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First off today, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem has acquired a large number of swing era jazz recordings that don’t exist anywhere else. However, due to copyright restrictions, the museum can not make them available to the public. The recordings, which were taken by William Savory, who sat in on may of the great jazz musicians as they practiced and performed in the city, number in the thousands and are all, to the best of the museum’s knowledge, unknown recordings. The museum has said it will attempt to resolve the copyright issues, but currently the only way to listen to the discs, which the museum is attempting to digitize, is to make an appointment.
Next up today, former Engadget managing editor and copyright attorney Nilay Patel claims that Apple, in its rush to sue Samsung for patent violations over its iPad-like tablet, may have infringed copyright. Specifically, Apple lifted photographs of Samsung’s tablet from the site AndroidCommunity and used them in their legal filings. Apple even cropped out the watermark the site had placed on its photos. There’s been no threat of legal action against Apple over this and it seems unlikely there will be, but the case raises interesting questions about how copyright impacts legal documents, especially when outside works are used with them.
Finally today, a performance of “Rent” at Towson University may have run afoul of copyright law. Though the performance of the play had a contract and permission to operate, the producer of the play, Diane Smith-Sadak, modified five lines in the performance to make the fate of Mimi, one of the play’s characters, more open to interpretation. However, the contract the college had forbidden the modifying of the script and, after an audience member noticed the change, the copyright holders called the school and asked them to change the script back to its original form, which it has, heading off any legal dispute.
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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