Supreme Court Hands Google A Landmark Win

Google can let out a huge sigh of relief now that the Supreme Court has saved the tech giant from billions of dollars in damages in a long-lasting lawsuit brought by Oracle over computer code used to build the Android operating system.  As for big movie studios, while a copyright dispute about computer code might not seem like a subject of particular consequence for them, an opinion from Justice Stephen Breyer concluding that Google made fair use of copyrighted material will very likely be discussed for quite some time and be invoked in other contexts. As such, a few lines in particular from today’s opinion could have many in Hollywood quite tense about a future staked on intellectual property.

Draft Would Overhaul Digital Copyright Enforcement

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis (N.C.) is floating a plan to revise copyright enforcement, requiring tech companies to take a more active role in policing their sites for piracy by users.

House Makes First Pass At STELAR

The House began its review of the STELAR compulsory copyright legislation Tuesday (June 4) with a lengthy, wide-ranging discussion of video issues from short markets to cord-cutting, with frequent references from Democrats about putting consumers first, and all peppered with “dad gummits” and stronger from Patricia Jo Boyers, president of BOYCOM Vision and vice chair of ACA Connects.

Fox News Case Appealed To Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court may soon have the opportunity to shake up the consumption of news. At stake could very well be the online dissemination of broadcast news clips as well as a deeper understanding of how politics and news intersect. That’s because Wednesday, the media monitoring service TVEyes indicated in an application to the high court that it would indeed be petitioning for review of a recent appellate loss to Fox News.

Using Copyrighted Material On A Website: Be Sure To Secure The Rights

COMMENTARY BY EVAN ENGSTROM

Ending Copyright Act Would Change Internet

Every day we turn to the Internet for the seemingly endless amount of information and entertainment it provides. But most people don’t realize that we can only do these things because of a law passed in 1998 — the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Despite the creative and economic value the DMCA has helped create, the copyright industry wants to radically change the law to force online platforms to police for copyright infringements on their behalf by using content filtering technology. Let’s take a closer look at what that could mean.

STATION ADVISORY

What’s Up With Music Rights For Stations?

While this summer has perhaps not brought the big headlines in trade press about copyright issues involving broadcasters – particularly in the area of music rights – there still are many issues that are active. While the rates for 2016-2020 are on appeal, these rates are effective pending appeal and webcasters need to be paying under them. Many other copyright issues are on the horizon, here’s an outline of many of the pending matters.

TVN'S FRONT OFFICE BY MARY COLLINS

Don’t Let Being A Broadcaster Limit Your Role

While stations are being confronted with new tech challenges and growing competition from online, plus growing consumer demand to watch shows when they want, these changes also offer forward-thinking station operators new opportunities as well. One example is rethinking the retransmission consent/compulsory license process.

STATION ADVISORY

Stations: Be Wary Of Using ‘Super Bowl’

When the NFL holds Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, it will use Arabic numerals for the first time. Even without the characteristic Roman numerals, the term “Super Bowl” remains one of the most iconic and well-known marks in sports. And, given that the Super Bowl is the most watched event of the year, advertisers and stations alike understandably want a piece of the Super Bowl action. But you should think twice before running advertisements for the “Super Bowl of sales” or the “Super Sunday Special,” as that may violate the NFL’s trademark rights.

STATION ADVISORY

2016 Calendar Of Important Regulatory Dates

The dates set out on the calendar include not only FCC filing deadlines and dates by which the FCC requires that certain documents be placed in a station’s public file, but also some special dates. Also included are lowest unit rate windows for the many primaries and elections that will be occurring this year, as well as certain other dates dealing with copyright matters.

Live Video Apps Face Copyright Minefield

The new, personal, live-streaming video apps — Periscope by Twitter and Meerkat by Life on Air Inc. — will likely get dragged by their inventive and fanatical users into a copyright and piracy minefield in Washington and the courts.

JESSELL AT LARGE

CBS Retrans Win Is One For All Broadcasters

The CBS-TWC settlement makes all broadcasters  winners, assuming they can continue to ward off government intervention. The deal demonstrates the continued attractiveness of broadcasting programming and (particularly sports) and its puts upward pressure on all retrans fees.

White House ‘Copyright Czar’ Steps Down

Victoria Espinel, the first White House intellectual property coordinator, has stepped down after almost four years in the post, according to industry sources. Espinel’s final day on the job was Friday. Howard Shelanski, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, will serve as acting head until President Obama names a successor.

LEGAL MEMO BY MICHAEL D. BERG

The 411 On Aereo’s Many Legal Challenges

Although many areas of the law struggle to keep up with technology, copyright law changes can be exceptionally slow. In 2013, it seems particularly anachronistic to allow Aereo-like unauthorized and unpaid use of broadcast signals based on a metaphysical distinction between “public” and “private unique” performances, when potentially hundreds of millions of unauthorized, unpaid viewings of the identical broadcaster-originated programs could occur. 

JESSELL AT LARGE

Now’s Not The Time For Copyright Overhaul

In Senate testimony to be delivered next week, former Fox and Disney lobbyist Preston Padden says broadcasters would be better off if Congress repealed the compulsory license and retransmission consent. Broadcasters could then act just as cable networks do and perhaps extend their signals to the Internet and other digital platforms. It sounds good in theory, but why mess with the status quo, which is working in broadcasters’ favor right now?

DMA 1 (NEW YORK)

Broadcasters Face Setback In Aereo Case

A federal judge denies the broadcast networks’ request for a preliminary injunction against the distribution of broadcast signals by the online company in New York. “While we are disappointed, we will continue to fight to protect our copyrights and expect to prevail on appeal,” says Fox in a statement. Aereo, which launched its service in March, is backed by Barry Diller.