@andreworlowski: Murder in the Library of Congress

The US Copyright Office has been given a brutal Silicon Valley-style sacking, the first time the Copyright Register has been dismissed in 119 years.

Maria A Pallante was locked out of her computer on Friday, according to Billboard, on the instructions of her boss, a new Obama appointee, Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress.

“Officially, Pallante has been appointed as a senior adviser for digital strategy for the Library of Congress, although it’s clear she was asked to step down,” Billboard’s Robert Levine notes.

Critics see the move as in line with Silicon Valley asserting its influence over the US Government via its agencies in the dog days of the Obama Administration. Just last month, as Hayden started the post, the Google-funded group Public Knowledge attacked the Copyright Office for upholding the copyright laws.

“Pallante was the only one standing between Google and what is left of the copyright system,” wrote David Lowery on the Trichordist blog, which campaigns for better deals for songwriters and musicians.

Controversial decisions by the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission have all resulted in proposals or decisions that advanced the business interests of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies.

For example, after an investigation of Google for anti-competitive practices, FTC staff concluded there was sufficient evidence to indict – but the Obama-appointed trade commissioners abandoned this for a voluntary deal instead.

Read the post on The Register.

@devlinhartline: Professors Mislead FCC on Basic Copyright Law

[Editor Charlie sez:  The title of this post could have been “Usual Suspects Are At It Again”]

In a letter submitted to the FCC late last week defending the Commission’s deeply flawed set-top box proposal,[1] a group of professors make an incredible claim: Everyone is perfectly free to distribute copyrighted works online however they please. No license? No problem! According to these professors, many of whom teach copyright law, copyright owners have no distribution right in cyberspace. If you think this sounds wrong, you’re right! This claim sounds ridiculous because it is ridiculous, and it’s simply amazing—and troubling—that professors would mislead the FCC in this way.

The professors argue that a copyright owner’s “right to distribute encompasses the distribution of physical copies of a work, not electronic transmissions.” In support, they cite no case law whatsoever. There’s a good reason for this: None exists. The reality is that every single court that has ever considered this argument on the merits has rejected it. Time and again, this argument has been summarily dismissed by the courts. As the Nimmer on Copyright treatise puts it: “No court has held to the contrary on this issue[.]” Yet, the professors present this to the FCC as an accurate description of the law, with no equivocation whatsoever.

Read the post on Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property

@tedstew: BREAKING: FCC Pulls Set-Top Box Plan From Meeting Agenda

The FCC has called off a planned Thursday vote on a proposal that would require that cable and satellite operators offer a free app so subscribers could forgo the rental of a set-top box.

“We are still working to resolve the remaining technical and legal issues and we are committed to unlocking the set-top box for consumers across this country,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Commission Mignon Clyburn and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement released about a half an hour before the meeting.

Read the post on Variety

pk-google-shills

The copyright-destroying proposal was backed by Google Shill Lister Public Knowledge, whose co-founder and revolving door person, Gigi B. Sohn, now works as consigliere for Obama bundler Tom Wheeler.

4264850232_bfe5b39b93_z
Gigi B. Sohn

Big Tech’s Latest Artist Relations Debacle: Mass Filings of NOIs to Avoid Paying Statutory Royalties (Part 1) — Music Tech Solutions

Google, Amazon and MRI are reportedly filing “millions” of NOIs with the Copyright Office after buying data out the back door of the Library of Congress–all to avoid paying statutory royalties.

via Big Tech’s Latest Artist Relations Debacle: Mass Filings of NOIs to Avoid Paying Statutory Royalties (Part 1) — Music Tech Solutions

Google Shills and Pandora’s MIC Coalition Want DOJ to Appeal BMI Ruling–Soviet Style — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

 

ccia-mic-coalition

Right on cue, one Google Shill after another is floating the idea that the U.S. Department of Justice should appeal their latest oopsie to the Second Circuit.

Talk about ungrateful–Judge Stanton, the BMI Rate Court judge was also the judge in Viacom v. YouTube and the accompanying artist-oriented class action against Google.  In the YouTube case, Judge Stanton ruled for YouTube.

Back then he was hailed by Google Shills everywhere as a great jurist, the peoples’ judge and hero of the disruptive class, because he poked a finger in the eye of bourgeois artists.

Talk about your sore losers–Judge Stanton went from #hero to #goat in record time as CCIA’s Matt Schruers told Bloomberg…

via Google Shills and Pandora’s MIC Coalition Want DOJ to Appeal BMI Ruling–Soviet Style — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

Liberty Doesn’t Defend Itself: Complaint in SONA vs. Department of Justice — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

More to come, but here is a copy of the complaint in the Songwriters of North America, Michelle Lewis, Thomas Kelly and Pamela Sheyne case against the Department of Justice, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former Google lawyer Renata Hesse asking for declaratory relief on the DOJ’s violation of songwriter Constitutional rights with 100% licensing.

via Complaint in SONA vs. Department of Justice — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

Download SONA’s legal filing here.

Steve Tepp: Public “Selective” Knowledge II: This Time It’s Personal

Public Knowledge has launched unprecedented and unfounded attacks on the widely respected Copyright Office in a transparent bid to bully, berate, and discredit that Office in furtherance of the drastic policy goals PK has failed to achieve for decades. That may sound harsh, but the statements coming from PK in recent weeks are so outrageous and so far afield of what constitutes reasonable discourse that they demand a forceful response. PK has led a relentless campaign that portrays reasonable policy differences as evidence of impropriety. Apparently, they are unable to imagine that anyone could, in good faith, disagree with their orthodoxy. This is compounded by a Stalin-esque recounting of history, both tortured and selective, in an attempt to support their absolutist approach.

Public Knowledge has launched unprecedented and unfounded attacks on the widely respected Copyright Office in a transparent bid to bully, berate, and discredit that Office in furtherance of the drastic policy goals PK has failed to achieve for decades. That may sound harsh, but the statements coming from PK in recent weeks are so outrageous and so far afield of what constitutes reasonable discourse that they demand a forceful response. PK has led a relentless campaign that portrays reasonable policy differences as evidence of impropriety. Apparently, they are unable to imagine that anyone could, in good faith, disagree with their orthodoxy. This is compounded by a Stalin-esque recounting of history, both tortured and selective, in an attempt to support their absolutist approach.

In a new “report” released last week, PK levels the severe charge that the Copyright Office is systematically captured by industry interests. They begin to try to support this by asserting a “revolving door” between the Office and copyright industries. But their evidence fails to support the claim, and they leave out many facts that are inconvenient to their biased narrative.

Read the post on Medium

View at Medium.com