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What do the following have in common: (1) Grammy-winning pop singer and “fame monster” Lady Gaga, (2) the annual avant-garde Burning Man festival, and (3) a group of physician advocates called Medical Justice? There are no doubt many amusing answers to that question,1 but for present purposes the most relevant, and least amusing, is that all have recently taken unusually aggressive copyright positions against people (like photographers, festival attendees and patients) who dare to feature or refer to them in works of authorship. So, for example, if you are a photographer who wishes to shoot a few rolls at a Lady Gaga concert, you may only do so, says Gaga, if you agree in advance that the singer will own copyright in your photographs. If you want to shoot a video of your cousin’s extravagant dance ritual at Burning Man, same deal, Burning Man owns it. If you are a patient of a participating Medical Justice doctor, you must pre-assign to the doctor the copyright in any online review you may ever write about that doctor’s services. What’s up, doc?

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