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Copyright Blog Update: Meet the New and Improved “Whack-A-Mole”

In the never ending race to provide even more pirated material on the internet, a new wrinkle in the whack-a-mole phenomenon was unveiled recently. A new UK pirate website, using a special webcrawler and algorithm actively recovers URLs removed by Google and works to promote the listings back to the top of Google results after being demoted. Who provided them with this handy list of where to find pirated material? Why, Google of course, and its partner in crime, the Chilling Effects organization. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., explains how Google provides this handy “Google Map” on where to find copyright infringing material, and how it reflects on Google’s recently released document titled “How Google Fights Piracy.”

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Georgia State and the Boundaries of Academic Fair Use: From Bright Line Test to…Maybe

In a closely watched case involving the boundaries of academic fair use, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in with a 129 page decision that took almost a year to write. Did the decision provide institutes of higher learning with clear and effective guidance on the proper boundaries of fair use, or did it just make a gray area more opaque? Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., analyzes the decision and where it might lead us.

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Mickey’s Headed to the Public Domain! But Will He Go Quietly?

The end is near for both Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse. Pooh will hit the public domain in the year 2022. Mickey will follow in 2024. The loss of these merchandising monsters will put a big dent in the earnings of the Walt Disney Company. They’re not going to take this lying down, will they? Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., takes a look at the possible legal strategies that might be employed to keep Pooh and Mickey firmly within the Disney kingdom.

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Google Is As Google Does: How Google Cheats Both Sides of the DMCA Takedown Process

Last week, a Hollywood attorney threatened to sue Google for $100 million dollars over their failure to take down certain URLs associated with the release of nude celebrity photos hacked from their online accounts. In one case, almost 45% of the URLs listed in one takedown notice remained up despite the fact that the photos clearly were stolen. What is Google up to? Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., takes a look at how Google is cheating the takedown process… on both sides.

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Flo and Eddie v. SiriusXM Radio: Have Two Hippies from the 60’s Just Changed the Course of Broadcast Music?

Last week, everything about broadcasting music changed. For the first time, a Federal Judge in California has ruled that records made before February 15, 1972 had performance rights under California law. This means that every radio broadcaster, satellite broadcaster and internet radio station in the State that played a record by The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin was potentially breaking the law, and owes damages. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., takes an in-depth look at the current litigation and what the ruling means for the future of broadcasting and the internet.

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Judge Says “No” to Roger Dean’s Avatar Lawsuit: Should He Have Said “Yes” Instead?

Every successful creative project seems to attract lawsuits claiming the project copied the material from some unknown author. James Cameron’s film Avatar was no exception. It attracted at least five separate lawsuits, but one stood out. Almost immediately after release, the internet lit up with comparisons between the otherworldy planet of Pandora and several very similar paintings of fantastical landscapes. The paintings all had one source; British artist Roger Dean, who had created album covers for Yes, Asia, Uriah Heep and Gentle Giant. Last week, Roger Dean’s suit got dismissed by a Federal Judge. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., performs an in-depth analysis of the suit and the dismissal, and discusses key problems with the Judge’s ruling.

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Copyright Blog Update: Court of Appeals Rejects “Transformative Use” Test & Malibu Media Marches Along

This post updates the latest happenings in two controversial areas of copyright that were the subject of previous blogs: the “transformative use” test and the alleged “copyright troll” Malibu Media. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., examines the rejection of the “transformative use” test by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and two recent court judgments in favor of adult video producer Malibu Media.

So, virtually anything, from your “selfies” to a doodle in your notebook, is protected by the Copyright Law.

Unintended Consequences: How the DMCA Made the Distribution of Stolen Celebrity Photos All Too Easy

Last week, the ugly side of the internet was highly visible. Stolen photographs of nude female celebrities circulated around the world, with some sites nearly crashing due to such high demand. Did the copyright act actually help grease the wheels of this sleazy and shameful phenomenon? Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., explains how it worked and what might be done to remedy the problem.

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Is the Digital Revolution Going to Kill Fair Use?

Digital files are acquired by license, not by sale. There are at least two existing courts cases which hold that the license agreement can restrict the end user’s ability to engage in certain activities that are fair use. How likely is it, that when the world is moving towards an all-digital market, that all of “fair use” will be completely contracted away? Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., takes a look at whether the dawn of the digital realm will mean the sunset of fair use.

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Claiming Copyright in Public Domain Works: It’s Time to Put an End to Publishing Sleight of Hand

What do Huckleberry Finn, Sherlock Holmes and the song “Happy Birthday” have in common? All are partially or completely in the public domain, but have publishers that are still claiming they are fully protected by copyright. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., gets to the bottom of the tricks and sleight of hand behind the claims.

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