Monday, 15 April 2019


The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sitting in Philadelphia must be hoping not to slip up on the appeal being heard in the case between Kangaroo Manufacturing which is now the subject of an injunction issued by a federal trial judge preventing it making a banana costume that seemingly resembled that of costume-maker Rasta Imposta. Kangaroo are arguing that nothing makes the Rasta Imposta costume protectable by copyright as it lacks any distinctive features and resembles - well, a banana.  U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman used terms such as “bananafest” and “bananapalooza” at a hearing, and he then issued what the Times termed “a split decision” in favor of Rasta Imposta on two of the issues and in favor of Kangaroo Manufacturing on one.

Infowars' Alex Jones, who has been sued by Pepe the Frog artist Matt Furie for allegedly infringing Furie’s copyright on the cartoon frog by putting Pepe on a poster that Infowars was selling, has made a number of defences to his actions in a wide-ranging deposition, comparing his use of Pepe the Frog to artist Andy Warhol's paintings of Campbell’s soup can and saying “[Pepe the Frog] is a symbol of free speech” adding .“There’s now a movement to try to then control and own symbols that have entered the public domain and public use….and so now I see it as basically a tombstone of free speech and fair use in the Western world. So I see it for what it is, from the perspective of the corporate fascists.” Much more on Motherboard here

The EU Council has now  approved the European Copyright Directive, the last step in the EU legislative process - it is now up to each EU member state to implement the new copyright laws.  "It was a long road and we would like to thank everyone who contributed to the discussion" said Helen Smith, head of the pan-European independent record label group IMPALA. "As a result, we now have a balanced text that sets a precedent for the rest of the world to follow, by putting citizens and creators at the heart of the reform and introducing clear rules for online platforms".

A video in support of Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign has been removed from Twitter . The video uses music from the Warner Bros Batman film 'The Dark Knight Rises' and in a statement Warner Bros. confirmed it was taking action over the video: "The use of Warner Bros.’ score from The Dark Knight Rises in the campaign video was unauthorized," a spokesperson said. "We are working through the appropriate legal channels to have it removed.” The video in Trump's tweet had been replaced by a message that it was no longer available "in response to a report by the copyright owner." 

And finally, Chinese authorities have suspended country's largest stock images provider's website after it was found to have put its copyright mark on the first ever photo taken of a black hole. China Daily reported that Visual China Group (VCG) had published the black hole photo with a watermark to indicate ownership and that a fee was payable for use. The cyberspace affairs authority in Tianjin (North) to suspend its website. The incident led to the Chinese National Copyright Administration to say that it would launch a campaign to regulate the image copyright market, noting that firms should set up mechanisms to uphold copyright as per legal requirements, here that image from  the Event Horizon Telescope was available for use where it was properly attributed, a position commonly taken by the European Southern Observatory and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The black hole measures 40 billion km across - three million times the size of the Earth - and has been described by scientists as "a monster". It is 500 million trillion km away. And we are delighted to say this image is from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight linked telescopes.

No comments: