As a member of the Authors Guild, I occasionally peek at the discussion board, and any topics pertaining to copyright naturally get my attention. It appears that a common question among authors of both fiction and nonfiction is whether they may quote song lyrics in their books. Further, it seems that a typical experience for many writers is that they ...

In late January, I published a post advocating that we go ahead and cancel some culture. That piece was addressing the subject of platform responsibility, asserting that Facebook et al should feel free to stop amplifying disinformation, hate-mongering, and (unfortunately) sedition and that it should do so without all the dithering about speech rights. There, I asserted that neither Facebook, ...

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a fair use decision in Dr. Seuss Enterprises (DSE) v. ComicMix. After oral arguments were presented in April, I wrote about this case as an example from which creators could learn what not to do when they propose to make substantial use of protected works—especially very famous works. The lawsuit involves ...

(Originally published at Copyright Alliance as part its “Secret History of Copyright” series of blogs.) “Students of the nineteenth-century drama come sooner or later to the realization that the most important dramatist of the period was Shakespeare.”  – Marvin Felheim, The Theater of Augustin Daly (1956) – Most people are probably familiar with the word hack as a pejorative for ...

There is one consistent flaw inherent to most anti-copyright agendas. Because so many contemporary theories and attitudes tilting against copyright are largely predicated on the introduction of digital technologies, a false dichotomy persists between access and authorship. Since the days of NAPSTER, authors have endured a litany of techsplaining on the (not quite true) theme that the cost of access ...

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