George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Trump Interview Lawsuit Exposes Uncertainty in a Corner of Copyright Law

Will Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Bob Woodward and publisher Simon & Schuster[1] finally resolve the question of who owns the copyright over interviews? While the complaint has other challenges, it calls out a surprisingly muddled and unresolved area of copyright law. Read more

House Judiciary Committee Hearing Reacts to Copyright Office Report on Efficacy of Section 512

The following post comes from Liz Velander, a recent graduate of Scalia Law and a Research Assistant at CPIP.

U.S. Capitol buildingBy Liz Velander

In late September, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing entitled Copyright and the Internet in 2020: Reactions to the Copyright Office’s Report on the Efficacy of 17 U.S.C. Read more

Congratulations to Shira Perlmutter: 14th United States Register of Copyrights

the word "copyright" typed on a typewriterOn September 21, 2020, Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden announced that she has appointed Shira Perlmutter Register of Copyrights and Director of the United States Copyright Office.

Ms. Perlmutter has a deep knowledge of copyright law and policy, as well as an appreciation for the nuance with which domestic and international copyright issues must be administered to ensure a flourishing of creativity and dissemination of knowledge to benefit the public. Read more

CPIP’s Sandra Aistars Joins Artomatic Panel on Copyright Protection for Visual Artists

The following post comes from Liz Velander, a recent graduate of Scalia Law and a Research Assistant at CPIP.

the word "copyright" written on a typewriterBy Liz Velander

As part of its ongoing series about the copyright licensing process, Artomatic hosted a virtual panel for visual artists last week to discuss how to protect their creative works. Read more

Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act is First Step Towards a Modern Copyright Office

U.S. Capitol buildingThe House Judiciary Committee today overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act by a vote of 27-1. Introduced last Thursday by Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr.—with the support of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, and Senator Patrick Leahy—the Act is the first legislative effort to follow a four-year review of U.S. Read more

What Would Judge Gorsuch Mean for Fair Use?

U.S. Supreme Court buildingOn February 1st, President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. The announcement opened the floodgates of prognostication as to how the appellate court judge from Colorado might sway the Court in the coming terms, with forecasters pouring over his past decisions in an attempt to get into the head of the potentially game-changing jurist.  Read more

IP Scholars Explain Why We Shouldn’t Use SurveyMonkey to Select Our Next Register of Copyrights

Washington D.C. at nightIn a letter submitted to House Judiciary Committee today, nine IP scholars (organized by CPIP’s Sandra Aistars) express their support for the Committee’s proposal to modernize the Copyright Office. The letter identifies three major challenges facing the Copyright Office, including “(1) insufficient funds, staff, and infrastructure to efficiently perform its core functions; (2) operational impediments stemming from its integration with the Library of Congress; and (3) potential risk of constitutional challenges to its decision-making authority should the Office take on increased regulatory or adjudicatory responsibility.” Read more

Librarians’ Contradictory Letter Reveals an Alarming Ignorance of the Copyright System

U.S. Capitol buidlingOn December 14th, a group of librarians sent a letter to Congress explaining why they believe the Copyright Office should remain under the control of the Library of Congress. Written by University of Virginia Library’s Brandon Butler, the letter is a self-contradicting and uninformed response to recent recommendations on reform of the Copyright Office offered by leading members of the House Judiciary Committee. Read more

Rejection of DOJ Consent Decree Interpretation is a Win for Songwriters

Cross-posted from the Mister Copyright blog.

sheet musicEarlier this month, a federal judge in the Southern District of New York issued an order rejecting the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) interpretation of a consent decree governing the way the performance rights organization Broadcast Music Inc. Read more

Despite What You Hear, Notice and Takedown is Failing Creators and Copyright Owners

cameraIn a recent op-ed in the LA Times, Professors Chris Sprigman and Mark Lemley praise the notice and takedown provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as “a bit of copyright law worth saving.” They argue that Section 512 of the DMCA continues to serve its purpose of balancing the rights of copyright owners and creators with those of Internet service providers (ISPs), while leaving both sides only “slightly disappointed.” Read more