‘Worst of Both Worlds’ FOSTA Signed Into Law, Completing Section 230’s Evisceration

15 04 2018

Technology & Marketing  Law Blog

Eric Goldman

April 11, 2018

This morning, President Trump signed H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA), into law. The bill signing was anticipated, but that doesn’t make the outcome any less terrible. Today, Washington DC regulators made a major error, one that we’ll likely regret for decades.

Eventually, I plan to write an explainer about the law. In this post, I’ll highlight three developments from the past 2+ weeks since the Senate approved the bill, plus some open questions.

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How Not to Copy: What is Fair and What is Fair Use?

11 04 2018

IP Watchdog

Raymond Van Dyke
April 5, 2018

These issues of fairness and fair use are played out in the recent Oracle v. Google decision. In a convoluted case that has gone up to the Supreme Court once and will again, the Federal Circuit finally was able to make a ruling that the blatant, verbatim copying of computer code is not a fair use. At issue were the copying of 37 Oracle programs or apps, constituting over 11,500 lines of code, by Google for their use in the Android operating system for smart phones and other uses… In the Federal Circuit’s final analysis of the four factors, they again noted that Google could have written their own code or properly licensed with Oracle, but instead chose to copy. “There is nothing fair about taking a copyrighted work verbatim and using it for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform.” Accordingly, the Federal Circuit held that Google’s use of the Oracle code was not a fair use.

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https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2018/04/05/how-not-to-copy-what-is-fair-and-what-is-fair-use/id=95512/

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Patent Troll Sues Spotify, SoundCloud And Deezer Over Patent On A ‘Music Organizer And Entertainment Center’

11 04 2018

Another day, another story of another patent troll. This one is about MOAEC Technologies LLC, a “patent licensing” company that exists solely around four related patents for a “music organizer and entertainment center.” Last month, MOAEC sued Spotify, SoundCloud and Deezer over these patents. It’s interesting that the lawsuit came just a few weeks before Spotify’s IPO, as we’ve seen a bunch of companies sued for patent infringement right before their IPOs — but it didn’t prevent Spotify’s IPO from happening.

All three lawsuits focus on US Patent 6,232,539, which is described this way:

The content in this post was found at 

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https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180405/06423339567/patent-troll-sues-spotify-soundcloud-deezer-over-patent-music-organizer-entertainment-center.shtml

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Vimeo Copyright Infringement Case Still Going Nearly A Decade Later, With Another Partial Win For Vimeo

11 04 2018

tech dirt

Mike Masnick

I’ll admit that I’d forgotten this case was still going on, but after nearly a decade, there it is. The case involves record labels suing web hosting site Vimeo for copyright infringement. The case, which was first filed in 2009, initially focused on Vimeo’s promotion of so-called “lipdubs.” Vimeo is a much smaller competitor to YouTube for hosting videos, but in the 2007 to 2009 timeframe, got some attention for hosting these “lipdubs” of people singing along to famous songs. Perhaps the most famous was one done by the staff of Vimeo itself. The case has taken many, many, many twists and turns.

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https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180406/12242839584/vimeo-copyright-infringement-case-still-going-nearly-decade-later-with-another-partial-win-vimeo.shtml

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PUBG creators finally decide a copycat game has gone too far, file suit

10 04 2018

Ars Technica

– 4/5/2018

As expected, the massively popular online shooter Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) has been followed by a wave of imitators, particularly on smartphones. But it has been unclear if or when the game’s creators would ever consider legal action against any of these copycats. In particular, a brief chest-puffing incident involving the similar, and hugely popular, Fortnite Battle Royale came and went last year without incident.

That changed on Monday with a suit filed against NetEase, a Chinese game publisher with two very PUBG-like games on smartphones. The suit, filed in Northern California’s US District Court by PUBG Corp (a wholly owned subsidiary of Korean game publisher Bluehole), alleges both copyright and trademark violations by NetEase’s mobile-only games Rules of Survival and Knives Out.

Much like PUBG, NetEase’s games offer 100-person online battles on an island that players parachute onto. The battles revolve around a constantly shrinking “safe zone,” a specific set of military-grade weapons and armor, and a variety of island-crossing vehicles. What’s more, NetEase’s games beat PUBG to iOS, which invited a substantial number of “PUBG on phone” comparisons before the official version finally hit mobile devices.

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https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/04/pubg-creators-finally-decide-a-copycat-game-has-gone-too-far-file-suit/

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Tom Brady and a Ruling over Embedded Tweets Could Change the Internet and Online Publishing

10 04 2018

IP Watchdog

Franco Galbo
April 6, 2018

Of all of the things NFL quarterback Tom Brady has been accused of ruining over the years, the internet is not necessarily at the top of the list, and certainly not based on an alleged copyright infringement that he had no part in perpetuating. Yet, a photograph of him and Danny Ainge, the general manager of the Boston Celtics, could in fact forever change the internet and online publishing as we know it.

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he content in this post was found at 

https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2018/04/06/tom-brady-embedded-tweets-online-publishing/id=95387/

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DMCA Safe Harbor Applies to Some Unfair Competition Claims–Capitol Records v. Vimeo

10 04 2018

You probably remember this case. Copyright owners sued the video hosting site Vimeo for third party uploaded videos that allegedly infringed their copyrights. Given this was the paradigmatic situation the DMCA safe harbor was designed to address, you’d think this would result in a quick-and-cheap defense win.

HA! This lawsuit was filed in December 2009, so it’s closing in on its decade anniversary. In 2013, the district court ruled that the DMCA safe harbor did not apply to state copyrighted works, including pre-1972 sound recordings. In an important ruling in 2016, the Second Circuit reversed that ruling, holding that the DMCA safe harbor did apply to state copyrights. The Second Circuit’s ruling had other provisions generally favorable to Vimeo.

Case citation: Capital Records LLC v. Vimeo LLC, 2018 WL 1634123 (SDNY March 31, 2018). [the court caption in this ruling spells it “Capital,” even though the case name is Capitol.]

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https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/04/dmca-safe-harbor-applies-to-some-unfair-competition-claims-capitol-records-v-vimeo.htm
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RIAA Gets To Move Forward In Case That Tries To Force ISPs To Help Copyright Trolls

10 04 2018

TechDirt

Mike Masnick

Back in February, we wrote about the details of the appeals court ruling in BMG v. Cox, a case that looked at whether or not internet access providers are required to terminate users accused of repeat infringement. The case was really a proxy for copyright trolling operation Rightscorp, which floods ISPs with claims of infringement tied to “settlement” offers that it wants the ISPs to pass on to end users. As discovery during the Cox case revealed, Rightscorp engages in incredibly sketchy practices to pressure people into paying up (such as telling them that they need to take their computers to the local police station for a search to prove they’re not infringing).

However, due to a bunch of weird details in that case — including a judge who made it clear he didn’t think the internet was such a big deal — Cox lost that case, and then again on appeal. The good thing in the appeal, however, was that the opinion mostly limited its decision to the specific facts in Cox’s case, which included the fact that it had a “repeat infringer policy” but it didn’t follow its own policy. That’s really what sunk Cox. The court noted that an ISP should have wide latitude in designing its own repeat infringer policy, it just had to then follow its own policy. And Cox didn’t.

While that case was going on, a second similar case was filed, this time by Universal Music Group against Grande Communications. Back in February, the magistrate judge on that case made recommendations to allow the case to move forward, though throwing out some of the claims. As TorrentFreak recently pointed out, the Title III judge in the case has accepted the recommendations of the magistrate, which you can see here.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180405/17093439579/riaa-gets-to-move-forward-case-that-tries-to-force-isps-to-help-copyright-trolls.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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Guest Post: Virtual Reality as an Agent of Legal Change

10 04 2018

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law

Guest post by Gilad Yadin

april 9, 2018

When I began studying the legal implications of virtual reality technology, seeing or using an actual virtual reality system required access to a research laboratory or a specialized training facility; virtual reality was something most people associated with science fiction, it seemed futuristic and far-fetched. A few years ago, Facebook got very publicly into virtual reality and suddenly everyone was talking about affordable, connected, social virtual reality environments. These days, roughly $400 worth of virtual reality hardware allows anyone to interact with social contacts, through expressive avatars, in a three-dimensional spatial environment. The surging virtual reality market is estimated to reach $40 billion by 2020. Cyberspace is changing in ways that can no longer be ignored.

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http://www.jetlaw.org/2018/04/09/guest-post-guest-post-virtual-reality-as-an-agent-of-legal-change/

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DSM Watch: Regulation on Portability of Online Content comes into force 1 April 2018

4 04 2018

Hogan/Lovells

APRIL 1ST, 2018 BY DR. NILS RAUER, ALASTAIR SHAW AND PENNY THORNTON

This year’s Easter holiday brings with it a further milestone in the Commission’s endeavor to bring about a truly Digital Single Market: The Portability Regulation (EU) 2017/1128 comes into force on 1 April 2018. The Regulation facilitates cross-border portability of online content. It allows for subscribed content services to “travel” with the subscriber throughout the entire European Union. Be it movies, sport events, music, e-books, online games, they all need to remain accessible when temporarily abroad in another Member State. Service providers need to make sure this travel option is provided to their customers. Importantly, the Regulation applies to both new and existing subscriber contracts.

 

….

The Regulation

According to Article 3 of the Regulation, providers of paid-for online content services are obliged to allow access and use of the content during a temporary presence in another Member State. The same content, the same types and the same number of devices (PC, smartphone, tablet etc.), the same number of authorised users and the same range of functions must be granted. Only the quality standards abroad are not guaranteed to be equal to those in the country of subscription. Providers who operate on the basis of a contract but free of charge can choose whether they want to make their online content available to their subscribers while travelling (Article 6). This also includes public broadcasters to which a mandatory broadcasting fee has to be paid.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.hlmediacomms.com/2018/04/01/6952/

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