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]
The nearly decade-long legal battle over a 29-second YouTube clip of a toddler dancing to a barely discernible Prince song may end up going before the Supreme Court after free speech advocates representing the mother who shot that video petitioned the nation’s highest court. [More]
For nearly two decades, provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have made it illegal in many cases for people to circumvent copyright protections on things like CDs, DVDs, e-books, and MP3s, even when the intended use of this data may be protected by law. A new lawsuit filed today by the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that these aspects of the DMCA don’t stand up to legal scrutiny. [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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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 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.
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.
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.
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]
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]
Sometimes reading through Twitter feeds can be like hanging out with that guy in the office who is constantly cracking other folks’ jokes and acting as if he’d dreamt them up on the spot. The big difference is that the office hack won’t have his wisecracks muted for violating the writer’s copyright. [More]