Are the SEC’s S&M copyright rules pre-empted by federal law?

The Attorney General of Tennessee recently opined that the SEC was within its rights to limit media access to college sporting events to those news organizations who were willing to sign away large sections of their intellectual property rights as part of a credentialing scheme.It’s a neat idea, and I’m sure it would be expedient for the SEC if the world really did work that way, but I’m afraid the Attorney General’s opinion raises more copyright questions than it answers—not the least of those questions being whether the SEC’s credentialing scheme is actually preempted by federal copyright law.Preemption is a doctrine that says, when there’s a disagreement between state laws and federal laws, the federal law wins.

$750 for downloading a pop song – that’s Ludacris!

Don't say that we didn't warn you: Copyright can be strong, strong medicine. Try "$750 per song" strong.For all of the thousands of Internet users who skate by unpunished for posting episodes of "Lost" or "The Daily Show" on YouTube, there's the occasional Whitney Harper to remind us that "everybody's doing it" won't get you out of a speeding ticket, and it won't get you off the hook for downloading copyright-protected music without paying for it either.Whitney was a 14-year-old Texas eighth-grader when she started using what was at the time a music file-sharing site, KaZaA (now operating as a paid subscription service) to download and share songs.

Haitian earthquake photos available to student media

We have had several students contact us regarding their use of news media photos to include with their newspaper or yearbook coverage of the Haitian earthquake.As usual, the general rule for using copyrighted material applies: If you didn't take the photo and/or you don't own the copyright to it, you must first obtain permission, which sometimes requires paying for a license.