Copyright issues are always in the news. They may not show up on everyone’s radar, but they are always there. Some of them, like the first and last ones in this list, are good for a laugh!
Here are some of the copyright issues happening at the moment:
- From the United States: Neither a chicken sandwich recipe nor a chicken sandwich name are eligible for copyright protection. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/08/a-chicken-sandwich-cannot-be-copyrighted-judge-rules/
- From Canada: Can a music creator prevent a politician from using his or her song in a political ad? Do moral rights apply here? http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/j-aidan-oneill/music-copyright-election_b_8208692.html.
- From Australia: Copyright legislation has changed portfolios and will now fall under the Minister of Communications and the Arts instead of the Attorney General. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-pm-has-taken-control-of-online-piracy-and-copyright-away-from-attorney-general-george-brandis-2015-9.
- From Germany: An update on the “Google Tax”: Only snippets of 7 words or more are taxable. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/09/28/google_tax_6_pe_cent_germany_fails/.
- From the United States: Warner Brothers no longer owns “Happy Birthday”! How much will that cost them? http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2015/09/how-much-will-losing-happy-birthday-copyright-cost-warner-music.html.
- Also from the United States: The Batmobile, Batman’s super-accessorised crime-fighting vehicle, has enough unique features to qualify for copyright protection. http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/west/2015/09/28/266006.htm.
While none of these stories seem to directly influence libraries, they do, in a round-about way. They influence how materials are created, how they are used, and how creators expect to be treated.
Here are some questions to think about and to talk to your partner about:
- Do you keep up with copyright in the news? Do you keep up with libraries in the news? How do you get your news stories?
- What kind of news stories interest you the most?
- Is there a current issue with copyright that interests you at the moment?