Posted on September 30, 2007 in CC, Christine Harold, Copyleft, creative commons, Culture Jamming, IP, Ourspace, Seattle by Brian RoweComments Off

Come out to Elliott Bay Book Company Wednesday or Saturday the 27th to meet Christine Harold. We need you to help resist the corporate control of culture.

In OurSpace, Christine Harold examines the deployment and limitations of “culture jamming” by activists. For Harold, it is a different type of opposition that offers a genuine alternative to corporate consumerism. Exploring the revolutionary Creative Commons movement, copyleft, and open source technology, Harold advocates a more inclusive approach to intellectual property that invites innovation and wider participation in the creative process.

Christine Harold is a professor in the Department of Communications at the University of Washington. Her previous position was assistant professor of speech communication at the University of Georgia.

Book events for OurSpace: Resisting the Corporate Control of Culture by Christine Harold

Book Event
Wednesday, October 3, 2007, 7:30 pm
Talk & Book Signing
Elliott Bay Book Company
101 South Main Street
Seattle, Washington 98104

Book Event
Saturday, October 27, 2007, 6:30 pm
Talk & Book Signing
Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

More information available at:

PS The publisher has not returned my emails about the what copyright the book is under and why… If the publisher is holding it hostage under a full right reserved license we may need to take action.

Posted on September 27, 2007 in Uncategorized by Sarah DaviesComments Off

Looking for an excuse to dress up and hang out with lawyers? No? I don’t blame you. But if you are, ACLU is having a $60/plate Bill of Rights Celebration Dinner on November 3rd.

More information is here (I built this site, isn’t it sexy?):

The speaker this year is Helen Thomas (remember the old lady in the Steven Colbert skit when he talked to the press corps in front of Bush?). Our Event Coordinator called her on the phone last week and Helen apparently went off on how outraged she is at today’s media and how she can’t wait to get up on stage. If you just want to see Helen Thomas, and not pay for dinner, show up at 8, and they will seat on a first come first serve basis for FREE (they’ve never run out of seats in years past, so you shouldn’t have to come early).

See you there!

Posted on September 21, 2007 in CC, IP, law, Right of Publicity by Sarah DaviesComments Off

virgin mobile ad
Photo: Justin Ho-Wee Wong

The family of teenager Alison Chang has sued Virgin Mobile and Creative Commons. Virgin Mobile launched an ad campaign in Australia this summer using Flickr photos licensed under creative commons. A photo of Ms. Chang taken by her youth counselor was used without her knowledge or consent, and her family is seeking undisclosed damages for libel and invasion of privacy.

It is unclear under what grounds Creative Commons has been brought into this suit. The primary issues in this case relate to right of privacy, right of publicity, and defamation. Creative Commons has merely supplied Flickr and the artist with valid contract language which allows the artist to release some of his rights. The Creative Commons copyright license does not explicitly deal with all factors that Virgin Mobile should have taken into consideration before using a cc-licensed photograph in a large scale commercial campaign. Additionally, Creative Commons was aware of these issues, and published a blog post in July 2007 pointing out possible problems with Virgin Mobile’s campaign (see below).

Although it is unclear at this point whether the responsibility to secure model release forms allowing commercial use lies with Virgin Mobile or the photographer who chose to put the photo under an attribution-only license. In choosing an attribution-only license, the photographer may have been making an implicit statement that his work was suitable for commercial purposes. In this case, the photographer is one of the claimants against Creative Commons and Virgin Mobile when it appears that he could have been making a mistake in applying a license without understanding it.

The primary legal claim in this case is one of the right of publicity. Simply put, this right is the inherent right of every human being to control the commercial use of his or her identity.1 The right of publicity is a state-law tort claim similar to unfair competition.

Copyright and other similar rights like right of publicity have created a dizzying tapestry of almost incomprehensible laws that apply to every image or work in our multimedia digital culture. Creative commons has created a system for allowing authors to opt out of some of these rights. The attribution only license is often used by artists who wish to have their work used in a commercial manner to increase their reputation and visibility. Virgin Mobile was attempting to rely on the photographer’s statement that this work was available for use with mere attribution and is now becoming the target of overzealous intellectual property protections that were created before the current information age.

Two excellent blog posts have been written on this topic in Australian blogs:
Virgin Australia and Creative Commons Named in Lawsuit
CC and Virgin Mobile

1Taken from The Right of Publicity and Privacy by J. Thomas McCarthy.

This post is by Brian Rowe and Sarah Davies

Posted on September 19, 2007 in Grammy Foundation, law, law reviews, open access by Brian RoweComments Off

Grammy logo

The Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition, sponsored by the GRAMMY Foundation, REQUIRES authors to yield all ownership rights to their work to the Grammy foundation.

Condition 11 states:

“Each manuscript submitted shall be accompanied by a letter from the author in which he or she certifies that the article submitted has not had prior publication, that it is original work prepared by the author alone for this contest, and that the author transfers ownership to the GRAMMY Foundation.”

Ironically the Grammy Foundation will be publishing the winning articles in a Vanderbilt Law Review. Vanderbilt is listed as an adopter of the Open Access Law Journal Principles. The Principles require that

The Journal will not interfere at any time with the author’s freedom to make his or her work available under a license as free as the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

The transfer of ownership clause in the Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition is incompatible with the Open Access Law Journal Principles. I am concerned that authors who believe in open access issues will be discouraged from entering the competition.

The default taking of ownership rights from authors to middle men is one of the largest problems in our current copyright system.

Personally I will not publish legal scholarship, or any scholarship, that is not open access. I wish Scientific Commons would open up its Open Access Law Author Pledge to non tenured professors and law students.

Posted on September 17, 2007 in EFF, IP, Jobs, public interest by Brian RoweComments Off

EFF is seeking an intellectual property staff attorney for its legal team. Responsibilities will include litigation, public speaking, media outreach, plus legislative and regulatory advocacy, all in connection with a variety of intellectual property and high technology matters.

Full post at EFF:

Posted on September 15, 2007 in Fair Use, Miro, Take Action by Brian RoweView Comments

video player

Freedom for IP strongly supports Miro. Miro is an open source video player that enables you to save content and exercise your Fair Use rights. Miro runs on Windows, Mac an Linux.

Miro Needs Help (from you!)

September 13th, 2007 — Nicholas Reville

PCF, which makes Miro, is a non-profit organization. That means no one can own us and we don’t take for-profit investment. That also means that we rely on donations to fund everything we do. We’re working towards Miro 1.0 and we are making big improvements to the Miro Guide, but we’re running very low on funds right now.


Posted on September 13, 2007 in IP, pirate party, pirate party us by Brian RoweComments Off

“The Pirate Parties were formed all over the world. Their main goal is to protect privacy, culture, and knowledge. The MPAA is not happy with politicians they can’t buy fund, and labels them as illegitimate thieves.” Ernesto

Dean Garfield, director of MPAA’s anti-piracy department, was interviewed by ZDNet recently. When he was asked whether the Pirate Party’s attempts to battle organizations like the MPAA through democratic means is legitimate, he responded: “There’s nothing about what the Pirate Bay does or what the Pirate Party does that is legitimate. There’s nothing philosophically principled about it. They steal copyright content and accept advertising dollars based on taking other people’s work. There’s nothing noble about it.”

read more at TorrentFreak

Posted on September 13, 2007 in Fair Use, IP, MPAA, Parady, RIAA by Brian RoweComments Off

“Consumers should not be able to listen to any music or enjoy any movie anywhere without our approval,” said Sherman.

In addition to coordination of anti-piracy efforts, a key benefit of the merger will also be reduced costs.

“We no longer have to have both the movie and music industries buying up senators and congressmen to get restrictive copyright laws passed,” Glickman explained. “Now the representatives will be getting one sack of money from one organization. The cost savings to us will be tremendous.”

The first such law that the organization will persue will be the passing of the so-called 0WNAGE Act which specifies that copyrights can now only belong to corporations and that all copyrights, including expired ones, will be reinstated and non-expiring.

Read more at MAFIAA

I wanted to post this before commenting on the MPAA’s recent comment on the Pirate Party.

atrtibution to John T. Haller

Posted on September 12, 2007 in IP, IT, Survey by Brian RoweComments Off

Grad student in Information Technology is doing a research project on IP attitudes and is looking for responses to a survey:

the full message bellow:

Dear Sir or Madam:

My name is Paul Stevens and I am currently finishing an Masters in IT. For my project I am looking into attitudes regarding Intellectual Property focusing on opposition to it. I have constructed a questionnaire but have had difficulty recruiting a sample. If you have the time to fill in my questionnaire it would be very helpful for me. If you know of anyone else who might be interested please forward them the link as the more responses the better! Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Here is the link:

Kind regards

Paul Stevens