Aereo, permission culture, and one line that makes my blood boil

I attended the ABC v. Aereo oral arguments in the Supreme Court Tuesday and had a great time overall. Lots of people have written about the case and the arguments—Ali Sternburg, my line-standing buddy, has eight takeaways that are excellent—but one largely unmentioned line from the broadcasters’ lawyer really drove me up the wall. In […]

Why Netflix Instant’s selection sucks

I wrote a piece for Techdirt about how a shift from the “permisionless”—but paid—DVD rental business to the permissions intensive movie streaming has prevented Netflix Instant from having anything like the selection of old-fashioned Netflix. It should be astonishing that a company that once had to maintain and transport a staggering inventory of fragile plastic […]

Silicon Valley ad tribute to Steve Jobs: fair use?

I saw this ad for the new HBO show Silicon Valley in a BART station on the way home from the Next Great Copyright Act conference: In case you’re not familiar with the original, this is a straightforward parody of Albert M. Watson’s famous portrait of Steve Jobs, which appeared on the cover of Jobs’s […]

Newsletter launch: 5 Useful Articles

I’ve launched a new weekly newsletter on copyright, trademark, and patent policy with my friend Sarah Jeong. It’s called 5 Useful Articles, which is a pun. We announced the newsletter Monday and sent out the first issue on Thursday to some 150 people. We’ve had new subscribers since then without much more promotion, so maybe […]

The Ulysses piracy case and “Innocence of Muslims”

I’ve just finished reading Robert Spoo’s book “Without Copyrights,” an academic look at the history of American publishing in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when American copyright first did not apply at all to works first published abroad, and later applied only with strict manufacturing and notice requirements. The first half of the book […]