Earlier this year, an ill-advised ruling by the Librarian of Congress made it illegal for cellphone owners to unlock their new wireless devices — thus allowing the phones to be used on compatible networks — without permission from their current carriers. Recently exited FCC Chair Julius Genachowski had expressed concerns over this new rule, but he’s gone back to the private sector. Luckily, his apparent successor also wants consumers to be able to do what they want with the devices they buy. [More]
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, movie and TV studios can send requests to Google and other search engines requesting the removal of links to illegally shared content to which it holds the copyright. But some studios have apparently been asking Google to remove links to a movie for which none of these studios holds the copyright, and which just happens to be about file-sharing mega-site The Pirate Bay. [More]
As many of you know, the Librarian of Congress, who has the authority to interpret (and reinterpret) the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, recently heeded the siren song of the wireless industry and decided that after the DMCA no longer allowed consumers to unlock their cellphones — i.e., unleash them from their current provider to be used on a competing but compatible network — without getting permission from that current provider. It’s move the public doesn’t like. Neither does the White House, the FCC, or members of Congress, but what’s being done to remedy the issue? [More]
When you purchase a digital download, do you actually own it? Some say yes, others say you’re just licensing its use from the copyright holder. This argument is only going to get more heated with news that both Apple and Amazon are looking into how to go about re-selling “used” digital content. [More]
Just days after both the White House and the Federal Communications Commission expressed concerns about the Librarian of Congress’ decision to make it illegal for consumers to unlock their own cellphones, a U.S. Representative from California says she intends to introduce legislate to right this wrong. [More]
Back in January, a new rule changed kicked in that makes it illegal for a consumer to unlock a cellphone purchased after Jan. 25, 2013, without getting the permission of their wireless carrier. Now the Federal Communications Commission is going to look into the matter, but isn’t sure if it can actually do anything. [More]
For years, you have been able to just unlock your cellphones and take them from your old carrier to one with a compatible network. But starting this weekend, anyone who unlocks a new phone without getting the permission of their current wireless carrier will be violating the law. [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]
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]
One of the big selling points about the Nook, the new ebook reader introduced this week by Barnes & Noble, is that unlike Amazon they’ll let you virtually “loan” your ebook to a friend for up to 14 days (if the publisher allows it). What they don’t tell you–some smart readers over at MobileRead sussed it out–is that you can only do this one time per book. You’d better lend wisely–and your friend had better finish that book within 14 days.
Fashion advertising has a long tradition of lying, but this comically stupid Ralph Lauren ad seems to have confused the human anatomy with a box of Pocky. Unfortunately, Ralph Lauren doesn’t want to be mocked for its own advertising, so it started sending out DMCA takedown notices to blogs who have posted the ad—both Boingboing and Photoshop Disasters have been ratted out to their ISPs. Blogspot took down the pic from Photoshop Disasters while it investigates, but Boingboing has posted it a second time.
Apple is doing everything it can to sway the Copyright Office, which is in charge of periodically handing out DMCA exemptions, to keep iPhone jailbreaking illegal. We always thought Apple was against any exemption because of their exclusivity deal with AT&T. But no, it turns out they’ve been trying to protect us all from a Die Hard attack on the nation’s communications infrastructure.
Update: It turns out the special chips used in the headphone controls of the third generation Shuffle don’t contain any DRM after all, so any attempts at reverse-engineering won’t bring on the wrath of the DMCA.
[it] would have the right to claim statutory damages of up to $2,500 “per act of circumvention.” People who jailbreak phones, might even be subject to criminal penalties of as long as five years, if they circumvented copyright for a financial gain.
When we read stories like Tanya Andersen’s and consider the countless others who have been wrongfully targeted by trade groups like the RIAA, it becomes evident that the system by which DMCA takedown notices are issued is very far from perfect. For the uninitiated, DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notices are official statements which assert that an artist’s or company’s intellectual rights have been violated (i.e. copyright infringement) and often threaten legal action against an individual. In a study conducted by the University of Washington, researchers proved that this system is seriously flawed, according to the New York Times. In one experiment, the team received takedown notices from the MPAA which accused 3 laserjet printers of downloading the latest Indiana Jones movie and Iron Man. More, inside…