Common Law Copyright – Amicus Brief and a Thanks from Kimra and EASL

Thanks to those of you who joined our call last Friday with Charlotte Towne (EASL Chair), Davey Jay (EASL Chair-Elect), and Rob McNeely (one of the brief’s authors).

Special thanks to Mike Colitz for moderating the call and to Michael Chesal, Mark Stein, Doug McDonald, Joe Englander, and James Stephan for digging into legal arguments that EASL found helpful.

For the record, no new vote was taken and our vote in support of the brief (submitted to the BLS on Monday, September 26) was based on the outline circulated by EASL.  I am told that, because of timing issues, it is not uncommon for the section not to have a brief prior to being asked to take a position. It is my understanding that our vote is interpreted in that context.

I have forwarded Charlotte’s note of appreciation and the brief EASL filed today.

Thanks again and enjoy!



———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Charlotte Towne <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 8:32 PM
Subject: EASL Amicus Curiae Initial Brief
To: Kimra Major-Morris <[email protected]>
Dear Kimra,

Thank you again for organizing the conference call earlier this week between our EASL representatives and your IP Committee members to discuss EASL’s position in its Amicus Brief in support of Flo & Eddie, Inc.  The discussion was helpful and inspired us to address some of the questions raised during the call more thoroughly in the brief.  It was filed today.  Attached is a copy.  Please feel free to share our brief with your members.  We hope you enjoy reading it.




Library of Congress builds the record collection of the century

About an hour south of Washington, D.C., deep beneath rolling hills near the verdant Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, lies a storehouse filled with bounty.

At one time, during the Cold War, that treasure was cash — about $3-billion worth — that the Federal Reserve had socked away inside cinderblock bunkers built to keep an accessible, safe stash of funds in case of nuclear attack.

Now what’s buried here, however, is cultural rather than financial: The bunkers are a repository containing nearly 100 miles of shelves stacked with some 6 million items: reels of film; kinescopes; videotape and screenplays; magnetic audiotape; wax cylinders; shellac, metal and vinyl discs; wire recordings; paper piano rolls; photographs; manuscripts; and other materials. In short, a century’s worth of the nation’s musical and cinematic legacy.

This is the Library of Congress’ $250-million Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation, a 45-acre vault and state-of-the-art preservation and restoration facility on Virginia’s Mt. Pony. It’s here that a recent donation from Universal Music Group, nearly a quarter-million master recordings by musicians including Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Bing Crosby, is now permanently housed. Some staff members busy themselves daily cleaning and gluing fragile 100-year-old films back together; others meticulously vacuum dust from the grooves of ancient 78 rpm discs, which are washed before being transferred to digital files that can be accessed by scholars, musicologists, journalists, filmmakers, musicians and other visitors.

As part of the Library of Congress, this trove is available to anyone, free. But because of the complexities of copyright law, access is restricted to the library’s reading rooms in Washington and Culpeper. Library officials, however, are poised to unveil a new program that will significantly expand public access to a big chunk of the library’s goods, even if it won’t provide carte blanche availability to everything stored there. A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday to announce the details.

To read the rest, click here.

Ninth Circuit Invalidates First Sale Defense for Software Sold Pursuant to EULA

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the first sale defense does not apply to a downstream owner if the EULA that accompanies the software prohibits the transfer of copies by the first purchaser.

The ruling comes in a case involving the sale of used software on eBay.  The case is Vernor v. Autodesk and to read the decision click here.