The Traklight Blog

Explore the world of intangible assets and IP with guest blogs, business owner interviews, and more.

VidAngel Copyright Suit Settlement Ends "Filtering" Debate

It's been a long-standing matter of contention as to the right to alter a piece of artistic work. Generally speaking, if someone is to make alterations in a manner consistent with added artistic value, they have far more leeway than might be given otherwise under intellectual property law. But what if you're just removing things from said work?

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TikTok Faces Copyright Lawsuit As Woes Mount

We've all probably experienced the phenomenon of cascading bad luck, wherein misfortune piles upon itself until we feel that fate has conspired against us. The alarm doesn't go off, the car won't start, work projects go awry —eventually we feel like kindred spirits with Job. But however bad our toughest periods might have been, we can at least take comfort in the fact that we're not TikTok.

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Google Saved In Genius Lawsuit By Copyright Considerations

Among the many benefits that the proliferation of the internet and search engines have provided, finding song lyrics wouldn't rank among the most important, but it would certainly be a more popular use than, say, looking up academic papers for school work. And it's an underrated benefit; for years prior, you had to rely on liner notes from records or CDs, and that's even if the artist put the lyrics there. Otherwise, you were left guessing as to whether you heard the words correctly over the radio, only to be corrected years later.

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DMCA Copyright Trolls Get In On The Automation Game

There's nothing good that can't be ruined, and nothing bad that can't be made worse, and that holds true for intellectual property as it does for anything else in life. Take the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), for example; like any law, it has its flaws, but applied in the spirit in which it was intended, the DMCA probably does more good than harm. But measuring good versus harm is always subject to the small group of bad actors willing to do the worst things they think they can get away with, and those outliers are often enough to sway at least some thinking on the efficacy of any program or law.

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Japan's Twitter Users Liable For Retweets That Violate Copyright Law

If you've even spent any time on Twitter (and for your sake, I hope you haven't) you recognize it as a space largely disassociated from the world in which its users live. While there are plenty of real people engaging in genuine interactions, no one is necessarily attached to any actual identity, and thus millions are large freed from the consequences that might follow them in real life. It can feel like a space to say and do whatever you want, with seemingly no one interested in stopping you, save for the overwhelming concern Twitter professes for copyrighted material. And now Japan seems poised to take that concern to perhaps absurd heights.

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Star Trek Comic Con Panel Taken Offline For Copyright Protection Glitch

We've placed an awful lot of faith in technology to fix problems and generally bail us out of issues we've created for ourselves as a species, from the biggest existential threats to the smallest inconveniences. Which is all well and good, save for the fact that tech has shown itself to be as smart as we might assume it to be, or rather is only as smart as the people creating and programming it.

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Police Agency Uses Copyright Claim To Avoid Transparency Law

Accountability is at the crux of this moment of our history — who bears blame for their action or inaction, particularly when the cost is borne by others. And yet it's often the case that, for those in power, accountability lies elsewhere, often diffuse and shrouded behind rules and regulations and the law. Laws can protect us, but they can also serve as a fig leaf which people and organizations use to avoid questions or silence critics.

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Twitch To Delete Clips Automatically Over Copyright Claims

The tension that once existed between the rights of the average content creator online and those of copyright holders no longer exists, because the battle has long since been decided in favor of rightsholders. As long documented in this space, the rules and regulations governing YouTube and Facebook and other content repositories lean decidedly towards those pressing a claim of copyright infringement, to the point that the act of filing such a claim has been made easy in every regard for the claimant and almost impossible to fight for the alleged violator.

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Internet Archive Facing Copyright Lawsuit Over Unauthorized Lending

The crisis caused by the coronavirus has given rise to a wave of goodwill gestures form companies looking to help people throughout tough times. Whether it's out of genuine communal spirit or a desire for good will, brands have made an effort to both donate money and make available products for free in order to try and help the country get through what we've been told repeatedly are "unprecedented times." And while the gestures are not without consequence for some.

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Even In A Pandemic, Copyright Bots Don't Rest (Or Learn)

In the midst of the pandemic lockdown, artists and musicians have turned to virtual means of staying connected to fans and audiences, as much for their sake as ours. It's a trite observation given the real challenges they face, but performers do survive on the attention that we're able to give them, and the money that comes along with that attention and subsequent ticket sales. We're not sweating the fate of superstar performers, but what about those who are far less famous but nevertheless dependent upon support to survive, particularly those who are coming up against the pernicious threat of copyright bots online?

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U.S. Copyright Office Report Pushes Changes To DCMA That Would Favor Rightsholders

Modern copyright law has long been in need of an overhaul, but need does not necessarily precede action, and the gap between what is and what should be can be wide indeed. Critics of current applications of the law would suggest that it comes down too often in favor of the powerful, which is to say on the side of rightsholders pressing the case for infringement, with many of those rightsholders being big corporate entities. They're of course entitled to protect their rights to their intellectual property under the law, but what those rights are and what they entail has shifted greatly in their favor over recent years.

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Tiger King Offers Insight Into The Flaws of Copyright Law

The thing about notoriety, or infamy, is that it places a magnifying glass over every part of your life, and that's particularly true of the reality television stars of today. That means any legal trouble of legal issues you face become fodder for the internet, because there's seemingly nothing we enjoy more than the rise and fall of stars.

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NYU Law's Copyright Panel Gets Copyright Claim on YouTube

The general absurdity of YouTube's copyright system is well-trod territory on this blog, but it's always worth reiterating anytime the company bungles cases or otherwise misses the mark on IP matters; after all, YouTube is perhaps the repository of videos online, so if the copyright system is wrong on the site, it's going to affect far more people than almost anywhere else.

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Mashable Wins Copyright Case Over Embedded Post

Who owns what we see online? It's perhaps not a question we give too much thought about, at least beyond our own purview; so long as we don't see something that we own or created on some website, we're not too worried about the question, particularly given the overwhelming number of other worries we have on a daily basis.

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Should Copyright Be Eternal? UNESCO Seems To Think So

How long does our work survive beyond our time among the living? It's not a question that the average person has to much consider, although given how the internet is bound to our current existence, it's fair to say that traces of us will live on for years to come, even if you have to hit up the Wayback Machine to find them. For creators, questions about legacy and immortality are usually reserved for thinking of the collective consciousness, while realizing that the day will come when the financial benefits will disappear and the work will enter the public domain.

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Michael Jordan Wins Trademark Case in China

While this space remains focused on intellectual property and all matters related, I would like to take the occasion presented by the story covered today to talk briefly about the importance of Michael Jordan. The fact that he was important isn't questioned by anyone who lived through the past thirty to thirty-five years as a sentient being, but he had a special significance to those of us who were kids at the point he was at the peak of his athletic and commercial powers. Words hardly do it justice; he was omnipresent and seemingly all-powerful, and anything that he deigned to endorse was a thing worth having, doubly so when your parents (rightfully, in retrospect) refused to accede to your whims and some clever marketing.

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Medical Technicians and IP Law

Need is a strong motivator, and urgent need of the kind felt in many walks of life during this pandemic will hopefully spur the kind of ingenuity that is demanded at the moment. Need during times of crisis is also not generally subject to the kinds of normal restrictions of law and regulation that might normally apply, either due to a suspension of or flaunting of the law, and so it serves as a window to examine the efficacy or need of those particular laws. Intellectual property might feel ephemeral in a time like this, but the story of how copyright and medical care intersect show how it underpins so much of the work we do and how its enforcement can do more damage than good.

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Disney's Tweet Claims Raise Copyright Questions

The story of copyright in the twenty-first century tends to be one of corporate overreach, though you perhaps can't blame big business for trying; after all, it falls to regulatory and oversight bodies to rein in the worst actions and instances of IP abuse, and those institutions don't always appear to be up to the challenge. That's not to say the overstepping companies bear no culpability, just that you can't expect those corporations to act in anything other than naked self-interest, and in the absence of someone telling them "no" they might assert rights they have no basis to claim.

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Online Education Exposes the Flaws of Copyright Law

The lockdown and isolation that we're all living through has brought certain realities to light; namely, that as much as many people may have lamented that much of life had moved online prior to March 2020, it was nothing compared to what we're experiencing right now. The last bastions of in-person activites have shuttered or moved online out of necessity, creating a brave new world that no one could have entirely predicted or prepared for. It's given us a new appreciation for the hassles of the physical world; personally, I'd give my paper towel supply to have the back of my seat kicked in a movie theater.

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