Monday, October 24, 2005

Pre-release product photos

Joe Gratz looks at one aspect of the Copyright Office implementation of regulations under the ART Act: Post Pre-Release Product Photos On Your Blog, Get Sued For Copyright Infringement:
The Copyright Office today released its interim regulations implementing the pre-registration provisions of the ART Act. Under that law, those who distribute pre-release copies of a work intended for later commercial distribution can be sued for copyright infringement even if the copyright holder has not yet finished or registered the copyrighted work, so long as the copyright holder "pre-registered" the work.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Vehicle Hulls

Senator Cornyn (R-TX) introduced a bill to clarify one element of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act-- Title V, the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act. This bill is the Vessel Hull Design Protection Amendments of 2005 Act as S. 1785.

This bill will amend chapter 13 of the Copyright Act, which protects the design of vessel hulls to clarify the distinction between a hull and a deck, in order "to provide factors for the determination of the protectability of a revised design, to provide guidance for assessments of substantial similarity, and for other purposes."

Under the current version of the statute, the deck is considered part of a ship's hull, at least as far as copyright protection for the design of the vessel. The revised version of the statute would still protect the deck as part of the hull design, but also define a deck to be the part of a ship that sits upon the hull and includes the exterior cabin and cockpit surfaces.

Here is what §1301 will appear after the modifications proposed by this bill:
§ 1301. Designs protected
    (a) Designs Protected.—
      (1) In general.— The designer or other owner of an original design of a useful article which makes the article attractive or distinctive in appearance to the purchasing or using public may secure the protection provided by this chapter upon complying with and subject to this chapter.
      (2) Vessel hulls.— The design of a vessel hull, including a plug or mold, is subject to protection under this chapter, notwithstanding section 1302 (4).
      (2) VESSEL FEATURES- The design of a vessel hull or deck, including a plug or mold, is subject to protection under this chapter, notwithstanding section 1302(4).

    (b) Definitions.— For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:
      (1) A design is “original” if it is the result of the designer’s creative endeavor that provides a distinguishable variation over prior work pertaining to similar articles which is more than merely trivial and has not been copied from another source.
      (2) A “useful article” is a vessel hull, including a plug or mold vessel hull or deck, including a plug or mold, which in normal use has an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information. An article which normally is part of a useful article shall be deemed to be a useful article.
      (3) A “vessel” is a craft—
        (A) that is designed and capable of independently steering a course on or through water through its own means of propulsion; and
        (B) that is designed and capable of carrying and transporting one or more passengers.

      (4) A “hull” is the frame or body of a vessel, including the deck of a vessel, exclusive of masts, sails, yards, and rigging.
      (4) A "hull" is the exterior frame or body of a vessel, exclusive of the deck, superstructure, masts, sails, yards, rigging, hardware, fixtures, and other attachments.
      (5) A “plug” means a device or model used to make a mold for the purpose of exact duplication, regardless of whether the device or model has an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not only to portray the appearance of the product or to convey information.
      (6) A “mold” means a matrix or form in which a substance for material is used, regardless of whether the matrix or form has an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not only to portray the appearance of the product or to convey information.
      (7) A "deck" is the horizontal surface of a vessel that covers the hull, including exterior cabin and cockpit surfaces, and exclusive of masts, sails, yards, rigging, hardware, fixtures, and other attachments.