Talking About AT&T’s Internet Filtering on AT&T’s The Hugh Thompson Show [Boing Boing Gadgets]
Well, this seems misguided. A group of people who are members of the “Black Mustang Club” wanted to take some pictures of their cars and make a calendar using CafePress. Turns out, CafePress refuses to publish pictures of Ford cars due to claims of copyright infringement:
Procter & Gamble has filed a lawsuit against a California company, claiming that it stole the design for their Herbal Essences shampoo bottle molds.
The RIAA wants you to know that everyone loses with pirated products, so they’ve put together a fake news story and sent it out to TV stations around the country—maybe it will show up on your cash-strapped local news over the next few days, if you’re lucky. We’re torn, though, on posting this because it’s being leaked (promoted?) heavily by the video news release (VNR) company that produced it—we want you to scoff at it with us, but keep your bullshit “stealth marketing” sensors up.
Remember Sony’s cringe-inducing copy protection scheme a couple of years ago, where they secretly installed rootkits on millions of customers’ PCs and then pretended it was no big deal? (“Most people, I think, don’t even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?” — Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG’s President of Global Digital Business.) There’s a new article (PDF) about to be published in the Berkely Technology Law Journal called “The Magnificence of the Disaster: Reconstructiong the Sony BMG Rootkit Incident.” It’s a very detailed and entertaining read that examines the conditions that led Sony BMG “toward a strategy that in retrospect appears obviously and fundamentally misguided.”
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, a Brooklyn judge made a defendant in an RIAA lawsuit very happy when he ordered the RIAA to document the actual expenses incurred per downloaded song.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling takes a dim view of independently authored reference books, it seems. She’s joined a lawsuit to stop the publication of a fan-written reference book based on a website that she herself admitted to using while fact checking her writing.
Ars Technica is reporting that there is a provision in a massive new education bill that would punish schools that don’t police p2p traffic on their networks by cutting federal financial aid. In addition, the bill requires that schools offer an industry approved alternative to file sharing, such as Napster or Rhapsody.
Apparently, T-Mobile has trademarked the color magenta and has even sued one other company over their use of the color in an advertisement. Um, what? In other news, we’re looking into trademarking kitty cats and science. [ColourLovers]
Google’s motion to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by American Airlines has been rejected. American Airlines claims competitor’s advertising is being “triggered” by their trademarked search terms, such as “AAdvantage.” [ComputerWorld]
TorrentFreak has posted an interview with a 9 year-old girl who uses LimeWire.
Media companies including CBS Corp., Microsoft Corp., News Corp.’s Fox and MySpace, Viacom, Walt Disney and NBC have all agreed to some über-pact of copyright “guidelines” to protect their work, and have said they will announce the details later today. “The agreed principles include using technology to eliminate copyright-infringing content uploaded by users to Web sites and blocking any material before it is publicly accessible.” [Reuters]
A group of Congressmen used Simpsons characters without permission in a weird press release that involves Mr. Burns, Mayor Joe Quimby, some anti-MoveOn swipes and a little incest humor. Fox has said they did not authorize the usage and that the characters “may not be used in this manner,” but TechDirt wonders whether the network will sue? (We’re thinking no.) [TechDirt]
According to a Slate columnist, not only is it legal, but it’s ethical and fun. (Fun?) “I did just throw down more than $400 for this little toy,” he writes. “I’m no property-rights freak, but that iPhone is now my personal property, and that ought to stand for something.”
The Harvard Crimson ran a story last week about a student who was asked to leave the premises for writing down the prices of six textbooks at the Coop, Harvard’s bookstore of record. The bookstore’s president says that there’s no official policy against students writing down information, but “we discourage people who are taking down a lot of notes.” But what’s more surprising, he tells the Crimson that the textbooks’ ISBNs—which can be used to look up the same books online—are “the Coop’s intellectual property.”
Officials might consider counterfeit Chinese “translations” of copyrighted work illegal, but we like to think of them as the marketplace’s version of outsider art; it’s like fanfic and Lulu.com got together and opened up a bookstore in Shanghai. The New York Times teases its readers with awesome excerpts from a handful of recent Harry Potter knockoffs, with titles far better than the real ones:
Harry Potter and the Chinese Porcelain Doll
Harry Potter and the Leopard-Walk-Up-to-Dragon
Harry Potter and the Chinese Overseas Students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry