The Politics of Copyright and Music on the Campaign Trail

© 2012 Ami Patel (student contributor)

Credit: AP

If the beginning of endless commercials didn’t give it away, it’s that time again – presidential campaign season. If there is one thing history has shown us, it’s that campaigns shouldn’t use an artist’s song without permission.  Then again, there are many lessons that candidates fail to learn on the campaign trail.

The most recent of these cases involves Mitt Romney, who was recently sent a cease and desist letter for using the Silversun Pickups song “Panic Switch” during his campaign.  He should have learned his lesson after numerous other presidential candidates used music without authorization from an artist and sparked a controversy in the process.

History is littered with candidates who used an artist’s song for campaign purposes. Continue reading “The Politics of Copyright and Music on the Campaign Trail”

Prof down! My injury, your gain. The most popular posts about intellectual property, revisited.

If you know me personally you probably know I’ve been going through quite an ordeal lately. Three weeks or so ago a wonderful game of tennis turned injury-laden for this aging (gracefully?) former collegiate and professional athlete.

I suffered a partial tear of my plantar fascia and was sidelined for two weeks before I could even get up and around on my own and at least return to my own city and home.

Physical therapy is just around the corner now that the acute pain and most swelling has subsided. Also just around the corner? A new sport!

Just posting a quick “check in” to assure you both my scholarship about intellectual property issues and my end of summer posts about current hot topics are “in progress”. So, my injury is your gain. I was sidelined long enough to enjoy substantial periods of rest AND to find significant pockets of productivity time in between.

Hope you’re enjoying a wonderfully restful and productive summer too. Many thanks for remaining plugged into ProfTonyaEvans.com. Check out some of my most popular posts from my archives:

Be well,

Prof. TE

UPDATE: Righthaven Found Wrong, loses copyrights … and trademark!

I first discussed Righthaven in a July 12, 2011 post that addressed whether you can copy an entire news article online and successfully claim fair use. Righthaven is a Las Vegas-based company co-owned by its CEO and founder Steve Gibson and Stevens Media, owner of approximately 70 media outlets, including the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The question in that post arose because Righthaven, sometimes referred to as a Copyright Troll, was engaging in a business practice of acquiring copyrights in order to file hundreds of no-warning infringement lawsuits with an eye toward settlement and without regard to whether the use was fair.

Some, including some federal judges, viewed Righthaven’s approach as an extortion-style “shakedown” with no real intention to see the case to its conclusion. And now another federal judge has agreed. And what’s more, the judge ruled that Righthaven should be stripped of its copyright holdings and its trademark!

VegasInc.com reports:

A federal judge in Las Vegas on Monday stripped Righthaven of whatever interests it has in its 278 federal copyright registrations as well as its trademark. Judge Philip Pro ordered that the copyrights and trademarks be transferred to a court-appointed receiver so they can be auctioned to cover some of Righthaven’s debts.

Click here to read the full article and the Righthaven court battle loss.