data on the continued growth of this form of copyright trolling in the United States. We also undertake a detailed analysis of the legal and factual underpinnings of these cases. Despite their underlying weakness, plaintiffs have exploited information asymmetries, the high cost of federal court litigation, and the extravagant threat of statutory damages for copyright infringement to leverage settlements from the guilty and the innocent alike. We analyze the weaknesses of the typical plaintiff’s case and integrate that analysis into a comprehensive strategy roadmap for defense lawyers and pro se defendants. In short, as our title suggests, we provide a comprehensive and useful guide to the defense against the dark arts of copyright trolling.Notes: Note that this version contains substantive revisions to the versions posted prior to March 28, 2016.”

House Votes to Give Some Powers of Librarian of Congress to Donald Trump

BOOKRIOT: “Dr. Carla Hayden, the current and 14th Librarian of Congress, is many things: a brilliant scholar, a forty year veteran of libraries, a defender of equal access, a former president of the American Library Association (ALA), and a rescuer of baby ducks. She is also the first African American and the first woman to hold… Continue Reading

Another commentary on Google Books

How Google Book Search Got Lost – Google Books was the company’s first moonshot. But 15 years later, the project is stuck in low-Earth orbit. Scott Rosenberg, April 11, 2017. “…Two things happened to Google Books on the way from moonshot vision to mundane reality. Soon after launch, it quickly fell from the idealistic ether into… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals opinion – Google is not a generic name

Elliott v. Google, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 15-15809 D.C. No. 2:12-cv-01072-SMM – OPINION, May 16, 2017. “The panel affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of Google, Inc., in an action under the Lanham Act, seeking cancellation of the GOOGLE trademark on the ground that it is generic.… Continue Reading

Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling

Sag, Matthew and Haskell, Jake, Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling (March 28, 2017). Iowa Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2933200 “In this Article, we offer both a legal and a pragmatic framework for defending against copyright trolls. Lawsuits alleging online copyright infringement by John Doe defendants have accounted for roughly half… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Google Books is not Alexandria redux

Via LLRX.com – Google Books is not Alexandria redux – Chris Meadows revisits a subject, Google Books, that has been the focal point of legal action, disagreement within the publishing and library communities, and basically an issue lacking closure concerning the end product. Meadows reiterates the Second Circuit finding on Google Books and fair uses… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Oh Lord, please don’t let Google Book Search be misunderstood

Via LLRX.com – Oh Lord, please don’t let Google Book Search be misunderstood – In what became a two part article, Chris Meadows responds to the continuing commentary and rebuttals on the Google Books decision and access to the search engine that remains available to query a huge index of full-text books and access the… Continue Reading

Paper – Notice and Takedown in Everyday Practice

Urban, Jennifer M. and Karaganis, Joe and Schofield, Brianna L., Notice and Takedown in Everyday Practice (March 22, 2017). UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2755628. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2755628 [via Mary Whisner] “It has been nearly twenty years since section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act established the so-called notice and takedown… Continue Reading

Paper – Copyright: The immoveable barrier that open access advocates underestimated

Copyright: The immoveable barrier that open access advocates underestimated, Richard Poynder, 20 February 2017. “In calling for research papers to be made freely available open access advocates promised that doing so would lead to a simpler, less costly, more democratic, and more effective scholarly communication system. To achieve their objectives they proposed two different ways… Continue Reading

Paper – Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling

Sag, Matthew and Haskell, Jake, Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling (March 14, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2933200 “In this Article, we offer both a legal and a pragmatic framework for defending against copyright trolls. Lawsuits alleging online copyright infringement by John Doe defendants have accounted for roughly half of all copyright cases… Continue Reading

POGO – Trump’s Trademarks Pose Ethics Challenge for the Executive Branch

POGO – “Last week, President Trump’s campaign committee filed a legal complaint against a textile manufacturer in South Carolina for applying to trademark the use of “Make America Great Again” on bath towels, bed blankets, and pillow cases. The complaint was brought before a panel called the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (Trademark Board), a… Continue Reading

U.S. Copyright Office launches updated website

“Today, the U.S. Copyright Office launched its updated website, www.copyright.gov. The website has been redesigned to be more organized, more responsive, and easier to digest. It now features a new header with global navigation and search, and expanded width in all sections to maximize screen usage. Several individual pages have been consolidated for improved navigation.… Continue Reading