Regardless of your political leanings, you’ve probably heard this week that a number of prominent bands were unhappy to find out their music had been used without their permission at the Republican National Convention. However much these artists may not like having their famous tunes used for political purposes, they may not be able to do much about it. [More]
Let’s be honest here: we probably mostly have a mental picture of the kind of entity that gets accused of software piracy, and that picture is probably someone in their late teens or early twenties. What it doesn’t look like in probably anyone’s head is “like a division of the U.S. military.” And yet that’s exactly who — or what — is being sued for copyright infringement on a massive scale.
People, by and large, will do the thing that’s easiest and most convenient to do. In 1999, the easiest way to get digital music was to log onto Napster and leave it running overnight, and so an era of widely-distributed internet piracy was born. These days, it’s pretty easy to access legal digital goods, so more people do that — but piracy still lurks around the edge. So how to quash it?
A lot of musicians find out after the fact that one of their songs is being used, without permission, by a politician at rallies and other events, but many of those artists don’t go so far as to actually sue the candidate. However, recently released election records show that the campaign for former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has agreed to pay $25,000 to settle a lawsuit over its use of Survivor’s 1982 fist-pumper “Eye of the Tiger.” [More]
While the makers of the crowdfunded Star Trek fan fiction film Axanar had once hoped to reach a settlement with Paramount and CBS over a lawsuit accusing the filmmakers of copyright infringement, the much discussed lawsuit will live to see another day, as the two companies told a California federal judge this week that their action remains pending. [More]
Streaming video platforms like Vimeo and YouTube host many more user-uploaded clips than could possibly ever be viewed and vetted for potential piracy by actual human beings, and federal law generally shields websites from liability of piracy they aren’t aware of. Yet, do these companies lose that protection if some employees have looked at content that was posted in violation of copyright? [More]
As anyone who watches The Walking Dead knows, the most recent run of the lighthearted AMC romantic comedy ended abruptly with a poorly orchestrated cliffhanger. Since then, fans of the show have been theorizing about which character met his/her untimely end. Now, AMC is using a barbwire-wrapped cease-and-desist copyright demand to prevent one popular spoiler group from revealing that the newly deceased character was… [More]
We all have photos where we don’t look our best (for some of us, that would be most photos), but we can’t go around claiming we own the copyright to photos just because we don’t like the way we look. Guns n Roses singer Axl Rose is learning this lesson, along with a little something about the Streisand Effect, with his failed attempt to scrub the internet of the so-called “fat Axl” pics. [More]
Copyright law — specifically, the 1998 addition known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — is everywhere. It’s applied to everything, because everything is software-driven, and it’s frankly starting to get more than a little awkward. That’s okay; laws age. So it’s time for an update, right? Except naturally, some of the changes being mulled over right now could be terrible for everyone who isn’t a giant corporation, because of course.
Competition is great: when there are more options for something, consumers usually come out ahead. That applies to entertainment theme parks as much as to anything else: if there are more places to go, crowds will be mitigated, prices will be competitive, and amenities will probably improve. But “competing” doesn’t actually mean “duplicating the other guy’s stuff and displaying it at my place instead.” At least, it’s not supposed to.
Most of us are perfectly happy with going to YouTube and streaming that clip of Pookie being exhorted — in language that is not safe for work — to lay waste to his place of work, but some folks may want to watch this video offline, or do some tinkering with the clip. Some YouTube videos are available for download, but most are not, which is why people turn to services that allow you to get your own copy of a streaming video. YouTube, not surprisingly, is not a fan of such services and is dangling the threat of legal action against at least one. [More]
Seven years ago, a YouTube user uploaded footage of a well-known glitch in the classic basketball video game Double Dribble. More recently, an episode of Fox’s Family Guy used what appears to be this exact same clip. Then the network had the original video temporarily removed from YouTube, claiming it was a copyright violation. [More]
While there has been much discussion about Paramount’s copyright claim on the Klingon language, the judge in the studio’s lawsuit against the makers of a Star Trek fan fiction movie has chosen to not opine on that particular dispute while giving the go-ahead for Paramount’s larger copyright complaint to move forward. [More]
As you may have heard, a little cable show called Game of Thrones is back on TV, meaning it’s once again time for hordes of people to go online in search of free, pirated episodes. While HBO has previously turned a blind-ish eye to this unauthorized sharing, the network is beginning to ramp up its anti-piracy efforts. [More]
As we reported earlier this month, Paramount Pictures is trying to block a crowdfunded Star Trek fan film based, in part, on the studio’s claim that it actually owns the copyright on the Klingon language. Now the Language Creation Society has chimed in on the case, making the argument that Paramount can’t claim ownership on a fictional language. [More]
While you can copyright scripts, novels, song lyrics, and many other ways of using the English language, you can’t actually copyright the English language. But what about a language that you construct out of whole cloth? Once you share it with the world, are people free to use that new language however they wish, or do you maintain control over its use? [More]