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Copyright Law

Reasonable Balance Reasonable Balance

Intellectual property issues as they relate to art and music, legal news of all kinds, and takes on popular music.
By Nancy Prager, Esq.

Post Frequency: 0.3/day

Last Entry: January 21, 2013 at 16:20:02

Recent Entries: 84

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Copyright and the King, this time Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted on January 21, 2013
Today is a momentus day. It’s the second inauguration of Barak Obama, the first African-American President of the United States. Today is also the day on which we honor the memory and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., the greatest … Continue reading →


Intellectual Property Enforcement: Have your voice heard

Posted on July 20, 2012
The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 (the "PRO-IP Act") enhanced civil and criminal penalties for intellectual property infringement as well as established the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator to serve in the Office of Management and … Continue reading →


Developing a Code of Conduct to Implement The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, Round 1

Posted on July 16, 2012
Earlier this year President Obama released the "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights" as part of the "Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy." The Consumer Privacy Bill … Continue reading →


Ideas and the Law: Using Intellectual Property to Protect You (Trademarks and Trade Secrets)

Posted on July 02, 2012
In the previous posts in the Ideas and the Law Series I addressed the challenges people face protecting ideas once they have been disclosed to third parties. As noted earlier in the series, while the underlying ideas may be available … Continue reading →


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Ideas and the Law: Using Intellectual Property to Protect You Part 2 (Copyright)

Posted on April 11, 2012
As previously discussed on this blog, there is little legal recourse available if someone steals your idea. In certain limited circumstances you may have legal recourse but even then you have to have the resources to enforce your rights. Therefore, … Continue reading →


Ideas and the Law: Using Intellectual Property to Protect You Part 1 (Patents)

Posted on March 29, 2012
In the first of the Ideas and the Law Series, I addressed what steps you can take to protect an idea. Technically there is little legal protection available unless the person to whom you disclose an idea has a contractual … Continue reading →


The Myth of the Start-Up

Posted on March 23, 2012
Chris Dixon has posted a thoughtful analysis about the Myth of the Overnight Success on his blog. He writes: You tend to hear about startups when they are successful but not when they are struggling. This creates a systematically distorted … Continue reading →


Ideas and the Law: What every Entrepreneur & Inventor Should Know, and Do

Posted on March 22, 2012
People start companies because they have an idea. Whether it's an idea for something new, something better, something unique, it all begins with an idea. Not only are ideas the foundation for great companies, ideas may also be the company's … Continue reading →


MegaUpload Misconceptions: Why there is no Safe Harbor for Kim Dotcom

Posted on January 26, 2012
Following shortly on the demise of the SOPA/PIPA legislation, the combined file sharing/cloud storage service MegaUpload was taken offline as a result of a multi-jurisdictional criminal investigation. The founder of the service, Kim Dotcom, and a myriad of employees and … Continue reading →


Right of Publicity, Steve Jobs, Me and You

Posted on January 09, 2012
Contrary to this article in PaidContent, Steve Jobs’ estate likely has an enforceable interest against InIcons, the manufacturer of a life-like action figure of the deceased visionary, in the United States. The Right of Publicity grants people like Steve Jobs, … Continue reading →


How to Clear a Song: A quick tutorial

Posted on June 13, 2011
One of the complaints I most often hear about copyright is that it is too hard to identify who owns the rights to a copyright protected work. The challenges are particularly great when trying to track down the owners of … Continue reading →


Saferproducts.gov: Unsafe for Businesses at any Speed

Posted on March 04, 2011
The summer of 2007 saw a range of product recalls from jewelry for children to pine nuts. Most of the products involved had been manufactured in China and imported into the United States. The Consumer Products Safety Commission a relatively … Continue reading →


Regulatory Reform for the 21st Century: Small and Mid-Size Businesses Matter

Posted on January 20, 2011
On January 18, 2011, President Barack Obama penned an editorial, Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System, for the Wall Street Journal in which he discussed the need for regulatory reform across the federal government.  The President addressed the importance “common sense … Continue reading →


That Piece of Paper, Those Terms of Use: Do They Really Matter?

Posted on September 14, 2010
May I share a secret with you?   I don’t always read the Terms of Service on the websites I visit, or the Terms & Conditions for services I use either.   When I open the boxes for new software or gadgets I don’t generally read the license agreements...


Facebook Beacon Returns? New & ?Improved?

Posted on May 11, 2010
In all the hub bub about the recently launched Facebook program that allows its users to “like” materials on non-Facebook sites to share with their “friends,” something seems to have been forgotten.  Way back in 2007 Facebook launched a program called Beacon...


AnyClip- Are you kidding me?

Posted on March 27, 2010
Why is it that people who profess to love the creative arts feel that that love entitles them to use the works with abandon and disregard of the copyright owners interests, or those of the actors, performers and writers? Apparently at SXSWi, AnyClip launched which allows users to search for movie scenes based a [...


Adventures in Privacy: Google Buzz

Posted on February 18, 2010
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission requesting that the government agency investigate Google regarding privacy concerns with Google Buzz.   Google created and launched Google Buzz, a hybrid Twitter/Facebook type service, to complement GMail, its email service...


Observation: The Great Digital (customer service) Divide

Posted on February 15, 2010
Late last year, my mother made a simple request to her local telephone monopoly which they said would be easy to fulfill.  On the appointed day when the service switch was made, it was clear the Local Telephone Monopoly did not have a clue.  In fact they disconnected my mom’s phone in the process...


News You Can Use: The SBA on Economic Stimulus for Small Businesses

Posted on February 05, 2010
National Public Radio spoke with Karen Mills , administrator of the Small Business Administration, this morning on the pending economic stimulus programs for small businesses.  To listen to the interview CLICK HERE. Filed under: Economic Stimulus, News You Can Use, Small Business


Economic Stimulus for Small Business 2010

Posted on February 02, 2010
In the midst of the bank and automobile bailout of 2009, the federal government implemented  policies to help small businesses obtain credit and relief from the recession.  Primarily the government offered tax relief and easier access to Small Business Administration administered loans...


A Primer on Music Performance Licenses (Musical Compositions)

Posted on February 01, 2010
Among the exclusive rights granted to the owners of most copyrights is the right of public performance. As discussed in the Primer on Music Performance Licenses (Sound Recording), the public performance right for a sound recording is only available for music transmitted digitally or by satellite...


A Primer on Music Performance Licenses (Sound Recording)

Posted on February 01, 2010
The United States of America holds a special place in the hearts of the children of France. Not only does America export fabulous music, we subsidize the music education in French schools through funds collected on the performance of the music that is not able to be distributed to American performers and copyright owners...


Fundamentals of Copyright and the Problem with Lost Owners: unintended consequences (Part Two)

Posted on February 01, 2010
As discussed in The Fundamentals of Copyright and the Problem with Lost Owners (Part One) the exclusive rights of copyright attach automatically to a work, whether a photograph or a poem, once it has been transposed into tangible form. However, for works created before 1978, authors and artists had to take affirmative steps to [...


Fundamentals of Copyright and the Problem with Lost Owners (Part One)

Posted on February 01, 2010
Many people find the comparison of real property to intellectual property disconcerting or inappropriate. The arguments I have heard include “one is tangible, the other is intangible” or ” a finite number of people can use one, while millions of people can use the other...


The importance of taking a long view, even with Creative Commons licenses

Posted on February 01, 2010
Over the past year or so, I have noticed more and more people using Creative Commons branded licenses with their creative works.  Creative Commons licenses are form licenses (similar to those you can find through Nolo Press) with a twist.  That twist is what makes Creative Commons unique...


Coming soon?

Posted on January 21, 2010
I am pleased to announce the pending relaunch of my blog.  This time around, I am going to provide practical advice on topics ranging from copyright to estate planning.   I will be taking questions from the audience!   I look forward to making my first post shortly! Do you know what to do? Posted in Uncategorized [...


Second time not the charm for Jammie Thomas, nor the RIAA

Posted on June 19, 2009
“Illegal, but common” were the words in the judge’s decision to grant a new trial in Capitol Records v. Thomas that made me end my run as a blogger.   As a copyright attorney who works with a range of clients to protect their assets, reading a federal judge’s opinion that downloading music might be illegal [...


Difference between Amateurs & Professionals? Fact Checking

Posted on October 03, 2008
In the past year it has become the rage for traditional publishers to provide a platform for amateurs to report the news.  CNN offers iReport.   The problem is that unlike for news that journalists report, CNN does not fact check anything its users report...


The more things change? the more they stay the same? the mechanical royalty remains a matter of cents

Posted on October 02, 2008
The Copyright Royalty Board, an administrative law court charged with setting license rates for compulsory licenses under the Copyright Act, issued its ruling in the first contested rate setting proceeding for the “mechanical royalty” this afternoon...


Illegal but Common?. Defense lawyers everywhere rejoice

Posted on September 24, 2008
Words fail me. The judge has ordered a new trial based on faulty jury instructions in Capitol v. Thomas, a case about which I wrote in the Recording Industry Shows How to Lose by Winning for news.com just a year ago. Words fail me not because a new hearing has been ordered, or because I fundamentally disagree [...


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