We’ve all heard the pirates' excuses for illegally downloading copyrighted material: it’s too expensive, it’s not available in my country when it’s available in others, etc. Google, for its part, keeps saying that if low cost, convenient alternatives were available, piracy would be greatly reduced. Well, HBO NOW just called their bluff: low cost, available across the United States, and with a free trial! Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., takes a look at the interesting results that occur when you take away all the excuses.
You can get my latest article in your email
3C vs. Three’s Company: Another “Transformative” Nail In the Coffin of Author’s Rights
The case of Adjmi v. DLT Entertainment pitted the production company behind the 1970’s sitcom Three’s Company against the play 3C, which it contended illegally copied many aspects of the popular sitcom. Once again, a Court ignores the rights of the author to control derivative works under the Copyright Act, and seems to think that by declaring a work "transformative," all other contrary considerations must be swept aside. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., goes through the decisions and points out the fallacies and how “transformative” use leads us down a dangerous road that negates an entire section of the Copyright Act.
More Money, No Profit: Is the “Free For All” Ethos of the Internet Killing Streaming?
Streaming is supposed to be the future of the music business. There’s only one problem. None of the streaming services make a profit. Not only do Pandora, Spotify and yes, even YouTube lose tons of money every year, none of them have ever made a profit. Even worse, as the revenue goes up, the losses get bigger. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle J.D., takes a look at the numbers and discovers that there is a rather simple solution to the streaming companies' profit problem.
Truth or Troll Redux: The Curious Case of Malibu Media v. Pelizzo
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued what looked to be a significant ruling. There, for the first time, a Court of Appeals was going to decide whether the tactics of so-called “copyright trolls” were reasonable when considering whether to award prevailing party attorneys' fees to a successful BitTorrent defendant. However, the language and procedure that the Court of Appeals utilized leaves one with the impression that not much has been clarified. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle J.D., digs into both the trial and appellate opinions to explain why the impact of the decision is less than certain.
The Strange World of “Let’s Play” Videos and the Copyright Problems They Create
Welcome to the strange world of “Let’s Play” videos. These videos merely show someone playing a video game with part of the screen devoted to the video game and the rest to the gamer, recording their reactions and commentary. And it’s big business, with one gamer earning over $4 million a year. How is this possible? Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., explains the method and marketing behind the madness and how copyright issues question the legality of the business.
Copyright in Recipes! Well Done or Half-Baked?
Earlier this year, there was another skirmish in the long running battle over copyright in recipes. The intriguingly titled case of Tomaydo-Tomahhdo, LLC v. Vozary once again examined the question of: are recipes copyrightable? And if so, what parts? Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., takes a look at the law and the cases that arise when someone gets caught with their hands in the recipe cookie jar.
The “Blurred Lines” Verdict: What It Means For Music Now and In the Future
The verdict in the “Blurred Lines” case surprised a lot of people. Many failed to see the level of similarity that the jury did, and felt the case set a bad precedent going forward. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., examines the component parts of the two songs, takes a look at the expert testimony, and explains what it means for music, now and in the future.
Two More Copyright Myths Bite the Dust: The $150,000 Statutory Damages Award and the DMCA as the Enemy of Free Speech
Two more copyright myths bit the dust this week, though it is doubtless that they will continue to be repeated. The first is the persistent myth of the $150,000 statutory damages award. The second is the myth of the DMCA takedown notice as the enemy of free speech. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., uncovers the facts behind the fictions.
How Copyright Piracy Funds Terrorism and Google Removes 180 Million Videos from YouTube
A recent law review article shows how copyright piracy is a major source of funds for terrorists. Also in the news is that Google for the first time reports that in 2014 they took down over 180 million videos from YouTube. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., digs into the facts and offers more insight.
Copying Is Not Creativity! Why Creative Artists Don’t Need the Public Domain
It has become very fashionable to insist that copyrights be pushed into the public domain absolutely as soon as possible. This way, the argument goes, they can be copied and built upon by others. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., asks, since when did copying become creativity? He breaks down the arguments and shows how not only does the premise not hold up, but creative restrictions in fact encourage rather than inhibit creativity.