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Posted inNews

Copyright Laws Are a-Changin’ (Maybe) in the US and EU

The arena of copyright is a global morass of collaboration, appropriation, and theft. Rights management is a nightmare for artists and a cash machine for the legal profession, but two recent developments, one in the United States and the other in the European Union, aim, respectively, to expand the scope of royalties and streamline process by which rights and permissions are transacted.

Posted inOpinion

UK’s New “Instagram Act” Stretches Copyright to Its Breaking Point

The UK has passed a new act that has photographers and other creators worried about maintaining ownership of their images. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act theoretically aims to make it easier for companies to publish orphan works, which are images and other content whose author or copyright can’t be identified. But whereas in the past, orphan works were often out-of-print books and historical unattributed photos, today millions of images are quickly orphaned online, as they move from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook to Tumblr without attribution along the way.

Posted inNews

Bob Dylan’s Latest Album Is a Copyright Ploy

Master songwriter Bob Dylan’s latest release looks like an invitation to steal. The cover of the 86-track compilation is a photograph of worn paper, like the surface of an old file folder. On the front is scribbled in marker: Bob Dylan: The Copyright Extension Collection Vol. 1. It may put the viewer in mind of System of a Down’s Steal This Album!, but theft is the last thing on Sony’s mind — the compilation is meant as a tactic to maintain copyright control of the music amidst Europe’s shifting public domain laws.

Posted inArt

Lawyers Weigh In on Appropriation Art and Fair Use

The New York City Bar Association’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Appropriation: Contemporary Art After Cariou v. Prince” was, as billed, “a frank discussion of fair use and artistic practice.” And it was, indeed, frank, with all six panelists speaking plainly and tough audience questions encouraged. But it was also, clouded and meandering, the way that all intellectual property discussions are.

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