Text of ASTM v Public Resource – DC Circ Decision re Fair Use of Standards Incorporated Into Laws

From the decision: Across a diverse array of commercial and industrial endeavors, from paving roads to building the Internet of Things, private organizations have developed written standards to resolve technical problems, ensure compatibility across products, and promote public safety. These technical works, which authoring organizations copyright upon publication, are typically distributed as voluntary guidelines for self-regulation. Federal, state, and local governments, however, have incorporated by reference thousands of these standards into law. The question in this case is whether private organizations whose standards have been incorporated by reference can invoke copyright and trademark law to prevent the unauthorized copying and distribution of their works. Answering yes, the district court granted partial summary judgment in favor of the private organizations that brought this suit and issued injunctions prohibiting all unauthorized reproduction of their works. In doing so, the court held that, notwithstanding serious constitutional concerns, copyright persists in incorporated standards and that the Copyright Act’s “fair use” defense does not permit wholesale copying in such situations. The court also concluded that the use of the private organizations’ trademarks ran afoul of the Lanham Act and did not satisfy the judicial “nominative fair use” exception. Because the district court erred in its application of both fair use doctrines, we reverse and remand, leaving for another day the far thornier question of whether standards retain their copyright after they are incorporated by reference into law.



Appeal Certified in Goldman v Breitbart (Tom Brady embedded tweet case)

Interlocutory appeal certified in Goldman v Breitbart (Tom Brady embedded link case), thus assuring prompt resolution of knotty legal problem.


‘DEEP THROAT’ v ‘LINDA LOVELACE’ – (c) and TM Fair Use


Text of 2d Cir HathiTrust Decision

Prof Grimmelmann analysis here.

authors guild v hathitrust 2d circuit.pdf


Swatch Defeats Bloomberg's Motion to Dismiss re Unauthorized Transcript of Analyst's Conference Call

From the complaint: Plaintiff Swatch, a Swiss publicly traded company, hosted a conference call for securities analysts. The call was transmitted and recorded by a conference call service. Participants were instructed not to record the call for publication or broadcast. Bloomberg News was not invited or authorized to participate in the call. Bloomberg recorded the call, created a transcript which it made available to others.

Bloomberg moves to dismiss. Denied. If a fixation of the work is being made simultaneously with its transmission, the Copyright Act creates the fiction that the simultaneous fixation occurs before the transmission, for purposes of an infringement claim. (page 4). Also, the conference call satisfied the requirement of originality.

Swatch v Bloomberg


Another One Of Those Isaac of Nineveh Copyright Decisions

Plaintiff Monastery translated works by St. Isaac the Syrian, also known as Isaac of Nineveh, from Greek into English (the copyright subsists in the derivative work, namely the translation). Archbishop (who had settled a previous case with the Monastery) posted Homily 46 to his website. Archbishop seeks to nullify the prior contract, and also alleges fair use. Archbishop’s ‘devotional’ use of the homily was not transformative, and was not fair use. Note: various homilies are excerpted on the Wikipedia page. Image obtained here.
Decision Holy Transfiguration Copyright


Don't Sing-a-long: Capitol v Vimeo re 'Lip Dub' Videos

Lip Dub – Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri on Vimeo.

Vimeo is a video-sharing site (owned by InterActive Corp). It apparently hosts many videos consisting of ‘lip dubs,’ like the one above actually performed by the Vimeo staff. Plaintiff record labels allege that Vimeo is no ‘so-called video sharing service’ as it induces such infringing works.
The video above appears to reproduce a copyrighted work in its entirety (I have no way of knowing if the creator of the video received authorization). IO Group v Veoh and UMG v Veoh discuss video-sharing service liability. Plainitff will attempt to show how Vimeo’s behavior takes it out of the Veoh cases analysis.
Should I worry that my son is filming his friends and himself singing to songs, and then uploading them to YouTube, where they are viewed in the ten’s of ones? If the labels go after him, my son can’t afford me. I will have to turn to the EFF.
Complaint Capitol v Vimeo


"Extreme Borrowing in the Blogosphere"

Kottke.org: “Extreme Borrowing in the Blogosphere” (discussing linking/excerpting/attribution issues).


Mark Zuckerberg on the Facebook Content Brouhaha

Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook): Update on Terms

Our next version will be a substantial revision from where we are now. It will reflect the principles I described yesterday around how people share and control their information, and it will be written clearly in language everyone can understand. Since this will be the governing document that we’ll all live by, Facebook users will have a lot of input in crafting these terms.


2006 Interview With Girl Talk

2006 interview with ‘mash up’ artist Girl Talk about, among other things, waiting for the cease and desists to arrive.