The Traklight Blog

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

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Copyright for State Laws

The question of how much the government remains a body comprised of and belonging to the people it governs, or to what extent it exists as an entity now wholly separate, is a pressing matter, but one too big for the purview of this particular blog. That broader question does beg itself in the copyright case that is heading to the Supreme Court, however, in addition to the more immediate concerns that will be addressed in the decision.

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Mechanical Licensing Collective Chosen by USCO to Manage Digital Music Royalties

One thing about technological change is that it forces many of our old, dated institutions to update and adapt or risk becoming irrelevant. The internet and the attendant changes it has brought has been particularly effective in highlighting the cracks in the facade, the holes in the boat, or any other metaphor you might choose to illustrate the shortcomings in many of the laws and bodies that govern us when it comes to an era where the physical has given way to digital.

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Andy Warhol Estate Wins Copyright Case

The question of copyright in cases of addition and transformation of one artist's work on the part another is a perpetually challenging question. Art, as we are frequently told, is subjective, and the extent to which changes must be made to an original work for it to be deemed an entirely new thing is again subjective. Certain cases make the matter clear, but in more subtle alterations, it falls to others to make the final determination as to whether something is in violation of a copyright, or is significantly different as to escape any such offense.

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Gigi Hadid Challenges Paparazzi Photo Ownership, and Copyright Law As Well

The peculiar invention of the celebrity has grown to hold a strange and uncomfortable place in our culture for both subject and audience alike. Much like the animals at the zoos we pack to see, we are both intrigued and horrified at the sight, aware of how unnatural the arrangement is and guilty at our own part in building those cages and the half-lives of those enclosed. That's perhaps a bit melodramatic — no one has much sympathy for celebrities making more money than any of us could dream of, even as they're the subject of constant hounding by the paparazzi, though perhaps we should.

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Carrie Underwood Facing Copyright Lawsuit for Sunday Night Football Theme

Many of the fine American institutions that prop up our society aren't recognized in any founding documents, and those holding such office given far more regard than we hold for our actual elected officials. Among these exalted figures are the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest winner, the Batman actor of the moment, and of course the current singer of the theme tune to primetime football games.

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Supreme Court Hears Copyright Case Against North Carolina

Outside of the major decisions that have far-reaching national impact, many of the cases that the Supreme Court deigns to hear can range from pedestrian to the downright dull to the interest of the average citizen. Broadly speaking, most people only concern themselves with the law only in so far as it relates to them and their personal lives, as well as the legal tenants that are understood and accepted on a societal level. Occasionally, though, news from the nation's high court turns up a case that draws interest beyond the devoted court observers, particularly if the case involves a pirate ship.

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Poland Challenges New EU Copyright Laws

We have written before about the potential problems posed by the new spate of copyright laws introduced in the European Union, and the way that their application could create more problems than they could hope to solve when it comes to trying to serve the people they mean to help (assuming that they aim to help the public at large.) Automated copyright filters might catch all of the potential infringers in the act of uploading the offending material, but it also catches far more than that, and innocent and unsuspecting users might get caught up in the process as well. And given that any governing body should strive to do the least harm in addition to prevent crimes as possible, it seemed that the new measures put in place would eventually find scrutiny from some governmental body or another.

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YouTube is the Latest Venue in an Ongoing Battle Over Copyright Protection

The current era of content has proven difficult to navigate for many of the creators that take advantage of the platform that social media offers to all to make their voices heard, particularly for those working in the areas of education or critique. There has always existed a tension between artists and studios and those who base their own work off of the work of others, but there has never before been the means for such an escalation of the conflict between the two parties as exists now.

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Copyright Filters Mistakenly Catch Mueller Report

The latest tool in the fight against IP infringement is technology, but it remains to be seen how effective those tools might be in that fight. Technology can be easy and efficient, but it can fail the test when it comes to things like judgement and intuition that humans (ideally) can do better. Machines looking at certain markers or data points aren't going to be able to render the same verdict on a photo or video as someone who can literally look at the entire picture, and understand context and nuance.

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Adobe Users Could Face Copyright Claims Without Updates

Where would we be without the suite of tools provided us by Adobe? This isn't an endorsement so much as an acknowledgement that the software they distribute plays a significant role in much of what we see and hear on the internet. Beyond the many professional applications of its editing and creative tools, we wouldn't have so many of the memes that we now enjoy without Photoshop, and what is the internet without memes?

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Supreme Court Copyright Ruling a Setback for Creators

Fighting piracy has proven to be one of the greatest challenges facing content creators in this century, and has proven troublesome ever since there existed the means to replicate the work of others. Creators lose billions collectively to piracy and theft, as too many others are all too willing to perpetrate a seemingly victimless crime. For many of the victims, legal action is the only means of redress against the injury done to them; given how hard it is to stamp out piracy once a work is disseminated online, even that can seem like an ineffectual tool against an overwhelming problem.

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Spotify's Expansion Into India Slowed Over Licensing Problems

Intellectual property concerns and copyright law are big, important matters; we've preached that message in this space for years. Despite our messaging, that importance is often up to the interpretation of the reader; is it on par with getting insurance, or securing funding for your company? (Both important, by the way.) In many cases, it seems as though concerns over IP don't often rise to the level that they should, as potential issues to grind any company to a halt.

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Fortnite Enters Legal Battle Royale Over Alleged Dance Theft

In the long tradition of youthful cultural crazes, Fortnite is the latest entry in a pantheon of things that, like sounds at a particularly high frequency, are lost on those over a certain age. For those as yet unaware, Fortnite is an online mulitplayer battle-royale game that is currently consuming the free hours of young people he world over. In addition to being all-consuming for kids, it's highly profitable for its creator, Epic Games, who reportedly brought in $3 billion in profit last year.

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Protect Your IP in 2019

The new year is an opportunity for a fresh start in our personal and professional lives. But many still fail to tackle the intellectual property issues that their business could potentially have to deal with, resolutions or not. While you should be managing your IP from its inception, it's better to start late than never; here are some tips on identifying and protecting your IP for 2019.

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EU Cheese Copyright Case Probes the Idea of Taste

Dig hard enough, and you can find curious cases of copyright dispute around the world pertaining to things that you might never have guessed would be subject to a copyright claim. It seems that if there's a product or creation or invention worth protecting, people will take whatever steps necessary to try and protect it, even as it launches us into new and unexplored avenues of intellectual property that would seem more at place on the Food Network than in a courtroom.

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Disney Suffers Setback in Copyright and Trademark Lawsuit

Companies get big by protecting their intellectual property (among other things), but what happens when they become huge? It can be hard to manage a massive international concern as it is, and trying to fend off a multitude of instances of infringement while handling all of the other daily corporate concerns can be like trying to play whack-a-mole while juggling. It's important to protect your brand and send a message to other scofflaws, but can it prove to be a case of exerting more resources than you're losing when weighing the cost of continued legal action?

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