Licensing

NewsRight: Rest Easy, We Won't be Righthaven 2.0

Looking to make their brand “a little more memorable,” the News Licensing Group is now NewsRight – and is billing itself as an “easy rights clearinghouse for the best news reporting and original journalism on the Web.”

Jurisdiction: 

Subject Area: 

Content Type: 

Can AP Apply a 99-Cent-Song Business Model to the News?

Is it possible to create a culture for licensing news?

This is the question at the heart of a new project begun by The Associated Press, announced last April by AP CEO Tom Curley. Called The News Licensing Group, the AP, with its membership, has created a separate company to explore how tagged content can not only be tracked but also monetized.

Subject Area: 

Back in Court, GateHouse Gives Not Great News Based on Creative Commons License

GateHouse Media, Inc., a publisher of local newspapers is suing That's Great News, LLC (TGN) in Illinois federal district court, claiming breach of contract and copyright infringement.

Jurisdiction: 

Subject Area: 

Content Type: 

GateHouse Media v. That's Great News

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

06/30/2010

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

That's Great News, LLC

Type of Party: 

Media Company

Type of Party: 

Organization

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division

Case Number: 

3:10-cv-50165

Publication Medium: 

Other

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Description: 

On June 30, 2010, GateHouse Media, Inc., a publisher of local newspapers around the country, sued That's Great News, LLC (TGN), in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois. The complaint alleged breach of contract, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, false advertising, and unfair competition.

TGN sells plaques with article reprints to the people and companies featured in the articles. According to allegations in the complaint, TGN had reprinted copyrighted materials from GateHouse's newspapers, including the Illinois paper Rockford Register Star,without authorization. Also according to GateHouse, TGN displayed GateHouse materials on its own web site "as an example of the reprints it sells," which violated the noncommercial and no-derivative works limitations of the Creative Commons license.

Furthermore, GateHouse argued that TGN's conduct violated the terms of a settlement agreement the parties signed on or about October 8, 2008.  According to GateHouse's complaint, GateHouse sent TGN a cease and desist letter on September 10, 2008, after which TGN agreed "to permanently cease the unauthorized copying of original content appearing in any GateHouse newspapers or websites."

On July 26, 2010, TGN moved to extend the time to file its answer until August 9, 2010. 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

CMLP Notes: 

I'm not sure I treated this threat properly. I tried to write a sentence or two reagrding each of GateHouse's claims since there are so many of them.

Jurisdiction: 

Threat Source: 

Blog Post

Conde Nast v. Estabrook

Threat Type: 

Correspondence

Date: 

02/12/2010

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Barry Estabrook

Type of Party: 

Large Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Status: 

Pending

Description: 

In February 2010, Conde Nast Publications sent an email to freelance journalist and blogger Barry Estabrook asking him to remove articles posted on his blog, Politics of the Plate.  Estabrook originally wrote the articles in question for publication in Gourmet magazine, owned by Conde Nast and recently shut down for financial reasons. The articles addressed various topics relating to the interplay between food and politics.

The Conde Nast email indicated that Estabrook's posting of the articles violated its exclusive rights to publish them and requested that he take them down from the blog. As of the time of writing, Estabrook was linking to the articles on the Gourmet website, but not otherwise hosting them. The record is not entirely clear, but Estabrook may have originally posted pdf copies of the articles before receiving the email.

Subject Area: 

International Olympic Committee v. Giles

Date: 

10/06/2009

Threat Type: 

Correspondence

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Richard Giles

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Legal Counsel: 

Pro Se

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Concluded

Description: 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) sent an email to a Flickr user Richard Giles  asking him to cease and desist from distributing and/or licensing photographs of the 2008 Beijing Olympic events that he had photographed while at the games and posted on Flickr.

Giles originally put the photographs online under a CC Attribution-Share Alike License (CC BY-SA), but then relicensed them under a CC Attribution-No-Derivatives License (CC BY-ND) upon the request of a Wikipedia user, so that they could be used in a Wikimedia project. Later on, a British bookstore used one of Giles' pictures for promoting a book. When this came to IOC's attention, they sent the cease and desist letter to Giles. 

IOC invoked contractual limitations found on the back of tickets:

As you know, when entering any Olympic venue, you are subject to the terms and conditions mentioned on the back of entry tickets, under which images of the Games taken by you may not be used for any purpose other than private, which does not include licensing of the pictures to third parties.

The letter also suggested a trademark-oriented claim:

Olympic identifications such as the Olympic rings, the emblems and mascots of the Olympic games, the word 'Olympic' and images of the Olympic games belong to the IOC and cannot be used without its prior written consent.

Giles reports that it was not clear to him what exactly the IOC wanted him to do, so a chain of mutual emails followed, in which IOC clarified its position that the only acceptable copyright notice for pictures from Olympic events would be "all rights reserved." In an effort to keep the CC licensing regime, Giles counter-suggested licensing the pictures under a noncommercial CC license, but IOC declined:

IOC's current policy is to restrict the use of pictures taken at the venues to private, domestic and non-commercial use and does not allow licensing of pictures to third parties, even for free non-commercial use, for the reasons I explained in my previous email.

Therefore, for the time being the IOC considers full copyright as the only suitable credit and asks that you change the license of the photos taken inside of the Olympic venues to 'all rights reserved'.

Throughout the course of these events Giles was in touch with the Electronic Frontiers Australia, a nonprofit organisation supporting online freedoms and rights,  and Creative Commons Australia, both of which advised him that as a first step he should comply with the IOC's demand. Eventually Giles reverted all pictures to full copyright protection, adding a note under every picture: "The license on this photo has been changed from Creative Commons to Copyright [sic] due to a request from the IOC."

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Priority: 

1-High

Jurisdiction: 

Think Twice Before You Dust Off Those Mix Tapes

Digital technologies have allowed people to share music in unprecedented ways, and earlier this week recording artists, music industry leaders, and policymakers gathered at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. for the Future of Music Policy Summit sponsored by the Future of Music Coalition to talk about their impact on the music community.

Subject Area: 

White House Drops License Restrictions on Photos, Flickr Stream Now in Public Domain

Wired/Epicenter reported yesterday that popular photo-sharing site Flickr, in collaboration with the Obama administration, has changed the licensing designation on photos in the Official White House Photostream to reflect that, as U.S.

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Opening the Government, Starting with the Transition

I’m a signer of a letter on a new site called “An Open Transition,” where a group of folks led by Larry Lessig:

Subject Area: 

Thomson Reuters (Scientific) Inc. [EndNote] v. George Mason University [Zotero]

Date: 

09/05/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

David A. Von Moll, Comptroller of the Commonwealth of Virginia; George Mason University

Type of Party: 

Large Organization

Type of Party: 

Government
School

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

Circuit Court, City of Richmond, Virginia

Case Number: 

CL08004225-00

Legal Counsel: 

David Drummey (for Defendent George Mason University)

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)

Description: 

Thomson Reuters, creators of the commercial and proprietary EndNote reference management software, have filed suit against the Commonwealth of Virginia and George Mason University, whose Center for History and New Media created the free and open source Zotero reference manager that plugs into Mozilla Firefox.

Thomson seeks ten million dollars ($10,000,000) in damages and an injunction, alleging that their site-license agreement with George Mason University was violated. Thomson claims that a beta version of Zotero is able to convert their undocumented binary.ens file format for citation styling into the open xml-based Citation Style Language (CSL) and that they encouraged their users to perform this conversion, sharing the CSL files with each other and that George Mason University distributed such files. Third parties have commented that one beta version of Zotero was able to read and use .ens files as-is and that the Zotero developers did not implement conversion over copyright concerns.

Thomson's complaint states that GMU reverse engineered or de-compiled the EndNote software and are distributing a derivative of EndNote. Third parties have commented that only the .ens file format needed to be analyzed in order to create this compatibility feature, and that Zotero, a javascript and xul plugin, is quite different from EndNote, a more conventional executable. Thomson further complains that their trademark "EndNote" is used to describe this feature. Thomson requested a jury trial. An extension was recently granted. Thomson discreetly changed their licensing terms for their style files on their website sometime this year, according to the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine. They recently added a click-through agreement for any downloadable content for EndNote.

Update:

 6/4/09 - Court dismissed the suit.  [We'll link to the order when we get it]

Jurisdiction: 

Subject Area: 

Content Type: 

How to Effectively Transfer or License Your Work

Below are three models or approaches to transferring or licensing your work that are relatively straightforward and therefore can be accomplished without the assistance of a lawyer. One caveat is that the first approach, the "all rights reserved" model, could be used in conjunction with sophisticated transfer/licensing transactions on a case-by-case basis, in which case the assistance of a lawyer would be more indispensable.

Understanding the Difference Between a Transfer and a License

A transfer of copyright is a conveyance of ownership, much like the sale of personal property. When you transfer your entire interest in a copyrighted work, or one or more of your exclusive rights under copyright, you give up all claim to the right(s) you convey (except as explained in the Termination of a Transfer or a License section). The recipient of the transfered right(s) may:

Deciding Whether and How to License Your Content

A broad array of creative, expressive media are subject to copyright protection, including literature, photographs, music compositions and recordings, films, paintings and sculptures, and news articles – any “original work of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.” 17 U.S.C. § 102. For more information on copyright creation and ownership see the Copyright Ownership section of this legal guide.

Content Fingerprinting and Citizen Journalism

Editor & Publisher details a new venture between the Associated Press and Attributor, a service provider that will fingerprint and track the use of AP content on the web.

The Associated Press is moving to protect its content by partnering with the technology company Attributor, which will track AP material across the Internet. The arrangement will allow Attributor to "fingerprint" AP copy down to a level where it can be identified anywhere on the Web.

"Our goal is to get a feeling for some of the useful ways to monitor content," said Srinandan Kasi, vice president, general counsel and secretary at the AP. "We are looking at it not just to protect our rights but to derive some intelligence."

Subject Area: 

Subscribe to RSS - Licensing