Today’s post will be fairly short, since there aren’t any major new issues at the moment (DC being shut down for the past two days due to snow and ice probably helps there). I’ve instead decided to provide updates on two previously discussed issues: the Beastie Boys-Goldieblox case and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
First, there is a new development in the Beastie Boys-Goldieblox case. The Beastie Boys opted to counter-sue Goldieblox for copyright infringement. Goldieblox originally sued for declaratory relief (more or less asking the court to say that their use of “Girls” constituted fair use in anticipation of a lawsuit by the remaining Beastie Boys). Since last writing about this case, Goldieblox received a number of accusations about the timing of the lawsuit. The company’s decision to remove the offending video from their YouTube channel after they sold all of their merchandise prompted accusations of using the lawsuit as a form of advertising. The theory is that Goldieblox intentionally sued the Beastie Boys to increase brand recognition (due to all the articles written about the lawsuit). This debate even extended to Etsy’s counsel, Sarah Feingold writing her own Beastie Boys parody discussing her feelings about the case. It now seems that, unless the case settles, we will get a judge ruling on whether Goldieblox’s commercial constitutes fair use.
Second, the Huffington Post published a number of documents detailing the positions different countries hold on different issues while negotiating the TPP. The most useful of these is a chart illustrating where different countries stand on various issues. The chart seems to indicate that the US is pushing a number of section in the intellectual property chapter, including: patentability criteria, supplementary patent protection, extension of patent protection to controversial new subject matter (such as plants, animals, and surgical techniques), extending copyright terms, and parallel importation for copyrights. Most of the aforementioned topics of discussion have either only US acceptance or have only been accepted by a handful of the countries (none of the aforementioned issues have more than three of the 11 countries accepting, according to the chart).
That should do it for today. Stay dry and warm everyone!