One of three Google funded papers co-authored by Sprigman which were published after he began working as the “impartial” reporter on the American Law Institutes Copyright Restatement project.
Silicon Valley corporations and anti copyright ideologues are unhappy that there is even a shred of copyright protection left for artists. They have not been able to completely eliminate copyright through congress or the courts so a small highly ideological group have embarked on a dubious “restatement” project to create what the US Register of Copyrights calls a “pseudo copyright act.” This is an end run around the legislative and judicial branch.
The vehicle is an American Law Institute Restatement of Copyright. In the past the American Law Institute has issued restatements when there were conflicting state laws or matters of “common law.” Never before has the ALI issued a restatement when there is a federal statute that spells out the law. After all the statute is the statute. Who is the ALI to tell judges what the statute says?
The damage comes to artists because it will at best create confusion on copyright in courtrooms. At worst the project will further tilt rulings towards Google and other Silicon Valley firms that infringe upon our works with impunity. Like they really need any more money.
The whole thing is rigged. According to the Google Transparency Project the leader of the restatement Christopher J. Sprigman has been taking funding from Google to write research papers since at least 2011. And he has apparently been receiving funding while working on this project (see screenshots above).
You also may recognize the name because he is Spotify’s lawyer in the Bluewater v. Spotify case. Yes, the same joker that has argued there is no such thing as a streaming mechanical royalty. This despite the fact the federal Copyright Royalty Board just set the new royalty rate. WTF right? This is the “impartial” reporter the American Law Institute put in charge of the copyright restatement project.
The ALI should end this project now. It stinks of corruption and cronyism. It’s an embarrassment. David F. Levi the president of The American Law Institute has been made aware of the problems with this project and has done nothing about it. He should resign for allowing this academic fraud to take place on his watch.