Copyright Report, #11 – Cheerleading and copyright office reform

Only two real pieces of news, but they’re fairly major. On Monday, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands (PDF), determining that cheer uniforms are copyrightable – or at least, the designs incorporated within the uniform are, if they would qualify for protection if they were -not- part of the […]

Contracts & Copyright

This post is spurred by a number of conversations I’ve had recently with close friends and more distant acquaintances, about use and/or publication of archival materials, and materials from subscription databases. Rick Anderson’s thoughtful “Asserting Rights We Don’t Have” post, which was published in the midst of these discussions, was…

Where copyrights come from (part I) – Copyediting does -not- create a new copyright

In US law, copyright magically comes into existence when someone creates an original work of authorship. The copyright is actually based in the original expression contained in the work, not whether there was effort involved in the work’s creation. So for the specific arrangement of words (+/- images) that make…

Friday Fun: Facts, Expression, and Illustrations

There’s a blank calendar grid on the wall outside my office. It’s not there for scheduling.If you can’t read it, the text printed at the very bottom of the calendar grid says “Copyright © 1997 Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved.” The annotations in red marker (“HA HA HA HA…

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