Prof. Annemarie Bridy reviews the facts related to fair use and copyright in the long awaited decision delivered in the Google Book Search case on November 14, 2013 by Judge Chin. She focuses on the court’s deliberation of statutory requirements for the fair use defense to a claim of infringement based on weighing four critical factors. In sum, Bridy believes the opinion is an efficient and complete analysis of the required factors, and thinks that it will hold up well on appeal.
Professor Annemarie Bridy challenges the increasingly common use of mandatory Facebook login for Internet users trying to gain access to a third-party service – including posting comments to news stories, as well as viewing white papers, studies, reports and other documents.
On June 13, 2013 the Supreme Court issued its opinion in the much–awaited Myriad case, which challenged the validity of patents on isolated human genes. The Court held that the isolated genetic sequences claimed in Myriad’s patents did not satisfy the inventive threshold for patentability, although the complementary DNA (cDNA) claimed in the patents did. Prof. Annemarie Bridy examines critical elements of the case with a focus on the extent to which the outcome turned on a single conceptual choice: When assessing patentability, should the legal analysis focus on the isolated DNA’s chemical structure or its information-coding function?
The recent Supreme Court decision, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, addresses fair use and the “first sale” doctrine, upon whose protection libraries, used-book dealers, technology companies, consumer-goods retailers, and museums have long relied. Professor Annmarie Bridy’s commentary focuses on the position that intellectual property rights in general and copyrights in particular are important, and when their scope is circumscribed to ensure the existence of a robust public domain, they benefit society. However important IP rights are, though – and reasonable people disagree pretty vigorously about that – they are not fundamental in the Constitutional sense.
The Decline of DVD-by-Mail, or Further Thoughts on the Digital Death of Copyrights First Sale Doctrine
Prof. Annemarie Bridy comments on a dynamic new area of online copyright and licensing as she focuses on how Netflix is transitioning from an operating model that is clearly covered by an exception to copyright law to one that (very probably) requires permission for every content delivery.
Professor Annmarie Bridy discusses the use of “transparency” as a metaphor for openness in government, the use of FOIA as a mechanism for ensuring such openness, and the ways in which proponents of greater public involvement in policy-making may disserve the cause by focusing too single-mindedly on access to information and the right to know, both of which are operationalized through FOIA.
Within the context of the decline of the law tort of “hot news” misappropriation, Professor Annemarie Bridy discusses a recent Pennsylvania case in which the parties are fighting over ownership of a LinkedIn account containing the plaintiff’s profile and her professional connections. The defendant, the former employer, asserted a state law counterclaim for misappropriation of ideas.
An important copyright case won’t be argued in the Supreme Court, which on October 3, 2011 declined to review Vernor v. Autodesk, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving the applicability of copyright’s first sale doctrine to transactions involving software and other digital information goods. Law professor Annmarie Bridy discusses the wide reaching impact of the first sale doctrine, without which there would be no free market for used books, CDs, or DVDs, because the copyright owner’s right of distribution would reach beyond the first sale, all the way down the stream of commerce.