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…
ACTA—the misleadingly named “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement”—is the worldwide copyright treaty that’s being negotiated behind closed doors, and that will create a sort of global DMCA if continues in its current state. Now Wikileaks has posted a draft of the treaty, and Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow gives his take:
The MPAA’s “University Toolkit,” a controversial suite of programs designed to help colleges monitor their networks for copyright infringement has been taken down for copyright infringement. Life is mysterious and magical, isn’t it? [BoingBoing]
UPDATE: Walmart Wins Because We Fumbled
Hey, we’re all for Circuit City flouting the DMCA. It’s a bogus law, as anti-consumer as they come. So we were a bit disappointed when Bill Cimino, director of corporate communications, clarified that the sign wasn’t the opening jab in a legal title fight between Circuit City and the RIAA/MPAA, but was instead a disconnect between the wishes of corporate and that particular Circuit City’s store manager.