3 Count: Baby Blues

3 Count: Baby Blues Image

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1: An Artist Sues to Save Her Landmark Detroit Mural

First off today, Kriston Capps at CityLab reports that artist Katherine Craig has filed a lawsuit against a Detroit property owner that she claims is going to make alterations to a building that would destroy a mural she painted.

In 2009 Craig painted The Illuminated Mural on one side of the 9-story building. Sometimes referred to as The Bleeding Rainbow, the mural has gone on to be a staple of the North End neighborhood of the city. However, planned renovations to the building to convert it into condos would, according to Craig, destroy much of the mural.

Craig has filed a lawsuit against the building’s owner under the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), a limited implementation of moral rights in the U.S. that protects works of visual art. Under VARA, artists have the right to object to the destruction of a qualifying work. However, in a similar case in New York involving a building that had become a museum for graffiti artists, the courts ruled the building owner’s property rights outweighed the artist’s rights.

2: German Private Copy Deal Results in Apple Device Price Hike

Next up today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that, in Germany, the price of iPhones and iPads have been hiked between 6 and 7 Euros ($6.50 – $7.50) due to a new copyright levy placed on such devices.

Copyright levies have long been common in Germany on blank cassettes and CDs, but rightsholders had long pushed for them to apply on cell phones and tablets as that is where most music, both infringing and non-infringing, is stored. This resulted in a settlement last year between manufacturers and copyright holders covering back payments dating to 2008 and covering future levies until 2018.

As a result of this deal, Apple has said it has increased the price on all iPhones and iPads sold in Germany. However, despite the settlement, the manufacturers still oppose the levies, saying that most music and movie viewing are shifting to streaming services rather than being stored on the device.

3: ‘Bluebook’ Critics Incite Copyright Clash

Finally today, Jacob Gorshman at The Wall Street Journal reports that a copyright dispute may be brewing over The Bluebook, the guide heralded as the “Bible of legal citation” as two open records activists aim to publish Baby Blue, a rival guide that focuses on simplicity and will be released freely.

However, a lawyer representing the four legal reviews that publish The Bluebook have sent a letter to the creators of Baby Blue expressing concern over both trademark and copyright issues. They claim that the use of the word “Blue” in the title may be confusing and are also worried that contents of the book may violate the copyright of the original work.

Creators of Baby Blue, however, call the allegations “ridiculous” saying that the name “Blue” is not going to cause confusion and that their work is based on the 10th edition of The Bluebook, which lapsed into the public domain after the publishers failed to renew its copyright.


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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