August 29, 2011

For Your Daily Dose of Irony…. [1:39 pm]

Kind of like discovering that Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech is not a part of the public domain; another piece of “owned” culture: Masked Anonymous Protesters Aid Time Warner’s Profits [pdf]

When members appear in public to protest censorship and what they view as corruption, they don a plastic mask of Guy Fawkes, the 17th-century Englishman who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

Stark white, with blushed pink cheeks, a wide grin and a thin black mustache and goatee, the mask resonates with the hackers because it was worn by a rogue anarchist challenging an authoritarian government in “V for Vendetta,” the movie produced in 2006 by Warner Brothers.

What few people seem to know, though, is that Time Warner, one of the largest media companies in the world and parent of Warner Brothers, owns the rights to the image and is paid a licensing fee with the sale of each mask.

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More On Recording “Works for Hire” and Termination Rights [1:35 pm]

This is a strange one. Certainly, Rep. Conyers has been around long enough to know how difficult it is to legislate around copyright law (see Jessica Litman’s Digital Copyright) So you have to wonder what’s the real agenda here — is it really just about pre-empting judicial review and limiting the associated transactions costs for everyone?: Representative John Conyers Wants Copyright Law Revision [pdf]

Arguing that Congress has an obligation “to preserve fairness and justice for artists,” the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee has called for a revision of United States copyright law to remove ambiguities in the current statute about who is eligible to reclaim ownership rights to songs and sound recordings.

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