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On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

American Censorship Day is an internet protest against the oft-renamed Stop Online Piracy Act. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 14, 2011 - 39 comments

Nomen est Omen

The U.S. House of Representatives has drafted their version of Senator Leahy's Protect IP Act, renaming the bill the E-Parasites Act. Among other changes discussed previously, the bill now makes internet service providers and websites liable for activities of their users that infringe upon copyrights, effectively overturning parts of the 13-year-old Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 27, 2011 - 120 comments

Now you know me as Dirty Spaceman, yeah!

Bad Lip Reading's parody video Dirty Spaceman has been removed by YouTube following a DMCA takedown request by Universal Music Group. (previously) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 23, 2011 - 24 comments

MafiAA cronyism & harassment

A FOIA request by Christopher Soghoian revealed that Obama administration officials, including Copyright Czar Victoria Espinel, Biden’s deputy chief of staff Alan Hoffman, and criminal prosecutor Lanny Breuer, negotiated the deal between ISPs and copyright holders to punish subscribers whose IP addresses participated in copyright infringement. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 21, 2011 - 52 comments

ACTA

The once-secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) slouches toward signing on Saturday. ACTA is expected to raise constitutional issues in the U.S., raise soverenty issues in the E.U., give copyright holders extensive powers to impose DRM and identify alleged infringers, and increase health risks worldwide. In addition, the U.S. has launched the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) to obtain what copyright provisions were stripped from ACTA. (see michaelgeist.ca, techdirt, or slashdot) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Sep 28, 2011 - 44 comments

Theme Park Piracy

An unauthorized Angry Birds theme park has opened in China. There is also a Blizzard-themed park called Joyland.
posted by finite on Sep 16, 2011 - 40 comments

“He was making a comment both about culture at Wash U. and the representation of Wash U. by the PR department.”

"Wash U Photo Captions" back online after copyright challenge. Washington University in St Louis redesigned their website, and senior Alex Christensen found the photos kinda cheesy. So he started the Wash U Photo Captions Tumblr to poke fun. ("On Thursday mornings, the nerds are allowed to leave the lab.") But Tumblr shut it down, citing copyright violations, until Christensen got legal help. Now it's back, with gems like this and this. [more inside]
posted by epersonae on Sep 14, 2011 - 35 comments

This am not Bizarro News

Warner Brothers Hotfile sues Hotfile Warner Brothers for copyright fraud.
posted by griphus on Sep 13, 2011 - 21 comments

The Gift to Humanity That Keeps on Giving to Lawyers

The Authors Guild, the Australian Society of Authors, the Union Des Écrivaines et des Écrivains Québécois (UNEQ) along with 8 individual authors (including Fay Weldon) has sued the university consortium HathiTrust over its plans to allow internal institutional access to book scans that HathiTrust members received from Google which HathiTrust believes to be orphaned works. As usual, MeFi's own James Grimmelmann has the best analysis of the suit.
posted by Toekneesan on Sep 13, 2011 - 10 comments

Early JSTOR publications now free

We are making journal content on JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere, freely available to the public for reading and downloading. This includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals, representing approximately 6% of the total content on JSTOR.
posted by Trurl on Sep 7, 2011 - 84 comments

People may not quote LZ in their "blogs".

Far too many people, especially perhaps-innocent grad. students, have been misled into thinking that, in terms of quoting LZ or CZ, they may do what they want, and do not have to worry about me. Paul Zukofsky, son and literary executor of poet Louis Zukofsky, wrote a spirited copyright notice that appears on a site dedicated to his father's work.
posted by Bromius on Sep 4, 2011 - 103 comments

I Know Who I Paid

Copyright law in micrcosm, or, Why Alan Lomax is a co-author of Jay-Z's "Takeover".
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 1, 2011 - 68 comments

Give me my money, please

Since their release in 1978, hit albums like Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” Billy Joel’s “52nd Street,” the Doobie Brothers’ “Minute by Minute,” Kenny Rogers’s “Gambler” and Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under a Groove” have generated tens of millions of dollars for record companies. But thanks to a little-noted provision in United States copyright law, those artists — and thousands more — now have the right to reclaim ownership of their recordings, potentially leaving the labels out in the cold.
posted by philip-random on Aug 15, 2011 - 29 comments

COICA Round Two

Senator Leahy's Protect IP Act would require that U.S. ISPs impose an 'internet death penalty' upon domain after merely a preliminary injunction from a U.S. court that suspects the site of being 'dedicated to infringing activities', even if the domain's owner had never been notified and was not subject to U.S. jurisdiction. There is concern that the legislation would fragment the DNS system and facilitate DNS spoofing by obstructing DNSSEC (pdf). There is also an open letter opposing the bill signed by 108 Law Professors who study intellectual property law. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jul 24, 2011 - 29 comments

or would people start to ask why the wealth of knowledge and culture was being enclosed within restrictive laws, when “another world is possible” beyond the regime of artificial scarcity?

Given the material abundance made possible by the replicator, how would it be possible to maintain a system based on money, profit, and class power? Towards an Anti-Star Trek. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Jul 15, 2011 - 147 comments

Six Strikes

Major US Internet providers—including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Cablevision, and Time Warner Cable—have just signed on to a voluntary agreement with the movie and music businesses to crack down on online copyright infringers. The policy features a graduated series of responses to infringing activity, ranging from "educational" warnings to throttling of connection speeds.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 7, 2011 - 96 comments

Little Shop of Horrors closed (but not for renovation)

"On Saturday June 18, 2011, representatives from the licensing agency came to watch our production. I met them before the show and explained the reasons behind my actions and that I understood the consequences. The cast was also prepared. We could have restored the production to the original script, we could have canceled the show and left them to wonder, we could have faked a medical emergency or technical failure – believe me, all of these scenarios crossed my mind. In the end, we chose to be honest and share the production we had created." Artistic director Nick A. Olivero writes an open letter to the theatre and arts community discussing the recent forced closure of his show, Little Shop of Horrors, at San Fransisco's Boxcar Theatre Company. [more inside]
posted by Thin Lizzy on Jul 1, 2011 - 127 comments

Jay Maisel sues Andy Baio for copyright infringement

Andy Baio: “Kind of screwed”. Baio produced a chiptune tribute to Miles Davis’ classic album Kind of Blue. He licensed all of the tracks and assigned all profits directly to the five musicians on the album. The one thing he didn't do was check about the cover art, a pixelated rendering of the photo on the original album cover. Jay Maisel, the photographer who shot the photo in question, sued Baio for $150,000 per download plus $25,000 for DMCA violations. Baio settled for $32,500, not because he wasn’t convinced he was in the right (this almost certainly qualifies as fair use), but because it was “the least expensive option available”. [more inside]
posted by spitefulcrow on Jun 23, 2011 - 302 comments

It's No Longer Friday

The insanely [un]popular Rebecca Black song Friday has been pulled from YouTube following a copyright claim from Rebecca Black! TMZ reports that the takedown is apparently the latest step in a dispute between Black and Ark Music Factory about rights to the song. [more inside]
posted by sycophant on Jun 16, 2011 - 119 comments

The Oatmeal vs. FunnyJunk

Soon after Inman's blog post went up, the FunnyJunk administrator sent a message to his users in which he said that “the Oatmeal wants to sue funnyjunk and shut it down! He thinks we're nothing more than dirty content thieves." The message linked to Inman's contact page and The Oatmeal Facebook account. The Facebook page was soon "completely trolled," said Inman, and he was not impressed by the quality of the commenters. “Their favorite noun was ‘fag’,” he said.

The Oatmeal vs. FunnyJunk: a webcomic copyright fight gets personal. (FunnyJunk site may contain NSFW thumbnails.)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jun 2, 2011 - 94 comments

YouTube + Creative Commons

YouTube to offer Creative Commons licencing along with easy ways to add CC content to videos through the YouTube video editor.
posted by The Devil Tesla on Jun 1, 2011 - 18 comments

Selling doctors on patient gag orders

"It's completely unethical for doctors to force their patients to sign away their rights in order to get medical care." Ars Technica dissects doctor "privacy" agreements that seek to limit patients' ability to post online reviews by making them sign the copyright of any future reviews over to the doctor, in exchange for vague (and possibly illusory) extra privacy protection. Doctored Reviews offers info and tools for fighting "anti-review contracts," whose language comes primarily from an "anti-defamation protection program" sold by a company called Medical Justice. Sources quoted in the article express doubts that this kind of "privacy blackmail" would hold up in court, with some wondering if Medical Justice is actively deceiving doctors by selling them a product that won't work as advertised. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on May 24, 2011 - 30 comments

Every one a little lawyer.

“Watching the video I thought that it was wise of Major League Baseball to combine this sort of sentimental moment with mass speculative litigation. It kept brand values strong. I felt strangely grateful that I could have a moment to remember that afternoon. Surprised by the evidence of both copyright violation and father-daughter affection.” —Paul Ford, “Nanolaw with Daughter” [more inside]
posted by kipmanley on May 15, 2011 - 26 comments

Jazz Orphans

A Trove of Historic Jazz Recordings has Found a Home in Harlem, But You Can’t Hear Them
posted by ryoshu on Apr 26, 2011 - 50 comments

"As knowledge policy, for the creators of this knowledge, this is crazy"

"The Architecture of Access to Scientific Information: Just How Badly We Have Messed This Up" Lawrence Lessig speaking at CERN on April 18, 2011. Long (~50 min), but wonderful and totally worth it (and the second half is about Youtube and remix culture).
posted by unknowncommand on Apr 20, 2011 - 53 comments

Ahoy, eh!

The Canadian Pirate Party is official, registered, and running 10-12 candidates in the current federal election. The recent debate over usage-based billing convinced at least one of its candidates of its potential appeal to voters. They are unabashedly an issue-based party, whose platform deals with intellectual property, privacy, net neutrality, and government access/openness. [more inside]
posted by kevinsp8 on Apr 20, 2011 - 13 comments

Your teacup is infringing on mine. Nu-uh, I remixed it.

Cheap 3D printing has the potential to change the way we produce and consume objects in the same way the cheap PCs and the internet changed the way we produce and consume information. Once again it is hobbyists and university labs who are democratizing the technology. They are looking forward to the day when anyone can make designer bath fixtures, functional appliances, custom surgical implants, or even business opportunities at the click of a button.

However some are warning that overly broad patents could derail the whole revolution. Even more worrisome is the prospect that existing IP law is completely unprepared for a future where the cost boundary between ideas and physical objects has crumbled. Will commercial interests demand a crack down on "pirated" printouts? Will Open Source manufacturing bring about a Star Trekian utopia? It's hard to predict what will happen when everything is commodified.
posted by Popular Ethics on Apr 16, 2011 - 98 comments

Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, Amen

File-Sharers Await Official Recognition of New Religion
* All knowledge to all
* The search for knowledge is sacred
* The circulation of knowledge is sacred
* The act of copying is sacred.


Too religious for you? Then try the remix manifesto.
posted by telstar on Apr 16, 2011 - 59 comments

A bleak day for NZ internet users

Just over a year ago New Zealand's parliament debated, passed and then scrapped a law which would in effect withdraw internet access from those accused of illegal filesharing. Today, the New Zealand government is using "urgency" (ostensibly called in order to pass Christchurch earthquake emergency legislation) to pass a new version of that controversial law.
posted by chairish on Apr 13, 2011 - 67 comments

Conflict of interest? What?

Swedish "Pirate" MEP Christian Engström has announced that today or tomorrow Europe will be voting on extending copyrights for recorded music from 50 years to 95 years.

Recently, Engström and Dutch liberal party D66 MEP Marietje Schaake have submitted a formal question to the European Commission on the conflict of interest arising from their appointment of Maria Martin-Prat. Martin-Prat has spent years directing 'global legal policy' for IFPI, the global recording industry's London-based trade group, but will now be overseeing IPRED and the ongoing ACTA proposals (previously).

On the other side of the pond, Judge Beryl Howell has overturned restrictions established by lower courts on the issuing mass subpoenas to ISPs during her first week on the U.S. D.C. District Court (previously, known results). Beryl Howell was recently employed as an RIAA lobbyist and Executive Managing Director and General Counsel at the pirate chasing company Stroz Friedberg.
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 11, 2011 - 211 comments

It's raining bytes

As Amazon and the RIAA go head to head over the Amazon Cloud Player (esentially Dropbox with streaming) it seems like a good time to recap the turbulent history of the humble MP3, upender of the music industry business model.
posted by Artw on Apr 4, 2011 - 83 comments

you've heard him a million times, but he ain't no millionaire

Give the drummer some? Nuh-uh. PAY the drummer some! Living Legend Tries to Make a Living. I'm talking about the man who gave us the drum solo (at 5:35) that launched a thousand hip hop ships, James Brown's funky heartbeat, Clyde Stubblefield. [previously].
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 29, 2011 - 36 comments

Nothing suits them like a suit!

For over a year now, Righthaven has been suing bloggers, news websites, and now even journalists covering Righthaven for reproducing, in full or part, articles and pictures from newspapers that it purchases the copyright for. But it might be starting to backfire. [more inside]
posted by SirOmega on Mar 29, 2011 - 18 comments

Psst. Hey buddy? Can we borrow $75,000,000,000,000?

Earlier this month, thirteen record labels tried to claim that Limewire was liable for between $400 Billion and $75 Trillion in damages. (For some perspective, the world's GDP in 2011 is expected to be a mere ~$65 billion.) Judge Kimba Wood called the assertion 'absurd' in a 14 page opinion. (pdf) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 25, 2011 - 107 comments

Opting out rejected, Opting in suggested

Only weeks after Judge Denny Chin extended the filing deadline, and presumably a final decision, and reflecting the Department of Justice’s own opinion, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the landmark class-action lawsuit settlement between the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers, and Google. And offers some advice for a revised resubmission.
posted by Toekneesan on Mar 22, 2011 - 22 comments

Cell division = copyright infringement?

“To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life.” Craig Venter created synthetic life and inscribed this quote from James Joyce into its genome. Now he has been threatened with a suit for copyright infringement by the very litigious James Joyce estate.
posted by caddis on Mar 20, 2011 - 32 comments

Retroactive Copyright

Library Rights Are at Stake in New Supreme Court Copyright Case Article by Marc Parry appeared in: "Chronicle of Higher Education" March 8, 2011, 4:12 pm Does Congress have the right to restore copyright protection to foreign works that have fallen into the public domain? That issue is at the heart of a major copyright case that the Supreme Court agreed to hear yesterday. Its resolution could have implications for libraries’ ability to share works online, advocates say.
posted by naight on Mar 9, 2011 - 27 comments

IMSLP copyright clashes

... the International Music Score Library Project, has trod in the footsteps of Google Books and Project Gutenberg and grown to be one of the largest sources of scores anywhere. It claims to have 85,000 scores, or parts for nearly 35,000 works, with several thousand being added every month. That is a worrisome pace for traditional music publishers, whose bread and butter comes from renting and selling scores in expensive editions backed by the latest scholarship. More than a business threat, the site has raised messy copyright issues and drawn the ire of established publishers. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 22, 2011 - 23 comments

I was so happy when this young person took from me

Over the course of 45 years in the film business, Francis Ford Coppola has refined a singular code of ethics that govern his filmmaking. There are three rules: 1) Write and direct original screenplays, 2) make them with the most modern technology available, and 3) self-finance them. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 9, 2011 - 21 comments

Don’t make me steal

Don't Make Me Steal - a Digital Media Consumption Manifesto.
posted by Artw on Feb 4, 2011 - 107 comments

Public Domain Day

Every January 1 is Public Domain Day, when new authors enter the public domain. Copyright law is "fiendishly complex", but using the generic "life plus seventy" rule, here are some of the authors who enter the public domain today. What could have been entering the public domain today under the pre-1978-era law (Fellowship of the Ring, Dr. Seuss, etc..).. but you can expect further endless extensions of copyright to come. More articles here, here.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 1, 2011 - 115 comments

A streetcar is a streetcar, right?

Kelley Turgeon's painting of Toronto's iconic streetcars won a contest for the Toronto Star Emerging Artist Cover Contest. Along with $2500 in prize money for the contest winner, the winning painting was also published Friday on the front page of the newspaper. Photographer Brian Labelle noticed because he had taken an eerily similar photograph in 2007. [more inside]
posted by typewriter on Dec 25, 2010 - 53 comments

Plans for UK's Tech Future

Prime Minister David Cameron set out his plans for making Britain more innovation and startup friendly. [more inside]
posted by philipy on Nov 4, 2010 - 41 comments

A Tale of Two Tarts

Illadore was surprised to see her article about apple pie published in Cooks Source without her knowledge. After asking for an apology and a donation to the Columbia School of Journalism, Cooks Source editor Judith Griggs responded in an email that "I do know about copyright laws . . . But honestly Monica, the web is considered 'public domain' and you should be happy we just didn't 'lift' your whole article and put someone else's name on it!"
posted by Avenger50 on Nov 4, 2010 - 339 comments

Go Ahead, Take a Copy

In Praise of Copying. A pdf of a book by Marcus Boon. [more inside]
posted by ovvl on Oct 27, 2010 - 19 comments

Sega Will Not Be Pleased

Return to Emerald Hill Zone! Sega recently released its modernized take on the classic Sonic the Hedgehog formula with Sonic the Hedgehog 4, but for something much more authentic and in the spirit of the original Genesis games, you'll have to turn to the free fan-created Sonic Fan Remix. Now with playable PC demo! Get to it before the lawyers do! [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 on Oct 22, 2010 - 17 comments

COICA

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) has started to be fast-tracked through the legislative process. This bill would create two blacklists (without due process) of domains which ISPs would be forced to block, based on alleged copyright infringement. The RIAA claims that such websites put Americans at risk (but doesn't state exactly what the risk is). Wired Magazine calls it the "Holy Grail of intellectual-property enforcement." The EFF has started an online petition against it and is encouraging internet engineers to speak out against it. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Sep 29, 2010 - 33 comments

Operation Payback is a Bitch

Thousands of broadband customers in the UK have had their personal details uploaded to web, complete with the names of pornographic movies they are alleged to have downloaded. [more inside]
posted by afx237vi on Sep 28, 2010 - 70 comments

Fair and Balanced...now shuddup!

Fox News has taken a leaf off Scientology's book, and sued for copyright infringement a Democratic candidate who dared use Fox News footage in his campaign ad.
posted by Skeptic on Sep 20, 2010 - 26 comments

Goats on the Roof Trade Dress

Defendant has willfully continued to offer food services from buildings with goats on the roof. [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Sep 17, 2010 - 43 comments

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