You Can Record Movies Off Netflix, Or Music Off Spotify, But You’re Not Allowed To

Don Buciak II

Once upon a time, in the long-long ago bygone years of the 20th century, teenagers communicated their feelings through a medium known as the mix tape. Those of us who can remember tape cassettes can remember hitting “record” on a boom box at exactly the right moment when a favorite song started on the radio or, as the ’90s waned into the shadow of Y2K, recording tracks off a bunch of CDs into one themed tape to play in the car or slip into the hand of a not-so-secret crush. [More]

A Virginia artist says the cellphone cover sold at Target (left) is a ripoff of the "Lemon and Honey" cellphone cover (right) she designed and started selling in 2013.

Virginia Artist Accuses Target Of Ripping Off Designs For Cellphone Covers

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but that’s not how one Virginia artist sees it. At least not in the case of cellphone covers she says Target and one of its suppliers copied from her designs.  [More]

These are the apparently offending images singled out by the estate of George Orwell for allegedly violating the "1984" copyright.

“1984” T-Shirt Designs Taken Down After Demand From George Orwell Estate

George Orwell’s 1984 imagined a bleak bureaucratic future where free speech was easily inhibited. Perhaps the people who run his estate (and certainly the people at Cafe Press) should read the book; or at least brush up on copyright basics. [More]

Copyright Office Rules: Yes, Security Researchers May Hack Cars (And A Couple Other Things) For Science

Copyright Office Rules: Yes, Security Researchers May Hack Cars (And A Couple Other Things) For Science

Copyright law is surprisingly pervasive. It affects everything from computers to cars (and tractors). The law says you’re not allowed to circumvent DRM on anything for any reason… except for a big pile of things you actually legally can. Those exemptions get re-evaluated every three years, and today the new list is out. [More]

Authors Guild Says Google Books Is “Serious Threat To Writers”

Authors Guild Says Google Books Is “Serious Threat To Writers”

Last week, a federal appeals court upheld a district court ruling that Google Books — the search engine that uses scans of actual books for its results — is a legal “fair use” under U.S. copyright laws. This decision is not sitting well with the professional authors trade group that sued Google, and which intends to take its argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. [More]

Appeals Court Says Google’s Book-Scanning Project Is Legal Fair Use

Appeals Court Says Google’s Book-Scanning Project Is Legal Fair Use

A federal appeals court has sided with Google in a lawsuit filed by the nation’s largest trade group for professional writers, ruling that the Internet giant’s large-scale book-scanning project is a legal fair use of these texts and not a violation of the authors’ copyright. [More]

TPP: Leaked Chapter Shows Trade Agreement Could Have Big Effects On Drug Prices, Privacy

TPP: Leaked Chapter Shows Trade Agreement Could Have Big Effects On Drug Prices, Privacy

The 12 countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership finally came to an agreement on the more-or-less final draft on October 6. Each member nation soon gets to kick off its own ratifying process, but until that formally begins, the entire text is still a closely-held secret. [More]

Verizon Tells Judge: Porn Copyright Troll Is Wasting Everyone’s Time With “Defective” Subpoenas

Verizon Tells Judge: Porn Copyright Troll Is Wasting Everyone’s Time With “Defective” Subpoenas

Porn producer Malibu Media, which has filed more than 4,000 copyright lawsuits since 2009 — several times more than any other company — is currently trying to compel Verizon to reveal the identities of Internet users Malibu believes are illegally sharing its movies. But lawyers for the telecom titan are telling the court they’ve had enough of Malibu’s “defective” and “unenforceable” subpoenas. [More]

Paramount Pictures asked Google to de-list this utorrent.com forum thread because it idiotically thought it was infringing on the copyright for the movie Clueless.

Paramount Pictures Copyright Bot Falsely Accuses Forum Commenters Of Piracy

UPDATE 10/2: Jeremy Zweig, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Corporate Affairs for Viacom provided Consumerist with the following statement:

“Online piracy remains a concern and we undertake a variety of methods to mitigate its impact.  During a short time on September 22, a vendor that assists with our content protection efforts mistakenly identified a small number of URLs as infringing, and sent copyright notices in error. These notices represented about 0.01% of the total notices they sent on our behalf that particular day, the remainder of which were correct and accurate.

No action was actually taken on these erroneous notices, and no links were removed, but we’re disappointed by the error and apologize for any inconvenience this caused. We put a lot of time, care and effort into ensuring this complicated process works correctly, and nobody is more bothered than us when it doesn’t. The issue has since been remedied, and necessary steps have already been taken to ensure this does not happen again.”

 

ORIGINAL TEXT:

Even though the Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it illegal for a copyright holder to knowingly file a bogus copyright claim against someone else, that hasn’t stopped some of the biggest stakeholders in the entertainment industry from carelessly registering takedown complaints with Google for content that in no way infringes on anyone’s copyright.

[More]

JOE WU

Court Says The Batmobile Is Special Enough To Get Copyright Protection

When someone mentions the Batmobile, do you pause and say, “Hold on — which Batmobile? Batman’s car or just like another car that’s shaped like a bat, has crime-fighting technology and ferries around a caped crusader?” Probably not, because everyone knows what the Batmobile is and who it belongs to. That entitles it to copyright protection, the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals said on Wednesday, affirming a district court’s judgment in a copyright and trademark infringement action brought by DC Comics against a maker of Batmobile replicas. [More]

(Karen Chappell)

Judge Says “Happy Birthday” Song No Longer Covered By Copyright

Filmmakers, musicians, and anyone else wishing to perform “Happy Birthday To You” no longer has to worry about paying hefty royalties to Warner/Chappell, the publisher that has long claimed to hold the copyright for the ditty. Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the classic party tune is in the public domain. [More]

New Lawsuit Claims Monkey Should Get Copyright & Royalties For Famous Selfie

New Lawsuit Claims Monkey Should Get Copyright & Royalties For Famous Selfie

The “monkey selfie” saga continues. More than a year after the U.S. Copyright Office made it pretty clear that a non-human animal can’t hold copyright, a new lawsuit argues the grinning macaque “has the right to own and benefit from the copyright… in the same manner and to the same extent as any other author.” [More]

Appeals Court Makes Important Ruling In “Dancing Baby” Copyright Case

Appeals Court Makes Important Ruling In “Dancing Baby” Copyright Case

By now, you’ve probably heard about the “Dancing Baby” lawsuit, involving a botched attempt by Universal Music to have YouTube remove a video 29-second video of a playful toddler because a Prince song can be heard in the background. Today a federal appeals court sided on one important issue with that kid’s mother, who is suing Universal, claiming the music giant overstepped the law by not considering that the background music falls under the umbrella of an acceptable fair use. [More]

This is one of the allegedly infringing cake frosting sheets the defendants are selling on eBay.

Disney, Lucasfilm, Sanrio Sue Makers Of Counterfeit Marvel, Star Wars, Hello Kitty Cake Frosting

We’ve all seen local bakeries and supermarkets selling cakes decorated with the images of trademarked cartoon/movie/comic characters and not many people seem to care that the decorator may not have permission to use these images. But there’s also a difference between someone’s hand-iced Captain America cake and a company that uses movie stills and promotional art to make pre-fab cake frosting sheets. Thus, Disney, Lucasfilm and Sanrio — tired of seeing cakes featuring the unauthorized faces of Yoda, Iron Man, and Hello Kitty — have teamed up to sue two Michigan men for trademark and copyright infringement. [More]

Federal Court Rules: Chicken Sandwich Not Protected By Copyright

Federal Court Rules: Chicken Sandwich Not Protected By Copyright

You may recall that we recently tested various burger recipes sent in by readers. What if I took one of those recipes, slapped the name “Morranwich” on it and made it the basis of a billion-dollar burger empire? While the reader whose recipe I used for the sandwich might be really upset, they couldn’t make a copyright claim against Morranwich Worldwide (a division of Cyber Dynamics Systems Corporation) because, as precious as a sandwich recipe might be, it’s not copyrightable. [More]

Why The Stolen Ashley Madison Data Is (Legally) Fair Game For The Internet

Why The Stolen Ashley Madison Data Is (Legally) Fair Game For The Internet


If your credit card information gets stolen in a data breach, there are certain rules in place that limit your liability and protect you from fraud. But if a hack makes personal, potentially very embarrassing, information public — as in, say, the Ashley Madison hack — there’s not much anyone can do to stop others from seeing or writing about it. [More]

Just like he didn't invent the concept of a lovable, sporadically violent manchild, Adam Sandler is not the first to use the term "Pixels" to describe a video.

UPDATED: Columbia Pictures Firm Demands Takedown Of Videos With Word “Pixels” In Title

Believe it or not, the term “pixels,” was not created solely for use as the title of an underwhelming Adam Sandler movie. But don’t tell that to the copyright enforcement firm hired by Columbia Pictures who stupidly — and perhaps illegally — demanded the removal of several videos only because they dared to use “pixels” in the title. [More]

(jpmarth)

Noted Porn Copyright Troll Asks Court To Block Use Of Terms Like “Porn” & “Copyright Troll”

We’ve told you before about Malibu Media, the porn company that has filed more than 3,500 lawsuits against alleged illegal online sharers of its adult content, thus earning its “copyright troll” badge with ease. But the company doesn’t want that term being used against it in court. [More]