Art, AI & Infringement: A Copyright Conundrum

9 07 2019

Timothy Geigner
Tech Dirt
Oct 16th 2018

A case in point of this would be Canadian artist Adam Basanta, who has come up with a bonkers and very cool method for both producing machine-generated art and then validating that art for human consumption by comparing it to real-world artwork made by us lowly apes. Let’s start with his setup.

Broadly, Basanta’s machine has two stages: creation and validation.

Creation happens with a hardware setup that Basanta likens to a Rube Goldberg machine: two computer scanners tipped on their sides and pointed face to face, endlessly scanning each other, and the results – influenced by shifts in the room’s lighting, randomized settings and an automatically moving mouse – are interpreted by a computer and turned into colourful abstract pictures.

The second stage is validation. Another computer running a custom-built program automatically checks each image against an online database of real art made by human hands. If the machine-made image is similar to one that has been human-made, the computer dubs it a success and keeps it; if there is no match, the image is deleted forever.

If that doesn’t get your heart beating a little faster, you simply don’t care about art. This setup is, at the very least, incredibly interesting, and Basanta’s method for validating whether the art produced by the machines is good enough for human consumption or not kicks the interest level into overdrive. His setup generates something like a thousand images a day, with a tiny fraction of that being deemed worthy of retention. The whole thing was good enough to warrant an art exhibit in Canada and Basanta has featured many of the images on his website as well.

And that’s where the trouble started. Artist Amel Chamandy has alleged that Basanta violated her copyright on a piece she created called “A World Without Trees”, as well as the trademark rights she has on her own name. Both claims stem from one of the pieces Basanta’s machine setup used to validate its own artwork against and the naming convention it used to denote the new pieces it created.

more

The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181005/09595440788/art-ai-infringement-copyright-conundrum.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com


Powered by WPeMatico



Supreme Court To Review Whether Or Not You Can Copyright State Laws

4 07 2019

Mike Masnick
Tech Dirt
June 26, 2019

Last fall we were happy to see the 11th Circuit rule that, obviously, a state’s official laws couldn’t be covered by copyright . . .

the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

more

The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190624/10311942465/supreme-court-to-review-whether-not-you-can-copyright-state-laws.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

Powered by WPeMatico



Former FCC Official Attempts To Create An Aereo That The Supreme Court Won’t Kill

4 07 2019

Mike Masnick
Tech Dirt
Wed, Feb 6th 2019

If you’ve been following copyright issues for more than a few years, you surely remember Aereo, a company that attempted to set up a bunch of micro-TV antennas which it could then use to stream broadcast TV to paying subscribers. . . .

And then, even more bizarre, the Supreme Court ruled against Aereo using no actually defined standard, but basically just saying that it looked too much like a cable service, so they’ll call it a cable service (something I’ve referred to as the Supreme Court’s “looks like a duck” doctrine). . . .

However, it appears that at least one operation is trying again with an Aereo-like approach. And once again, it’s taken a very legally-focused approach. Perhaps that’s because it’s been set up by a lawyer, David Goodfriend, who formerly worked for the FCC (and in the media industry). The NY Times has a big article about his Locast operation, and how he’s hoping to get sued to prove that his approach is legal, where Aereo’s failed.

more

The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190204/10274241525/former-fcc-official-attempts-to-create-aereo-that-supreme-court-wont-kill.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

Powered by WPeMatico



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.

more

The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/09/sorry-sony-music-you-dont-own-the-rights-to-bachs-music-on-facebook/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

Powered by WPeMatico



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. . . .

more

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

Powered by WPeMatico



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.

more

The content in this post was found at https://www.commlawblog.com/2018/08/articles/intellectual-property/copyright-enters-the-twilight-zone-a-series-of-controversial-decisions-may-not-be-as-bad-as-they-seem-part-two/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

Powered by WPeMatico



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.”)

more

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

Powered by WPeMatico



Copyright Enters the Twilight Zone: (A Series of Controversial Decisions May Not Be All that They Seem: Part One)

26 08 2018

[Editor’s Note:  This is the first of a two-part episode on three copyright decisions issued by federal courts in 2018 that relate to the use of photos in news reporting; the second part will be posted next week.]

Picture for a moment a man. Not an ordinary man by any stretch. This man is Tom Brady. . . . .

The world is filled with pictures of Tom Brady. And one of those pictures has now become extremely controversial in a legal sense.

Which brings us to the heart of the matter – a February 15 decision by Judge Katherine Forrest in Goldman v. Breitbart, News Network LLC. The scene is the Hamptons, July 2, 2016. Tom Brady is seen with Danny Ainge, the general manager and President of the Boston Celtics. They are assumed to be there as part of the Celtics’ pitch to Kevin Durant, the most sought after free agent in the NBA that summer. Another man – this one an ordinary man who goes by the name of Justin Goldman – takes a photo of Brady and uploads it to his Snapchat Story. In 24 hours, that would generally be the end of the story, as the photo would disappear from that platform. But, as a photo of Tom Brady in the Hamptons just as the Celtics are believed to be wooing Kevin Durant will do, this photo goes viral and eventually ends up being uploaded to Twitter by several different people.

Several prominent news outlets, including, among others, Time, Inc (owner of Sports Illustrated), Yahoo, Vox, Gannett, the Boston Globe, NESN, and Breitbart News “embed” the Tweets into their online stories about a possible Celtics-Durant connection.

In this case, none of the defendants – according to Judge Forrest – actually copied and pasted the photo onto their own servers for display on their websites; instead, they follow the now-common practice of embedding content under a process allowed by the platform on which that content is found. Embedding is prevalent today because it is so easy to do and, until now, widely believed to be legal. The user simply needs to add a specific “embed code” to the HTML instructions when seeking to include a certain piece of content in a story. The underlying content – in this case the Tweet containing a picture of Tom Brady and Danny Ainge – remains on the original server – in this case, Twitter – even as it appears on the user’s website.

It’s that last part that has made embedding seem relatively safe from a copyright infringement perspective.  Until now, some courts – with the Ninth Circuit taking the lead – have analyzed embedding under the so-called “Server Test,” . . .

The Server Test is believed to have carried the day since 2006. But Judge Forrester’s decision may be changing that, as she ruled in favor of Justin Goldman, the plaintiff.

more

The content in this post was found at https://www.commlawblog.com/2018/08/articles/intellectual-property/copyright-enters-the-twilight-zone-a-series-of-controversial-decisions-may-not-be-all-that-they-seem-part-one/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

Powered by WPeMatico



Nintendo Files Copyright, Trademark Infringement Suit Against Operator of ROM Websites

21 08 2018

IP WatchDog

Steve Brachmann
August 17, 2018

Nintendo’s complaint targets the operator of LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co who has made thousands of Nintendo titles available online for free from platforms including the Game Boy, the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Super NES, Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS, among others. Nintendo alleges that just the top 10 games on the LoveROMs site in which Nintendo is a copyright claimant and trademark owner have been downloaded more than 60 million times. Further, the LoveROMs website allegedly receives more than 17 million visits each month.

more

The content in this post was found at https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2018/08/17/nintendo-files-copyright-trademark-infringement-suit-against-operator-rom-websites/id=100283/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

Powered by WPeMatico



Nintendo Using Copyright To Erase Video Game History

17 08 2018

Tech Dirt

by Mike Masnick

Just recently, Tim Geigner wrote about how Nintendo’s success with the relaunched Nintendo NES Classic showed how the company successfully competed with free, because there are plenty of NES emulators that can play ROMs for free. And yet, the NES Classic comes in a neat, easy to use package. And it’s worth buying if only because it looks cool — just like the original, but… tiny. I should know: I have one and it’s great. And my wife can’t stop playing Mario Bros. on it, though she keeps complaining about other games from her youth that are missing.

But, of course, this is Nintendo we’re talking about, so it’s been busy, busy, busy suing a bunch of ROM sites and scaring others into shutting down. The site EmuParadise shut down recently with the following as part of its farewell message after 18 years in operation:

more

The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180812/01001240414/nintendo-using-copyright-to-erase-video-game-history.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

Powered by WPeMatico