Stormtroopers, Copyright, and Cultural Ownership

Can you read this, Luke Skywalker? BY-NC-SA Stéfan Le DûYou may or may not have heard about the extensive saga that is George Lucas’ dispute with one of the costumers/prop makers from the original Star Wars series about the copyright in Stormtrooper costumes. The prop maker has been using the…

Why you should listen to librarians about copyright

A librarian colleague recently sent out an announcement about the UM Libraries’ copyright workshops to faculty in one of the departments she works with. One of the faculty members responded to my colleague by suggesting that such educational opportunities would be more valuable for her, as a member of the…

You can’t infringe in your thoughts…

“Bookstore” CC BY-NC Randall Munroe…and it’s actually also nearly impossible to infringe something just by talking about it. What copyright owners own is the right to decide who (if anyone) gets to make/distribute copies of a work, who gets to produce derivative works (like translations and adaptations), and who…

Lawyering is such a downer

Being a lawyerbrarian, I often have conversations with people about how the law works. Fairly often, those conversations are frustrating, discouraging, or downright disheartening for all involved. Here’s a hypothetical rendering of one such conversation: J. Random Librarian: When federal employees produce documents, there’s no copyright in them, right? Copyright…

css.php