While enthusiasts and clever designers have been making cool digital replicas (like this  one seen on Reddit), watch companies have been trying to block these digital copies from spreading.

Luxury Watch Makers Out To Stop Lookalike Faces For Smart Watches

Just like some street vendors make a living selling lookalike Cartier and Omega watches for cheap, some folks are selling — or even giving away — knock-off digital watch faces for Android-powered smartphones. And the watch companies are going after these people with the same zeal as they chase the “Cantier” and “Omego” sellers from sidewalks. [More]

The producers of Elf-Man sought default judgements of $30,000 against each defendant accused of pirating the movie.

Judge: $30K Penalty For Pirating Movies Is “Excessive Punishment”

If police catch you racing down the highway at 25 mph over the speed limit, you’ll probably have to pay a ticket in the low three-figure range, even though you were putting your life and the lives of others at risk. But get accused of illegally downloading a movie and you should have to pay $30,000? Not according to a federal judge in Washington state. [More]

4chan has introduced a formal takedown request policy in line with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. [via TorrentFreak]

4chan Introduces DMCA Takedown Policy After Posting Of Nude Celeb Pics

While most Internet-savvy people are at least casually familiar with 4chan — the online forum where a lot of the Web’s most popular content gets its start — the site has been pushed into the spotlight in recent days because of users who posted stolen nude and personal photos of several female celebrities. After years of relying on its self-erasing format that automatically removes old content, 4chan has now instituted a formal policy for people to request removal of copyrighted content. [More]

Appeals Court Won’t Hear Aereo’s “We’re A Cable Company” Argument

Appeals Court Won’t Hear Aereo’s “We’re A Cable Company” Argument

Following its crushing defeat before the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this summer, streaming video startup Aereo tried to stay alive by arguing that since the court said it was acting like a cable company, it should then be considered a cable company. Alas, a federal appeals court has decided not to hear this debate, possibly hammering the final nail into Aereo’s coffin. [More]

U.S. Copyright Office Agrees: Monkey Self-Portraits Are Public Domain

U.S. Copyright Office Agrees: Monkey Self-Portraits Are Public Domain

In news that will disappoint monkey photographers nationwide, a draft report from the U.S. Copyright Office seems to make the regulators’ opinion pretty clear on the question of who holds the copyright for a photo — or any work — created by an animal. [More]

Wikimedia: Camera-Owner Doesn’t Hold Copyright To Monkey Selfie

The image uploaded to Wikimedia Commons was taken by a macaque monkey who had briefly snatched away a professional photographer's camera.

If I take a photo with your camera, who holds the rights to the image? After all, I’m the photographer; you just happened to own the camera. What if I’m a non-human animal who can’t hold copyright — does that automatically mean the copyright defaults to the camera’s owner? Not according to Wikimedia, the organization behind Wikipedia. [More]

Can Dateline NBC Just Run Your YouTube Clip Without Permission?

Can Dateline NBC Just Run Your YouTube Clip Without Permission?

Dateline NBC (aka “The Murder Show”) recently aired an episode about a California farm manager who was killed by an explosive device that used a spring-loaded rat trap as part of its triggering system. Thus, the show featured numerous YouTube clips of rat traps doing all sorts of awesome and violent things (no actual killing of rodents, thankfully) — some of which turned up in the browsing history on one of the suspect’s home computers — but Dateline didn’t identify the creator of those videos. [More]

Copyright Office Disagrees With Aereo That Aereo Is A Cable Company Now

Copyright Office Disagrees With Aereo That Aereo Is A Cable Company Now

Streaming video service Aereo’s last-ditch bid to stay in business hit another wall this week, as the U.S. Copyright Office has denied their request to be licensed in the same way as a cable company — at least, for the time being. [More]

Can Anything Be Done To Make Aereo Legal Again?

Can Anything Be Done To Make Aereo Legal Again?

Content streaming company Aereo “paused” all operations this past Saturday, after losing their case in the Supreme Court last week. Today, the company’s CEO, Chet Kanojia, sent an e-mail to subscribers asking for their support and entreating them to “make [their] voices heard” with lawmakers in order to bring Aereo back. But he didn’t say what, specifically, loyal customers should ask their lawmakers to do. So in the wake of last week’s ruling, what law would have to change in order to make Aereo legal? [More]

Private Internet Copyright Cop Company Makes Profit From Every “Settlement”

Private Internet Copyright Cop Company Makes Profit From Every “Settlement”

It’s been about 15 years since the heyday of the Napster era made copyright violations and internet piracy the big bugaboo of content publishing industries. For a while, organizations like the RIAA tried suing violators, but nobody benefited from headline-making million-dollar fines. Then the major ISPs all jumped on board with a “six strikes” system to send warnings to suspected violators, but apparently for some content rights owners that’s still not enough. So what is the industry trying now? A private, for-profit digital copyright cop shop. Because that couldn’t possibly backfire in any way. [More]

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You Can Make Your Own Aereo At Home, But Is It Worth It?

While cord-cutters around the country wait impatiently for the Supreme Court to make up its mind about the legality of Aereo — the subscription service that collects local over-the-air broadcast TV feeds and streams them to paying users over the Internet — we’ve been looking into what it would take to replicate something close to Aereo that couldn’t be shut down by SCOTUS. [More]

Aereo Supreme Court Case Could Change TV & Cloud-Based Tech Forever, Regardless Of Who Wins

(Ben Balter)

Many big court cases involve one side arguing to maintain the status quo while the other contends that the current situation needs revising. But tomorrow, the broadcast TV networks face off against startup streaming video service Aereo in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that could have far-reaching implications no matter which side is victorious. [More]

What The Heck Is The Trans-Pacific Partnership & Why Should I Be Concerned?

(Philip Cloutier)

It’s 2014, and we’re living in an increasingly globalized economy. International trade has been ramping up for centuries, and a carefully-plotted web of agreements keeps goods, services, and money moving around the world. The U.S. is already a part of many such agreements and organizations —  NATO and NAFTA might sound familiar — but a new international trade agreement, under negotiation right now, has a lot of watchers very worried about potential consequences for everything from healthcare to copyright law in the United States. [More]

Sick Of Fighting Photo Thieves, Getty Makes Images Available For Free Embed

Sick Of Fighting Photo Thieves, Getty Makes Images Available For Free Embed


Every day, at just about every event that could be of interest to the national and international media, there is at least one Getty photographer, snapping away, all the while knowing that countless websites, Facebook posts, Tweets, and Tumblr posts will probably soon be sharing some of these pics without paying or providing any credit. But after years of trying to combat photo thieves, the mammoth photo agency realizes there is no use fighting the trend. [More]

Aldus Huxley's Brave New World entered the public domain in Canada yesterday, but not in the U.S., where it will remain protected for another 20 years.

Celebrate Public Domain Day… By Realizing That Not A Single Published Work Will Become Public Domain Until 2019

As happens every January, various pieces of literature, scholarship, film, music, plays, and other copyrighted works of art enter into the public domain, meaning the public has the right to publish, perform, use, and display these works without seeking permission. That is, except in the U.S., where not a single published work will be joining the public domain until 2019. [More]

Porn Troll Lawyers Hit With Legal Fees For Bullying Defendant

Porn Troll Lawyers Hit With Legal Fees For Bullying Defendant

Back in 2012, John Steele of Prenda Law — a firm that specializes in threatening to sue alleged porn file-sharers in order to force a settlement — was publicly bragging about his success, referring to himself in an interview as “the original copyright troll.” Recently, things haven’t gone so well, due in no small part to a disastrous attempt to sue Comcast and AT&T for phony claims of “hacking” one of their client’s websites. [More]

YouTube Copyright Bots Finally Tick Off Someone Who Understands Copyright Law

YouTube Copyright Bots Finally Tick Off Someone Who Understands Copyright Law

Harvard law professor and Creative Commons co-founder Lawrence Lessig knows a thing or two about copyright law. So when a record company demanded that he remove a video from YouTube that featured one of their artists’ songs, he not only fought back to keep the clip online, but has now sued that record company in the hopes of getting it, and others, to stop using auto-scanning technology to take advantage of consumers who may not know their rights. [More]

Comcast Letter Indicates Porn Troll Lawyers Planted Material On Pirate Bay

Comcast Letter Indicates Porn Troll Lawyers Planted Material On Pirate Bay

Not even a year ago, lawyer John Steele was touting himself as the “original copyright troll,” talking up his efforts to fight online porn pirates. Now his law firm is on the other end of legal boot, accused of planting copyrighted content online with the sole purpose of tracking — and threatening to sue — the people who shared those files. [More]