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Photo © 2020 Neil Turkewitz

9th Circuit Rejects Fair Use Defense in Dr. Seuss Enterprises v. Comicmix: “Oh, the Places You Won’t Go!”

A summary of the key aspects of the decision in a series of 9 tweets.

by Neil Turkewitz


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Photo © 2019 Neil Turkewitz

Piercing the Sanctimonious Veil of Progressivism: An Examination of a Defense of the Internet Archive Grounded in an Alternative Reality

by Neil Turkewitz

A few weeks ago, John Jeff Roberts penned a piece for Fortune entitled “As libraries fight for access to e-books, a new copyright champion emerges.” When I saw the title, I wondered aloud (like, actually aloud), “I wonder what’s happening between libraries and publishers on the e-book front?” …


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Photo © 2020 Neil Turkewitz

The Week in Tweets: The Sedition Edition

by Neil Turkewitz

In a week when 126 Republican members of Congress joined 18 Republican Attorneys General in an unprecedented challenge to the foundation of our very democracy — something that former RNC Chairman Michael Steele called “an affront to the country…an offense to the Constitution that leaves an indelible stain that will be hard for these 126 members to wipe off their political skin for a long time to come,” it’s a little hard to focus on issues of copyright and internet governance, but since these too are central to our well-being and define the art of the possible, it’s imperative that we do so. …


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Photo © 2020 Neil Turkewitz

Copyright and Distance Learning: Lessons from the TEACH Act

By Neil Turkewitz

With conditions created by COVID-19 becoming our new normal, and with much discussion of distance learning — including the unique copyright issues raised by distance learning as opposed to face-to-face instruction, it struck me as fairly bizarre that I see so little discussion of the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act, known generally as TEACH Act. After all, the TEACH Act was adopted by Congress in 2002 specifically to address copyright issues that may arise in connection with distance learning, and was the result of many user groups working with libraries, copyright owners and policy makers to devise an appropriate and balanced legal structure to address the needs of an emerging digital society. The purpose here is not to suggest that the TEACH Act has provided a definitive and permanent solution to the issues arising in connection with distance learning. …


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Photo © 2020 Neil Turkewitz

DMCA Section 512: A Relic of the Past, or An Engine Requiring Fine Tuning?

by Neil Turkewitz

Senator Tillis is spearheading a much needed review of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and called for submissions from the public to inform the process. This follows the delivery of a comprehensive report from the Copyright Office in which the Register conveyed the Office’s view that the DMCA is not currently meeting the goals of Congress underlying its adoption — in particular, that the DMCA, as interpreted, is unbalanced to the disadvantage of the creative community: “The Copyright Office concludes that the operation of the section 512 safe harbor system today is unbalanced…The Report highlights areas where current implementation of section 512 is out of sync with Congress’ original intent, including: eligibility qualifications for the service provider safe harbors; repeat infringer policies; knowledge requirement standards; specificity within takedown notices; non-standard notice requirements; subpoenas; and injunctions.” …


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Photo ©2020 Neil Turkewitz

[Not] Breaking News: Trump Files Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus with Supreme Court, Demanding Immediate Cessation of his Unlawful Incarceration

Reporting by Neil Turkewitz

The Nation’s Capital, November 28, 2020

In a dramatic and surprising turn of events, Trump’s lawyers have just filed an application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Supreme Court, alleging that “his involuntary cohabitation and incarceration with the general population in the event he is forced out of the White House following a fraudulent vote, would be a shocking and unconscionable violation of Trump’s constitutional rights and an affront to liberty-loving Americans everywhere.” …


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Photo ©2020 Neil Turkewitz

The worst of times? A Thanksgiving Prayer — Turning the American Dream into the American Reality

By Neil Turkewitz

Today as Americans face a Thanksgiving like no other, there are many reasons to think of it as the worst of times. And there would be good reasons to think so — from COVID-19 which prevents much needed human contact; to enduring four years of regressive policies and an emergent authoritarianism which continues to this day; to the resurgence of overt racism and uber-nationalism which is based on the suppression of the principles upon which this Nation was founded. …


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© 2020 Neil Turkewitz

The Week in Tweets: YouTube calls itself a library; Emily Ratajkowski asks why her likeness is not hers to control; & Facebook releases meaningless numbers

by Neil Turkewitz

Oh, and Professor Mary Ann Franks delivers a tweet thread for the ages, eviscerating simplistic takes on the “marketplace of ideas” based on a misreading of Justice Brandeis’ famous (and famously understood) appeal to “more speech” as the foundation for the First Amendment. And Lululemon launches an advertising campaign for its new surveillance-based device, The Mirror — seemingly with no sense of the connection people (at least, this reader) might make to Black Mirror.

Read on…


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Photo ©2020 Neil Turkewitz

EFF, Section 230 and the End of a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

by Neil Turkewitz

The year is 2020, and it’s been quite a hell ride. In light of this, and in an attempt to preserve whatever shreds of sanity and equilibrium I may still possess, I have been making a concerted effort to not respond to misleading articles or organization’s attempts to cover up their complicity in injustice. But every once in awhile, there is such a colossal insult to our intelligence that resistance would be futile. Earlier today, my irresistible impulses were triggered by EFF’s Elliot Harmon in a piece entitled: “Don’t Blame Section 230 for Big Tech’s Failures. …


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The Week in Tweets: YouTube is Not a Library (feat. Sarah T. Roberts)

by Neil Turkewitz

Susan Wojcicki likes to talk about YouTube as if it were a library — providing its users with all the information they want without having to leave their homes. Professor Sarah T. Roberts, Assistant Professor, Department of Information Studies at UCLA and author of the Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media — an astonishingly insightful and groundbreaking book which “examines the emotional toll [content moderation] takes on its workers…offering insights into not only the reality of our commercial internet but the future of globalized labor in the digital age,” had some thoughts on this analogy which are discussed below. In particular, Professor Roberts highlights how this library analogy ignores YouTube’s: (1) role in amplifying content and promoting engagement rather than user understanding; and (2) monetization of user data, in direct conflict with libraries’ careful protection of user privacy. …

Neil Turkewitz

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