The "Social Media Addendum" for this Orlando-area apartment complex not only fines tenants $10,000 for negative online reviews, but transfers the copyright of anything you write or any images you publish about the property or its management.

Apartment Complex Claims Copyright On All Tenants’ Reviews & Photos Of Property

When you move into an apartment building you may face all sorts of rules about noise, public areas, trash collection, and paint colors, but one Florida management company tried to go the extra mile by including a “social media addendum” telling tenants that not only will they be hit with a $10,000 fine for griping about their living situation on any social media platform, but that the apartment owners automatically hold the copyright for anything tenants write about — and any photos they take of — the place. [More]


Dentist Who Claimed Copyright Over Patient’s Yelp Review Must Pay $4,766 In Damages

Way back in 2011, we told you about a dental patient who said his dentist had gone too far with a “privacy agreement” that preempted patients from publicly complaining about the doctor and claimed copyright on patients’ reviews. After nearly four years of legal wrangling, the dentist has finally been ordered to pay the patient nearly $5,000 in damages, though he may never get it. [More]

For the record, this is what Craig Brittain looked like in 2013 when he sat down to speak with KCAL-TV about his site.

Revenge Porn Site Operator Tells Google To Remove His Personal Info. Seriously.

For several years, Craig Brittain operated a so-called “revenge porn” website that not only allowed users to publicly post revealing photos and personal information about people (mostly women) without their permission, but actively encouraged it. The site has since been shut down and Brittain recently settled with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations of fraud. But now the man who made money off the sharing of strangers’ images doesn’t want the world to know what he looks like. [More]

Ridiculous Copyright Claim Seeks Takedown Of Skype, Java, Whatsapp, Dropbox & 91 Others

The Google Transparency Report shows the sheer volume of DMCA requests made by Total Wipes in just the last few months.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows content companies to ask Google and others to remove sites from search results because they contain material that infringes on their copyright. But one music company has been on a tear recently, sending DMCA notices claiming that everything from news stories about file-sharing to the generic “downloads” pages of some of the Internet’s biggest sites are violating its copyright. [More]

(Kate Sherrill)

Lawmakers Try Again To Make It Easier To Resell High-Tech Goods

Why did it take an act of Congress to make it so we could legally unlock our cellphones and take them to other carriers? Because while you might own your smartphone, you don’t actually own the software that runs it — you merely license it. There are already manufacturers that use essential, proprietary software to prevent device “owners” from freely reselling certain products, and these restrictions are only going to spread as consumers use more web-connected goods. In response, some members of Congress have introduced legislation aimed at stripping these copyright-based barriers to resale. [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]

Copyright Troll Lawyer Doesn’t Seem To Understand Copyright Law

The lawyer's DMCA takedown letter included these screengrabs that he alleges infringe on his copyright.

If someone publishes copyrighted content online without permission, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides a process for requesting that content’s removal. But a lawyer who apparently doesn’t like being the subject of negative articles — and who either doesn’t understand the DMCA or is hoping that others don’t — is trying to use the law to have critical comments removed from websites. [More]

This Weekend, You Can Once Again Unlock Your Own Cellphone Without Committing A Crime

This Weekend, You Can Once Again Unlock Your Own Cellphone Without Committing A Crime

A week after the full Congress agreed to pass legislation making it once again legal to unlock a cellphone you own without the permission of your current wireless carrier, President Obama is signing it into law. [More]

Congress Finally Passes Bill To Re-Legalize Cellphone Unlocking


Nearly two years after the Librarian of Congress decided to make it illegal for consumers to unlock cellphones and take them to a new carrier without getting permission from their current wireless provider, the U.S. Congress has finally signed off on legislation that will restore that right to Americans. [More]

Senate Committee Approves Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

Senate Committee Approves Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

The world has moved forward one small but important step in the path toward once again making it legal for consumers to unlock their cellphones without permission from their current wireless carrier, after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation that would restore that right to Americans. [More]

Senate To Finally Consider Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

Senate To Finally Consider Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

Four months after the House of Representatives passed a bill that would override the Librarian of Congress’s industry-backed decision to make it illegal for consumers to unlock cellphones and take them to other carriers, members of the U.S. Senate will finally get around to considering a similar piece of legislation, giving some hope that the bill might pass in our lifetime. [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]


House Passes Bill To Re-Legalize Cellphone Unlocking

A legislative effort to once again make it legal for consumers to unlock their cellphones without seeking their carriers’ permission is a step closer to reality after being passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. [More]


Wireless Companies Adopt Voluntary Unlocking Standards. Are They The Right Ones?

A month after new FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler asked the wireless industry to stop futzing around and agree to some consumer-friendly standards for unlocking wireless devices, the wireless biggies get around to revealing what they believe are guidelines that are the best for everyone. [More]

FCC Chair Asks Wireless Industry To Make Cellphone Unlocking Easier For Consumers


A year ago, the Librarian of Congress — who has the authority to interpret the fine points of the much-derided Digital Millennium Copyright Act, inexplicably reversed his previous rulings regarding the rights of consumers to unlock wireless devices by making it illegal for people to unlock new phones and tablets without permission from their wireless provider. That change went into effect in January, and since then, everyone from consumers to lawmakers to the White House have declared it a huge mistake that needs to be rethought. Today, new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urged the wireless industry to put voluntary standards in place that would at least make it easier for consumers to know when they can unlock their devices. [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]


Commerce Dept. Asks FCC To Require Wireless Companies To Unlock Cellphones

A year ago, the Librarian of Congress decided that consumers no longer own their cellphones, and that they can not legally unlock that phone to take to another, compatible wireless carrier, without the permission of their current service provider. Because this is idiotic, everyone from consumer advocates to the FCC to members of Congress to the White House has called for this rule change to be reversed. Now another important governmental group has piped in, calling for a rule change that could undo some of the damage done. [More]


There’s Hope For Cellphone Unlocking Bill

Back in January, unlocking your new cellphone or other wireless device without your current wireless provider’s permission became illegal, even if you own the device outright, thanks to a wildly off-the-mark interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by the Librarian of Congress. Since then, the FCC, White House and consumer groups have stated that the LOC overstepped his authority and made a decision balanced far in favor of wireless providers. But the only way this rule will change is if Congress acts. [More]