3 Count: Burned, Man

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1: Snatching Rights On the Playa

Attending Burning Man this year? Great! But you might want to check the terms and conditions for your ticket as it includes a provision that effectively gives the Burning Man Organization (BMO) complete control over any images you post publicly, including still images and video. In short, if you put images from Burning Man on the Web without their permission, they have the right to demand removal of the work as the copyright holder.

This kind of extreme rights grab and protectionism is not new to BMO, which has been notorious for protecting its festival from commercial exploitation, but this latest grab has caught the eye of the EFF, who also are accusing the BMO of trying to limit fair use rights on their name and logo, something that can not be waived.

The only question now is who will make the “Downfall” parody for this as they did with Burning Man itself.

2: I’d Rather Be Raped By Pirate Bay Than Go With Spotify

Next up today, Swedish musician Magnus Uggla had some very choice words for his label, Sony, for their involvement in Spotify. According to Uggla, he made as much in Spotify royalties in six months as many workers make in a single day. Sony is an investor in Spotify, which is a free music service aimed at the European market at this time, that is ad supported.

Uggla has has withdrawn his songs from the Spotify service and said that he would, “Rather be raped by Pirate Bay than by Hasse Breitholtz (his boss at Sony) and Sony Music.” He accused Spotify of building a business at the artist’s expense, saying that they have made a great deal of revenue without paying the musicians fair royalties.

Spotify, however, remains a very popular service in the countries where it is open and is largely very well reviewed and is largely viewed as the best hope for the record labels to turn illegal downloaders into legitimate customers.

3: Warner Bros Has Lost Krypton; Will Lose Superman in 2013

Finally today, as many of you already know a court least year ruled that the heirs of Jerome Siegel were to be awarded some of the copyright in Superman. Siegel, along with his partner, created the Man of Steel though DC Comics and Warner Bothers have had the sole right to exploit the character. This is because Siegel worked for DC Comics when he created the first comic books, thus creating a work for hire relationship.

However, there were Superman works before the first comic books, including a newspaper serial strip, that Siegel’s heirs still have control of according to the court. As such, the court has ordered WB/DC to relinquish their total control in 2013, causing the two to rush to get a new Superman movie out the door.

But what is interesting about the case is how it is deteriorating into a fight over the various story elements. Sigel’s heirs have won the copyright in Superman’s look, Clark Kent, Lois Lane and other elements present in the earliest serials and comics. However, DC still holds Lex Luthor, Superman’s ability to fly, “expanded” origins and the term “Kryptonite”.

But a recent ruling added more works to what the Siegel’s heirs now now control, including some of the early comic books. This means They now control the origin story, Krypton and Superman’s parents.

At least they aren’t fighting over Superdog and Supergirl, probably because no one is interested in them…


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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