Sorry, Sony Music, you don’t own the rights to Bach’s music on Facebook

24 09 2018

Ars Technica

TIMOTHY B. LEE – 9/14/2018,

Sony Music Entertainment has been forced to abandon its claim that it owned 47 seconds of video of musician James Rhodes using his own piano to play music written by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Last week, Rhodes recorded a short video of himself playing a portion of Bach’s first Partita and posted it to Facebook. Bach died in 1750, so the music is obviously in the public domain. But that didn’t stop Sony from claiming the rights to the audio in Partita’s video.

“Your video matches 47 seconds of audio owned by Sony Music Entertainment,” said a notice Rhodes received on Facebook. Facebook responded by muting the audio in Rhodes’ video.

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What’s in the sweeping copyright bill just passed by the European Parliament

24 09 2018

Ars Technica

Timothy Lee

9-12-18

The European Parliament has approved a package of dramatic changes to copyright law that will have big implications for the future of the Internet.

“We’re enormously disappointed that MEPs [Members of European Parliament] failed to listen to the concerns of their constituents and the wider Internet,” said Danny O’Brien, an analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The legislation makes online platforms like Google and Facebook directly liable for content uploaded by their users and mandates greater “cooperation” with copyright holders to police the uploading of infringing works. It also gives news publishers a new, special right to restrict how their stories are featured by news aggregators such as Google News. And it creates a new right for sports teams that could limit the ability of fans to share images and videos online.

Ars Technica

TIMOTHY B. LEE –

9/12/2018

The European Parliament has approved a package of dramatic changes to copyright law that will have big implications for the future of the Internet.

“We’re enormously disappointed that MEPs [Members of European Parliament] failed to listen to the concerns of their constituents and the wider Internet,” said Danny O’Brien, an analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The legislation makes online platforms like Google and Facebook directly liable for content uploaded by their users and mandates greater “cooperation” with copyright holders to police the uploading of infringing works. It also gives news publishers a new, special right to restrict how their stories are featured by news aggregators such as Google News. And it creates a new right for sports teams that could limit the ability of fans to share images and videos online.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/09/european-parliament-approves-copyright-bill-slammed-by-digital-rights-groups/ 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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Guest Post: Hip-Hop Is Dead: Understanding the Issues Regarding Digital Sampling in the U.S. and Germany and the Potential Demise of an “American” Genre

23 09 2018

JetLaw

Guest post by Mark Edward Blankenship Jr.

Sept. 19, 2018

In creating the album “Hip-Hop Is Dead”, Nasir Jones, better known by his stage name Nas, postulated that hip-hop artists can help rebuild America by having more control in their music in response to a dying culture and a decline in innovation and political outreach. Yet, in subsequent interviews leading up to the album’s release, the title’s meaning began to shift and change as he responded differently at various junctures, eventually concluding in 2016 that “hip-hop is in a “better” place than it was a decade prior. Yet during that same year, the United States would end up facing a circuit split regarding the legality of digital sampling, which is still currently up for debate.

Back in 2005, the Sixth Circuit in Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films applied a per se infringement standard for sound recordings and digital sampling which many scholars criticized as being the death of hip-hop.  . . .

The de minimis defense is neither a novel nor recondite concept of copyright law, especially outside of the United States. In Kraftwerk v. Pelham (also known as Metall auf Metall), Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court [hereinafter BverfG] applied a similar standard for sound recordings two days before VMG Salsoul. . . .

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The content in this post was found at http://www.jetlaw.org/2018/09/19/guest-post-hip-hop-is-dead-understanding-the-issues-regarding-digital-sampling-in-the-u-s-and-germany-and-the-potential-demise-of-an-“american”-genre/ 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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Section 230’s Success in Under-the-Radar Cases

23 09 2018

Technology & Marketing Law Blog

Eric Goldman

Sept. 21, 2018

For every high-stakes Section 230 case that gets widespread coverage, I see many other low-profile cases–often pro se–where Section 230 works as we all expect. These rulings usually aren’t super-interesting because they confirm the status quo. However, they provide a good barometer of Section 230’s health as an immunity. Without Section 230 quickly cleaning up these cases, the courts would likely be flooded with thousands of similar cases, most of which would be flatly unmeritorious, and the collective effect of which would be to move defendants closer to death-by-one-thousand-duck-bites.

In this post, I’ll share four recent Section 230 cases that flew under the radar but, collectively, demonstrate the quietly powerful role that Section 230 plays in managing our litigious society. Because their complaints are so convoluted and pro se litigants love to threaten me with defamation, I’m just going to blockquote the courts’ applicable discussion.

DeLima v. YouTube

 

Lee v. OfferUp, Inc., 2018 WL 4283371 (E.D. La. Sept. 7, 2018):

 

Fehrenbach v. Zeldin, 2018 WL 4242452 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 6, 2018):

 

Shulman v. Facebook.com, 2018 WL 3344236 (D.N.J. July 9, 2018):

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/09/section-230s-success-in-under-the-radar-cases.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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Departing Employee Required to Transfer Social Media Accounts–Hyperheal Hyperbarics v. Shapiro

23 09 2018

Technology & Marketing Law Blog

by Venkat Balasubramani

Sept. 22, 2018

This is an ownership dispute over a departing employee’s right to use social media accounts and trademarks of an employer. The facts are somewhat atypical.

Shapiro founded a company called Hyperheal Hyperbarics to provide “hyperbaric oxygen therapy”. In 2014, the business was struggling and raised money from an investor, Samer Saiedy. Saiedy again put in money in 2015. Due to these cash infusions, Shapiro became a minority shareholder (owning 2.38%) and employee. In 2016, he was terminated. He was rehired in 2017 as an employee (he still retained his minority stake) but terminated again in 2018. Before being hired in 2017, he signed an employment agreement restricting his participation in social media on behalf of Hyperheal and agreeing to turn over unspecified social media accounts relating to Hyperheal. As part of the agreement, Shapiro also relinquished all rights in Hyperheal’s intellectual property.

After his 2016 termination, Shapiro filed a trademark application for “Hyperheal Hyperbarics, Inc.” In February 2017, prior to being rehired, the USPTO sent Shapiro an office action refusing his registration due to a previously filed mark (filed by Dr. Tommy Love).

After being hired in 2017, Shapiro ostensibly transferred over some social media accounts and domain names to the company. He did not mention the pending trademark application or office action. Because he never responded to the office action, the PTO deemed his application abandoned.

After his 2018 termination, Shapiro again applied to register a “Hyperheal Hyperbarics” trademark. This time, he bought Dr. Love’s interests in the trademarks. Shapiro also convinced GoDaddy to transfer the Hyperheal domain names back to him. He also told LinkedIn that Hyperheal infringed on Shapiro’s mark. Linkedin transferred control of the company account to Shapiro. Shapiro similarly contacted Twitter and Facebook. (The court does not describe the outcome of his efforts to pressure those companies into transferring accounts to Shapiro.)

Case citation: Hyperheal Hyperbarics v. Shapiro, 2018 WL 4257331 (D. Md. Sept 6, 2018).

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/09/departing-employee-required-to-transfer-social-media-accounts-hyperheal-hyperbarics-v-shapiro.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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Congressional Research Service Reports Now Officially Publicly Available

19 09 2018

TechDirt

For many, many years we’ve been writing about the ridiculousness of the Congressional Research Service’s reports being kept secret. If you don’t know, CRS is a sort of in-house think tank for Congress, that does, careful, thoughtful, non-partisan research on a variety of topics (sometimes tasked by members of Congress, sometimes of its own volition). The reports are usually quite thorough and free of political nonsense. Since the reports are created by the federal government, they are technically in the public domain, but many in Congress (including many who work at CRS itself) have long resisted requests to make those works public. Instead, we were left with relying on members of Congress themselves to occasionally (and selectively) share reports with the public, rather than giving everyone access to the reports. . . .

And, this week, it has come to pass. As announced by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, there is now an official site to find CRS reports at crsreports.congress.gov.

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IP Address Subscriber Isn’t Liable for Copyright Infringement by Users Sharing That IP Address–Cobbler v. Gonzales

13 09 2018

Technology & Marketing Law Blog

Venkat Balasubramani

September 4, 2018

Plaintiff owns copyrights to “The Cobbler” movie and is trying to enforce its rights via litigation in courts around the country. Eric previously blogged about another The Cobbler enforcement suit that didn’t turn out well for the plaintiff. In this case, Cobbler identified an IP address in Oregon associated with several downloads. Cobbler then filed a Doe complaint against the IP address. In discovery, Cobbler learned the IP address was registered to the operator of an adult foster care home. After speaking with the operator (Gonzales), Cobbler concluded that Gonzales was neither the “regular occupant . . . or the likely infringer.” The plaintiff nevertheless filed an amended complaint naming Gonzales as the sole defendant.

The district court dismissed the direct infringement claim without prejudice and dismissed the contributory infringement claim with prejudice.  . . .

On appeal, the 9th circuit affirmed dismissal of the claims on the merits. Alleging only that the IP address was associated with the infringements does not satisfy the bare minimum required to plead infringement. Cobbler was aware that its evidentiary support felt short, as it admitted that it did not obtain information sufficient to identify a specific person as an infringer.

Case citation: Cobbler Nevada v. Gonzales, 2018 WL 4055766 (9th Cir. Aug. 27, 2018).

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/09/ip-address-subscriber-isnt-liable-for-copyright-infringement-by-users-sharing-that-ip-address-cobbler-v-gonzales.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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Ninth Circuit Says Having an IP Address is Not Enough for Infringement: Cobbler Nevada v. Gonzales

3 09 2018
Anyone with an internet connection can find copyrighted content to download—legally or illegally. But the Ninth Circuit has now held that the mere fact that a rightsholder can show an individual is connected to the IP address through which illegal downloading took place is not enough to make out a case for copyright infringement. In Cobbler Nevada v. Gonzales, plaintiff Cobbler owns the rights to a soon-to-be-released movie, copies of which started illegally becoming…

The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2018/08/30/ninth-circuit-says-having-an-ip-address-is-not-enough-for-infringement-cobbler-nevada-v-gonzales/ 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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Copyright Enters the Twilight Zone (A Series of Controversial Decisions May Not Be as Bad as They Seem: Part Two)

3 09 2018

COMLAWBLOG

KEVIN GOLDBERG

ON AUGUST 30, 2018

If you read the first part of this two-part post
on some bizarre copyright decisions emanating from federal courts in 2018, you know I left you with a cliffhanger. Copyright law was seemingly turned on its head when a federal court judge in New York declared that embedding tweets with photos could be considered direct infringement of a copyright owner’s display right in those photos. Or did it?

Judge Katherine Forrest asserted that her decision would not prove as consequential in fact as many feared because defendants facing liability after embedding tweets in their websites might still have many defenses at their disposal.

I surprised myself by eventually agreeing with that position, based on two fair use cases that were also decided this year.

The first case is Philpot v. Media Research Center. Decided on Jan. 8 by Judge T.S. Ellis III, it involved photos taken by professional photographer Larry Philpot. . .  .

Judge Claude Hilton applied a similar analysis in his June 11 decision in Brammer v. Violent Hues Productions, LLC.

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Disney Fixes Its Sketchy DVD Rental License, Wins Injunction Against Redbox Over Digital Downloads

3 09 2018

Tech Dirt

Mike Masnick

[ed’s note: we need no more evidence than this case to substantiate our claim that judges in the US court system have lost their collective memories from the contracts classes they took in law school. Apparently, not a one of them is willing to use common sense and legal judgment to mark terms of service and other wrap contracts as the crap that they usually are. Here, we have yet another stunning example of a judge sticking with bad precedent rather than pointing out the obvious and thereby bringing some wisdom into the void].

Tech Dirt

Mike Masnick

Earlier this year we wrote about Disney’s silly lawsuit against Redbox. If you don’t recall, Redbox, whose main business was renting DVDs out of kiosks started also offering digital download codes that could be purchased at their kiosks. What Redbox did, was it would buy Disney “combo packs” (that came with both a DVD and a download code) and would offer up just the slip of paper with the code out of its kiosks. This seems like perfectly reasonable first sale rights. A legitimate code was purchased, and then resold.

When we wrote about the case back in February, it involved the court smacking down Disney, and even saying that the company was engaged in “copyright misuse” in overclaiming what copyright allowed the company to do. . . .

So my prediction following that was: “this almost certainly means that Disney is quickly reprinting the packaging on all its Combo Pack DVDs to make this language more legalistic to match the Lexmark standard.”

And… bingo. That’s exactly what happened. In a new ruling, the court has now granted a preliminary injunction against Redbox all because of the new “contract” language Disney has put on its DVDs (though amusingly, in a footnote, the court notes “Disney does not concede that the changes were necessary.”)

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180831/00545440550/disney-fixes-sketchy-dvd-rental-license-wins-injunction-against-redbox-over-digital-downloads.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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