By Jade Edwards
Yesterday the gloves came off in the 2nd Circuit when the court denied en banc review to a group of television networks that claimed Aereo Inc.’s streaming television service constitutes infringement.
U.S. Supreme Court: Human DNA Cannot be Patented. (Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-398.)
On June 13, the US Supreme Court unanimously held that naturally occurring human genes cannot receive patent protection. The ruling served as a partial victory for science and biotechnology as the field fought to gain protection for the genes.
In the volatile industries of film and television where networking, pitching, and disclosing ideas is the only avenue for material to develop, how is protection possible? What do you do when you are faced with the harsh dichotomy of the necessity of pitching treatments and acknowledging that the ideas could be misappropriated? In the free intellectual market in which we live, thoughts, concepts, and ideas are categorized as public domain. For this reason, it is crucial to understand the ways in which film and television treatments can be protected.
Intellectual property theft on an international level has been a problem that does not seem to be going away despite many United States and international efforts to slow down and eventually stop the intellectual property piracy. Movies, music, books, and other digital entertainment are some of the main IP industries hit hard, but IP theft has also been problematic for many other industries including pharmaceuticals and computer programming. “America is the largest creator, producer, and exporter of copyrighted material. In 2009, industry estimates that global piracy costs U.S. firms over $25 billion in lost sales annually.” 2010 International Piracy. This loss in sales has caused a serious loss in revenue, jobs, and diluted the strength of brands and intellectual property. It has also caused creators of these works to have less incentive to continue creating because their work is not being protected or recognized as their own. It is estimated that over 18 million Americans work in intellectual property related industries; strengthening IP protection and repercussion to piracy is pivotal to their livelihoods. Office of US Trade Representative.
Ring Tones have become quite a big business, but the issue of how much the copyright owner should get per ring tone has been hotly debated. According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last week, 24 cents was the going rate as reported in the New York Law Journal. The price of the average ring tone download costs the consumer $1-$10 per download CNET This shows a sizeable markup for the ringtone agencies that many times start their business first and worry about copyrights and licensing second. The profit, however, is shared between the ringtone company and the cell phone service provider.
In a landmark decision made June 23, 2010, Federal Judge Louis Stanton granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant Youtube, owned by Google, in Viacom International, Inc. v. Youtube, Inc.. The decision held Youtube was protected against claims of copyright infringement made by Viacom under 17 U.S.C. § 512( c). Order and Opinion. Viacom International, Inc. v. Youtube, Inc. was a $1 billion lawsuit filed by Viacom in 2007. Viacom accused Youtube of massive copyright infringement claiming that Youtube was intentionally uploading and displaying enormous amounts of copyrighted material that Viacom owned to their website. Complaint. Viacom owns many television networks as well as Paramount Studios. Some of the copyrighted works Viacom claimed Youtube was allowing to be posted to their website and viewed thousands of times a day was “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “The Colbert Report,” “Mean Girls,” etc. The complaint stated that Youtube does not just allow users to post copyrighted material, but that Youtube promotes the infringement and then does nothing to prevent or stop it because of the significant profits they are making.
Congratulations Entrepreneur. You made it through the hard part. You thought long and hard, carefully crafting your vision, honing your dreams, and creating a plan to put it into action. Now all you have to do is fill out some paperwork and dive head first into your new endeavor. So, armed with anticipation, you google ways to incorporate and are confronted with an alphabet soup of options: PC, PLLC, LLCs, S-Corps, C-Corps. Or maybe you heard of an LLC, know some of its benefits, and think that’s the way to go. Either way, take a few minutes so we can debunk some of the myths and misinformation and address the strengths and weaknesses of the three ways to incorporate. Read More…