Digital Culture

Interesting court case toda

Interesting court case today….the US Supreme Court ruled against 20th Century Fox in a trademark suit. Essentially, the suit says that users of material under public domain do not have to worry about tracking down trademark information for the original creator of the material. Fox sued a company called Dastar after Dastar used material created by Fox, but allowed to fall out of copyright. Fox argued that repackaging it diluted the Fox trademark, which SCOTUS rejected. From CNN:

“Scalia said that if creative producers were required under the trademark law to attribute the origin of any uncopyrighted materials they used, it would be difficult.

“We do not think the Lanham Act requires this search for the source of the Nile and all its tributaries,” he wrote.

The Bush administration and other groups including the American Library Association had supported Dastar. “

So, good news for the public domain…now if we could just managed to GET a public domain again, we'd be in good shape.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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