Google, Microsoft, and others speaking through the Computer and Communications Industry Association or CCIA, have announced their intention to file a complaint with the FCC accusing copyright holders such as Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the MPAA and the RIAA of “overstating” their rights in various consumer warnings.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The group wants the FTC to investigate and order copyright holders to stop wording warnings in what it sees as a misrepresentative way.
“We look forward to receiving their complaint and reviewing it,” said an FTC spokeswoman.
Many warnings “materially misrepresent U.S. copyright law, particularly the fundamental built-in First Amendment accommodations which serve to safeguard the public interest,” the complaint alleges. CCIA President Ed Black said the warnings create a “chilling effect,” dissuading consumers from using portions of the content in ways that are lawful.
So: “this copyrighted telecast is presented by authority of the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. It may not be reproduced or retransmitted in any form, and the accounts and descriptions of this game may not be disseminated without express written consent.” really is bullsh*t? Because it always sounded like bullsh*t.
The CCIA said copyright holders should let audiences know they may have a right to reproduce some of the work. They even provide examples of how it can be done, as in this warning in the John Wiley & Son’s 2007 book “Hotel California.” The warning says, “No part of this publication may be reproduced…except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the United States Copyright Act,” referring to the sections that deal with fair use and reproduction by libraries and archives.
Go team CCIA! Somebody start making the shirts.