Creator Economy Law – Issue #17

He’s back… Meta lets Trump come back, Who owns a selfie?, DOJ sues Google (Again) over ad tech, TikTok heats things up while dying(?), and more!

This is Creator Economy Law, a newsletter dedicated to exploring and analyzing the legal issues surrounding the creator economy, creators, and internet platforms. If you enjoy what you’re reading, share with friends, and invite them to subscribe using the button above and share using #CreatorEconomyLaw.

Stuck on what to name your podcast? Don’t worry! Spotify just launched the Podcast Name Generator. Okay okay… so it’s not really a name generator, but it does have some great tips and a cool community poll tool if you are looking to launch your own podcast. Do you have a podcast? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Here’s what’s been happening in the world of Creator Economy Law.

What You Should Know
If you know… you know!

He’s back… Meta gives Trump parental controls and access to Facebook/Instagram

Meta published a press release announcing that in the “coming weeks” Trump will be allowed to access his Facebook and Instagram accounts. However, there will be “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.” But why? “The public should be able to hear what politicians are saying so they can make informed choices,” they highlight in their announcement.

📖 Read: “Ending Suspension of Trump’s Accounts With New Guardrails to Deter Repeat Offenses” via Meta Newsroom


Copyright Office Pilot Public Records System Mistakenly Reflects Cancellation of Registration for AI Graphic Novel

The U.S. Copyright Office system inadvertently indicated the Office canceled the registration for a graphic novel made (in part) using Midjourney. It certainly caused a stir, but as the USCO told me: “The Copyright Office has not issued a decision in this matter, and it remains ongoing.”

📖 Read:

🎧 Listen: If you want to hear an audio version, check out when I stopped by Ariel Givner’s #TwitterSpaces yesterday (starting around the 21 min mark). It’s also when I first heard about the USCO’s system error with their records system.

DOJ Sues Google over Digital Ad Tech

The Justice Department, along with the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia, filed a civil antitrust suit against Google for monopolizing multiple digital advertising technology products in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the complaint alleges that Google monopolizes key digital advertising technologies, collectively referred to as the “ad tech stack,” that website publishers depend on to sell ads and that advertisers rely on to buy ads and reach potential customers.

The DOJ and states Attorneys General allege that Google’s anticompetitive conduct has included:

  • Acquiring Competitors: Engaging in a pattern of acquisitions to obtain control over key digital advertising tools used by website publishers to sell advertising space;
  • Forcing Adoption of Google’s Tools: Locking in website publishers to its newly-acquired tools by restricting its unique, must-have advertiser demand to its ad exchange, and in turn, conditioning effective real-time access to its ad exchange on the use of its publisher ad server;
  • Distorting Auction Competition: Limiting real-time bidding on publisher inventory to its ad exchange, and impeding rival ad exchanges’ ability to compete on the same terms as Google’s ad exchange; and
  • Auction Manipulation: Manipulating auction mechanics across several of its products to insulate Google from competition, deprive rivals of scale, and halt the rise of rival technologies.

As a result of its illegal monopoly, and by its own estimates, Google pockets on average more than 30% of the advertising dollars that flow through its digital advertising technology products; for some transactions and for certain publishers and advertisers, it takes far more.

In 2020, the Justice Department filed a civil antitrust suit against Google for monopolizing search and search advertising, which are different markets from the digital advertising technology markets at issue in the lawsuit filed today. The Google search litigation is scheduled for trial in September 2023.

📖 Read:

📖 Watch / Listen:

🗣 Franklin’s Take: Creators should be paying close attention to what happens to Google’s corporate structure for its ad business and whether or not this will result in a spinoff and/or breaking up (which Google already offered to do, but now clearly wasn’t enough). YouTubers already rely on advertising revenues, which are paid out through a Google AdSense account that’s linked to a channel that’s eligible for the YouTube Partner Program. However, it remains to be seen what impact taking some or all of Google’s control over the ad tech ecosystem will have on advertising revenue shares that creators will receive.

USPTO launches IP Identifier

Did you know the USPTO just launched a new tool to help creators identify (and then protect) their IP? Here’s all you need to know about the new tool…

⚙️ The tool is called the Intellectual Property (IP) Identifier.

🧰 There are 2 modules: The Basic IP Identifier; and the Advanced IP Identifier. The Basic IP Identifier module consists of six simple questions that allow users to quickly assess the type of IP they should protect. The Advanced IP Identifier module allows users to learn about their specific type of IP and obtain links to additional resources, including how to file an application for protection. A third module, Managing your IP assets, is currently under development.

❓Why’s the tool needed? Per the USPTO, the tool is a “user-friendly, virtual resource— designed for those who are less familiar with IP—enables users to identify whether they have IP and the IP protections they need to support and advance their business, invention, or brand. The IP Identifier serves as an important foundation for an innovator, entrepreneur, or creator’s IP journey. In addition to the tool helping identify a person’s or company’s intellectual property, it provides easily digestible information on intellectual property – patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.”

Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Kathi Vidal announced the launch of the agency’s new tool at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) event in Naples, FL.

👉 Check out the IP Identifier

👉 Read the official announcement from the USPTO

👉 The IP Identifier was announced as part of USPTO’s recently-launched Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) initiative, a community-focused, collaborative, and creative initiative to inspire women and tap their potential to meaningfully increase equity, job creation, and economic prosperity.

Don't Miss

Learn With Me
  • Feeling lost on how to take in all the #copyright issues swirling around AI/ML technologies? Here are three buckets I find helpful to view all of this activity within.

Creator Economy Law LIVE!

Let’s meet IRL!! 🔥 Join me at #IPLSPRING!

Registration is now open for the 2023 ABA-IPL Section Annual Meeting. Plus, you’ll get a chance to come to the panel I’m moderating on #CreatorEconomy Law 🎉

Have questions? Drop them in the comments!

Copyright Alliance and VLAs to Co-Host CCB Panel Titled ‘The Copyright Claims Board—What We Know So Far’

A reminder that on February 1 at 1 p.m. ET, the Copyright Alliance—in partnership with 15 Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) organizations across the U.S.—will host a webinar on the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), titled The Copyright Claims Board—What We Know About the CCB So Far. Panelists will take an in-depth look at how things are working with the CCB seven months after its launch by the U.S. Copyright Office. Speakers include:

  • Terrica Carrington, VP, Legal Policy and Copyright Counsel at the Copyright Alliance;
  • Maya Burchette, Attorney-Advisor for the CCB at the U.S. Copyright Office; and
  • Thomas Maddrey, Chief Legal Officer & Head of National Content and Education at the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP).

The panel, which will be moderated by Copyright Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid, is a must-attend event for anyone who has an interest in the CCB. For additional information and to register, please click here.

Music Video of the Week

Congratulations to Justin Bieber! If you missed the news, Justin closed a deal with Hipgnosis Songs Fund to buy 100% of his publishing rights, along with the royalties for his masters. How much is that worth? Over $200 million!

One of my favorite songs and music videos from Justin is “Beauty and the Beat.” I think the video is a perfect throwback to Justin’s start on YouTube, especially because he shot the music video (in part) using a GoPro Hero 2.

Watch on YouTube or Apple Music.

Editor's Notes

Affiliate Links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I have noted above where links to products on Amazon may earn me a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for supporting my work!

Not Legal Advice. This newsletter is published solely for educational and entertainment value. Nothing in this newsletter should be considered legal advice. If you need legal assistance or have specific questions, you should consult a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. I am not your attorney. Do not share any information in the comments you should keep confidential.

Personal Opinions. The opinions and thoughts shared in this newsletter are my own, and not those of my employer or any of the third parties mentioned or linked to in this newsletter. No affiliation or endorsement is implied or otherwise intended with third parties that are referenced or linked.

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