Copyright Office Grants IP Clinic Petition For Renewal of Section 1201 Exemptions to Circumvention

Washington College of Law’s Glushko-Samuelson IP Clinic successfully filed two petitions for renewal of exemptions for circumvention provisions in Section 1201 of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) on behalf of Joint Educators such as Peter Decherney, Professor of Cinema Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania, Katherine Sender, Michael X. Delli Carpini, Professor and Dean, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, the College Art Association (CAA), the International Communication Association (ICA), and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), and the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA).

By granting the petitions filed by the IP clinic, the Copyright Office recognized the value of exempting fairly used audiovisual works for college and university educational uses. Specifically, today’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making states that with respect to the petition for exempting the use of motion pictures for colleges and professors there was strong evidence to support continuing the useful exemption:

“The petitions demonstrated the continuing need and justification for the exemption, and personal knowledge and experience with regard to this exemption. For example, Joint Educators, AAUP, DCSUM, and LCA stated that courses on video essays (or multimedia or videographer criticism), now taught at many universities, would not be able to exist without relying on this exemption. Without this exemption, Joint Educators, AAUP, DCSUM, and LCA assert that educators would be ‘unable to provide an enriching and accurate description and analysis of cinematic or other audiovisual works when prevented from accessing such works due to Technological Protection Measure[s] ‘—and their declarant, Professor Decherney, has personally relied upon this exemption to teach a course on multimedia criticism … Based on the information provided in the renewal petition … the Register believes that the conditions that led to adoption of this exemption are likely to continue during the next triennial period. Accordingly, the Register intends to recommend renewal of this exemption.”

Additionally, the NPRM recognized the value of continuing the second exemption that the IP Clinic petitioned to renew – the exemption for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs):

“Joint Educators, ICA, DCSUM, SCMS, and LCA petitioned to renew the exemption for motion pictures for educational uses in massive open online courses (“MOOCs”) (codified at 37 CFR 201.40(b)(1)(v))…. The petition demonstrated the continuing need and justification for the exemption, stating that instructors continue to rely on the exemption to develop, provide, and improve MOOCs, as well as increase the number of (and therefore access to) MOOCs in the field of film and media studies. In addition, the declarant, Professor Decherney, demonstrated personal knowledge by describing his reliance on the exemption to teach MOOCs on film and media studies, as well as his past participation in the 1201 triennial rulemaking, along with Professor Carpini, ICA, SCMS, and LCA. Based on the information provided in the renewal petition and the lack of opposition, the Register believes that the conditions that led to adoption of this exemption are likely to continue during the next triennial period. Accordingly, the Register intends to recommend renewal of this exemption.”

Today’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also set forth the deadlines for submitting comments in support of proposed new exemptions to Section 1201 of the DMCA. The IP Clinic, led by student team Melanie Singer and Allisa Logan submitted a petition for a proposed new exemption to 1201 circumvention rules and are currently working with Decherney and Joint Educators to file comments in support of a new exemption that would ensure access to all digital educational opportunities for students in the new digital economy.

Posted in Clinic News

IP Clinic Petitions for Greater Access to Fair Use Materials for Online Education in the Seventh Triennial Section 1201 DMCA exemption Proceeding at the Copyright Office

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Alissa Logan is a 2L in the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic at AUWCL

Through the years, the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic has had the exciting opportunity to work on several DMCA exemption petitions, and is again participating in this process. The previous petitions submitted by the IP Clinic involved a collaborative effort with educators and students. Securing these exemptions has assured that professors and students can continue to break digital locks and use short portions of audiovisual works for educational purposes.

This year, a student team led by Melanie Singer and Alissa Logan is working with Peter Decherney, Professor of Cinema Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania, to submit a petition on behalf of university professors aimed at providing greater access to fair use materials for online digital education opportunities.

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Melanie Singer is a 3L Student Attorney in the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic at AUWCL

Passed in 1998, Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal to break digital locks on copyrighted material, even when what you intend to do with the work is otherwise legal, such as fairly using the material. To account for the breadth of the DMCA legislation, the Copyright Office, every three years, holds a proceeding to consider and grant limited exemptions for uses where the petitioner can show the law is creating a substantial burden on free expression or is inhibiting other valuable activities.

In each triennial rulemaking process, petitioners can renew their previous exemptions, petition to expand those exemptions, or petition for a new exemption.

On behalf of Professor Decherney, Singer and Logan petitioned for a new exemption seeking to expand the current exemption for fair use of audiovisual materials to all online educational institutions. This exemption would allow professors of any online course to fairly use short portions of video or still images from these works to prepare a lecture or dissertation to engage students in the content being taught regardless of the forum for the course or type of course.

The petition aims to level the playing field so that online educational exemptions match traditional educational exemptions and so that all digital educational opportunities are available in the new digital economy.

Posted in Clinic News

Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic STUDENT to Judicial Intern at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC)

The American Bar Association Section of Litigation sponsors the Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (JIOP) for diverse students to participate in a full-time summer internship program with judges in the state and federal judiciary.  One facet of JIOP includes placing students in internships with an Intellectual Property Law focus.

IP Clinic alum, Eric Levi, interned for the Honorable Pauline Newman at the CAFC.  While in chambers, Eric researched and drafted opinions and prepared bench memoranda.  According to Eric, “The experience demystified the inner-workings of the court.  Listening to Judge Newman’s descriptions of why the court was established and how the law has evolved provided context to current judicial decisions.  And being surrounded by such intelligent, enthusiastic law clerks further reinforced my passion for intellectual property law.”

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JIOP also hosts receptions and networking events throughout the summer.  Internships are available across the United States and applications must be submitted by the first week of January.

Posted in Clinic News

USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Program Visit

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted students and faculty participating in its Law School Clinic Certification Program on April 10, 2017.  IP Clinic Student Eric Levi and patent faculty supervisor David Grossman represented the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic at the event.  Faculty and students from law school clinics from across the country attended this full day of presentations and discussions with USPTO administrators, examiners and judges.  Participants also attended a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board hearing where General Mills argued in favor of obtaining a trademark for a yellow box containing wheat based toroidal shaped cereal (Think Cheerios). Finally, students and faculty had the opportunity to network with participants from other schools.  The IP Clinic has participated in the USPTO student practice program since it was established as a pilot program more than ten years ago.

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IP Clinic Students Provide Vital IP Counseling to Cutting Edge AU Start-Up Ventures

From the start of the academic year, the IP clinic set out to develop a useful contribution to the ever growing industry of tech start-ups. In addition to client matters—which ranged from trademark oppositions and registrations to documentary fair use analyses to discrete copyright duration and registration issues—the IP clinic students worked as a team to launch a toolkit on IP-related issues for start-up companies, with a focus on the tech industry. They customized and built an online questionnaire that future IP clinic students will use to capture essential information that will be used to structure the forthcoming tool kit.

And in true clinic fashion, the IP clinic students then put the knowledge and experience they harnessed throughout the year into action in WCL’s first ever “IP Tips and Tricks for Startups” presentation, which took place on the law school’s state-of-the-art Tenleytown campus. For this event, the clinic hosted five start-up companies from American University’s on-campus incubator and provided them with tailored, high-level lessons on four areas of IP law: trademark, copyright, patent, and trade secrets. The start-up entrepreneurs were energized and engaged in the presentations and Q&A sessions, and afterwards the IP clinic students were able to mingle with the individual business owners and set up follow-up meetings to discuss their IP issues in further detail. Overall, this event was a huge success that resulted in peace of mind for the business owners and unparalleled hands-on learning for the IP clinic students.

 

-Dima Budron ’17

Posted in Clinic News

With Help from IP Clinic Students, “Yasuni Man” Premiering at DC Environmental Film Festival March 19

For seven years, United States biologist Ryan Killackey researched and filmed the 1,500 kilometer Yasuni biosphere reserve in Ecuador, one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet.  The resulting documentary explores “the impact of oil development on the biodiversity of the forest and its people,” and effectively “tells the story of the conflict in Yasuni that has pitted biodiversity and human rights against extractive industries and human consumption.”

This 90-minute film has already won 3 awards and several official selections so far on the film festival circuit. The Glushko-Samuelson Clinic, along with its student attorneys Aaron Wicker, Aurelie Mathieu, David Najera, and Joanna Scleidorovich, are credited at the end of the film.

Tickets are now on sale for the Yasuni Man DC Premiere at the D.C. Environmental Film Festival on Sunday, March 19th from 7-9pm at the Landmark E Street Cinema.

Please follow this link to purchase tickets:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/environmental-film-festival-yasuni-man-tickets-32169690410?aff=es2

For further reading:

http://www.pollywogproductions.net/yasuni-man/#yasuni-2

 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/12/yasuni-man-film-ecuador-ryan-killackey

Posted in Clinic News

IP Clinic Students David Najera and Joanna Scleidorovich Win Best Brief at INTA Regional Competition

David Najera (17′) and Joanna Scleidorovich (17′), student-attorneys in the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, competed in the regional round of the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition in New York City. The tournament was organized by the International Trademark Association (“INTA”) and was held on February 11, 2017 at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The team, coached by Professor Christine Farley, won the award for best brief, and placed 3rd in overall competition making this the first year that WCL wins the best brief award in the competition.

The Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court competition is one of the most prestigious Intellectual Property events for students and focuses on issues related to U.S. trademark and unfair competition law. Students are required to write a brief and argue the case before a panel of volunteer attorneys, jurists from  the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit and Trademark Trail & Appeal Board of the USPTO, as well as judges from various districts and other courts.

This year’s competition brought teams from various states including: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Posted in Clinic News

Clinic Recruitment Information

 

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IP Clinic Information sessions will follow on Feb. 1 and Feb. 9th at noon in Y115 and Feb 16th at 1PM in YT14.

See WCL clinic website for more details and application. information.

Posted in Clinic News

For 4th Year in a Row, IP Clinic to Co-Host “Pop-Up” Legal Clinic for Local Artists and Entrepreneurs

On February 21st, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA) will again partner with the WCL Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic and GW Small Business Clinic for their fourth annual “Pop-Up” Legal Clinic. This amazing opportunity for Washington’s creative community provides artists and entrepreneurs to receive free legal consultation in intellectual property and business development.

Assisted by WCL and GW professors, the IP Law Clinic students will assist in copyright, patent, trademark and related intellectual property fields, while Small Business Clinic students will provide corporate assistance for start-ups. This collaboration creates a valuable learning opportunity for both students and artists.

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The Clinic will be held from 5-7 PM at the offices of the GW Law School’s Small Business & Community Economic Development Clinic at 2000 G Street NW, Washington, DC.

For more information:    http://waladc.org

Posted in Clinic News

After IP Clinic Spearheads Law School Clinic Certification Program, the USPTO Releases First Report to Congress

Through the USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Program, more than 2,700 law school clinic students have been able to practice patent and/or trademark law before the USPTO under the guidance of a Faculty Clinic Supervisor. Not only has this provided superior legal training and invaluable experience to these students, but by providing their IP services to the public pro bono, this has also increased access to legal representation for the public.

The program came about as a result of a 2006 request for student practice in the agency by faculty of the American University Glushko-Samuelson IP Law Clinic.  The AU faculty suggested the creation of a student practice rule in the agency modeled on the many student practice rules in state and federal courts across the country. The clinic’s students were appearing in federal court under such rules in IP matters, but were unable to participate in IP rights acquisition at the USPTO on their own.

By expanding education about patents, trademarks, and the patents and trademarks system at the law school level, independent inventors and entrepreneurs that have otherwise not been able to obtain quality legal services, have been afforded access to the competent legal representation necessary to succeed and compete in today’s economy.

This first annual report fulfills the requirements of the Law School Clinic Certification Program Act (P.L. 113-227) by describing the number of law schools and law students participating in the Law School Clinic Certification Program, the work done through the Program, the benefits of the Program, and any recommendations for modifications to the Program. A copy of the Report to Congress is available here.

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