A federal judge yesterday bench slapped the Recording Industry of America, calling a jury’s $675,000 verdict against file sharer Joel Tenenbaum both eye-popping and unconstitutional. The judge struck a strikingly populist tone in reducing the verdict to $67,500, arguing that the same legal reasoning that protects large corporations from excessive punitive damages also protects “ordinary people” like Tenenbaum. [More]
Remember Jammie Thomas-Rasset? She was accused of sharing 24 songs on Kazaa in 2006. Two trials and four years later, the case still isn’t over. They’re now trying to avoid a third trial. [More]
If you’re one of the 5,000 “John or Jane Does” accused of illegally downloading copies of The Hurt Locker, and your ISP is Time Warner Cable, you may be safely airlifted out of the battle zone. According to the law firm representing Hurt Locker producer Voltage Pictures, TWC is “a good ISP for copyright infringers” because it won’t hand over the names of its customers as quickly as the lawyers would like. [More]
Nicolas Chartier, the movie producer who was banned from the Oscars for sending nastygrams about Avatar, and more recently, told a critic, “you’re a moron who believes stealing is right. I hope your family and your kids end up in jail,” is nothing if not consistent. Chartier has made good on his earlier threat to sue people who downloaded copies of The Hurt Locker, by filing a suit against 5,000 anonymous downloaders in Washington, D.C. [More]
Last week Constantin Films got YouTube to pull almost all the Angry Hitler parody clips by using the website’s Content ID tracking system. The process is automatic, and YouTube immediately takes down a video once it’s been tagged. However, that also means you can use this system in reverse to get your clips back up, at least for as long as you’re in dispute with the copyright holder. Whether you do this or not will depend on how willing you are to risk a potential lawsuit later on. [More]
It’s a showdown of new media and sorta-old media as YouTube defends itself against Viacom in the TV leviathan’s billion-dollar copyright infringement lawsuit against the site that showed the world that cats can indeed play the piano. [More]
Update: Meghan and Hot Topic have settled this situation. Fans of the adorable webcomic Kawaii Not were surprised to discover buttons made from comic panels for sale at Hot Topic. The problem? The artist sort of didn’t license the designs to Hot Topic, and they are copyrighted. Artist Meghan Murphy does sell her own buttons…and these aren’t those. [More]
The folks at Google are a busy bunch — in the same day that they made your Gmail contact list a public matter with their Facebook wannabe Google Buzz, they pulled the plug without warning on a handful of popular music blogs in their blogger.com network for alleged violations of that holiest of Internet grails, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. [More]
Phillip K. Dick wrote a book called “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,” which is too long to put in the title of this post, but was adapted into the film Blade Runner (which is awesome.) In this book, the android model in question is called the “Nexus-6.” Google’s phone, which runs an operating system called “Android” is called the “Nexus One.” This has pissed off Phillip K. Dick’s daughter. [More]
After the death of a relative, Mike put together a photo tribute for the funeral, in order to “remember the good times,” he says. Only a Walmart cashier put a stop to his purchase. Here’s what happened. Do you think Walmart was in the right?
Coshocton, OH has its free muni WiFi back up, less than a week after it was shut down by MPAA actions over a single illegal movie download.
The MPAA forced the town Coshocton, OH to shut down their entire free municipal WiFi network because of a single instance of a single user illegally downloading a copyrighted movie. Here are some of the many other things the town used to use the network for:
It’s a natural impulse to want to support the little guy, the David who faces down a powerful Goliath. That’s why it’s easy to get behind this guy’s claims that a copycat business is suing him to force him to abandon his own copyrights. Wtf!, you might say when you read something like that. Is that even possible? It is, and the story is more nuanced when you look at both sides, which makes it a good example of why it’s sometimes hard to be a “good consumer” when deciding where to spend your money.
Since last year, a small company called Psystar has been selling Mac clones that, in some cases, are more powerful than Apple’s own computers in the same price range. Now, the company has hit on another way to spread the OS X love: It will begin licensing its software to other companies that want to build and sell ersatz Macs. There are just a couple of problems that potential buyers might want to be aware of: Apple hasn’t given Psystar permission to do this, and is in the process of suing the company for copyright infringement. Oh, and Psystar is also in Chapter 11.
A Boston jury yesterday ruled that file sharer Joel Tenenbaum would have to pay the Recording Industry of America $675,000 for sharing 30 copyrighted songs. The hefty award was all the more surprising because Tenenbaum was represented by a crack team of legal eagles from Harvard’s law school. The trial didn’t unfold nearly the way they planned…
The ebook “war” is a race to the bottom, apparently, with Barnes & Noble trying to out-do Amazon on DRM stupidity. A reader emailed B&N customer service to point out that their “free books” offer consists of 5 public domain titles that are no longer protected under copyright, yet are still locked down with digital rights management (DRM). Their response? “For copyright protection purposes, these files are encrypted and cannot be converted or printed.”