This morning oral arguments in Sony BMG v. Tenenbaum took place in the First Circuit Court of Appeals. I was one of the many that braved the cold and rainy Boston morning to go watch (and I got a front row seat!), so some analysis of the proceedings will be forthcoming. For the time being, though, I thought I’d go ahead and post the appellate briefs and reply briefs from Mr. Tenenbaum, the RIAA, the United States, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. So if you really want to get into the nitty gritty of today’s arguments, or you just want to see what hundreds of hours of work looks like in written form, read on.
The Huffington Post published a great article by Cat Weaver about the current state of copyright law seen through the lens of a particular picture, and its transformation and use by a handful of artists. If you haven’t read it already, go read it here. (For those who don’t want their attention diverted from my writing, and who can blame you, two artists working together took a picture of a panda, changed it up a bit, and turned it into a t-shirt. A third artist then came along and took an exact copy of the panda graphic, made it into a pattern, and turned it into a large piece of wall art, which he presumably made a bunch of money off of).
Read it? Good. There’s a lot going on in this article — it really makes you think about what copyright law should look like and what the best way to promote the arts and reward artists for their creativity really is — but what jumped out at me is how hamstrung artists Jimi Benedict and AJ Dimarucot are. Why are their options so limited? They never registered their copyright. Why does that limit them so much? Read on. [Read more…]