Federal Court Rules: Chicken Sandwich Not Protected By Copyright

Federal Court Rules: Chicken Sandwich Not Protected By Copyright

You may recall that we recently tested various burger recipes sent in by readers. What if I took one of those recipes, slapped the name “Morranwich” on it and made it the basis of a billion-dollar burger empire? While the reader whose recipe I used for the sandwich might be really upset, they couldn’t make a copyright claim against Morranwich Worldwide (a division of Cyber Dynamics Systems Corporation) because, as precious as a sandwich recipe might be, it’s not copyrightable. [More]

Why The Stolen Ashley Madison Data Is (Legally) Fair Game For The Internet

Why The Stolen Ashley Madison Data Is (Legally) Fair Game For The Internet


If your credit card information gets stolen in a data breach, there are certain rules in place that limit your liability and protect you from fraud. But if a hack makes personal, potentially very embarrassing, information public — as in, say, the Ashley Madison hack — there’s not much anyone can do to stop others from seeing or writing about it. [More]

Just like he didn't invent the concept of a lovable, sporadically violent manchild, Adam Sandler is not the first to use the term "Pixels" to describe a video.

UPDATED: Columbia Pictures Firm Demands Takedown Of Videos With Word “Pixels” In Title

Believe it or not, the term “pixels,” was not created solely for use as the title of an underwhelming Adam Sandler movie. But don’t tell that to the copyright enforcement firm hired by Columbia Pictures who stupidly — and perhaps illegally — demanded the removal of several videos only because they dared to use “pixels” in the title. [More]

(jpmarth)

Noted Porn Copyright Troll Asks Court To Block Use Of Terms Like “Porn” & “Copyright Troll”

We’ve told you before about Malibu Media, the porn company that has filed more than 3,500 lawsuits against alleged illegal online sharers of its adult content, thus earning its “copyright troll” badge with ease. But the company doesn’t want that term being used against it in court. [More]

City Sues Resident Who Used City Council Footage In YouTube Videos

City Sues Resident Who Used City Council Footage In YouTube Videos

Section 107 of the Copyright Act permits “fair use” of copyrighted materials “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching…, scholarship, or research.” But the leaders of one California city don’t think this applies to critical videos made using footage from its city council meetings. [More]

(frankieleon)

Trade Dispute About Dental Devices Could End Up Changing The Future Of The Entire Internet

The entire future of the internet may now depend on some plastic retainers. Specifically, two competing versions of those clear plastic alignment systems adults sometimes get instead of braces. And if that sounds weird — which to be fair, it really is — well, welcome to the strange, utterly pervasive world of IP law in a digital century. [More]

Filmmakers Claim To Have Conclusive Proof Against “Happy Birthday” Copyright Claim

Filmmakers Claim To Have Conclusive Proof Against “Happy Birthday” Copyright Claim

“Happy Birthday” (aka “Happy Birthday To You”) may be sung millions of times a day at birthday bashes around the world, but putting it in a movie or recording a version of the brief ditty will set you back some money for royalties to Warner Music Group, which has long claimed to hold the copyright for the song. But a recently filed court document claims that there is conclusive proof that the song belongs in the public domain. [More]

Yes, Your Plagiarized Twitter Joke Can Be Deleted On Copyright Grounds

Yes, Your Plagiarized Twitter Joke Can Be Deleted On Copyright Grounds

Sometimes reading through Twitter feeds can be like hanging out with that guy in the office who is constantly cracking other folks’ jokes and acting as if he’d dreamt them up on the spot. The big difference is that the office hack won’t have his wisecracks muted for violating the writer’s copyright. [More]

Universal either has the stupidest copyright bot on the planet or it genuinely doesn't want people going to the one website on Earth everyone goes to for basic information about movies.

Universal Studios Copyright Bot Stupidly Asks Google To Delist IMDb Page For “Furious 7”

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it’s against the law to knowingly misrepresent a copyright infringement claim, and yet copyright holders and the automated bots they use to spit out these takedown and delist demands continue to make sweeping, obviously inaccurate claims without penalty. The latest example comes to us courtesy of Comcast-owned Universal Studios. [More]

Cox Customers Convince Court To Remove Them From Piracy Lawsuit

Cox Customers Convince Court To Remove Them From Piracy Lawsuit

We recently told you about a number of Cox broadband subscribers who were caught up in a piracy lawsuit filed against the cable company by music publishing giant BMG Rights Management. These customers said their personal information should not be involved in this legal dispute because they had nothing to do with the alleged content theft. Last week, the judge in the case sided with some Cox subscribers while saying that others hadn’t done enough to separate themselves from the dispute. [More]

8 Years Later, Universal Music Still Defending Takedown Of “Dancing Baby” YouTube Video

8 Years Later, Universal Music Still Defending Takedown Of “Dancing Baby” YouTube Video

Back in February 2007, a mother of a young boy posted a short, grainy video of her baby “dancing” around the kitchen while a Prince song plays, barely audibly, in the background. In the eight years since, the video has received nearly 1.3 million views on YouTube — not because it’s a particularly interesting clip, but due to its role in a copyright lawsuit that won’t go away. [More]

Artist Accuses Starbucks Of Copyright Infringement For Using Her Work

Artist Accuses Starbucks Of Copyright Infringement For Using Her Work

You may have noticed Starbucks’ new brightly colorful ads touting the deliciousness that is the frappuccino. While the new promotions are definitely easy on the eyes, a Brooklyn artist is calling foul, saying the company ripped off her work. [More]

Innocent Cox Customers Fighting To Prevent Personal Info From Being Turned Over In Piracy Lawsuit

Innocent Cox Customers Fighting To Prevent Personal Info From Being Turned Over In Piracy Lawsuit

Imagine you get a letter from your Internet service provider giving you some odd news: You’re not being accused of piracy, but there’s a court order demanding that the ISP hand over your information to a copyright holder who thinks you might be a pirate. That’s the case for several Cox customers who have been caught up in a lawsuit between the cable company and a mammoth music publisher. [More]

This is probably the face the user made when he realized he was being asked to pay $20 for pirating a single Friends episode that's probably airing on a half-dozen stations this week.

Pirate A 20-Year-Old Friends Episode, Get Hit With A $20 Bill From Warner Bros.

A quick search on our TV menu here in the Consumerist Cave finds that there are more than 150 episodes of Friends set to air on various channels — both cable and broadcast — over the next couple of weeks. Not bad for a show that’s been off the air for over a decade and which is also streaming in its entirety on Netflix. Given this ready availability, we don’t know why one would download a pirated copy of a Friends episode, but if you do, prepare to be slapped with a bill for $20 from Warner Bros. [More]

GM: That Car You Bought? We’re Really The Ones Who Own It.

GM: That Car You Bought? We’re Really The Ones Who Own It.

Congratulations! You just bought a new Chevy, GMC, or Cadillac. You really like driving it. And it’s purchased, not leased, and all paid off with no liens, so it’s all yours… isn’t it? Well, no, actually: according to GM, it’s still theirs. You just have a license to use it. [More]

The MPAA's website for its research grant program makes no mention that research papers must be in line with the group's stance on copyright and piracy, but a leaked e-mail from the MPAA General Counsel tells a different story.

MPAA Will Pay You $20,000 For Your Pro-Copyright Research

Are you a college-affiliated academic who could use an extra $20,000? Do you have strong feelings in favor of copyright protections? Then the Motion Picture Association of America has a deal for you! [More]

A screengrab from the lawsuit filed yesterday against boxinghd.net and sportship.org.

HBO & Showtime File Lawsuit To Block Live Streams Of Pacquiao Vs. Mayweather Fight

In case you hadn’t fallen victim to the pummeling from ads, news stories, and seemingly countless documentaries that have aired in recent weeks, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are set to square off in a Las Vegas boxing ring this weekend in a bout co-produced by Showtime and HBO. The fight won’t actually be airing live on either network; you’ll have to pony up $100 to watch it on pay-per-view. That’s why the two premium networks, along with the fight’s promoters, have filed suit to preemptively block websites from live-streaming the event. [More]

Katy Perry’s Attempt To Claim A Trademark On “Left Shark” Design Fails Like A Left Shark

Katy Perry’s Attempt To Claim A Trademark On “Left Shark” Design Fails Like A Left Shark

The “Left Shark” phenomenon that overtook the world after Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show has long since exited the cultural dialog, and yet the battle rages on over whether or not the pop star can claim a trademark on the uncoordinated, anthropomorphic fish. [More]