Fear the Walking Dead. Popularity and piracy go hand in hand. The most tormented television shows are Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. In many instances, episodes of those shows are available for illegal download before they air. This week, AMC took action by rolling out a new watermarking technology, which will not directly prevent content from being copied but will identify the party responsible for the leak, and perhaps make international distributors and their subcontractors guard more tightly unaired episodes.
Star Trek Fans Fight Back. The ongoing legal battle over the proposed Star Trek fan film, Axanar, took a new turn. The fan film is set 21 years before the original series, and focuses on a fight between humans and Klingons. According to the filmmakers, the only overlaps between Axanar and the Star Trek franchise are that the spaceships look the same, and that Axanar may have three characters from the original franchise: a Klingon and Vulcan who were in the original series, and a Klingon general from the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. In December, CBS brought a lawsuit to stop the Axanar production, arguing that Axanar was a copyright infringement. The Axanar team brought a motion to dismiss this week, and in addition to raising issues about copyright ownership, raised an interesting argument: because the Axanar script hasn’t been finished and there has been no filming, CBS cannot really articulate a copyright claim. This argument is one that would only arise for big properties like Star Trek, and it will be interesting to see how the court deals with it.
New Librarian of Congress. On Wednesday February 24, President Obama announced that he will nominate Carla D. Hayden to serve as the Fourteenth Librarian of Congress, a position that includes influence on the Copyright Act and how its provisions are interpreted. If she is approved by the Senate, Hayden would be both the first female and first African American Librarian of Congress.