In the Spotlight

IP Scholars Tell Second Circuit that TVEyes’ For-Profit, Wholesale Copying is Not Fair Use

On June 22, 2016, several CPIP scholars joined other IP scholars in an amicus brief penned by CPIP Director of Copyright Research & Policy Sandra Aistars asking the Second Circuit to reverse the district court’s holding that TVEyes engages in fair use. Mason Law’s Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic students Mark DeSantis and Rachel Kim helped research and draft the brief.

TVEyes is a for-profit, business-to-business service that copies and distributes thousands of hours of entertainment, news, sports and other television programming twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week without permission or payment to authors. The amici argue that Congress has thrice rejected requests to add a fair use exception for media monitoring and that the courts should not bypass congressional intent by finding fair use in this case. They also argue that TVEyes does not qualify for the limited non-profit archival exception in the Copyright Act.

To read the full amicus brief, please click here.

IP Scholars to FCC: It’s Not About “The Box”

This past April, we joined other IP scholars in explaining how the FCC’s proposed set-top box rules would undermine the property rights of creators and copyright owners. In reply comments filed last month, the EFF and a group of IP academics argued that the proposed rules would not implicate any copyright owners’ exclusive rights. Yesterday, we filed an ex parte letter with the Commissioners pointing out why this is wrong:

“Surprisingly, despite claiming that the proposed rules are consistent with copyright law, the EFF/professors fail to address the primary copyright concern raised by us and by many other commenters. By focusing on the navigational devices themselves, rather than on how creative works are delivered to those devices, the EFF/professors perform a sleight of hand that masks the real problem. The issue is not what consumers do with the creative works they receive in the privacy of their own homes—the issue is how those creative works are delivered to consumers’ homes in the first place.”

To read the full letter, please click here.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and CPIP Co-Host Conference on the Economic Contribution of Technology Licensing

On Wednesday, June 8, 2016, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and CPIP hosted an all-day public conference at the USPTO’s Global Intellectual Property Academy in Alexandria, Virginia.

This conference highlighted the economic importance of patent licensing both domestically and across borders. Licensing contributes greatly to domestic innovation and employment, while constituting a significant portion of US trade. It plays an essential role in commercializing new technologies, bringing products and services from lab to market. This conference aimed to bring licensing into the policy discussion and to examine how the US government might help in measuring, promoting, and encouraging licensing.

To visit our event page, please click here.

CPIP Senior Scholars Tell Supreme Court that Patents are Private Property Rights Secured by the Constitution

An amicus brief penned by CPIP Senior Scholar Adam Mossoff and joined by twelve other law professors, including CPIP Senior Scholars Sean O’Connor, Kristen Osenga, & Mark Schultz, asks the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in MCM Portfolio v. Hewlett-Packard in order to correct the Federal Circuit’s erroneous holding that patents are “public rights.”

The amici point out that, while it’s true that the public has an interest in the validity of patents, this doesn’t make them public rights. Instead, as the Supreme Court has recognized for over two hundred years, patents are vested property rights, protected by the Constitution. This fact was confirmed by the Supreme Court just last year in Horne v. Department of Agriculture, where the Court noted that patents are property rights under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

To read the full amicus brief, please click here.

CPIP Announces New Partnership with the American Society of Media Photographers

On Thursday, May 26, 2016, CPIP and the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) announced a new partnership to provide ASMP members with information and advice on the legal issues they face.

CPIP Senior Scholar Sandra Aistars will direct the students in the Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic at Mason Law as they provide services to ASMP members. ASMP will work with Prof. Aistars on initiatives that include law clinics, webinars, FAQs, and blog postings that address such topics as negotiating solid contracts, securing copyright registrations, and other issues related to the protection of intellectual property.

Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property