Posted on January 31, 2008 in Cair, EFF, Michael Savage by Brian RoweView Comments

This week EFF and Davis Wright Tremaine acting as attorneys representing CAIR filed a motion for summary judgment, asking a U.S. District Court judge to throw out a copyright infringement suit brought by talk show host Michael Savage. Savage sued CAIR in December, alleging that CAIR infringed the copyright in his show when it posted on its web site brief excerpts from Savage’s radio program in order to criticize Savage’s remarks.

Savage’s copyright claims were a clear abuse of the copyright act in an effort to quell critical speech. I am thrilled to see EFF represent CAIR in this claim. This is another in a long list of examples where EFF has proven that they are the leaders in the fight for free speech online. Other examples include Swathmore Student v. Diebold.

Matt Zimmerman, the EFF attorney who wrote the Spocko Fair Use letter directed to ABC, was the principle attorney for EFF on the case. He does a great job of expanding the Fair Use claim in the Spocko letter to fit this case while directing the pleading to a 9th circuit court. The motion also contains some interesting information on RICO claims that are out side the IP scope of FFIP’s expertise but still an informative read.

Thanks for standing up for for our rights!

Related Links:
CAIR’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
FFIP’s December Article: Free Speech v. Copyright, Michael Savage v. CAIR

Posted on January 30, 2008 in American University, Center for Social Media, Fair Use by Brian RoweComments Off

University Film and Video Association is hosting a contest for the best short documentaries employing fair use, made by higher education students and faculty.

May 1, 2008 Deadline
* First Place Student: $500 & 1 year membership to UFVA
* Second Place Student: $250 & 1 year membership to UFVA
* Best Faculty Video: $250 & 1 year membership to UFVA

Entrants must employ fair use in quoting material in their documentaries, using the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use as a guide to their decision-making.

* Must have primary creative control of the work and have all rights and clearances for material not employed under fair use.
* Work must be submitted in NTSC, DVD (DATA only), miniDV, or via youtube* (For screening only. If selected, must provide a hard copy of the work.

* Work must be a documentary in any genre, including but not limited to essay, satire, parody, historical, musical, and personal
* Work must be 5 minutes or less

Download Submission Form
Download a Flyer
Other FFIP press on the Center for SocialMedia

Posted on January 28, 2008 in Andy Culbert, IPLS, microsoft, Seattle University Law by Brian RoweComments Off

Today at Seattle University Law, Andrew Culbert spoke on Patent Law and Trolls. Andy is associate general counsel at Microsoft in charge of patent litigation. This is the second time I have seen him speak; he was one of the session leaders at Lewis and Clark’s CLE on non-obviousness.

Andy started the presentation with some statistics from Troll Tracker, a patent blog that I highly recommend. Last year 35 Fortune 100 companies had been sued 500 times for patent infringement. This is an average of 14 times per company for patent infringement. Microsoft tops this list with 43 suits last year.

The first topic was, “Why is Microsoft getting sued?”
1. Large verdicts from juries, which are often overturned
2. Most cases are NOT filed by competitors but instead by Trolls
3. Recent trend, post-1980, to allow a liberal approach to patent claims
4. Consolidation of patents to the Federal Circuit
5. Little to no documentation for prior art on software
6. Patents w/o clear limitations (Software patents are often functional and nonspecific)
7. Integrated products which allow a relatively minor patent to claim against a large product like Windows or Office
8. Damages are astronomical in the US, $500M to $1.5B, several times larger then anywhere else

One of the most interesting parts of the talk was a list of Supreme Court cases that reflect improvements in the patent system:
Ebay — Limits on injunctions
KSR — New rules on obviousness
MedImmune — Easer to challenge patents
AT&T — Limits on territorial scope
LEG v. Quanta (Currently on review by the Supreme Court) — May expand patent exhaustion

Also from the Federal Circuit Court:
Seagate – limits on willful infringement
Nuijten /Comiskey – limits on patentablity

FFIP was able to get in one Question at the end of the talk:
What legislative changes do you think would make the most significant positive changes for the patent system?

1. Changes to Damage calculations. The current damage formula allows for extremely high damage awards that encourages questionable litigation.

2. Possibly Venue reform. It is difficult to limit venue for real claimants, but reform that limits nonpracticing entity or shell cooperations could make a difference. It is just not an easy rule to craft and allow real claims to bring suits in home jurisdictions.

This was a great presentation. Thanks to the speaker Andy Culbert, The IPLS at SU who sponsored the presentation and Apollo Fuhriman, a 2L who organized the event.

Photo by: Dan Schlatter

Posted on January 25, 2008 in Uncategorized by Esther BensonComments Off

I’m Esther, I’m an MLIS student at UW and I’ll be doing some work on the FreedomforIP website. Basically, we are adding wiki functionality to the site, starting the caselaw and philosophy pages. We’re still in the development stages, and we’re planning to unveil the new wiki in mid-March.

We’ll keep you posted as we update the site.

Posted on January 24, 2008 in Budapest Open Access Initiative, CTOED, open access by Brian RoweComments Off

FFIP just signed The Cape Town Open Education Declaration(CTOED). The CTOED is the next step in Open Access Education. The CTEOD identifies three strategies to increase the reach and impact of open educational resources:

1. Educators and learners: First, we encourage educators and learners to actively participate in the emerging open education movement. Participating includes: creating, using, adapting and improving open educational resources; embracing educational practices built around collaboration, discovery and the creation of knowledge; and inviting peers and colleagues to get involved. Creating and using open resources should be considered integral to education and should be supported and rewarded accordingly.

2. Open educational resources: Second, we call on educators, authors, publishers and institutions to release their resources openly. These open educational resources should be freely shared through open licenses which facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone. Resources should be published in formats that facilitate both use and editing, and that accommodate a diversity of technical platforms. Whenever possible, they should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet.

3. Open education policy: Third, governments, school boards, colleges and universities should make open education a high priority. Ideally, taxpayer-funded educational resources should be open educational resources. Accreditation and adoption processes should give preference to open educational resources. Educational resource repositories should actively include and highlight open educational resources within their collections.

One of the most progressive parts of this declaration is the understand that “Whenever possible, [resources] should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet” This is an important step towards embracing Human Rights and working to close the digital divide. The CTOED builds on the Budapest Open Access Initiative by expanding the focus and including collaboration which empowers communities to educate and learn cooperatively.

Take Action:
READ the full Cape Town Open Education Declaration
SIGN the Declaration as an Organizations or an Individual
ACT to implement the strategies

Related Stories:
FFIP Signs Budapest Open Access Initiative

Posted on January 22, 2008 in MPAA, open rights group, Propaganda by Brian RoweComments Off

A new website was launched recently by the Greens, a European political group. The website is opposing propaganda by the MPAA related to the file sharing debate.

“Whenever you rent a movie, the multinational media industry forces you to watch their propaganda. They claim that downloading movies is the same as snatching bags, stealing cars or shoplifting. That’s simply not true – making a copy is fundamentally different from stealing. The media industry has failed to offer viable legal alternatives and they will fail to convince consumers that sharing equals stealing. Unfortunately, they have succeeded in another area – lobbying to adapt laws to criminalize sharing, turning consumers into criminals. Read more at

Share – It’s Fair

Thanks to the Open Right Group mailing list for publicizing this site.

Posted on January 21, 2008 in Eco-patent Commons, IBM by Brian RoweComments Off

IBM, Sony, Pitney Bowes and Nokia have released a patent-sharing plan for companies to donate patents that improve the environment. This new “Eco-Patent Commons” builds on the experience of the open-source software movement. IBM was a chief architect in this program and modeled it after their successful open source patent commons. It is also nice to see Sony on the side of the people this time. I hope who ever contributed to this decision can convince Sony to look into more progressive copyright and less DRM.

This type of patent sharing in the name of the environment and public interest is a large step in the right direction for patents, which are theoretically granted for the benefit of the people. I wonder if drug companies will ever step up and do something similar for the world’s poor regarding access to patented drugs. If not we need to seriously consider options to legally suspend patents when it is a matter of social justice.

Related press at WSJ:
Companies to Share Eco-Friendly Patents

Posted on January 21, 2008 in Copynight, Seattle by Brian RoweComments Off

Come join us for the First Seattle CopyNight of 2008:

Tuesday at 8:30 PM
Elysian, 1221 E. Pike St.
Seattle WA in Capitol Hill.

Happy New Year! Come ring in 2008 (a little belatedly) with the year’s first CopyNight. Predict what IP issues will be big this year, learn about upcoming events, and have a beer or three. Hope to see you there!

To join the copynight mailing list vist Copynight is active in 22 cities
for a complete list check here.

Posted on January 20, 2008 in CC, CC wiki by Brian RoweComments Off

CC has added a new symbol for Wikis. The CC-wiki license is simply a Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

What this means is that anyone can use wiki material under a cc-wiki license as long as you:
1. give credit and
2. use the same license on derived future works

Creative Commons License

This wiki is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
The Image looks cool, we might have to use it on our upcoming wiki.