Recent Event Highlights: Innovation: White House Flickr feed goes Public Domain, Fair Use? AP alleges Copyright infringement of Obama Image, Not Fair Use: Harry Potter Fan Fiction, Innovation: Remixing copyrighted music, Fair Use: Baby Dancing to Prince on YouTube, Innovation: YouTube & Copyright Video ID, and 43 more...
Created by creativerights on Aug 12, 2008
Last updated: 03/12/10 at 02:34 AM
The popular photo-sharing site Flickr, in collaboration with the Obama administration, has changed the licensing designation on photos in the Official White House Photostream to reflect that, as U.S. government works, they are in the public domain. The photos previously bore a Creative Commons Attribution license, but now are labeled "United States Government Work," with a link to § 105 of the Copyright Act, the provision relating to works created by the federal government:
Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.
(TEXT FROM CITIZEN MEDIA LAW PROJECT)
During the 2008 presidential campaign, the Obama HOPE poster designed by prominent street artist Shepard Fairey achieved iconic status. Soon after Fairey's poster appeared in early 2008, it went viral: on t-shirts, buttons, Internet sites, coffee mugs, even on bicycle spoke cards. Now, the Associated Press has approached Fairey with a demand for credit and compensation for use of the original AP photograph, alleging that Fairey's use infringes AP's copyright. Fairey has acknowledged he used APs shot as the basis for his poster, but claims that his use of the photo was a fair use under copyright law. In fact, in response to AP's actions, he's actually filed suit for a declaratory judgment that would confirm his fair use claim and effectively protect him against AP's claims of infringement. Given the ubiquity of the Obama HOPE image and given Fairey's notoriety, this affair has generated immense play. For all the noise, this case will probably settle before it goes to trial. Neither the copyright claim that AP makes, nor the fair use issue that Fairey argues, is particularly clear cut. On the copyright side, it's not clear whether there's sufficient creativity to merit much copyright protection. Copyright protects creative expression. The resolute expression in the AP photo at issue here--the framing, the angle, the choice of just the right moment to shoot, and that now famous tilt of Barack Obama's head--are all very interesting, but this was one shot of many taken by a pool photographer snapping away at a public event, not a picture taken in a posed setting. So it's hard to argue that there is much creativity in the original photo. There is also a question of whether AP even owns the copyright, since photographer Mannie Garcia was temping for AP, without contract, when he took the photograph in 2006. Garcia is working with AP to resolve this matter. Can Fairey establish a good fair use defense in this case? Maybe. Fair use is intended to allow limited uses of copyrighted works, mainly for socially beneficial purposes like scholarly research, social commentary and criticism, as well as for certain highly "transformative" uses, without the permission of the copyright owner. Clearly, Fairey added creative elements to the original photo--use of different media, color and background, for example--and has argued that his work is transformative. He has also added social and political messaging ("Hope", "Progress", etc.). On the other hand, Fairey's poster is undoubtedly a derivative work, and if there are creative elements in the photo that are protected by copyright, Fairey has arguably employed all of them. Interestingly, Fairey may not have received direct payment for the rampant commercial use of the Obama HOPE image, but the artist has definitely received a great deal of valuable publicity. More from http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090204/ap_on_en_ot/obama_poster
For seven years, a Harry Potter fanatic worked on a guidebook to J. K. Rowling’s best-selling series, but in the end, a federal judge ruled on Monday, his book was too close to the work he admired. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/09/nyregion/09potter.html
The D.J. Girl Talk has won positive reviews for his new album and news media attention for its Radiohead-style pay-what-you-want pricing, and on Friday night he is scheduled to play a high-profile gig at the All Points West festival in Jersey City. Not bad for an artist whose music may be illegal. Girl Talk, whose real name is Gregg Gillis, makes danceable musical collages out of short clips from other people’s songs; there are more than 300 samples on “Feed the Animals,” the album he released online at illegalart.net in June. He doesn’t get the permission of the composers to use these samples, as United States copyright law mostly requires, because he maintains that the brief snippets he works with are covered by copyright law’s “fair use” principle (and perhaps because doing so would be prohibitively expensive). Girl Talk’s rising profile has put him at the forefront of a group of musicians who are challenging the traditional restrictions of copyright law along with the usual role of samples in pop music. Although artists like the Belgian duo 2 Many DJs have been making “mash-ups” out of existing songs for years, Girl Talk is taking this genre to a mainstream audience with raucous performances that often end with his shirt off and much of the audience onstage.
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youtube In August 2008, a U.S. court ruled that copyright holders cannot order the removal of an online file without first determining whether the posting reflected fair use of the material. The case involved Stephanie Lenz from Gallitzin, Pennsylvania, who had made a home video of her 13-month-old son dancing to Prince's song "Let's Go Crazy" and posted the 29-second video on YouTube. From http://www.eff.org/press/mentions/2008/8/22 Protecting its copyright, Universal Music Publishing Group went after this 29-second video posted on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1KfJHFWlhQ because of the music (“Let’s Go Crazy,” by Prince) audible in the background. The mom who posted the video of her dancing toddler took Universal to court. Wednesday, in some what some are praising as a victory for the “fair use” of copyrighted material, a federal judge in California told Universal, Baby, you’ve got to slow down. Full article http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/65848
YouTube has been criticized frequently for failing to ensure that its online content adheres to the law of copyright. At the time of uploading a video, YouTube users are shown a screen with the following message: Do not upload any TV shows, music videos, music concerts or commercials without permission unless they consist entirely of content you created yourself. The Copyright Tips page and the Community Guidelines can help you determine whether your video infringes someone else's copyright. Despite this advice, there are still many unauthorized clips from television shows, films and music videos on YouTube. YouTube does not view videos before they are posted online, and it is left to copyright holders to issue a takedown notice under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Organizations including Viacom and the English Premier League have issued lawsuits against YouTube, claiming that it has done too little to prevent the uploading of copyrighted material. Viacom, demanding US$1 billion in damages, said that it had found more than 150,000 unauthorized clips of its material on YouTube that had been viewed "an astounding 1.5 billion times". YouTube responded by stating that it "goes far beyond its legal obligations in assisting content owners to protect their works". Since Viacom issued its lawsuit, YouTube has introduced a system called Video ID, which checks uploaded videos against a database of copyrighted content with the aim of reducing violations. In August 2008, a U.S. court ruled that copyright holders cannot order the removal of an online file without first determining whether the posting reflected fair use of the material. The case involved Stephanie Lenz from Gallitzin, Pennsylvania, who had made a home video of her 13-month-old son dancing to Prince's song "Let's Go Crazy" and posted the 29-second video on YouTube. http://news.cnet.com/Viacom-sues-Google-over-YouTube-clips/2100-1030_3-6166668.html
Full case here: http://www.citmedialaw.org/sites/citmedialaw.org/files/2007-12-03-Perfect%2010%20v.%20Google%20Appellate%20Decision.pdf From http://www.eff.org/cases/perfect-10-v-google Adult entertainment publisher Perfect 10 sued Google's Image Search service, arguing that Google violates copyright law by indexing Perfect 10 photos posted on unauthorized websites, then making and delivering thumbnail images of those photos in its search results. Perfect 10 also contends that Google should be held liable for any copyright infringement that occurs on sites that Google links to. In February 2006, the district court ruled in favor of Google on several grounds, but ruled against Google for its creation of thumbnails. EFF filed an amicus brief for itself and several library associations, supporting Google. Both sides subsequently appealed, and EFF filed an amicus brief on behalf of itself and library associations supporting Google. On May 16, 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed Internet innovators and users of all stripes a major victory in Perfect 10 v. Google (the opinion was subsequently amended on December 3, 2007). While it leaves some questions open, the bottom line is that the Court upheld important policies of fair use and freedom online and resisted Perfect 10's plea to put copyright owners completely in charge of how and when search engines and other online intermediaries can provide their users with links to images.
via The Art Law Blog: Monday, October 30, 2006 Koons Wins The New York Law Journal reports today ($) on a big victory by Jeff Koons in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against him by photographer Andrea Blanch. Koons used part of a photograph by Blanch in his painting "Niagara" (which you can see, and read about, http://www.guggenheimcollection.org/site/artist_work_md_P65.html). The Southern District granted summary judgment to Koons on fair use grounds last year, and the Second Circuit has now affirmed. http://www.allbusiness.com/retail-trade/miscellaneous-retail-retail-stores-not/4456171-1.html
The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act was enacted on April 27, 2005. One part of the Act, the Artist’s Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2005, created criminal penalties for individuals who record motion pictures in a theater or for individuals who distribute unpublished works, such as movies or software. The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act also included the Family Home Movie Act of 2005. The Family Home Movie Act provided a statutory exemption for DVD players and other home movie players that contain technology to skip objectionable content. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Entertainment_and_Copyright_Act
2005 – YouTube launches. YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos. Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005. In November 2006, YouTube, LLC was bought by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion, and is now operated as a subsidiary of Google. Unregistered users can watch the videos, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos. Videos that are considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users over the age of 18. The uploading of videos containing defamation, pornography, copyright violations, and material encouraging criminal conduct is prohibited by YouTube's terms of service. More info http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/11/business/media/11youtube.html?_r=1
2004: Flickr launches. Flickr is an image and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community platform. In addition to being a popular Web site for users to share personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository. Flickr offers users the ability to release their images under certain common usage licenses. The licensing options include full copyright licensing, the Creative Commons licenses, or a public domain license. Several museums and archives post images released under a public domain or "no known restrictions" license. Participants include George Eastman House, Library of Congress, Brooklyn Museum, National Archive, State Library of New South Wales, the Smithsonian Institution and the Obama White House Flickr feed. More on http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2004/12/65958
The “Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act,” or the “TEACH Act” (S. 287) became law on November 2, 2002. The legislation supported by members of the higher education and library communities, implements recommendations made by the Copyright Office in 1999. Among the benefits of the Act for distance education are an expansion of the scope of materials that may be used in distance education; the ability to deliver content to students outside the classroom; the opportunity to retain archival copies of course materials on servers; and the authority to convert some works from analog to digital formats. On the other hand, the TEACH Act conditions those benefits on compliance with numerous restrictions and limitations. Among them are the need to adopt and disseminate copyright policies and information resources; implementation of technological restrictions on access and copying; adherence to limits on the quantity of certain works that may be digitized and included in distance education; and use of copyrighted materials in the context of “mediated instructional activities” akin in some respects to the conduct of a traditional course.
In 2002, Creative Commons launches as a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in “the commons” — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing.
In 2002, Creative Commons released its first set of copyright licenses free for public use that apply the "some rights reserved" option to creative works. For more information and more videos on the licensing choices: http://creativecommons.org
Napster shuts down after U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Napster liable for copyright infringement in A&M Records v. Napster. NY Times article: http://partners.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/07/biztech/articles/27music.html
1999 – Shawn Fanning launches the file-sharing service, Napster, which allowed users to easily distribute music files for free.
Napster brought peer-to-peer file-sharing the masses, raising charges of copyright infringement and generating a wave of imitators such as KaZaA and Morpheus.
1999: Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999
Congress approved a significant hike in the minimum statutory damages for various types of copyright infringement in the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999 (H.R. 3456). The law increased the minimum statutory damages for infringements from $500 to $750 and increased the maximum from $20,000 to $30,000. The maximum for willful infringement increased from $100,000 to $150,000.
Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 - On October 7, 1998, the House and Senate passed S. 505, the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA). The law extended protection from life of the author plus fifty years to life of the author plus seventy years. Works commissioned were extended from 75 years to 95 years of copyright protection. President Clinton signed the measure into law on October 27, 1998 (P.L. 105-298). The law’s provisions applied to works under copyright on the date of its implementation. An exception permits libraries, archives, and non-profit educational institutions to treat copyrighted works in their last twenty years of protection as if they were in the public domain for non-commercial purposes, under certain limited conditions. See the ARL Public Policies site for updates.
1998: Digital Millenium Copyright Act
President Clinton signed the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) into law on October 28, 1998 (P.L. 105-304). The law’s five titles implemented the WIPO Internet Treaties; established safe harbors for online service providers; permitted temporary copies of programs during computer maintenance; made miscellaneous amendments to the Copyright Act, including amendments which facilitated Internet broadcasting; and created sui generis protection for boat hull designs. A controversial title establishing database protection was omitted by a House-Senate Conference.
Among the most controversial provisions of the DMCA is Section 1201. According to Jonathan Band of Morrison & Foerster, LLP, Section 1201 “prohibits gaining unauthorized access to a work by circumventing a technological protection measure put in place by the copyright owner where such protection measure otherwise effectively controls access to a copyrighted work. This prohibition on unauthorized access takes effect two years after enactment of the DMCA.” Over the next two years, the Librarian of Congress conducted a rulemaking proceeding to determine appropriate exceptions to the prohibition. Additional rulemakings will occur every three years.
For more information on the DMCA, see ARL’s page on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 http://www.arl.org/pp/ppcopyright/copystatutes/dmca.shtml and the Home Recording Rights Coalition: DMCA Legislative History. http://hrrc.org/index.php?id=20&subid=3
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569 (1994) was a United States Supreme Court copyright law case that stands for the proposition that a commercial parody can be fair use. That money is made does not make it impossible for a use to be fair; it is merely one of the components of a fair use analysis.
The members of the rap music group 2 Live Crew—Luther Campbell, Fresh Kid Ice, Mr. Mixx and Brother Marquis—composed a song called "Pretty Woman," a parody based on Roy Orbison's rock ballad, "Oh, Pretty Woman." The group's manager asked Acuff-Rose Music if they could license Roy Orbison's tune for the ballad to be used as a parody. Acuff-Rose Music refused to grant the band a license but 2 Live Crew nonetheless produced and released the parody.
1991 – World Wide Web becomes publicly accessible.
The Web has not only enabled the further spread of ideas, but it has impacted the ways in which research is conducted.
Fo the Right Thing soundtrack Review by James Christopher Monger
The soundtrack for director Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing is a veritable window into the hip-hop/contemporary R&B scene circa 1989. Peppered with "new jack" era slabs of wax from the likes of Public Enemy (the iconic "Fight the Power"), summer party staples from E.U. ("Party Hearty") and Teddy Riley ("My Fantasy"), and deep slow jams from Perri and Al Jarreau, it's the perfect background for a hot night in the city, and like the film itself, it's both frivolous and foreboding. [Motown reissued Do the Right Thing in 2001 with two remixes of Public Enemy's "Fight the Power," and two remixes of Guy's "My Fantasy."]. from
Do the Right Thing is a 1989 American ensemble film produced, written, and directed by Spike Lee. The film deals with issues of racial conflict in the multi-ethnic community of Bedford-Stuyvesant, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, during the hottest day of the summer. Director Lee also stars in the film, alongside Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, and John Turturro. The film is also notable in that it marks the feature film debuts of both Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez.
Upon its release, the film received mixed reviews and was met with much controversy, as many critics felt the film might incite riots from African-American viewers. Still, the film was a success at the box office, and received numerous accolades and awards. The film has grown in stature over time; in 1999, it was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, one of five films to do so in its first year of eligibility. In 2007, the American Film Institute listed the film as the ninety-sixth greatest American Movie in Film History.
1988 – Berne Convention Implementation Act makes the U.S. a party to the Berne Convention treaty. The major changes for the U.S. copyright system as a result of Berne were: greater protection for proprietors, new copyright relationships with twenty-four countries, and elimination of the requirement of copyright notice for copyright protection.
1985 -- The Supreme Court rejects The Nation magazine’s claims of fair use concerning the publication of excerpts from President Ford’s unpublished memoirs.
The Nation was found to have printed the “heart” of the unpublished memoirs, even though the excerpts comprised a relatively small portion of Ford’s piece.
1984 -- Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios is decided in favor of Sony, paving the way for VCR technology
This case marks the first time that the Supreme Court addressed the scope of the fair use doctrine.
Software, formally, in 1978
In the book, Susan Sontag expresses her views on the history and present-day role of photography in capitalist societies as of the 1970s. Sontag discusses many examples of modern photography. Among these, she contrasts Diane Arbus's work with that of Depression-era documentary photography commissioned by the Farm Security Administration.
She also explores the history of American photography in relation to the idealistic notions of America put forth by Walt Whitman and traces these ideas through to the increasingly cynical aesthetic notions of the 1970s, in particular in relation to Arbus and Andy Warhol.
Sontag argues that the proliferation of photographic images had begun to establish within people a "chronic voyeuristic relation" to the world around them. Among many results of photography is that the meaning of all events is leveled and made equal. This idea did not originate with Sontag, who often synthesized European cultural thinkers with her particular eye toward America.
As she argues, perhaps originally with regard to photography, the medium fostered an attitude of anti-intervention. Sontag says in part, that the individual who seeks to record cannot intervene, and that the person who intervenes cannot then faithfully record, for the two aims contradict each other. In this context, she discusses in some depth, the relationship of photography to politics.
(TEXT FROM WIKIPEDIA)
Sontag, Susan (1977) On Photography", Penguin, London
Pantomimes and Choreographic works were formally added as part of the 1976 general reform of the statute
Copyright Act of 1976 - extended copyright term to life of author plus 50 years, and extened works for hire to 75 years. It also eliminated the copyright renewal option and registration requirement. See http://www.arl.org/pp/ppcopyright/copyresources/copytimeline.shtml#18C
In 1976, for the first time the fair use and first sale doctrines were codified, and copyright was extended to unpublished works. In addition, a new section was added, section 108, that allowed library photocopying without permission for purposes of scholarship, preservation, and interlibrary loan under certain circumstances.
In addition to section 108, section 107 (fair use) is important to libraries because it contains an exception to the exclusive rights of owners to make and distribute copies of their works. It states that “the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.” To determine whether the use of a work is a fair use, the following four factors are to be considered: purpose and character of the use, nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the whole, and the effect of the use on the potential market. See Title 17 of the U.S. Code.
“Sound recordings” – as distinct from the compositions they embody – were added in 1972
The Prelinger Archives provide a sampling of television commercials and movies from the public domain. This video contains 25 minutes worth of public domain television commercials from the 1950's and 1960's.
Click here for the direct link: http://www.archive.org/details/Televisi1960
A 1948 Copyright Office regulation, construing a provision of the 1909 statute abandoning the restriction to “fine art,” upheld by the SCt in Mazer (1954) extended copyright protection to useful objects, so long as their aesthetic and functional aspects were “conceptually separable”
Copyright law codified into positive law as title 17 of the U.S. Code.
Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film, and the first feature film directed by Orson Welles. It was nominated for an Academy Award in nine categories, but won only for Best Original Screenplay by Herman Mankiewicz and Welles. It was released by RKO Pictures.
The story is a fictionalized pastiche of the life of William Randolph Hearst and Welles' own life. Upon its release, Hearst prohibited mention of the film in any of his newspapers. The film traces the life and career of Charles Foster Kane, a man whose career in the publishing world is born of idealistic social service, but gradually evolves into a ruthless pursuit of power. Narrated principally through flashbacks, the story is revealed through the research of a newspaper reporter seeking to solve the mystery of the newspaper magnate's dying word: "Rosebud."
Citizen Kane is often cited as being one of the most innovative works in the history of film. The American Film Institute placed it at number one in its list of the 100 greatest U.S. movies of all time in 1997 and again in the revised list of 2007. (TEXT FROM WIKIPEDIA)
1940 was the effective date of transfer of jurisdiction for the registration of commercial prints and labels from the Patent Office to the Copyright Office. Starting at around the turn of the century, advertisements began to be accepted into the fold of works protected by copyright (1903). During the 19th c., courts had generally been hostile to the extension of copyright to ads – on the ground that they did nothing to “stimulate original investigation whether in literature, science or art, for the betterment of the people.”: [Bracha: “In J.L. Mott Iron Works, for example, the court stated that the copyright law “sought to It found that plaintiff’s “work” was “a mere priced catalogue illustrated with pictures of wares offered for sale” --L. Mott Iron Works v. Clow, 82 F. 316, 318-19 (7th Cir. 1897); See also: Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 105-107
Growth continues in the 20th century “Fictional characters” and “plots” are recognized by judicial decisions as objects of protection
The first practical use of television was in Germany. Regular television broadcasts began in Germany in 1929 and in 1936 the Olympic games in Berlin were broadcast to television stations in Berlin and Leipzig where the public could view the games live.
But in 1927 Bell Telephone and the U.S. Department of Commerce conduct the first long distance use of television that took place between Washington D.C. and New York City on April 9th. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover commented, “Today we have, in a sense, the transmission of sight for the first time in the world’s history. Human genius has now destroyed the impediment of distance in a new respect, and in a manner hitherto unknown.”
However it was not until after WWII that television sets became ubiquitous in American homes. Color televisions were developed during the early 1950's.
The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, synchronized dialogue was only made possible in the late 1920s with the introduction of the Vitaphone system. After The Jazz Singer in 1927, "talkies" became more and more commonplace and within a decade silent films essentially disappeared. The silent film era is sometimes referred to as the "Age of the Silver Screen".
For a list of the top 100 silent films, visit http://www.silentera.com/info/top100.html.
The Battleship Potemkin (Russian: Броненосец «Потёмкин», Bronyenosyets Potyomkin), sometimes rendered as The Battleship Potyomkin, is a 1925 silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein and produced by Mosfilm. It presents a dramatised version of the mutiny that occurred in 1905 when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against their oppressive officers of the Tsarist regime.
The Battleship Potemkin has been called one of the most influential propaganda films of all time, and was named the greatest film of all time at the World's Fair at Brussels, Belgium, in 1958.
(TEXT FROM WIKIPEDIA)
President Wilson proclaimed U.S. adherence to Buenos Aires Copyright Convention of 1910, establishing convention protection between the United States and certain Latin American nations.
Motion pictures, previously registered as photographs, added to classes of protected works.
“Lectures, sermons & addresses” are added to the list by statute in 1909
Under the 1909 Act, federal statutory copyright protection attached to original works only when those works were 1) published and 2) had a notice of copyright affixed. Thus, state copyright law governed protection for unpublished works, but published works, whether containing a notice of copyright or not, were governed exclusively by federal law. If no notice of copyright was affixed to a work and the work was "published" in a legal sense, the 1909 Act provided no copyright protection and the work became part of the public domain. The 1976 Act changed this result, providing that copyright protection attaches to works that are original and fixed in a tangible medium of expression, regardless of publication or affixation of notice.
1909 – Copyright term is 28 years, and renewal period is extended to 28-years.
Music protected against unauthorized public performance.
1895 – Louis Lumiere invents the first portable motion picture camera.
Of his own invention, Lumiere said, “Cinema is an invention without a future.”
First U.S. copyright law authorizing establishment of copyright relations with foreign countries. Because American copyright law applied only to American publications, European authors were unable to profit from the publication and sale of their works at extemely low prices during the nineteenth century. The so-called “cheap books” movement, spread rapidly by small upstart publishers after the Civil War, threatened the “courtesy principle” of gentlemanly price-fixing adhered to by the large, established publishers such as Henry Holt. By the 1880s cheap books flooded the American market. By 1890 authors, publishers, and printers’ unions joined together to support an international copyright bill (Vaidhyanathan, 50-55).
Records of works registered, now called the Catalog of Copyright Entries, published in book form for the first time in July 1891.
Today copyright records can be searched here: http://www.copyright.gov/records/
The goals of the Berne Convention provided the basis for mutual recognition of copyright between sovereign nations and promoted the development of international norms in copyright protection. European nations established a mutually satisfactory uniform copyright law to replace the need for separate registration in every country. The treaty has been revised five times since 1886. Of particular note are the revisions in 1908 and 1928. In 1908, the Berlin Act set the duration of copyright at life of the author plus 50 years, expanded the scope of the act to include newer technologies, and prohibited formalities as a prerequisite of copyright protection. In 1928, the Rome Act first recognized the moral rights of authors and artists, giving them the right to object to modifications or to the destruction of a work in a way that might prejudice or decrease the artists’ reputations. The United States became a Berne signatory in 1988.