NBC Hit With Font Infringement Suit

Wall St. Journal:  “We’re going on a limb this afternoon to say the biggest battle over fonts ─ ever ─has broken out in New York federal court.  NBC has been sued by the Font Bureau Inc., a typographic design firm, which alleges that the network infringed the firm’s fonts in marketing material used to promote such NBC shows as Saturday Night Live, The Jay Leno Show, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

Copyright Battles to Begin in 2013

Law.com:  “Over the past six years, the record industry has successfully sued thousands of people in the United States for illegally downloading copyrighted songs.  . . Soon, though, the major labels are going to have a different copyright battle on their hands — one that will pit them not against those who want to listen to recordings, but those who created them in the first place.  . . The looming problem is the so-called termination rights Congress gave to creators of copyrighted material when it amended the U.S. copyright law in 1976.  The rights — which allow a copyright grant to be terminated after 35 years . . . [In 2013] holders of sound-recording copyrights can take advantage of this provision, which, in turn, makes recordings from 1978 potentially the first to be up for grabs.”

Copyright and Morals

The Volokh Conspiracy:  “When I was a law student, a professor asked us whether we believed law and morals were co-extensive: if the law did not prohibit certain conduct, did that mean it was moral to engage in it?  One of the comments on my first post similarly asked how I distinguished effective laws from moral considerations, whether I thought we could distinguish illegitimate from legitimate copyright conduct without a moral scheme.”

The reference to effective laws was to my argument that we do not need strong copyright laws or weak copyright laws, but only effective copyright laws, with effective being judged by whether the copyright laws serve their purpose. This remark drew a comment that I was a typical academic, trying to “logic out” things.

Professor Wins Copyright Case & Fees from James Joyce Estate

San Francisco Chronicle:  “A Stanford professor who battled James Joyce’s estate for the right to quote family documents in research on one of the author’s most celebrated works will get $240,000 from the estate for her legal fees, the university said Monday.  Carol Shloss’ settlement with Joyce’s heirs ends a court case in which the estate, fiercely protective of its rights to his works, refused to let Shloss use excerpts from his papers or his daughter’s medical records in her 2003 book, ‘Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake.'”

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