Press Release: Copyright Alliance Hosts Two April Panels to Celebrate World IP Day/Week 2021

The Copyright Alliance will celebrate World IP Day/Week 2021 from April 26–30. World IP Day is recognized on the same day in April of each year to remind everyone of the critical role that intellectual property plays in encouraging creativity and innovation. During the week of April 26–30, the Copyright Alliance will join our members, partners and countless creators and organizations around the world to mark the occasion by sharing blogs and videos, hosting virtual events, and much more—all designed to celebrate the fact that IP helps the global arts scene to flourish and enables the innovation that drives human progress. The 2021 WIPD theme, as determined by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is IP & SMEs: Taking Your Ideas to Market

According to WIPO, “Every business starts with an idea. Each of the millions of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that operate across the globe every day started with an idea that took shape in someone’s mind and made its way to market.”  The World IP Day panels planned by the Copyright Alliance are as follows: 

Creative Enterprises: Small Business, BIG Impact; April 27 at 1 p.m. ET: In keeping with this year’s World IP Day theme, IP & SMEs: Taking Your Ideas to Market, the Copyright Alliance is pleased to host a panel discussion featuring a variety of creators and advocates on what it takes to grow and monetize a creative business, the challenges faced running a business during the pandemic, how intellectual property helps to fuel the creative and business processes, and much more! Panel participants include: Janet Hicks, VP, Director of Licensing, Artists Rights Society; Ryan Edwards, Creator and Owner, MASARY Studios; Kick Lee, Founder and Director, Cincinnati Music Accelerator; Rachel Lackey, Creator and Owner, Green Pea Press; Danielle Van Lier, Assistant General Counsel, SAG-AFTRA (moderator). Follow our Facebook page for updates on the panel, as well as to attend the event at 1 p.m. ET on April 27. 

Small Enterprises Making a BIG Difference: Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts; April 28 at 1 p.m. ET: The Copyright Alliance is pleased to host a second panel discussion featuring representatives from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) groups across the country, including The Ella Project (New Orleans), VolunteerLawyers and Accountants for the Arts (St. Louis), Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts New YorkGreater Pittsburgh Arts CouncilPhiladelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the ArtsCalifornia Lawyers for the ArtsArts and Business Council NashvilleArts and Business Council BostonSpringboard for the Arts (Minnesota), Colorado Attorneys for the Arts, and Lawyers for the Creative Arts (Chicago). The panel will focus on how VLA groups support creators and their businesses by providing copyright information to help ensure their rights and fuel their growth. Follow our Facebook page for updates on the panel, as well as to attend the event at 1 p.m. ET on April 28.


In honor of WIPD 2021, Copyright Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid shared the following message with the creative and copyright communities, one that speaks to the history of copyright law and intellectual property protections, as well as articulates their continued importance today:  

It’s a well-known principle that copyright and intellectual property protections benefit society by incentivizing creativity and innovation. And at a time when the U.S. economy and economies around the globe are experiencing unprecedented hardships, including recovering from the perils of a global pandemic, we need strong and vibrant copyright law now more than ever. In the spirit of celebrating World IP Day 2021, I’m pleased that our 2021 panel events will highlight numerous creators who were able to continue developing their arts and their businesses during 2020 despite unprecedented hurdles. We will also highlight Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Groups (VLAs) around the country, organizations that work as strong advocates for creators and copyright protections day in and day out. I, along with the entire Copyright Alliance team, wish you all the best for a Happy World IP Day, and a very successful year ahead! – Keith Kupferschmid, CEO, Copyright Alliance 

For World IP Day blogs, video messages from elected officials, and much more, visit the Copyright Alliance World IP Day 2021 webpage.

@Unite4Copyright: CASE Act Signed Into Law: What This Means by @tvcarrington and @keithkup

[Editor Charlie sez:  We all owe a huge thank you to the massively effective campaign by the Copyright Alliance to pass the CASE Act and outflank the unscrupulous grift by Senator Data Center (@ronwyden) and Google’s Army of the Dead.  Their summary of the terms of the new copyright small claims court in the CASE Act is a must read!]

On December 27, creators across the country collectively celebrated as the CASE Act was signed into law. Naturally, many of you have questions about the how the new small claims process will work. Below, we answer some of the questions we’ve heard so far, and provide some need-to-know details.

Read the post on the Copyright Alliance blog.

Wyden Alley

@unite4copyright: Google v. Oracle: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in “Copyright Case of the Decade”

Terrica Carrington at the Copyright Alliance brings us a must-read first rate analysis of oral argument before the Supreme Court in the Google’s appeal of its loss to Oracle in the Federal Circuit. (Full disclosure, I co-wrote an amicus brief supporting Oracle in the case on the fair use question.)

Read the post on the Copyright Alliance blog.

Bear in mind that the now-eight Justices on the Supreme Court will meet today (October 9) to vote on the cases like Google v. Oracle that were argued before the Court on Tuesday and on Wednesday (when the Oracle case was argued). After the vote, the most senior Justice in the majority (or one side in case of a tie) will assign the task of writing the opinion for the majority, and the most senior Justice in the dissent (or the other side in the case of a tie) will do the same among the dissenters. Concurrence opinions assign themselves essentially.

Opinions in the decided cases for the 2020-21 term will probably be released in mid-June 2021.

If confirmed, Judge Amy Coney Barrett will not vote on the Oracle case because the vote will have already occurred before she is seated. That means that there could be a split decision in Oracle which would probably mean that the Federal Circuit ruling below in Oracle’s favor will be affirmed by the tie vote. (There actually were two rulings by the Federal Circuit in Oracle’s favor, so both would likely be binding on Google.)

This would probably bind Google to the $5,000,000,000 payment to Oracle required by the Federal Circuit decision(s), but likely will not be binding precedent in other cases including other cases yet to be brought against Google or otherwise.

If they lose or there is a tie vote, Google will almost certainly engage in their usual lawfare shenanigans to get another bite at the apple. One manifestation of Silicon Valley rage might be to ask for a rehearing on the merits before the Supreme Court if the current vacancy is filled before the ruling is handed down in (presumably) June 2021.

It would be unusual for the Court to grant a rehearing on the merits (as opposed to denying an appeal on a per curium opinion or a writ of certiorari which is the more common rationale for requesting a rehearing). It would be particularly unusual when the case had been fully briefed and argued before the Court as is the case with Oracle.

There is a long line of similarly situated cases where a rehearing was requested after the death or illness of a Justice that created the vacancy–and most were denied. The Court often held the subject case over the Court’s summer recess, holding oral arguments months later which obviously did not happen in Google v. Oracle. (See Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Co. v. Walker, 327 U.S. 812 (1946), 329 U.S. 1 (1946); MacGregor v. Westinghouse Elec. & Mfg. Co., 329 U.S. 402 (1947); Baltimore & Ohio R.R. v. Kepner, 314 U.S. 44 (1941); Home Ins. Co. v. New York, 122 U.S. 636 (1887) (granting rehearing February 7, 1887), and 134 U.S. 594 (1890) (reargument March 18-19, 1890); Selma, Rome & Dalton R.R. v. United States, 122 U.S. 636 (1887) (granting rehearing March 28, 1887), and 139 U.S. 560 (1891) (reargument March 25-26, 1891).

However, since the Oracle case was fully briefed and argued and then some, requesting a rehearing seems a fruitless exercise, which of course, doesn’t mean Google won’t pull up their big-boy fruitless of the looms and give it the old Silicon Valley try. Granting rehearings on the merits because of a vacancy would not be a good precedent for the Court as there are going to be lots of cases in a procedurally similar situation, and they’ll all want it just as a matter of drill.

Rule 44 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States provides:

Any petition for the rehearing of any judgment or decision of the Court on the merits shall be filed within 25 days after entry of the judgment or decision, unless the Court or a Justice shortens or extends the time. The petitioner shall file 40 copies of the rehearing petition and shall pay the filing fee prescribed by Rule 38(b), except that a petitioner proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2. The petition shall state its grounds briefly and distinctly and shall be served as required by Rule 29. The petition shall be presented together with certification of counsel (or of a party unrepresented by counsel) that it is presented in good faith and not for delay; one copy of the certificate shall bear the signature of counsel (or of a party unrepresented by counsel). A copy of the certificate shall follow and be attached to each copy of the petition. A petition for rehearing is not subject to oral argument and will not be granted except by a majority of the Court, at the instance of a Justice who concurred in the judgment or decision.

Must Read: @Unite4Copyright Creator Interview with @TheBlakeMorgan on #irespectmusic

[Editor Charlie sez:  Read this interview and it will but some beauty in your day.”

It still comes as a shock to some people that The United States is the only democratic country in the world where artists don’t get paid for AM/FM radio airplay. Stations are allowed to broadcast my music, without my permission, and without paying me. I’m not sure what your definition of “stealing” is, but that’s mine.

My best advice is to remember that copyright is a human right, supported by reason, history, and the United States’ Constitution. That like all human rights, it’s worth fighting for––even in the face of seemingly hopeless odds. The corporate and unethical forces applying downward pressure on artists’ ability to make a living may seem invincible at times, and the downward trajectory may feel inevitable. But it isn’t. Their side is only fighting on behalf of greed. We’re fighting on behalf of justice, and truth, and for an elemental part of what makes each of us human.

Read the post on Unite4Copyright Creator Spotlight with Blake Morgan

Terrica Carrington: Copyright is NOT a Monopoly

Excellent debunk of the same old “copyright is a monopoly” whine we hear from the true monopolists in Silicon Valley.

For all these years, most of us have been playing Monopoly wrong.…What’s interesting, though, is how it came to be this way. It’s simple really: “no-one ever actually reads the rules of Monopoly. Monopoly is something you learn through word-of-mouth in childhood.” That’s right, since the game was released in 1935, we’ve all been playing a massive intergenerational and international game of telephone which resulted in wide-scale confusion. And if that’s not enough, I have news for you:

that’s not the only thing a lot of people are getting wrong about monopoly.

But this time, I mean the economic concept. It’s an argument that every copyright nerd has heard… (and we all know to expect it in any dialogue with “copyright skeptics”). Here’s the short version: “Monopolies are bad. Copyright is a monopoly. Copyright is bad.” As it turns out, this argument, which appears – at least to the unsuspecting novice – to be a basic exercise in deductive reasoning, is in fact a logical fallacy.

Read the post on Copyright Alliance.