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The Courts

Supreme Court To Consider First Sale of Imports 259

Animaether passes along a legal tale that "doesn't involve the kind of cutting-edge issues that copyright lawyers usually grapple with in the digital age [and] sounds like the kind of lawsuit that should have been resolved 200 years ago," yet still "is very much a product of the Internet-driven global economy." "Can copyright owners assert rights over imported goods that have already been sold once? That is the issue before the Supreme Court in Costco Wholesale Corp v. Omega, S.A. (backstory here). What's at stake is the ability of resellers to offer legitimate, non-pirated versions of copyrighted goods, manufactured in foreign nations, to US consumers at prices that undercut those charged by the copyright holders."
The Courts

Parody and Satire Videos, Which Is Fair Use? 286

Hugh Pickens writes "Ben Sheffner writes that both sides in Don Henley's lawsuit against California US Senate candidate Chuck DeVore (R) over campaign 'parody' videos that used Henley's tunes set to lyrics mocking Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) have now filed cross-motions for summary judgment, teeing up a case that will likely clarify the rules for political uses of third-party material. The motions focus largely on one issue: whether the videos, which use the compositions 'The Boys of Summer' and 'All She Wants to do is Dance,' are 'parodies,' and thus likely fair uses, or, rather, unprivileged 'satires.' The Supreme Court in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569 (1994), said that a parody comments on the work itself; a satire uses the work to comment on something else, so for Henley, this is a simple case: DeVore's videos do not comment on Henley's songs but use Henley's songs to mock Boxer. DeVore argues that his videos do indeed target Henley, who has long been identified with liberal and Democratic causes, and asserts that the campaign chose to use Henley's songs for precisely that reason. 'DeVore's videos target Henley only in the loosest sense,' writes Sheffner, 'and his brief's arguments ... sound dangerously close to the post hoc rationalizations dismissed as "pure shtick" and "completely unconvincing" by the Ninth Circuit in Dr. Seuss Enters. v. Penguin Books USA, Inc., 109 F.3d 1394 (1997).' The case also bears directly on the recent removal of the 'Downfall' clips from YouTube where many journalists have almost automatically labeled the removed videos 'parodies' while the vast majority aren't, says Sheffner."

Submission + - US FTC Sues Intel for Anti-Competitive Practices (

Vigile writes: And here Intel was about to get out of 2009 with only a modestly embarrassing year. While Intel and AMD settled their own antitrust and patent lawsuits in November, the FTC didn't think that was good enough and has decided to sue Intel for anti-competitive practices. While the suits in Europe and in the US civil courts have hurt Intel's pocketbook and its reputation, the FTC lawsuit could very likely be the most damaging towards the company's ability to practice business as they see fit. The official hearing is set for September of 2010 but we will likely here news filtering out about the evidence and charges well before that. One interest charge that has already arisen: that Intel systematically changed its widely used compiler to stunt the performance of competing processors!

I've got a bad feeling about this.