Sign Copyright Alliance’s Letter to Political Candidates

~From the Copyright Alliance~

Dear Creators,

As election season grows closer and important copyright issues take center stage, please sign our letter reminding candidates of the vital role that copyright, free expression, creativity and innovation continue to play in our lives.

There is no “left” or “right” when it comes to respecting copyright. The creative community stands united in support of a copyright system that has made and continues to make the United States the global leader in the creative arts and the global paradigm for free expression. Our copyright system is not perfect but, like democracy, it is better than the alternatives. It works.

We urge candidates to universally resist attempts to erode the right of creators to determine when and how they share their works in the global marketplace.

– TAKE ACTION –

Make your voice heard on these important matters. You can also read and sign the letter we’ve written here. #YourVoiceForCopyright

Best,
Keith Kupferschmid
CEO, Copyright Alliance

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Photography and the Law Courses on LinkedIn Learning

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LinkedIn announced today the launch of LinkedIn Learning, an online learning platform enabling individuals and organizations to achieve their objectives and aspirations. LinkedIn’s goal is to help people discover and develop the skills they need through a personalized, data-driven learning experience. LinkedIn Learning combines the industry-leading content from Lynda.com with LinkedIn’s professional data and network.

My “Photography and the Law” courses — along with all other courses that are available on Lynda.com today — also will be be available on LinkedIn Learning.

Discover how LinkedIn Learning can help you. Try out LinkedIn Learning yourself today for free.

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Do You Want to Remove Your ID Info from Copyright Office Records?

The U.S. Copyright Office today published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”), seeking public comment on proposed new rules related to personally identifiable information (“PII”) that may be found in the Office’s registration records. First, the proposed rule will allow an author, claimant of record, or the authorized agent of the author or claimant of record, to request the removal of certain PII that is requested by the Office and collected on a registration application, such as home addresses or personal phone numbers, from the Office’s internet-accessible public catalog, while retaining it in the Office’s offline records as required by law. Second, the proposed rule will codify an existing practice regarding extraneous PII that applicants erroneously include on registration applications even though the Office has not requested it, such as driver’s license numbers, social security numbers, banking information, and credit card information. Under the proposed rule, the Office would, upon request, remove such extraneous PII both from the Office’s internet-accessible public catalog and its offline records.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and instructions on how to submit a comment are available here. Written comments must be received no later than October 17, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

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Copyright Office Adopts “Mailbox” Rule for Appeals to Refusals to Register

The U.S. Copyright Office is changing the deadline for submitting requests to reconsider refusals to register a copyright claim. Previously, a reconsideration request had to be received by the Office, via mail, no later than three months after the Office issued its decision to refuse registration. This rule has created some uncertainty, as it can be difficult to predict when a request will physically be received by the Office, particularly given security-screening-related delays in the processing of mail. Accordingly, to provide greater certainty to applicants, the amended rule provides that reconsideration requests only need to be postmarked (via the U.S. Postal Service) or dispatched (via commercial carrier, courier, or messenger) no later than three months after a refusal is issued.

The Final Rule is available here.

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The Benefits of Registering Your Copyrights

Eagle Screech - Copyright Carolyn E. Wright

Copyrights for photographs are created at the click of the shutter. Even if you never register the copyright, it is protected by copyright law.

But there are benefits to registering your copyrights, which include:

• Registration establishes a public record of your claim of copyright.

• You must register the copyright (if it is of U.S. origin) before you can file a copyright infringement lawsuit.

• If you register the copyright before or within five years of first publication, your registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.

• If you register the copyright within three months after first publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, you may recover statutory damages and attorney’s fees in a copyright infringement lawsuit. Otherwise, you are eligible only an award of actual damages and profits.

• Registration allows you as the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U.S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.

You may register your copyright at any time during the life of the copyright. While the law was different before 1978, you do not need to register the copyright again when the work becomes published (although you may register the published edition, if desired).

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Seeking Applicants for Columbia-Cravath Copyright Clinic

From the Copyright Alliance:

For the past several years the Copyright Alliance has been a proud partner of the Columbia-Cravath Copyright Dispute Pro Bono Clinic.  Each fall semester the law firm of Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP and law students enrolled in Columbia University provide free legal representation to individuals and small businesses in lawsuits involving cutting edge copyright issues.

To assist the Clinic, the Copyright Alliance reaches out to individual creators and small businesses in all disciplines to solicit for candidates for the program. In addition to having a copyright dispute that is new and ripe for litigation, for a dispute to be accepted by the Clinic it should present an interesting copyright issue, the resolution of which would benefit the creative community. Critically, candidates should be located in the New York City area and be unable to afford legal services.

If you are interested in learning more about this program, please go to www.copyrightalliance.org/content/pro_bono_trial_services_0, where you will find both the application requirements and an application. Because the Clinic only takes a limited number of clients each semester, applications do not guarantee representation.

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Copyright Office Announces Open Application Period for Ringer Fellowships

The Barbara A. Ringer Copyright Honors Program offers 18 to 24-month paid fellowships for recent law school graduates and other attorneys in the early stages of their careers. Candidates must have a strong interest in copyright law and a demonstrated record of achievement in law school or in practice.

Ringer Fellows are closely mentored by senior attorneys and work on a range of copyright-related issues, including policy studies and analyses, administrative proceedings, legislative initiatives, litigation matters, and international developments.

Applications for the Ringer Honors Program are being accepted from August 1 through October 17, 2016. For more information, including how to apply, please visit the Barbara A. Ringer Copyright Honors Program page.

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Sign the Copyright Alliance’s Open Letter to 2016 Political Candidates

Dear Creators,

As election season grows closer and important copyright issues take center stage, please sign our letter reminding candidates of the vital role that copyright, free expression, creativity and innovation continue to play in our lives.

There is no “left” or “right” when it comes to respecting copyright. The creative community stands united in support of a copyright system that has made and continues to make the United States the global leader in the creative arts and the global paradigm for free expression. Our copyright system is not perfect but, like democracy, it is better than the alternatives. It works.

We urge candidates to universally resist attempts to erode the right of creators to determine when and how they share their works in the global marketplace.

Read and sign the letter we’ve written here. Make your voice heard on these important matters. #YourVoiceForCopyright

Best,

Keith Kupferschmid
CEO, Copyright Alliance

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YIKES! Photos Go Into Public Domain for Entering Photo Contest

Copyright Carolyn E Wright

The Tahoe National Forest is a beautiful area of the world, so it’s natural for photographers to document it. The Tahoe National Forest Service (“TNFS”) is looking to capitalize on that desire by running a photo contest to use the “best Tahoe National Forest photos to feature on our website and other publications.”

Unfortunately, the TNFS rules state:

Every photo entry received as part of the contest becomes property of the Tahoe National Forest and will be considered as public domain to prevent copyright infringement. The forest will have non-exclusive, unlimited use of the photo(s).

But this doesn’t make sense. The TNFS can’t own a photo and it be considered public domain. Either way, the photographers who submit their photos to the contest lose, unless you want to give the TNFS (and other federal agencies, forest partners, and media) the right:

to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute or display and use these materials in whole or in part, for government and non-government purposes, in any manner or media (whether now existing or created in the future), in perpetuity, and in all languages throughout the world. Use of this material shall include, but not be limited to, audiovisual programs, museum exhibits, websites, publications, product artwork, and project publicity.

And you give TNFS these rights without any guarantee of credit (unless you earn 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place) and payment. Otherwise, stay far away from this rights grab.

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