The Three Pictures of Aereo

As many who follow such things know, ABC v. Aereo was argued today before the Supreme Court. My writeup on it last year provides some background about the case and my views at the time (which have changed a bit since I have more closely studied the technology, the case law, and the statute). In this post, I want to discuss the three pictures of Aereo – the big picture,…

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Why Isn’t Aereo a Cable System?

The Aereo case was argued this morning, and before Paul Clement could even get rolling on his introduction on behalf of the broadcaster plaintiffs, Justice Sotomayor hit him with this: JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Why aren’t [companies like Aereo] cable companies? MR. CLEMENT: They’re not ­­– JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: I’m looking at the — everybody’s been arguing this case as if for sure they’re not. But I look at the definition of a…

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My Official Super Bowl Television Post

[Madisonian readers: I wrote this for a general audience. I’m reposting here for your amusement/fact-checking.] The 48th annual Super Bowl is tomorrow, which means of course that people are thinking about intellectual property law. (Doesn’t everyone?) No, I’m not going to talk about whether your local grocery store infringes on the NFL’s trademark when they advertise “Super Bowl Savings,” except to pose the question of whether a single person ever…

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Public Domain? We ain’t got no Public Domain. We don’t need no Public Domain! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ Public Domain!

With apologies to B. Traven and John Huston, I note that Duke’s Center for the Public Domain has a nice post about what might have been in the public domain. In my paper The Life and Death of Copyright, I go over how a few authors rallied with American interests to extend copyright term. I also show that no matter which of the main theories one looks to for IP,…

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2013 in Fair Use

By any account, 2013 was a big year for the doctrine of fair use in copyright law. It was a big year for other copyright things, too; “copies” and “performances” were much in the news. More on those later, perhaps. I had it in mind to actually write up synopses and critiques of the principal fair use opinions, but there has been no time. To borrow a phrase from Inigo…

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