Sunday 23 April 2017

CopyKat - April

Beyoncé attempts to “kick out” infringement claim
As previously covered in the CopyKat here, a copyright infringement claim has been made against Beyoncé for samples taken from Messy Mya (Anthony Barré) – the singer has now responded by asking a federal judge in Louisiana to dismiss the claim. First, the filing claims that the sample amounts to no more than 10 seconds and falls within fair-use doctrine, especially as the raw material was then allegedly “transformed”.  Secondly, and admittedly outside the scope of the application, it is claimed the material was licenced from Barré’s family. Source here

Fan subtitles illegal
The Amsterdam District Court has handed down a recent decision in a claim made by the “Free Subtitles Foundation” (Stichting Laat Ondertitels Vrij) against BREIN, the latter of which has been active in taking fan subtitles and translations offline.
The lawyer acting for the Free Subtitles Foundation, Camiel Beijer, had previously told TorrentFreak that the case revolved around two issues:
  1. Whether the creation and publishing of film subtitles is an act only reserved to the maker of the film work in question; and
  2. A review of the conduct of BREIN against people who create and reproduce subtitles.
While hoping for an outcome which would favour fair-use, the Court in fact reached the opposite decision and held that subtitles can only be created and distributed after permission has been obtained from copyright holders – anything else would amount to infringement. With the potential to set a precedent for “fansubbing”, see here for more details.

Upcoming events
Dr Eleonora Rosati, a member of the 1709 Blog Squad, will be speaking at the following events:
  • IPSoc’s event “Latest Developments in copyright”: this will be held on Wednesday 10 May 2017 from 18:30 to 21:30 at Simmons & Simmons offices at 1 Ropemaker Street, EC2Y 9SS, London United Kingdom. IPSoc is a society for junior IP practitioners from all areas of intellectual property which hosts CPD accredited educational and social events for members to learn and socialise in a fun and relaxed environment. 2016/2017 membership will need to be confirmed before you can sign up for this event, and will also allow you to sign up to other events. The membership form and further information on membership can be found at For any queries relating to membership, please contact the Membership Secretary (
  • ASK Centre (Art, Science and Knowledge) at Bocconi University will be hosting a seminar “Second-hand Markets for Digital Copies - An EU copyright chimera?” on Friday 5 May 2017 at 12:30pm in Room 32 via Sarfatti 25. Registration is required here.

 Open Call for Speakers – CopyCamp

The biggest conference about social and economic aspects of copyright in Europe invites our prospective speakers to submit presentation proposals on the following:
·       business models, heritage digitization, remix
·       health, food, security, and exclusive rights
·       text and data mining, machine learning, online education
·       the Internet of Things: autonomous cars, smart homes, wearables
·       hacking government data, public procurement, public aid in culture

Deadline is 31 May 2017 – for more details and how to apply, see here.  

Copyright or Wrong?
Finally, for those that may have missed it, copyright lawyer and author Richard Taylor discussed copyright law in the digital age on BBC Radio 4 last Friday – still available here for those who wish to listen.

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