Not Here to Start Trouble: Court Rules Documentary’s Use of Super Bowl Shuffle Was Fair Use

16 07 2019
John Cannan
IP Watchdog
June 8, 2019

The Eighties are in! A contagious wave of nostalgia has infected popular culture with period TV series, from shows like Stranger Things to rebirths and reboots of the era’s shows and movies. This retro cultural appropriation was bound to involve a copyright issue. Indeed, a dispute arose over a documentary on the 1985 Chicago Bears, which made an unauthorized use of the team’s landmark music video, The Superbowl Shuffle. The Shuffle’s owners claimed an infringement on the licensing market for the work. The documentarians claimed fair use. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, ruled for the documentarians, granting them summary judgment, in Red Label Music Publishing v. Chila Productions.
The content in this post was found at https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2019/06/08/not-start-trouble-court-rules-documentarys-use-super-bowl-shuffle-fair-use/id=110213/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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U.S. – District Court reversed: No fair use defense for Adams Morgan neighborhood photo

16 07 2019

Valerie Brennan & Gabriel Guerra Medellin
LexBlog
June 10, 2019
The many historic landmarks and neighborhoods in Washington DC are one of the draws for locating events there. In a cautionary tale for event organizers, however, the Court of Appeals of the Fourth District recently ruled that unauthorized use of a third party photograph of the Adams Morgan neighborhood did not qualify as fair use, reversing and remanding the District Court’s summary judgment order.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2019/06/10/u-s-district-court-reversed-no-fair-use-defense-for-adams-morgan-neighborhood-photo/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Court Says Section 230 Shields Twitter From Revenge Porn Bro’s Stupid Lawsuit

16 07 2019

Tim Cushing
Tech Dirt
June 13, 2019
Former revenge porn extortionist and current pro se litigant, Craig Brittain, is one severely-narrowed complaint away from having his lawsuit against Twitter tossed. Brittain sued Twitter over the deletion of several accounts, including those he had whipped up for his Senate run.

The court’s first pass at the lawsuit moved it to California, a venue shift Brittain explicitly agreed to each time he created another alt account. Terms of service say suing Twitter means suing in California, even if you’re an Arizonan Senate hopeful with a closet that contains nothing but skeletons.

Contrary to Brittain’s fervent and litigious belief, there’s nothing illegal about deleting Craig Brittain’s multiple Twitter accounts. Brittain’s lawsuit tried to make it possible by treating Twitter as both a provider and a publisher, depending of which description worked out better for his arguments. The court decides to let Brittain have it both ways — and lose both ways. (h/t Adam Steinbaugh)

As a service provider, Twitter cannot be held liable for third party content. It can also remove accounts without losing this immunity. Since this isn’t about the removal of content, but rather the removal of accounts, Brittain tried to argue Section 230 immunity can’t protect Twitter from this lawsuit because removing accounts (and their content) is an editorial activity. The court points out this has zero effect on Section 230 protections. From the decision [PDF]:

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190612/19144342387/court-says-section-230-shields-twitter-revenge-porn-bros-stupid-lawsuit.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Three Years Later: 1st Amendment Challenge Over DMCA’s Anti-Circumvention Provisions Can Move Forward

16 07 2019

Mike Masnick
Tech Dirt
June 12, 2019

Almost exactly three years ago we wrote about how well known computer security professor Matthew Green and famed hardware hacker Bunnie Huang had teamed up with EFF and the law firm Wilson Sonsini to file a fascinating 1st Amendment challenge to the DMCA’s Section 1201. 1201 is the so-called “anti-circumvention” or digital locks provision of the DMCA, that says that it’s infringing to “manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof” that is designed to “circumvent” DRM or other “technological protection measures.” Basically, if there’s a digital lock on something — doing anything to get around it (or to help others get around it) is potentially a copyright violation even if (and this is important) the purpose and result of circumventing the DRM has nothing to do with infringing on copyright.

Even Congress knew that this part of the law was crazy when they passed it. It knew that this would lead to all sorts of perfectly reasonable activities suddenly being declared infringing — so it came up with a really annoying hack to deal with that. A triennial review, where every three years everyone could go beg the Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress to grant categories of exemptions from Section 1201. Those exemptions only last for three years, so even if you get one, you need to keep applying.

The lawsuit took an interesting approach to challenging 1201. Noting that the Supreme Court has long held that fair use is a necessary safety valve to make copyright compatible with the 1st Amendment, they noted that 1201 does not allow fair use as a defense. And if it’s true that fair use is necessary to make copyright compliant with the 1st Amendment, then that should mean that 1201 is not constitutional.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190710/23312242561/three-years-later-1st-amendment-challenge-over-dmcas-anti-circumvention-provisions-can-move-forward.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Your Periodic Reminder That Keyword Ad Lawsuits Are Stupid–Passport Health v. Avance

12 07 2019

Eric Goldman
Technology & Marketing Law Blog
December 20, 2018

The parties compete for the provision of health services related to traveling, like immunizations. The defendant Avance bought keyword ads triggered on the plaintiff’s trademark “Passport Health.” In 2013, the trademark owner complained, and Avance apparently dropped the Google ad buy. However, apparently everyone forget about Bing. In 2017, the trademark owner reemerged, complaining about the Bing ad buys. This lawsuit ensued.

It doesn’t go well for the trademark owner.

Case citation: Passport Health, LCC v. Avance Health System, Inc., 2018 WL 6620914 (E.D.N.C. Dec. 18, 2018)

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/12/your-periodic-reminder-that-keyword-ad-lawsuits-are-stupid-passport-health-v-avance.htm Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com



Buyer, Keeper, Forever? Second Circuit Affirms Decision that Music Files Purchased Online Cannot Be Resold Online

12 07 2019

Rashanda Bruce
LexBlog
December 21, 2018

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals returned a favorable ruling for major record companies in a copyright infringement case on December 12, 2018.  The ruling came down in Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi Inc., a lawsuit involving an online platform (“ReDigi”) designed to enable the lawful resale of purchased digital music files.  The Second Circuit concluded that ReDigi infringed the record companies’ exclusive rights under Section 106 of the Copyright Act.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2018/12/21/buyer-keeper-forever-second-circuit-affirms-decision-music-files-purchased-online-cannot-resold-online/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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If Your Trademark Case Depends on Showing Initial Interest Confusion, Save Your Money–Select Comfort v. John Baxter

12 07 2019

Eric Goldman
Technology & Marketing Law Blog
December 14, 2018

Today’s case comes on post-jury motions in one of several litigation battle royales in the mattress industry. (Aside: I HATE blogging mattress cases because players in that industry litigate to the death, resulting in overlong opinions). The jury found that “Defendants did not infringe Select Comfort’s trademark rights in SLEEP NUMBER, WHAT’S YOUR SLEEP NUMBER?, SELECT COMFORT, or COMFORTAIRE.” Select Comfort sought to overturn the jury verdict based on the initial interest confusion doctrine. The court says no (emphasis added):

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/12/if-your-trademark-case-depends-on-showing-initial-interest-confusion-save-your-money-select-comfort-v-john-baxter.htm Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Nintendo Attempts To Bottle The Leak Genie With Copyright Strikes

12 07 2019

Timothy Geigner
Tech Dirt
Dec. 6, 2018

Well, as you may have heard, Nintendo suffered its own high-profile leak recently, with the forthcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate finding its way onto the internet before the game has even been released. As you would expect, Nintendo got its lawyers busy firing off DMCA notices for all kinds of sites that were hosting the actual game that leaked. It also, however, decided to issue copyright strikes on YouTubers who showed any of the games content.

The YouTuber named Crunchii has been uploading new remixes from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to his channel over the past few days, which has drawn the ire of Nintendo. Crunchii’s channel has been hit with copyright strikes from Nintendo of America, which has caused him to be locked out of his account and will result in its termination over the next few weeks.

There is also a YouTuber named Dystifyzer, who also posted songs from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s soundtrack. He too has been hit with numerous copyright strikes from Nintendo and is expecting his YouTube channel to be gone by next week.

This is stupid on so, so many levels. First, combating leaks with copyright notices rarely works at all, never mind well. Once the bell has been rung on the internet, it’s nearly impossible to fully unring it. On top of that, going after YouTubers that are simply showing off the leaked product really only makes a ton of sense if you don’t have a ton of confidence in the quality of that product. If you believe the product is awesome, you should want it shown off, even prior to release. Hell, maybe especially just prior to release, as a way to hype the game even further and push more sales.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181128/10221041122/nintendo-attempts-to-bottle-leak-genie-with-copyright-strikes.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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When Does “Copying” a Photograph of a Building Constitute Copyright Infringement?

12 07 2019

Neal Klausner of Davis & Gilbert LLP, Howard Weingrad of Davis & Gilbert LLP & Claudia G. Cohen of Davis & Gilbert LLP
LexBlog
December 5, 2018

A recent decision from a Pennsylvania federal court underscores that there is generally no copyright protection in an actual building or a skyline of buildings; instead, the protection is in the particular photograph or rendering of the building.

Creating an original depiction of a building or skyline that is not substantially similar to the photograph or rendering may provide protection from liability for copyright infringement. Other federal courts, however, have held that actual use of a pre-existing photograph of a skyline of buildings, or a portion of such a photograph, without the copyright owner’s authorization, may constitute copyright infringement.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2018/12/05/when-does-copying-a-photograph-of-a-building-constitute-copyright-infringement Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com


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MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT

12 07 2019

Ryan Compton and Thomas Holguin
LexBlog
November 29, 2018

After many years of litigation and lobbying expenses, the battle over pre-1972 music rights has finally been ended.  On October 11, 2018, President Trump signed the Music Modernization Act (“MMA”), legislation that purports to provide additional protection for song writers and publishers, as well as to provide a clearer licensing landscape for those who use such music. The bill revamps Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act in three major aspects:

  1. Pre-1972 Sound Recordings
  1. Licensing
  1. Royalties for Music Producers

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2018/11/29/music-modernization-act-2/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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