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Tag Archives: copyright

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The weekend is here! What’s everyone doing?

Around the Tubes

Bleeding Cool – Blackout Is Coming To Agents Of SHIELD, Played By Patrick Brennan – Interesting.

Spinoff Online – CinemaCon 2014 | ‘X-Men’ Excites But ‘The Secret Service’ Steals Fox’s Show  – Also interesting.

GamePolitics – UK Copyright Law Will Allow CD and DVD Ripping This Summer – Very nice.
Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – All-New X-Factor #5

Talking Comics – Guardians of the Galaxy #13

IGN – Noah

CBR – Superior Spider-Man #30

CBR – The Wake #7

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It’s new comic day tomorrow! Are there releases getting you excited?

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ArtsBeat – Copyright Office Calls for Congress to Reconsider Royalties for Artists – Hmmm.


Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Alex + Ada #2

Cambs Times – Captain America: Castaway in Dimension Z Book Two

Talking Comics – Doc Savage #1

CBR – Unity #2

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It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting?

Around the Tubes

CBR – Miller’s “Xerxes” won’t be done in time for “300″ movie sequel – Shocker.

CBR – Carey, Larocca Team for “X-Men: No More Humans” OGN – Interesting.

Kotaku – Game Ad Blocked On “Major US Games Site” Because It Was “Political”- We’ll run it!

Kotaku – YouTube Channels Crippled By Copyright Claims – We got hit by a video given to us by a press contact!

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #14

Comics Alliance – WWE Superstars #1

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The weekend is here and I’ll be spending it watching Doctor Who! What about you all?

Around the Tubes

Comic Legends Revealed – Mort Weisinger alluded to the alleged John F. Kennedy/Marilyn Monroe affair in a Superboy comic book story. – Interesting.

CBR – Affleck & Damon Producing Adaptation of Brubaker & Phillips’ “Sleeper” – Nice!

Variety – Warner Bros. Wins Final Element of ‘Superman’ Copyright Case – Hrm.

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Batwoman #25

Seattle Pi – Boxers & Saints

Talking Comics – Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #2

CBR – Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure #1

CBR – The Wake #5

Talking Comics – The Wake #5

Supreme Court Saves Used Comics Business

Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling, held that the doctrine of first sale, which allows for legally acquired copyrighted works to be resold by their owners, does apply to works made overseas. This is a huge deal. In Kirtsaeng vs. Wiley a Thai national (Kirtsaeng) came to the U.S. to study at Cornell and U.S.C. To help pay for his expenses, he resold textbooks his family purchased at bookstores in Thailand. We’re talking several hundred thousand dollars worth of textbooks. The profit was in the range of $100,000. This caught the attention of Wiley (a textbook publisher) who sued for copyright infringement. The district court found for Wiley and imposed statutory damages of $600,000.   The Second Circuit affirmed.

This decision reverses the Second Circuit court decision which ruled that “lawfully made” limited the first sale doctrine to those items made in the areas that the U.S. Copyright Act is law. So that means you couldn’t resell items made in China for instance.

This had a potentially huge impact on the geek community as video games, comics, movies, etc. are rarely made here in the United States. If the Supreme Court upheld the original decision, it would have decimated the second-hand market.

The Supreme Court decided though there is no “geographical limitation” on the copyright law.

The fact that the Act does not instantly pro­tect an American copyright holder from unauthorized piracy taking place abroad does not mean the Act is inapplicable to copies made abroad.

Numerous organizations, associations and more were also acknowledged for their comments on the case in that this would have curtailed the “progress of science and useful arts.”

Rep. Jim Himes Talks Net Neutrality, Intellectual Property Rights

Marvel/Disney Sends Creator Owned Comic Cease and Desist (Updated)

You can thank Disney for our current clusterfuck that is copyright and it hasn’t taken long for Marvel, now under the Disney banner, to hop on the bandwagon. On top of their legal battles with the various creators of the characters they are currently making millions on, the house the Mouse owns is now targeting creator owned projects.

Marvel/Disney has sent a cease and desist to creators Mike Kaluta and Elaine Lee over their project Starstruck.

Taken from a Facebook post:

Look, I TOLD everyone once the Marvel vs. Friedrich judgment was cast, we’d be seeing Marvel/Disney going after every creator that emerged in their legal department bullseye. Case in point: Marvel/Disney issued a CEASE & DESIST letter against ELAINE LEE & MIKE KALUTA for their creator-owned, Epic-published STARSTRUCK.

Elaine Lee wrote, this morning: “Look, I’ll say it now. Kaluta and I, just week before last, received a letter from a Marvel/Disney attorney, challenging our rights to Starstruck, a project that was briefly with Marvel/Epic, supposedly their creator-owned imprint, almost three decades ago. Since then, we’ve been published by Dark Horse and IDW. This has sent us rummaging through 30-year-old documents, looking for proof that we own what we own. We’ve found several letters that back up our claim that the rights were returned to us, and things seem to have quieted down, but we are still looking for more “just in case.” You don’t screw around with The Mouse.

I’m currently doing an interview for a new book on women in geeky professions. They asked me to give advice to young women starting out. My advice is do your own thing. Keep the rights to your work. If you sell your work, make sure you get Hollywood money, not comic book money.”

Got that? Marvel/Disney, attacking the creators of the only creator-ownership line they’d launched, post COMIX BOOK.

The Marvel/Disney legal machine is capable of ANYTHING in the name of “we own it ALL.”

It’s possible this letter was a simple mistake, but they cost creators and those sent them time and money to respond. This is why false cease and desist and take down notices should bring with them fines and penalties. This way, only legitimate ones are sent and those inconvenienced are reimbursed for false accusations.

An update is below, but it only solidifies my thoughts above.


Elaine Lee writes: Just to make sure that things don’t veer into the realm of “truthiness,” Michael Kaluta and I received a letter that challenged our ownership of Starstruck and used the words, “please stop all sales and other related activities.” Through our lawyer, we provided two letters from Marvel’s former publisher, Mike Hobson, that backed our ownership of Starstruck. Things seem to have calmed down now. The situation seems to have been resolved. (I’m overusing the word “seems,” so as not to jinx myself. Knock wood.) It was scary. At first, we weren’t sure we could find the 3-decades-old documents we needed. (From way back in the pre-digtal days, youngsters. We’re talking paper here. Dusty, old, yellow paper.) But there is no lawsuit. We think it may either have been about Disney’s teen movie of a couple of years back, also called Starstruck. They may have found us while looking for people infringing on their property. Or they may have been simply trying to figure out what they still owned. But it was a frightening way to do it. So, this may have been an aberration, or other Epic creators may hear from them. Who knows? But creators may want to scare up that old paperwork. It can’t hurt and might save you several days of abject fear.

(via Bleeding Cool)

Rep. Darrell Issa Wants You to be Able to Rip Your DVDs

In October in the latest DMCA exemption review, the Copyright Office/Librarian of Congress refused to say it was legal for you to rip your own legally purchased DVDs so that you could watch them on a computer or tablet. That’d make a lot of us criminals for just loading our iPods and iPads.

The ludicrous nature of that didn’t go unnoticed and Representative Darrell Issa is planning a bill to fix the Copyright Office’s mistake.

We think we can write at least some clarifying language that would instruct the Copyright Office to more accurately define what is, in fact, fair use. People who make copies on their iPod for jogging are not the problem.

We won’t see this legislation until next Congress, in 2013. Hopefully we can see some broad support to expand fair use, as proposed by the report that was taken down by the Republican Study Committee. Considering as it currently stands, we’re a nation of lawbreakers just for wanting our purchased media to no longer be tethered to the outdated discs we purchased years ago.

Around the Tubes

As this was written before I went to bed…. is the election over with?

Around the Blogs

Comics With Problems – Good Government Comic BookA great slice of history.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek – Superman Heirs, DC Comics Appeal Copyright CaseDefinitely a case to watch.

The Guardian – America: Elect! The action-packed journey to US election day in graphic novel formThe execution is interesting but facts pretty shallow.

ComicBook – Barack Obama’s Five Strangest Comic Book AdventuresClassics all.

News Channel 12 – $19k in Stolen Comic Books Returned to OwnerGlad he got it back.

DC Women Kicking Ass – That Time Babara “Boots” Gordon Ran for Congress!Interesting.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Bleeding Cool – Bedlam #1

The Beat – Deadpool #1

IGN – Deadpool #1

The Beat – Iron Man #1

Bleeding Cool – The Manhattan Projects #7

Bleeding Cool – Perhapanauts: Trouble Down Under #1

Spandexless – The Underwater Welder

Supreme Court Weighs First-Sale Case and Why It Matters to You

This Monday, not deterred by Sandy bearing down on DC, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in  Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  a court case involving the first-sale doctrine. At issue as provided by Scotus Blog:

How do Section 602(a)(1) of the Copyright Act, which prohibits the importation of a work without the authority of the copyright’s owner, and Section 109(a) of the Copyright Act, which allows the owner of a copy “lawfully made under this title” to sell or otherwise dispose of the copy without the copyright owner’s permission, apply to a copy that was made and legally acquired abroad and then imported into the United States?

The case comes after a lower court ruling. Supap Kirtsaeng, a graduate student, arranged to import textbooks legally purchased at a discount in his native Thailand. He then resold them to buyers in the United States on eBay to help pay for his school expenses. The publisher, John Wiley & Sons, sued, arguing that the first-sale doctrine does not apply to works purchased overseas in so-called gray markets. The lower court sided with Wiley & Sons.

So lets start with what the first-sale doctrine is. This is the concept that if you want to resell or donate a legally purchased copywritten item, you don’t need to seek the permission of the rights holder. This means you can resell your video games or cd’s or comic books that you legally purchase. The lower court said “the question presented is how these provisions apply to a copy that was made and legally acquired abroad and then imported into the United States.” I want you to take a moment to go and look at where those video games, cd’s and comic books you play, listen to and read are made. Bet you it isn’t the United States.

The Supreme Court last considered the right to import copyrighted works from overseas for domestic resale in 2010, when it deadlocked four to four in Costco v. Omega, with Justice Elena Kagan, who had been involved in the case as an attorney with the Justice Department, having recused herself. Kagan is participating in the Kirtsaeng case.

As you can see in the posted oral arguments, the court seemed to take issues with both sides’ arguments. But, this ruling has major implications for us comic book fans. A strict interpretation that says we can’t sell foreign imported works means we couldn’t resell our old comics. Those who like to buy and sell on ebay or shop owners with old stock could be hampered by this, shutting down the secondary market.

There’s also the other extreme. If the court rules that legally purchased items could be resold, there’s greater implications for digital goods. If you purchase a digital comic, no matter the service, could you now resell those no matter the agreement you sign to use the digital service? In a statement, Andrew Shore, executive director of the Owners’ Rights Initiative, said the group “hopes that the Supreme Court will take this opportunity to defend owners’ rights and clarify that if you buy something, you own it.” Take that and apply it to virtual goods and you can see this decision has a much greater impact than some imported college textbooks.

With a ruling expected in 2013, you better believe all eyes should be on the Supreme Court.


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