Archive | Licensing RSS for this section

Creative Commons Salon Ottawa: Open Data | Twitter #CCOTTAWA

The Creative Law Society and The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) present:
Creative Commons Salon Ottawa on the theme of “Open Data”

When: March 30th, 1-5pm (with a reception to follow)
Where: Fauteux Building, University of Ottawa (FTX 147B)

David Eaves (
Dr. Elizabeth Judge (University of Ottawa)
Edward Ocampo-Gooding (Ottawa Open Data)
Joey Coleman (Journalist)
Nick Edouard (BuzzData)
Sébastien Pierre (MontréalOuvert and QuébecOuvert)
Tracey Lauriault (Carleton Geomatics and Cartographic Research

At this event, we’re also especially pleased to be re-launching a Creative Commons Canada affiliate. Athabasca University, BCcampus and CIPPIC have joined forces to form a new CC affiliate team in Canada.

With the Open Data movement exploding, this is an opportune time to find out more about it and discuss it.  Most major cities in Canada now have open data portals where municipal governments openly and freely release public sector data, such as maps, statistics and other government documents. The federal government is making open data the central focus of its Open Government Initiative in order to increase transparency and citizen participation.

This event is also not just for data users!  We will be facilitating a roundtable discussion for data providers to discuss compatibility issues between the licenses of different data portals.  Creative Commons, which already provides the default license for open data portals in Australia and New Zealand, is renewing its focus on data for the next version of their license suite (version 4.0).  This roundtable will provide an opportunity to talk about how governments can make their own data portals compatible with this international standard, and about the possibilities for adopting Creative Commons licenses.

See full schedule here.

RSVP on Facebook.

Legal Issues Roundup

We’ve been busy planning a panel discussion for the end of November, and have missed out on sharing interesting news in culture industries law. Here’s a roundup of some of those stories:

  • Streaming: Netflix announced multiple content deals, expansion into the UK, and yet its share price dropped after 800,000 subscribers left the service. Facebook and Universal have joined forces to make ‘Facebook Social Cinema’ available to users in Australia and the UK. Viacom claims copyright infringement by YouTube.
  • Music: Syl Johnson is suing Kanye West and Jay-Z for their illegal sampling of “Different Strokes”.Rihanna has settled with photographer David LaChapelle over the uncleared use of his photographs as an influence in scenes from the video for “S&M”. Four members of the British band UB40 have declared bankruptcy, and their assets, including royalties, will be seized to pay off debts.
  • Occupy Wall Street and the art world.
  • Books: A former marine is suing Washington Post reporter Steve Fainaru, claiming defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of nervous distress as a result of his portrayal in the book, “Big Boys Rule: America’s Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq.” Barnes and Noble bookstores have stopped selling DC Comics graphic novels after DC Comics made an exclusive deal with Amazon for digital sales.
  • TV: Former “Happy Days” stars claimed fraud by CBS over alleged unpaid royalties, but the Court found in favour of CBS and is only permitting the stars to move forward on a breach of contract claim.
  • Trademarks: The San Francisco Giants are in a battle over their logo, which the team never officially trademarked and is now owned by Gogo Sports Inc. The creator of building-block game “Minecraft” has won an interim injunction in a legal dispute over trademark of the name “Scrolls” for a game.

European Ruling Challenges Exclusivity Deals For Sports, TV and Film

The European Court of Justice has ruled that national exclusivity agreements for sports, film and TV show broadcasts may be in violation EU rules. The decision calls into question the legality of a business model essential to producers and broadcasters where rights are sold on a territory-by-territory basis.

The case involved a UK pub owner who used a decoder box to access Greek broadcasts of Premier League soccer games. The Court held that licensing schemes that prevent competition from other EU states contravene common market principles. In the UK, exclusive rights to the Premier League are held by BSkyB.

The ECJ said that premium paid by TV networks to ensure absolute territorial exclusivity “goes beyond what is necessary to ensure the right holders appropriate remuneration….Such a practice may result in artificial price differences between the partitioned national markets.”

Kindle Brings Fire to the Law of Cloud Computing

Today, Amazon announced the Kindle Fire tablet computer. Though the Internet is abuzz about the price (US$199), the device is also notable for its reliance on cloud computing.

At the product launch in New York, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos positioned the Kindle Fire as not so much a tablet but a media service enabling owners to access music, movie, and book libraries streamed direct from Amazon’s servers.

Cloud computing may be the future, but is the law equipped to address it? In a blog post entitled “Cloud Computing, Digital Lockers and Copyright: The Cloudification of Entertainment” lawyers Dan Schnapp and Matt Syrkin argue the law has yet to catch up to the technology:

[C]loud-based delivery, storage and consumption of entertainment content, whether overtly and implicitly, implicates many of the exclusive rights afforded copyright holders and stakeholders need to remain vigilant about allocating risk when the laws in the US and overseas have yet to suitably address the contours of these services and the corresponding technologies at play.

The authors come to their conclusions upon a survey of the two leading U.S. cases — Cartoon Network, LLP v. CSC Holding Inc. and Capitol Records LLC et al. v. MP3tunes, LLC — which show the courts have only begun to address the complex questions brought on by the cloud.