Questioning copyright round-up (27 June)

Posted on 27 June 2011


This week in the copyright status quo:

  • The EFF celebrates a victory (and then a second) over copyright troll Fairhaven who sued on behalf of copyright holders by pretending to hold the copyright but not any of the rights that copyright grants. Confused? The Mises Institute also writes about it.
  • Free software guru Richard Stallman recommends a tax on Internet connections to compensate creators. The libertarian Center for the Study of Innovative Freedoms is not impressed.
  • Andy Baio covered the album ‘Kind of Blue’ using 8-bit sound. He paid royalties for every song he used. He created pixel art of the album cover. Jay Maisel, the photographer of the original photo – who lives in a New York mansion with 72 rooms – sued for copyright infringement. Baio would probably have won the case, but he didn’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would cost to litigate. Instead, he was forced to pay $30,000. This is legal thuggery, made possible by the copyright status quo. More on Kickstarter and Gizmodo.
  • JK Rowling rejects DRM on her Harry Potter ebooks.
  • The EFF argues against a law which would take many works, including those of Picasso and George Orwell, out of the public domain and put them back under copyright.