Today Is The Anniversary Of 2 Live Crew’s Historic Supreme Court Win

Today Is The Anniversary Of 2 Live Crew’s Historic Supreme Court Win

2 Live Crew may be best known for its raunchy 1989 hit “Me So Horny” and the group’s public spats with family values groups and censors, but 22 years ago today, Luther “Luke Skywalker” Campbell and the Crew scored an important victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in a ruling that affirmed that parody constitutes a protected “fair use” of copyrighted material. [More]

Photo: ADAM WATSTEIN/ CONSUMERIST

Fairly Used: Why Schools Need To Teach Kids The Whole Truth About Copyright

Today’s teenagers live in a time where technology gives them the tools to create, share, and publish just about anything they can conceive, and enables and encourages them to use and remix existing content from TV, movies, music, and games. At the same time, they are repeatedly reminded that their creations can be shut down, removed, or monetized by others who simply claim to have a copyright. So they know how to snag a clip from The Walking Dead, set it to “Yakety Sax” and post it on YouTube, but what they may not know — because most schools are failing to teach them — is under what circumstances the law actually protects the fair use of copyrighted material, and when it doesn’t. [More]

“Happy Birthday” Song Settlement To Pay Out $14 Million To People Who Paid To Use Song

“Happy Birthday” Song Settlement To Pay Out $14 Million To People Who Paid To Use Song

Last year, a decades-old battle over the rights to one of the most famous songs in the world finally came to an end when a federal judge ruled that the “Happy Birthday” song is in the public domain, meaning that its publisher, Warner/Chappell, has been improperly charging hefty sums for its use. The terms of a settlement in the case show that Warner will now fork over up to $14 million to people who should not have had to pay to use the song. [More]

Bad News For Naruto: Monkey Can’t Hold Copyright On Infamous Selfie

Bad News For Naruto: Monkey Can’t Hold Copyright On Infamous Selfie

The years-long saga of the “monkey selfie” may have rolled to a quiet end in a federal court in San Francisco yesterday after a judge tentatively ruled that Naruto the macaque photographer does not hold the copyright to images he snapped on a stolen camera more than four years ago. [More]

Warner Bros. and DCP contend that these devices are being used to circumvent established copyright protections on ultra-HD content.

Warner Bros. Trying To Block Devices That Get Around 4K Video Copyright Protection

A week ago, Warner Bros. home video folks announced they would be catering to the growing number of 4K TV owners by releasing 35 recent titles — including Mad Max: Fury Road and The LEGO Movie — on ultra-HD BluRay discs. Two days later, the entertainment giant was in court, suing to stop a company from selling devices that would let users get around the digital copyright protections on these, and other, 4K titles. [More]

Family Of Late Nursery School Teacher Claims ‘Big Bang Theory’ Ripped Off “Soft Kitty” Lullaby

Family Of Late Nursery School Teacher Claims ‘Big Bang Theory’ Ripped Off “Soft Kitty” Lullaby

If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory, you’re no doubt familiar with the method employed by other characters to soothe uptight scientist Sheldon when he gets upset: a lullaby about a soft, nice kitty that helps him settle down to sleep when he’s having trouble. That “Soft Kitty” song has also turned into big merchandising bucks, money the show doesn’t deserve according to a new lawsuit that claims the lyrics are a ripoff. [More]

Cox Must Pay $25M For Failing To Stop Repeat Pirates

Cox Must Pay $25M For Failing To Stop Repeat Pirates

Weeks after a court ruled that Cox Communications had deliberately ignored repeat piracy offenders and put up roadblocks to prevent certain copyright holders from filing infringement claims, a jury has handed down a $25 million verdict against the cable and Internet provider. [More]

The disputed coffee bean products are now being sold on GrumpyCat.com, which  is not run by the official Grumpy Cat.

Grumpy Cat Is Also A Legal Eagle, Files Copyright Lawsuit Against Coffee Company

Grumpy Cat (real name: Tardar Sauce) isn’t just a feline with a perma-frown; it’s also the face of a multimillion-dollar merchandising brand. Now the sourpuss cat is involved in a legal dispute with a company that sells Grumpy Cat coffee beans. [More]

Disney Decides To Be Evil Again, Re-Sends Copyright Takedown For Star Wars Figure Pic

Disney Decides To Be Evil Again, Re-Sends Copyright Takedown For Star Wars Figure Pic

This morning, it seemed like Disney had realized that sending copyright takedown notices for legally obtained and posted photos of Star Wars action figures was maybe not a good idea. But the Dark Side apparently has Mickey in its grips, as Disney continues to send takedown notices for copyright claims the company had already retracted. [More]

This post on the SWAN Facebook page was hit with a copyright claim by Disney. The claim was initially retracted, but then re-sent by Disney only hours later, resulting in the removal of the entire post.

Disney Forces Takedown Of Star Wars Figure Photos; Realizes Maybe That’s Not A Good Idea

UPDATE: Within hours of issuing the retraction on the copyright claim, Disney re-sent the same claim to Facebook, this time demanding the removal of the entire post (which didn’t violate copyright to begin with). Not only is the original post gone, but the Facebook user who took the photo is currently under a three-day ban from posting anything to the site. [More]

(twoguns)

Settlement Means “Happy Birthday” Song Will Finally Enter Public Domain

The next time you decide to perform a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday To You” on TV, or in a movie or on your debut album, you won’t have to worry about paying anyone for the right to do so: after two years of legal wrangling over who owns the copyright to the classic tune, the parties involved have agreed to settle their differences.

[More]

Judge Says Cox Refused To Pull Plug On Known Copyright Pirates

Judge Says Cox Refused To Pull Plug On Known Copyright Pirates

Earlier this year we told you how apparently innocent Cox cable/Internet customers had gotten caught up in a piracy lawsuit filed against the company by a music publisher. While some of those customers were able to remove themselves from the dispute, a judge has ruled that Cox knowingly allowed pirates to continue using their broadband accounts in violation of the law. [More]

Even Pirated Media Files Are Now Upgrading To 4K

Even Pirated Media Files Are Now Upgrading To 4K

The grainy bootleg tapes and even DVDs of yesteryear are gone, gone, gone. Among today’s daily signs that we all are, indeed, now living in a bright, shiny future: Even pirated video is apparently now in pixel-perfect ultra-HD.

[More]

Comcast Can Interrupt Your Web Browsing With Warnings About Potentially Illegal File-Sharing

Comcast Can Interrupt Your Web Browsing With Warnings About Potentially Illegal File-Sharing

Did you miss last night’s episode of The Walking Dead (where they finally reveal that Glenn shot J.R., but didn’t kill Laura Palmer) because you don’t have cable and just plan on grabbing a pirated version of it from the Internet? If you’re a Comcast customer who has been flagged a potential copyright violator, your web-browsing experience may be interrupted with pop-up warnings. [More]

YouTube Is Helping Some Video Creators To Fight Unfair Copyright Claims

YouTube Is Helping Some Video Creators To Fight Unfair Copyright Claims

Copyright is pretty murky territory. We all know you can’t steal someone’s stuff, but there are times when you’re allowed to use it. Unfortunately, some copyright holders don’t seem to get that “fair use” exists, and respond with takedown claims and legal threats. For some YouTube users facing threats over legal work, though, that fight may just have gotten a little easier.

[More]

Court Ruling On Trade Dispute Also Prevents MPAA From Blocking File-Sharing Sites

Court Ruling On Trade Dispute Also Prevents MPAA From Blocking File-Sharing Sites

The internet can be very weird sometimes, as can the massive patchwork of regulation and case law that holds the world together. And so it came to pass this summer that we found ourselves looking at an otherwise-obscure court case about braces — yes, the teeth kind — that could upend the way the entire internet works in the name of preventing media piracy. Happily, it looks like the internet, in all its chaotic and sometimes illegal glory, gets to keep marching on for the time being.

[More]

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]