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First off today, the Obama adminstration, through its intellectual property enforcement coordinator, Victoria Espinel, is preparing to début a set of laws regarding digital copyright. Though the laws haven’t been announced, a recent report by Espinel has shown what is widely considered a “pro industry” stance, hinting that the laws will likely be an attempt to clamp down on piracy through stronger legislation. According to reports, the law is due to be sent to Congress “in the very near future.”
Next up today actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson is heading to court to make the case that her newest film, “Effie”, is not a plagiarism of Gregory Murphy’s earlier play “The Countess”. The producers of “Effie” sued Murphy and are seeking a declaratory judgment that the film is non-infringing because, according to them, Murphy’s lawyers have hounded the production of the film and interfering with it. According to the producers, this is the last step needed to secure financing for the flim and enable filming to start.
Finally today, in an update of a story that hits close to home for me, several Mardi Gras indians, individuals who work all year to create elaborate headdress-style costumes for Mardi Gras, have copyrighted their creations and are planning on pursuing those who sell photos or paintings of their artwork. Historically, costumes and dress items can’t be copyrighted but their attorney, Ashlye Keaton, has registered them with the Copyright Office, claiming them to be works of art, not costumes. It remains to be seen if this angle will be enough to stop the calendar makers and the artists who have sold reproductions and images of the costumers for years.
That’s it for the three count today. We will 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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