Sunday, February 11, 2018

'Ware Lawyers... and Sith Lords

Beware, that is. Beware especially of "other people's lawyers."

"It's a very frightening time," T J Siles is quoting as saying, with respect to authors, in Kevin Carty's article about very bad stuff hiding in plain sight.

Copyright owners have less and less bargaining power, as this N Y Post article lays out, and it does not scratch the surface of the legal minefield for copyright owners who would like to earn a living from their creative time, expertise and vision.

Sometimes, a copyright owner unknowingly transfers her or his copyright.

Mark Sableman,  legal blogger for Thompson Coburn LLP explains some hard-to-swallow issues about how an exclusive license may stymie a creator's right to sue for copyright infringement.

How many authors sign exclusive license agreements? Are some Amazon contracts based on exclusive licenses?

(Mark Sableman also penned a helpful article about how far you can go with a disgruntled-feline meme.)

The Thompson Coburn LLP article on the unintentional loss of the right to sue for copyright infringement concerns movies, and an exclusive license granted to a sales agent.  The creator's contract with the agent explicitly stated that the creator retained the right to sue (others) for copyright infringement....   but the court said otherwise.

To learn what a creator must do to avoid legally transferring copyright and the right to sue, read the article.

Staying with movie makers and their piracy woes....

Cassian Elwes producer of the film "Dallas Buyers Club" which sold 7 million theatre tickets but was pirated 22 million times, writes a Newsweek article about how legal loopholes in copyright protection and enforcement has affected the Independent movie industry.

Maria Schneider analyses devilish details buried in the Music Modernization Act, allegedly slipped in by lawyers, and not noticed by lawmakers... if one gives the lawmakers the benefit of the doubt, and assumes that they read what the lawyers wrote.

The TEN BIG HOLES that powerful lobbyists included in the MMA are eyeopeners.

In this author's opinion, perhap the most insidiuou Sith Lord of Copyright Protections is embedded in the American Law Institute.

Please read Neil Turkewitz's opinion article on what the American Law Institute is trying to do to subvert and change copyright law for all copyright owners in an end run around lawmakers and the public.

The argument for "more balanced" interpreting of copyright law seems to put a heavy hand on the scales of justice in favor of "any business whose activities may raise copyright infringement concerns."

Mitchell Zimmerman of Fenwick and West LLP has a good primer for those who are not lawyers or experts, but  would like to know more about copyright.

All the best,
Rowena Cherry

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