Popular works should enjoy narrower copyright protection, argue legal experts

When Australian Federal Court judge Peter Jacobsen ruled that a famous flute riff from the hit Down Under by the pop group Men At Work plagiarized a popular nursery rhyme from the Girl Guides, it once again underscored divisions over the implicit and explicit role that popularity should play in the copyright debate.

In a ruling that marked the end of a three-year legal battle, Judge Jacobsen held that the riff in the song, which topped the charts in the United Kingdom and America in early 1982, infringed on the copyright of Kookaburra “because it replicates a substantial part of the song” written by written by teacher Marion Sinclair.

While the ruling held strong to the unstated position that popularity sometimes can and does actually increase the protection a work is afforded, not everyone is swayed that such views should be hold true in the digital age. Continue reading “Popular works should enjoy narrower copyright protection, argue legal experts”

Pirate banned from movie theatres

A 25-year old Montrealer cannot enter a movie theatre nor own any recording device for the next two years after being convicted of illegally copying the film Dan In Real Life with a camcorder in a cinema.

Louis René Haché, the first Canadian to be charged under Canada’s tougher piracy laws and the second to be convicted, was caught red-handed on a late Friday night 18 months ago, comfortably ensconced in his chair, his girlfriend by his side, with a digital camcorder atop a tripod recording Steve Carell’s comedy.

Continue reading “Pirate banned from movie theatres”