Archives for October 2011

Copyright Office Releases Report of Office Policies and Special Projects

The Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, has issued an important report, highlighting key policy-based priorities and announcing several special projects that the Office will implement over the next two years.  If you care about copyright law, I highly recommend you read this report.

There is much good news in it, including the Register’s plans to continue upgrading the Office’s website and making more of the public record available electronically.  For those less familiar with the vast amount of important work the Office does in connection with policy studies and legislation, this report will provide ample proof of just how important a role the Copyright Office plays with respect to shaping and implementing copyright law.

Of special note, the Office will be conducting regional roundtable-type events to obtain input from all of the copyright law’s many stakeholders (hopefully including the public) and guide future policies.  I will be sure to keep you apprised of such meetings.  As a special bonus for copyright geeks, we will finally be getting a revision to the Copyright Office Compendium!

Here is the Register’s Report:


American Buddha: What’s Next?

Zen Slate
Creative Commons License photo credit: Intrepid Flame
I am heading out to Philadelphia for the NY State Bar Association Fall Meeting (discussed here), where I will be speaking about the recent American Buddha decision in which the New York Court of Appeals held (limited solely to cases involving on-line copyright infringement of literary works) that for the purposes of the New York long-arm statute, the harm from such types of infringement occurs where the copyright owners resides.  You always know that a decision is going to be a deusy when the court limits the applicability of the holding like that. . .  [Read more…]

Website Developer’s Unauthorized Login to Website Not Actionable Under DMCA

What's your password
Creative Commons License photo credit: TheRealMichaelMoore
In a recent decision, Ground Zero Museum Workshop v. Wilson, a District of Maryland court held that a former website developer who allegedly gained unauthorized access to the plaintiff’s website after a dispute and altered the website did not violate the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision.  In a familiar fact pattern of the jilted lover, er, I mean website developer, the developer used his password to access the back end of the plaintiff’s website after the two parties had a falling out and the developer resigned.  Then, depending upon whose version of reality you choose to believe, the developer either (1) pulled out the website functionality he had created and left the website in the same condition it was in before he started work or (2) altered the website so that users would think it was no longer functioning and inserted code that would redirect users to various news articles about the plaintiff and its owners. [Read more…]

Supreme Court News Flash: Downloads Still Not Public Performances

Wharfedale woofer
Creative Commons License photo credit: wstryder

File this one under “privileged glimpses of the bloody obvious.”  In a development that could be a surprise only to ASCAP and its counsel, the Supreme Court today has rejected ASCAP’s petition for certiorari, leaving in place the Second Circuit’s ruling that the mere act of downloading a sound recording does not constitute a public performance of the downloaded song.  [Read more…]