Yesterday IPAT Clinic client Authors Alliance launched a beta version of their Copyright Termination of Transfer Tool as part of Open Access Week, together with Creative Commons. United States copyright law allows for authors to reclaim the copyrights to their works approximately thirty-five years after signing them over to someone else. Every day, numerous works become eligible to have their copyrights returned to the original authors, in a process called “termination of transfer.” Often these works have gone out of print or become hard to find, and so termination represents an opportunity to make countless works available that would otherwise languish in obscurity. But the provision that makes termination possible is extremely complicated, with harsh deadlines and difficult factual questions. With the Termination of Transfer Tool, Authors Alliance seeks to educate authors about how these provisions work. Take a minute to check out the public beta, and feel free to spread the word. Most importantly, please let us know what you think!
This week, UCI IPAT Clinic students Rob Winson, Christopher Seah, and Spencer Cross, together with IPAT Clinic director Professor Jack Lerner, attended the Getting Real ’16 conference in Los Angeles. Getting Real ’16, organized by long-time IPAT Clinic client International Documentary Association, is a unique gathering of filmmakers and industry professionals that brings the documentary community for three days of keynotes, practical workshops, and dynamic presentations. On day three of the conference, Professor Lerner participated in a panel discussing fair use and filmmaking.
For more updates and insights into Getting Real ’16, see http://www.documentary.org/gettingreal16/docsgetreal.
Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the FCC’s “net neutrality” rule published last year. The rule will prohibit ISPs from engaging in throttling, blocking, and most importantly, paid prioritization—also known as a “fast lane” for those who can afford it and a “slow lane” for everyone else. This decision confirms that the next Netflix, Vimeo, or Kickstarter—or platforms and systems we have yet to imagine—will not have to worry about being relegated to the “slow lane” on the internet. It is perhaps the single most important policy component to a level playing field online.
Back in 2014, IPAT Clinic interns Matthew C. Germer, Kyle Reynolds, and Alex Jassy Selman urged the FCC to adopt a strong net neutrality rule in a comment the Clinic filed on behalf of the International Documentary Association, Film Independent, the National Alliance For Media Arts & Culture, Independent Filmmaker Project, Kartemquin Educational Films, Women In Film, Women In Film & Video, and Doe Mayer. Today we celebrate the Court’s recognition of the importance of net neutrality to both our freedom of speech and the future of our media ecosystem.
h/t to flickr user backbone_campaign for the photo.
On May 25, IPAT participated in the United States Copyright Office’s Section 1201 Study roundtable in San Francisco, discussing ways in which the Office can improve the lengthy and burdensome DMCA rulemaking process. IPAT Clinic Director Jack Lerner appeared on behalf of the International Documentary Association, Film Independent and Kartemquin Educational Films, and advocated for the changes included in the Initial Comment that we submitted to the Register of Copyrights in March as part of the Office’s Section 1201 Study. He also addressed the further recommendations, clarifications, and responses to other initial commenters included in the Reply Comment that we submitted in April, in which the International Documentary Association, Film Independent and Kartemquin Educational Films were joined by Independent Filmmaker Project, Indie Caucus, The National Alliance For Media Arts and Culture, New Media Rights, and Women in Film & Video.
The Copyright Office staff asked many probing questions and, having participated in previous rulemaking proceedings, we appreciate the opportunity to share our insight and experience with them. You can read more about the Clinic’s efforts on behalf of the International Documentary Association, Film Independent, Kartemquin Educational Films, and many others to improve the Digital Millennium Copyright Act here.
Throughout the past year, we were privileged to represent Authors Alliance in seeking a DMCA exemption that preserves authors’ rights in the digital age. In this guest post on the Authors Alliance website, IPAT students Sasha Danielyan and Lauren Wong explain why the new rule is important and how we obtained it.