Some blurry photos of Red Square have been sold for £50,000 at Sotheby's in London on June 5th. The reason they made big money was because they were taken by a chimpanzee. The chimp, called Miki, took the snaps under the 'direction' of two Russian conceptual artists. He has since passed on to the great jungle in the sky. The story me reminded of the excellent and much commented blog by Aurelia, posted here on the 1709 back in July 2011 - on the very relevant topic of who owned the copyright in monkey snapped images http://the1709blog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/monkey-see-monkey-do-monkey-get.html
Laurie Kaye has posted a blog on his website about Kindle Worlds, which is important both as regards fan fiction and, more generally, about the world of derivative works. In light of mooted Australian and UK changes in copyright law, it's a timely read and can be accessed by clicking here .
A Teeside University student has apologised to his university and Sony for leaking sensitive gaming data onto the internet. Johnathan Waring, 23, described as “technically gifted, but naive and immature”, was speaking after leaving court with a suspended prison sentence after advertising a posting on a computer hackers’ website, potentially compromising anti-piracy packages for Play Station 3 games. Imposing a one year prison sentence, suspended for a year, The Northern Echo reports that Judge Christopher Prince told Waring: “You uploaded the intellectual property of Sony causing it potential damage and inconvenience" adding “It also damaged and breached the trust of your university and fellow students.” http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/10472124.Student_walks_free_from_court_despite_causing_copyright_scare/
And finally, in what looks like a fascinating new book, Without Copyrights (Oxford University Press), University of Tulsa law professor Robert Spoo examines am interesting chapter USA cultural history - how 19th and early 20th century U.S. copyright laws created a vast public domain of non domestic works which were not ptotected by US copyright - and with prices fixed by publishers too - upon which the USA's literary culture and modern publishing industry was built - and suggests that this "public domain–driven" effort laid the foundation for an American creative economy that now leads the world. An Interview with the author - which also touches on the current e-books competition case in the USA and the recent Kirtsaeng case on the first sale doctrine - can be found on Publishers Weekly here http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/interviews/article/57721-ala-2013-the-golden-age-of-piracy-pw-talks-with-robert-spoo.html