After a photographer who’s allowed thousands of her images to enter the public domain filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Getty Images for allegedly threatening her for using her own photos, the photo agency says it will investigate the complaint, and “vigorously defend” if need be. [More]
Last year, a decades-old battle over the rights to one of the most famous songs in the world finally came to an end when a federal judge ruled that the “Happy Birthday” song is in the public domain, meaning that its publisher, Warner/Chappell, has been improperly charging hefty sums for its use. The terms of a settlement in the case show that Warner will now fork over up to $14 million to people who should not have had to pay to use the song. [More]
The next time you decide to perform a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday To You” on TV, or in a movie or on your debut album, you won’t have to worry about paying anyone for the right to do so: after two years of legal wrangling over who owns the copyright to the classic tune, the parties involved have agreed to settle their differences.
Filmmakers, musicians, and anyone else wishing to perform “Happy Birthday To You” no longer has to worry about paying hefty royalties to Warner/Chappell, the publisher that has long claimed to hold the copyright for the ditty. Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the classic party tune is in the public domain. [More]
Even though the U.S. Copyright Office has explicitly stated that one can not register a copyright for “A photograph taken by a monkey,” the photographer whose camera was used by a monkey for a now-famous self-portrait is still trying to claim that he is the owner of the photograph and demanding that a website purchase a license to run the image. [More]
In news that will disappoint monkey photographers nationwide, a draft report from the U.S. Copyright Office seems to make the regulators’ opinion pretty clear on the question of who holds the copyright for a photo — or any work — created by an animal. [More]
If I take a photo with your camera, who holds the rights to the image? After all, I’m the photographer; you just happened to own the camera. What if I’m a non-human animal who can’t hold copyright — does that automatically mean the copyright defaults to the camera’s owner? Not according to Wikimedia, the organization behind Wikipedia. [More]
Celebrate Public Domain Day… By Realizing That Not A Single Published Work Will Become Public Domain Until 2019
As happens every January, various pieces of literature, scholarship, film, music, plays, and other copyrighted works of art enter into the public domain, meaning the public has the right to publish, perform, use, and display these works without seeking permission. That is, except in the U.S., where not a single published work will be joining the public domain until 2019. [More]
Some people don’t know when to leave bad enough alone. Earlier this month, we brought you the story of a freelance writer who not only found out that a small cooking magazine had lifted her entire story without permission or payment, but then insulted the author saying she should have paid them for the tiny bit of editing they did on her text before printing it. Now the editor at the magazine says it’s likely curtains for the publication — and you’ll never guess who she’s blaming.
A writer was recently surprised to find that a piece she’d written about apple pies for a website in 2005 had been picked up wholesale by a small cooking magazine without anyone telling her. She was even more surprised by the reaction she received from one of the mag’s editors.
The ebook “war” is a race to the bottom, apparently, with Barnes & Noble trying to out-do Amazon on DRM stupidity. A reader emailed B&N customer service to point out that their “free books” offer consists of 5 public domain titles that are no longer protected under copyright, yet are still locked down with digital rights management (DRM). Their response? “For copyright protection purposes, these files are encrypted and cannot be converted or printed.”