Copyright Follies #327
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on February 11, 2009 - 08:57
Ryan Sohmer, creator of Least I Could Do and businessman-Canadian style is in the news, taking a stand against the Writers' Guild of Canada (of which he's a member) because of its proposal for ISPs to pay content creators for new content produced in Canada. Techdirt has more about it here.
Walter Issacson (who used to be the managing editor of Newsweek) has been making the media rounds suggesting that newspapers should charge for their online content and voila! newspaper industry woes are solved. Techdirt has a breakdown of why this micropayments-pie-in-the-sky is just not going to work for newspapers either.
I think it's a pretty safe bet that the AP's claim that Shepard Fairey's iconic portrait of Barack Obama is a copyright infringement of an AP photographer's work is going to fail. (here's a link to Lawrence Lessig's post on it - he's likely to be representing or advising Fairey in the matter.) It just seems pretty obvious that it's a transformative work. In any event Fairey has preemptively sued the AP. How does this relate to comics? Not by much but given the rampant repurposing of copyrighted material in some webcomics (I'm looking at you Super-Sprite-Pixel-Party!*) this is the kind of case that's a real world example of trying to draw lines between infringement and truly transformative work.
* Super-Sprite-Pixel-Party is not a real title as far as I know (as of this morning)...