[This post by FMC Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman and COO Chhaya Kapadia]
A major Supreme Court case was concluded today — and no, we’re not talking about the health care bill challenge. The Nine (actually eight in this case, with Justice Sotomayor recused) dropped its decision in FCC v. Fox, and, while it wasn’t quite the doozy it could’ve been, it does have real implications for artistic expression in American broadcast media.
Today’s ruling overturned FCC sanctions against broadcasters in several high profile cases, which notably involved F-bombs from Cher and Nicole Richie at the Billboard Music Awards and seven seconds of nudity in a 2003 episode of “NYPD Blue.” read more
(This post was authored by FMC communications intern Caroline Fox)
On Monday, May 21, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear an appeal on one of the longest-running file-sharing cases in the recorded music industry. While their refusal to hear the case is not shocking, it does present an opportunity to examine the record industry’s historic response to unauthorized distribution, and the effectiveness of certain punitive responses. read more
[This post was co-authored by FMC Communications Intern Scott Oranburg]
This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court made its decision in the case Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, deeming a California law unconstitutional that aimed to prohibit the sale of violent video games to anyone under the age of 18. We at FMC are pleased with this ruling, although you may initially be scratching your head as to why we would care about this issue. read more
[This post was authored by Policy Fellow Liz Allen]
FMC recently signed onto an amicus brief (friend of the court) in Golan v. Holder, a case currently pending at the Supreme Court. The case challenges Congress’s implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), which removes some works created by foreign authors from the US public domain and restores their copyright protections. Congress enacted this law in order to comply with an international trade agreement called the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). read more
In June 2011, FMC signed onto an amicus (friend of the court) brief in Golan v. Holder, a case currently pending at the Supreme Court. The case challenges Congress’s implementation of the Uruguay Round of Agreements Act (URAA), which removes some works created by foreign authors from the US public domain and restores their copyright protections. Congress enacted this law in order to comply with an international trade agreement called the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
Co-signers include such groups such as the American Music Center, Chorus America, Fractured Atlas, the National Association for Media Arts and Culture, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and the National Performance Network, as well as academics and individual creators like Jonathan Lethem and Michael Chabon.
In Golan v. Holder, numerous parties (including orchestra conductors, educators, performers, publishers, film archivists and motion picture distributors) challenged the provisions of the URAA that remove works from the public domain. They argue that Section 514 of the URAA is unconstitutional because it violates their First Amendment rights of free expression. When the foreign works were in the public domain, these parties were free to use them in performances, incorporate them into their own projects, or use them as building blocks to create new works. When the URAA removed the works from the public domain, these “reliance parties” (authors who relied on those works being free to use) were left with few options. Basically, they could either refrain from using the foreign works or pay for the use they originally believed would be free.
FMC believes that the public domain is important to musicians and other creators and performers who draw upon the public domain for their own creative expression. If the Supreme Court decides that Congress can take works out of the public domain, it could set a precedent for future attempts to further deplete it.
[Today’s post is by FMC Policy Counsel Chris Naoum]
A couple of weeks ago, we told you about the amicus brief we filed with the Supreme Court in the case Schwarzenegger v EMA. On Tuesday, Nov. 2, we took the show on the road — or at least down the road — to the Supreme Court building to hear the oral arguments live and in person. read more