Selfies, Google Digitization Project and WIPO

copyright

Snippets from Issue 1, 2014 volume of The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter:

Copyright Ownership in Ellen Degeneres’ Selfie

The intersection between the selfie and copyright hit the big time when Ellen Degeneres tweeted a selfie that got retweeted three million times. Associated Press (AP) asked Ellen for a license to use this selfie and Ellen granted the license. Why did AP ask for permission? And why did Ellen grant it? And so the online debate began. Lesley’s editorial sets out both the issues and her thoughts on copyright ownership in selfies.

–Editorial by Lesley Ellen Harris

The Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google: The Google Books Case Comes to a Close (For Now)

In late 2004, Google Print, the original name of Google Books, was born, and Google was on its way to digitally scanning every book in the world. In 2005 a class action suit against Google was brought. Plaintiffs claimed that Google’s practices of scanning and publishing these original written works online without permission were a violation of their intellectual property rights and a clear case of copyright infringement. Google, which characterized Google Books as a “card catalog for the digital age” that directs readers to books that they can purchase, rather than as a market substitute or competitor, argued fair use. Read what Eve and Roxana have to say in their analysis of this on-going important digital copyright law case.

— The Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google: The Google Books Case Comes to a Close (For Now) by Eve J. Brown and Roxana Babaei

Chatting with Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO

In March 2014, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization Francis Gurry was in Washington, D.C. where Newsletter publisher and editor Lesley Ellen Harris had an opportunity to meet with him and discuss many things WIPO and international copyright law.

What is a Substantial Part of a Copyright-Protected Work?

On December 23, 2013, a unanimous Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) issued its decision in Cinar Corporation v. Robinson. This decision clarifies the appropriate test for determining if a substantial part of a copyright-protected work has been reproduced, and provides support for creators of television programs to assert copyright in respect of such works, even prior to formal production. As Justine and Gina explain, the SCC decision is the last word in a case that has its factual roots in actions undertaken decades ago.

— What is a Substantial Part of a Copyright-Protected Work by Justine Whitehead and Gina Demczuk

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