It’s like that scene in a bad 1990s straight-to-video psychological crime thriller where the cop runs a suspect’s fingerprints — only to find he’s the suspect! Except now it’s a major movie studio flagging websites that it created and owns as copyright pirates. [More]
We live in an age where a digital copy of just about any piece of artwork is obtainable for free with a couple of clicks and taps on your computer or phone. That doesn’t mean you can just use said artwork in an ad to tell people about some deal on a 2016 Ford Focus. [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]
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]
Malibu Media, the porn company known more for its litigious leanings then for its flesh-filled films, has filed more than 4,000 lawsuits since 2009 against people who allegedly shared Malibu porn online illegally. A new report that compares Malibu’s legal actions to those of other lawsuit-happy copyright defenders helps to put into perspective just how out-of-the norm Malibu’s behavior is. [More]
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]
Section 107 of the Copyright Act permits “fair use” of copyrighted materials “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching…, scholarship, or research.” But the leaders of one California city don’t think this applies to critical videos made using footage from its city council meetings. [More]
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]
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]
After months of delay, the new Copyright Alert System (better known as “Six Strikes” for the six levels of warnings handed out to alleged violators) finally began rolling out to the nation’s largest Internet providers a couple weeks ago. But rather than curb their file-sharing, a number of folks just began looking for ways to not get caught. [More]
In what could be a frivolous lawsuit that goes nowhere, but may make musical artists a little gun shy about pictures they co-opt onto album covers, a former NASA astronaut is suing Dido over her use of an iconic 1984 photo of him doing his spaceman thing for her album Safe Trip Home.
From its earliest days, YouTube was constructed on a foundation of three things — hilarious kittens, stupid teenagers and dancing babies. But now that YouTube plays host to the likes of Oprah, heaven forbid any of your videos have Sony music playing in the background, lest the copyright police come after you.