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First off today, Chris Kanaracus at PC World writes that, following its defeat in the lower court against Google, Oracle has announced its plant to appeal though experts are skeptical of its chances. Oracle had sued Google claiming that the search giant violated their copyrights and patents when Google developed their version of JAVA for their Android mobile operating system. However, though the jury was split on the issue of copyright infringement, ruling that infringement took place but unable to reach a verdict on fair use, the judge in the case took away that partial victory by ruling that the programming APIs involved, interfaces by which programs talk to each other, were not copyrightable. Oracle, to succeed will both need to convince the Appeals Court to overturn the ruling and then convince a second jury that they use was not a fair use. Most experts feel that the judge’s decision was well-written and knowledgeable, deeply hurting Oracle’s chances.
Next up today, Zoe McKnight of the Vancouver Sun reports that, in Canada, the Copyright Royalty Board has handed down new rules for public events such as weddings, parades and fairs and how they must license their music. The new rulings add on a new fee, one to be collected by the non-profit Re: Sound, and will go to performers and record labels. The fee is smaller than the one already collected by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada for the authors of the song but it will be in addition to that fee. The new fee is based on how many people are attending the event and doubles if dancing is involved. The fee is done on the honor system though it’s widely expected that DJs and music providers will be responsible for collecting the fees and passing along costs.
Finally today, Patrick Healy at the New York Times reports that the first oral arguments in the case revolving around Spiderman: The Musical were heard. The case started when the former co-author and director of the play, Julie Taymor, was booted from the project. Taymor sued for both back pay and royalties, claiming that much of the revised script they used after she was removed was her work. Specifically contentious is a 3-page outline Taymor wrote herself, which the current producers of the film argue was not copyrightable as it borrowed too heavily from existing Spiderman lore. The judge took Taymor’s attorney to task on this issue. In addition to the outline, Taymor also co-wrote the original script, which was heavily modified after she was removed from the project. A jury trial in this case could begin early 2013.
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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