597 posts tagged with copyright.
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A Game of Clones: Video Game Litigation Illustrated

Eric Adler of the Adler Vermillion law firm and the Legal Hackers group dives into the odd nuances of copyright laws as applied to video games.
posted by boo_radley on May 27, 2015 - 15 comments

No wood in the wood stock

Sony's 2011 contract with Spotify has leaked. The Verge's calculations have Sony making a pretty sizable sum off the deal, without much of it trickling down to artists. Meanwhile, Sony has begun pulling all of its artists' music from Soundcloud. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 26, 2015 - 14 comments

Student forced to remove online photos under threat of suspension

Imagine assembling a portfolio of over 4,000 photographs and then being forced to make it disappear or face life-altering consequences; that’s the situation sophomore Anthony Mazur is currently facing at Flower Mound High School in his Texas hometown.
posted by komara on May 21, 2015 - 80 comments

This wasn't exactly a clean operation.

It's been a long time coming, but the Porn Trolling copyright lawyers of Prenda Law finally had (another) day in court, this time before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It went poorly.
posted by T.D. Strange on May 4, 2015 - 47 comments

You’ve sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing?

A professional photographer for more than 20 years, and published in Q, Melody Maker and Rolling Stone, Pat Pope has worked with many of the biggest names in pop and rock music, including Oasis, David Bowie and Radiohead. One act with whom he has worked several times are 90s indie titans Garbage. Indeed, they admire Pope’s work so much that recently, as they put together a forthcoming self-published book, their management asked his permission to use one of his pictures of them. So far, so good... Pat Pope’s row with Garbage.
posted by michswiss on Apr 19, 2015 - 93 comments

"...the best song Jagger and Richards have written in twenty years"

YoutTube: The story of Bitter Sweet Symphony | Andrew Oldham Orchestra - The Last Time (1965) | Original video | 2010 studio performance for Radio 1 Presents | 2008 concert performance | Live at Glastonbury 2008 | Glastonbury 2011 | potted history of The Verve at BBC News
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Apr 18, 2015 - 15 comments

Will Scunthorpe be safe this time?

Mangling an author's text is a clear violation of the author's Moral rights, an element of copyright which is very weak in the United States and very strong elsewhere (primarily in civil law jurisdictions). (The moral right is the right of an author to be identified as the creator of a work, and for the work represented as their creation to be unaltered by other hands, so that the relationship between creator and created work is clear.)
[...]
The doctrine of Moral Rights varies from territory to territory, but it's a heck of a stretch to extend it to this activity. It's one thing for a publisher or retailer to send out copies of your books in which words are changed around without your permission. It's another thing altogether for the reader themself to decide to read their legally acquired books in such a way as to change the text.
Charlie Stross and Cory Doctorow argue about the legality if not morality/desirability of the Clean Reader app, that strips swearwords from ebooks.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 30, 2015 - 135 comments

"The delicate tango between common archetype and copyright"

Lindsay Ellis on The Wicked Witch of the West and MGM's copyright "The Wicked Witch of the West is the ultimate archetype for the modern witch, so everyone wants their own version of her. Too bad MGM holds the copyright to the one everyone knows."
posted by Theta States on Mar 16, 2015 - 11 comments

The lines just got blurrier.

In a move that will delight people who hate Robin Thicke but dismay those who care about limiting the scope of copyright, Thicke and co-writer Pharrell Williams have been ordered to pay the Gaye family $7.3 million for infringement based on stylistic similarities between "Blurred Lines" and "Got To Give It Up."
posted by grumpybear69 on Mar 10, 2015 - 113 comments

"the uncanniness of recorded music"

For a hip-hop fan, listening to ’60s and ’70s soul albums means regularly encountering familiar breaks. When I first heard “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)” by the Chi-Lites, I immediately recognized the horns and drums from Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love.” While I understand that, logically, the breaks in the Beyoncé song are really from the Chi-Lites, I still hear them as “belonging” to Beyoncé’s producer Rich Harrison.
In the first of four posts about music composition, Ethan Hein looks at sampling, hiphop, copyright, the moral rights of artists and the idea that breaks only exists once they're used by a producer, starting out from “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” by Pete Rock and CL Smooth.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 10, 2015 - 80 comments

Big Farma Fails

New High-Tech Farm Equipment Is a Nightmare for Farmers – Kyle Wiens of iFixit vs. the modern family farm tractor.
posted by cenoxo on Feb 12, 2015 - 52 comments

It's all a matter of (a very slight change in) perspective

In these days of copyright madness it is refreshing to see a dispute resolved amicably by virtue of an amazing coincidence.
posted by grumpybear69 on Feb 3, 2015 - 30 comments

My Gravity lawsuit & how it affects every writer who sells to Hollywood

Tess Gerritsen, author of the 1999 book "Gravity", on the dismissal of her lawsuit against Warner Bros., in which she claimed that “Gravity” is based on her novel of the same name, and that she should receive screen credit and a percentage of the profits. She will have 20 days to file an Amended Complaint. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 1, 2015 - 32 comments

Piratenpartei accessing to Berne?

Piratenpartei MEP Julia Reda’s draft report on copyright (pdf) has been heavily criticized by former Swedish Pirate Party MEP Amelia Andersdotter (previously).
posted by jeffburdges on Jan 29, 2015 - 7 comments

Who Owns the Copyright to Vivian Maier's Photographs?

John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s Finding Vivian Maier is nominated for an Academy Award, Best Feature Documentary. Most people have read about the nanny who worked in complete obscurity, yet may be one of the greatest street photographers of the 20th Century. The filmmakers tell the story of her art and also track down people who knew this eccentric and perhaps troubled artist. Meanwhile, and problematically for Maloof and other owners of Maier’s work, it’s one thing to own the negatives and quite another to own copyright that allows for printing and publishing those negatives. Maloof thought he had that covered, but in 2013 that came into question. Finally and most recently (2015), perhaps sensing an opportunity for much-needed revenue, the State of Illinois has belatedly opened a file on the Maier Estate and notified owners and galleries to be prepared for legal inquiry. The documentary is streaming on the major distributors (Netflix, Amazon, GooglePlay).
posted by Short Attention Sp on Jan 24, 2015 - 22 comments

All Of These Works Should Be In The Public Domain, But Aren't

'Every year for the past few years, Duke's Center for the Study of the Public Domain has put up a list of works that should have gone into the public domain on January 1st'. Should have, that is, 'had Congress not massively expanded the law. As a reminder, when these works were created, the creators knew the terms under which they were created and knew that they would have gone into the public domain by now -- and they found that to be more than enough incentive to create those works.' 'Current US law extends copyright for 70 years after the date of the author’s death, and corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years after publication. But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years—an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years. Under those laws, works published in 1958 would enter the public domain on January 1, 2015, where they would be “free as the air to common use.” Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2054. And no published works will enter our public domain until 2019. The laws in other countries are different—thousands of works are entering the public domain in Canada and the EU on January 1.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jan 6, 2015 - 51 comments

"I think you're really well meaning and nice but no one wants a satchel"

I AM INTO THIS. Who are the Cambridge Satchel Company and why should we care? The company started in 2008, and they sell old-style 1950s/60s era British school satchels. Originally meant for kids (the founder states, "I honestly thought that it would be schoolchildren and parents buying my bags!"), the satchels have become a more modest and budget-friendly alternative to designer bags. As a small startup company, they relied on enthusiastic word-of-mouth from the internet to bolster their profits; Deane states,"I think online was the only way that we could really engage and get traction really quickly" (warning: autoplaying video). This is the perfect storm of internet obsession: you click the link, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 22, 2014 - 36 comments

"It just doesn't seem quite fair."

Is Sampling Tom Petty Like Plagiarizing from Moby-Dick? [SLYT] Mini-documentary on 'sampling' circa 1989.
posted by Fizz on Oct 18, 2014 - 24 comments

hasbro: 11 points.

Can you claim copyright on a list of words? When it comes to Scrabble, Hasbro seems to think so. This isn't the first time they've filed copyright claims related to the game, though it may not have been so effective.
posted by divabat on Oct 9, 2014 - 17 comments

Spiraling out through Tool's lawsuits

Earlier this year, a Rolling Stone interview with Tool guitarist Adam Jones and drummer Danny Carey revealed the legal trouble that has prevented the band from producing an album since 2006's 10,000 Days. [more inside]
posted by neushoorn on Oct 8, 2014 - 39 comments

Infringers really bug Alex Wild

Insect photographer Alex Wild explains the effect of copyright infringement on his business; he has decided to give up commercial photography, partly due to the time he spends going after infringers. Alex Wild previously on MetaFilter.
posted by DevilsAdvocate on Sep 25, 2014 - 46 comments

Monkey business

Photographer David Slater is currently in a dispute with Wikipedia over this photo, taken in Indonesia in 2011. Wikipedia, Slater claims, has used his photo without permission. Wikipedia has so far refused, "claiming that because a monkey pressed the shutter button it should own the copyright." via
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 6, 2014 - 162 comments

NONE of the visual & audio materials in this film were made by me

NOT MINE by Guy Trefler. [slvimeo, somewhat nsfw]
posted by cthuljew on Jul 25, 2014 - 12 comments

Who stole my pi.

Man trademarks pi sign π. Hires attorney, submits takedown request letter to online DIY merchandiser Zazzle. In knee-jerk response, this past week Zazzle removed all merchandise bearing π sign. [more inside]
posted by Mike Mongo on Jun 2, 2014 - 77 comments

New words: Big. Vagina. Scared.

Peter sees the painting. "I could paint that", says Peter. "But you didn't", says Mummy. (mildly NSFW). In We go to the gallery, by British artist Miriam Elia, the titular characters of the Peter and Jane Keyword Readers of the 1960s visit a museum of contemporary art. Penguin, the publisher of the original books, is not amused, but the feathered creature may be actually dead in the water.
posted by elgilito on May 14, 2014 - 9 comments

In the future, every author will be in the public domain for 15 minutes

The non-profit digital library of Marxist texts, The Marxist Internet Archive, has received a copyright take-down request from the radical publishing house Lawrence and Wishart, asking that all material from the Marx and Engels Collected Works be removed from the site by May 1 2014. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on Apr 29, 2014 - 55 comments

Orphan Black is Back

Clones Are People Too: The Science and Science Fiction of BBC America’s Orphan Black. BBC America's science fiction series Orphan Black has returned for a second season, with Tatiana Maslany reprising her extraordinary performance playing half a dozen different clone characters. Meanwhile, in the real world, scientists have created cloned embryonic stem cells from the DNA of two adult humans. [Previously]
posted by homunculus on Apr 26, 2014 - 66 comments

Milton Berle, Carlos Mencia, and Dane Cook walk into a bar

Given the expense and uncertainty of lawsuits, how does the comedy community enforce the proscription on joke theft? Part of an ongoing Slate series called The Humor Code.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 1, 2014 - 45 comments

Your New Coffee Overlord

Green Mountain plans to launch "Keurig 2.0" this fall, a new set of machines that will only interact with Green-Mountain-approved pods. For a corporation, a lease is always going to be more attractive than a sale. If they can turn owners into users, they will.
posted by latkes on Mar 10, 2014 - 178 comments

Big Hairy Woman

With this song, 2 Live Crew basically took the distinctive bass riff from the original Orbison song and changed the lyrics in true Crew style. Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. is probably the seminal case for the modern application of the fair use doctrine. The lightning rod was 2 Live Crew and their allegedly parodic use of the "Pretty Woman" song. Instead of dismissing the Crew's claim on the basis that they had used the appropriated material for commercial gain, the court looked at the other factors of permissible fair use and determined that parody was indeed protected fair use, even though the perpetrators gained financially. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice on Mar 7, 2014 - 22 comments

The New Debunkonomy

@PicPedant (mefi's own) has attracted a loyal following in doing the Sisyphean work of calling out Twitter photo spammers and scraper accounts by tracking down, correcting and debunking images and giving attribution to the source. Twitter is awash in "interesting photo" accounts particularly since images started appearing in timelines -- some of the most successful of which may be the wildly popular @HistoryInPics and @EarthPix founded by 2 teenagers who allegedly earn $40,000+ a month. PicPedant's debunking can be vastly amusing. Here are a few greatest hits: no, not a baby panda but an Etsy doll; no, not Japanese cherry trees but an infrared scene from Stockholm; no, not a real moon, but a photo manipulation. He's even called out Madonna for lack of attribution on an image that went viral after her tweet. Keep on keepin' on, you crazy pedant.
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 14, 2014 - 30 comments

Why should someone get to profit from something they did fifty years ago

"So why should a singer get to profit from a recording of his doing some work thirty-five years ago? The answer “because it’s his song” just isn’t good enough. It was PC Ironburns’ arrest. “But creating that song may have taken years!” PC Ironburns spent years investigating the crimes before he caught that pesky crim! The electrician had to study for years to become proficient enough to rig up lighting. The doctor spent seven years in medical school! Imagine if this system we wholly accept from creative industries were accepted elsewhere – the ensuing chaos would be extraordianry. Take Broussard’s claim above, that “Creatives have a right to be paid indefinitely on their work”, and switch out “Creatives” for any other job. “Dentists”, “teachers”, “librarians”, “palaeontologists”… It starts to appear a little ludicrous." -- Rock Paper Shotgun's John Walker on copyright and the need for videogames to enter the public domain.
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 3, 2014 - 238 comments

KAPOW! CRASH! OOOOFF!

We are certainly in an age of DVD saturation for TV shows. The few titles that have taken their time have been usually due to copyright complications (such as "Daria" and "WKRP", both of which had to replace their soundtracks in order to get released). Now comes news that one of the last great home video holdouts is finally being set free: The 1960's "Batman" starring Adam West will be released on DVD later this year.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jan 15, 2014 - 85 comments

Every Penny You Make

Sting makes $2,000 a day because Puffy Daddy and his record label didn't bother clearing the rights when they sampled "Every Breath You Take" for "I'll Be Missing You." Even though Andy Summers wrote the guitar line that you hear. It's still a sensitive subject.
posted by goatdog on Jan 6, 2014 - 126 comments

Beatles for sale

Copyright laws force Apple to release 59 Beatles tracks. "The only reason why they are doing this is to retain the copyright of this bootlegged material."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 6, 2014 - 52 comments

"congress shrugged"

If it weren't for the 1976 Copyright Act, copyright on work would expire after 56 years - which would have meant that Kerouac's On The Road, the original 12 Angry Men, and Elvis's All Shook Up would be public domain by today.
posted by divabat on Dec 31, 2013 - 38 comments

A lot of public domain images

The British Library has posted more than a million public domain images on Flickr.
posted by jiawen on Dec 14, 2013 - 23 comments

YouTube's aggressive robot approach to copyright

A furious 18-minute rant posted Wednesday has drawn attention to YouTube's new automatic content ID system, implemented in earnest this week.

VentureBeat: YouTube suddenly begins flagging hundreds of game-related videos for copyright violations
Ars Technica: YouTube goes nuts flagging game-related content as violating copyright

Any copyright claim against a video immediately results in the removal of ad revenue at the moment the claim is made, even if 1) that content is clearly fair use, 2) the game companies who own the content say they're not making a claim (like Deep Silver, which posted a statement assuring reviewers they "will not be alone in this"), or 3) the claim comes from an odd third party who doesn't appear to have a clear ownership interest. Kotaku has good quotes from gamers who strongly disagree with YouTube's claim that "channel owners can easily dispute Content ID claims if they believe those claims are invalid." Earlier today, Angry Joe posted a calmer, more detailed 31-minute video: Whats Broken & How to Fix it.
posted by mediareport on Dec 13, 2013 - 74 comments

Gotta fight for your right...

Toy-startup GoldieBlox (previously) had already proven their marketing savvy - then their new commercial went viral, and might even earn them an on-air spot during the Superbowl. But now they've got a lawsuit on their hands - brought by the Beastie Boys. [more inside]
posted by progosk on Nov 23, 2013 - 204 comments

"As always, they are published without Medvedev’s permission."

america: a prophecy, by Kirill Medvedev [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 30, 2013 - 7 comments

"A free public domain version of Fantasia is far too expensive"

In 2018, will Mickey Mouse enter the public domain? [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo on Oct 29, 2013 - 84 comments

BitTorrent site Isohunt shutting down after MPAA lawsuit defeat

isoHunt shuts down, Vancouver operator ordered to pay $110 million US fine A Vancouver resident has agreed to shut down his popular downloading website and pay a $110-million fine after settling a long legal fight with the Motion Picture Association of America. Gary Fung ran isohunt.com, a search engine for BitTorrent files, which helped users find virtually every type of copyrighted material, including music, movies, computer software, ebooks and pornography. As of Friday, the site stated it linked to 13.7 million active BitTorrent files with 51 million users either uploading or download them. According to Alexa.com, it ranked as the 423rd top site on the web for global traffic and 167th in Canada. On his blog, Fung said he was "sad to see my baby go." [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 18, 2013 - 84 comments

Black Flag v. Flag

SST label honcho Greg Ginn's lawsuit against the other former members of Black Flag, several of whom now playing as Flag, isn't going so well. Henry Rollins isn't playing with either group, but is also named in the suit. Both groups (Ginn, 1979 vocalist Ron Reyes, and hired hands playing as Black Flag, the others playing as Flag) been on tour this summer.
posted by larrybob on Oct 11, 2013 - 98 comments

Compilation Blues

Ministry of Sound launched legal proceedings against Spotify on Monday [more inside]
posted by we are the music makers on Sep 4, 2013 - 84 comments

That's what I waaaaaa-aaaaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaant, yeah

You've more than likely heard this early recording of Money by the Beatles, or perhaps this version by the Rolling Stones. But Barrett Strong, the man who originally recorded it and who was the primary songwriter hasn't shared in the millions of dollars the song has earned over the years.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 2, 2013 - 30 comments

NSA stands for No Sense of Humor

The NSA: The only part of the government that actually listens. The NSA seal is protected by Public Law 86-36, which states that it is not permitted for “…any person to use the initials ‘NSA,’ the words ‘National Security Agency’ and the NSA seal without first acquiring written permission from the Director of NSA."
posted by three blind mice on Sep 1, 2013 - 72 comments

A Blanket Policy on Open Access

A new open-access policy adopted by the University of California, effective November 1, provides a license to the university system which allows it to publish articles in eScholarship, the system's free online paper repository. Criticism hinges on the policy's seemingly flexible opt-out provision. Ars Technica. Chronicle of Higher Education.
posted by Apropos of Something on Aug 3, 2013 - 8 comments

"I have no reason to expect compensation"

How DC Contracts Work. Mark Waid, author of Superman: Birthright (drawn on heavily for the recent film Man of Steel), "explains how professionals are generally compensated for working on company-owned characters".
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jul 25, 2013 - 46 comments

KIMOTA!

Who owns Marvelman? Part I and part II - the concluding chapters of Padraig O Mealoid's epic 16 part history of one of comic's most disputed characters. meanwhile another hole in comics history is about to be filled in as Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's Zenith finally gets collected in full.
posted by Artw on Jun 2, 2013 - 15 comments

So how DOES copyright work in space?

Chris Hadfield has captured the world's heart, judging by the 14m YouTube views of his free-fall rendition of David Bowie's "Space Oddity", recorded on the International Space Station (ISS). The Canadian astronaut's clear voice and capable guitar-playing were complemented by his facility in moving around in the microgravity of low-earth orbit. But when the man fell to Earth in a neat and safe descent a few days ago, after a five-month stay in orbit, should he have been greeted by copyright police?
posted by DiesIrae on May 23, 2013 - 58 comments

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