Friday, January 19, 2024

Article: Is A.I. the Death of I.P.?

This recent New Yorker article may not be paywalled, so go read/skim it. While the article is ultimately about artificial intelligence and intellectual property rights, there are many examples in it that are not connected to AI. The article is full of good tidbits, such as:

Judicial competence is also an issue...To know why a Warhol silk screen counts as transformative, or to give musical definition to a song’s “feel,” you need a kind of expertise that most judges—most people—don’t have.

One book mentioned in the article is Who Owns This Sentence?: A History of Copyrights and Wrongs, which will be release on Jan. 23, 2024. (paid link) Amazon's description of the book states that it...

is an often-humorous and always-enlightening cultural, legal, and global history of the idea that intangible things can be owned, and makes a persuasive case for seeing copyright as an engine of inequality in the twenty-first century.

From its description, this sounds like a book that is both informative and fun. Yes, one of the authors is an attorney (Alexandre Montagu), whose area is intellectual property law.

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

An early version of MIckey and Minnie are in the public domain!

Mickey Mouse

 Everyone is reporting on the fact that the ORIGINAL Mickey and Minnie Mouse are in the public domain. While this is good news, it is important to recognize that that this is not the Mickey and Minnie that we see today. So if you're going to use the public domain versions, make sure you understand what you're using.

The Morning Brew notes these two limitations:

  • Only the original versions of Mickey and Minnie, as they appear in Steamboat Willie, are up for grabs. Character details introduced in later years, including their white gloves, Mickey’s classic red pants, Minnie’s polka dots, and their high-pitched voice, are off limits.
  • Disney still has a registered trademark on Steamboat Willie Mickey as a company mascot, so folks who use the character’s likeness have to make it clear that their project isn’t an official Disney production.

And if you're looking for a version to use, check out Wikimedia

Duke University has a list of what else joined the public domain this year. Use them and enjoy!