Top Internet Law Developments of 2019

27 03 2020

Technology & Marketing Law Blog
Eric Goldman
Jan. 7, 2020

It’s increasingly hard to find good news in Internet law, so I organized this year’s Internet Law roundup by categories of doom. Trigger warning: you should grab some tissues before proceeding.

Doomed (in a Bad Way)

Doomed: User-Generated Content.

Doomed: Print-on-Demand Services.

Doomed: Online Marketplaces.

Doomed: Internet Access Providers.

Doomed: Cybersecurity.

Doomed: Sex Workers and Sex Trafficking Victims.

Doomed: the CCPA. 

Doomed (in a not-terrible sense)

Doomed: “Must-Carry” Obligations for Publishers Who Aren’t State Actors. 

Doomed: the Roommates.com Section 230 Exception.

Doomed: Cases Against Social Media Services for Terrorist Content.

Doomed: the Liebowitz Copyright Litigation Machine.

Doomed: Politicians Banning Constituents on Social Media. T

Other

Online Political Content and Ads.

hiQ v. LinkedIn.

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2020/01/top-internet-law-developments-of-2019.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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Cox Faces Staggering $1 Billion Verdict in Copyright Case

27 03 2020

LexBlog
Mike Willee
January 14, 2020

Culpability has become has become an ever-more-relevant question in cases of copyright violation, with technology making both the dissemination of creative works and the subsequent violation of creators’ rights easier than ever. The ultimate blame in those belongs to those actually perpetrating the acts, but our sense of justice and the system put in place around that notion seeks both to assign some responsibility and punishment to those who might have enabled misdeeds through direct action or negligent inaction. It’s something that we see from large corporations, where inaction is often the norm for a variety of reasons, although in light of one recent case, those same companies might feel compelled to get proactive.

Cox Communications is facing a colossal judgment from the jury in a case of copyright infringement, to the tune of $1 billion; not for infringing upon copyright themselves, but for not doing enough to stem violations committed by their customers. It’s an amount that defies logic and reason, as Techdirt suggests, and certainly stands as a case where the punishment far exceeds the crime, given that the crime is not stopping crimes, which most any internet service provider or tech platform is almost certainly guilty of in some measure.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/01/14/cox-faces-staggering-1-billion-verdict-in-copyright-case/ 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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YouTube Rolls Out Updates to Improve Copyright Claims Process

27 03 2020

LexBlog
Mike Willee
January 16, 2020

There’s been much written about the manifold issues facing YouTube as it comes to copyright complaints — not only the inevitable problem of copyright violation but the manner in which the tools offered to try and address the problem are weaponized by bad-faith actors or overzealous entities in an attempt to simply remove videos and creators from the site, regardless of the merit or severity of the alleged violation. Users compiling enough strikes for copyright violation, as reported by other users, faced the possibility of having their account suspended, and even in cases where the complaint was proven unwarranted, there was still the time and hassle of having to deal with the complaint. It was an outcome as concerning as it was predictable, seemingly another case where tech companies shunting off responsibilities to users simply created a new problem while not fully addressing the old one.

Perhaps we were underestimating YouTube, at least in this one instance, because they have introduced a somewhat elegant solution to the problem, even if the finer points still need to be worked out. According to The Verge, YouTube in introducing an “Assisted Trim” feature that allows creators to simply cut out the offending material from their video in order to resolve the claim against it. According to the same article, the feature doesn’t yet allow for manual adjustments that would make for perhaps more cohesive and logical cuts, but that remains in the works.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/01/16/youtube-rolls-out-updates-to-improve-copyright-claims-process/ 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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Protecting Creative Works After Fourth Estate v. Wall-Street.com

27 03 2020
IP Watchdog
Candace Lynn Bell & Christina Frangiosa
January 23, 2020
In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court finally unequivocally answered the question about whether copyright owners need to receive a Registration Certificate from the Copyright Office before filing suit for infringement and thus resolved a difference of opinion among various regional circuit courts.[ed: yes they do] (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC. Since this decision was issued, federal district courts have cited it in at least 63 decisions. What should artists, writers, and businesses do now to protect their creative work? How should attorneys alter the standard advice they give their clients? Let’s start with a review of what the ruling actually says.
The content in this post was found at https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/01/23/protecting-creative-works-fourth-estate-v-wall-street/id=118175/ 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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RIAA Realizes It Sued Charter Over A Bunch Of Songs It Doesn’t Hold The Copyrights For

27 03 2020

Tech Dirt
Mike Masnick
Mar 26th 2020

It’s been a year since the RIAA sued Charter Communications, using the same strategy it had used against smaller ISPs Cox and Grande Communications — that the DMCA actually requires internet access providers to completely kick users off upon the receipt of multiple (unproven) claims of copyright infringement. The RIAA has been plotting out this strategy for the better part of a decade.

For years, we’ve pointed out a number of problems with this, starting (most importantly) with the fact that accusations are not actual proof of infringement. And to kick people off of their sole access to the internet based solely on accusations would represent a real problem. As first noted by TorrentFreak, Charter has finally filed its answer, defenses, and counterclaims to the complaint. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in there, but a key part: the RIAA and its labels and publishing partners quietly admitted that they were suing over songs they did not hold the rights to. That’s kind of a big deal. Indeed, it reminds me of the revelation in the infamous Viacom/YouTube lawsuit that Viacom was suing over songs it had uploaded itself for marketing purposes.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200323/11190544150/riaa-realizes-it-sued-charter-over-bunch-songs-it-doesnt-hold-copyrights.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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How the Artist Community Can Go Beyond Social Media for Copyright Policing & Enforcement

26 03 2020

LexBlog
Peggy Keene
January 28, 2020

Artist Jonas Jödicke recently found himself in a social media firestorm after confronting musical artist Aaron Carter on Twitter over Carter’s alleged unauthorized use of his artwork.

In this blog we have written at length about the struggles between artists and copyright infringement, such as an artist’s struggle against copyright infringers that recreated her work in other mediums. [View “Cease-and-Desist Letters are Important Tools in an Artist’s Arsenal”.] This post will discuss the part social media plays, why inaction can be detrimental, and the legal options artists have against copyright infringement of their works.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/01/28/how-the-artist-community-can-go-beyond-social-media-for-copyright-policing-enforcement/ 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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YouTube Takes Down Live Stream Over Copyright Claim…Before Stream Even Starts

26 03 2020

Tech Dirt
Timothy Geigner
Jan 30th 2020

It seems that the concern over how YouTube is handling its platform when it comes to enforcing copyright claims is reaching something of a fever pitch. Hell, in just the last couple of weeks we’ve seen a YouTuber have his videos demonitized over copyright claims to the numbers “36” and “50”, rampant abuse of ContentID even as the EU edges closer to making that platform a requirement through Article 17, and wider concerns about YouTube’s inability to enforce moderation at scale in a way that makes even a modicum of sense. The point is that it’s becoming all the more clear that YouTube’s efforts at content moderation and copyright enforcement on its site are becoming a nightmare.

And perhaps there is no better version of that nightmare than when one YouTube streamer found his live stream taken down when Warner Bros. claimed copyright on it… before that live stream had even begun. Matt Binder hosts the political podcast “DOOMED with Matt Binder.” He also livestreams the show on YouTube. The night of the last Democratic Presidential debate, he scheduled a livestream to discuss the debate with a guest.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200129/13563143825/youtube-takes-down-live-stream-over-copyright-claimbefore-stream-even-starts.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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Can Application Programming Interfaces (“APIs”) Be Protected Under Copyright Law?

26 03 2020

LexBlog
Peggy Keene
February 4, 2020

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an incredibly important case between Oracle and Google regarding whether or not APIs can be protected under copyright law.

Oracle Accuses Google of Copying Java API, Claiming Copyright Infringement

In the case at hand, Oracle has accused Google of copying the API of Oracle’s Java programming language.  For those unfamiliar with the terminology, an API or “application programming interface” is basically the coding language that a computer relies on to execute tasks.  In other words, an API is the language that a computer relies on to know what to do.  Each API houses its own defined terms and vocabulary that includes named commands organized by grammatical structures that designate how the commands will be executed.

In this case, to execute or perform specific tasks using Java, a programmer must know “how to code in Java.” In other words, the programmer must know the predefined terms, commands, and specific grammatical structures unique to Java.

Oracle claims that the alleged copyright infringement occurred when Google copied the Java API commands wholesale in order to encourage programmers fluent in Java to program on Google’s Android operating system.  Oracle claims that Google knowingly reimplemented Java in order to entice programmers that were well-versed in Java into bringing their software and expertise to Google.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/02/04/can-application-programming-interfaces-apis-be-protected-under-copyright-law/ 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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Video Excerpts Qualify as Fair Use (and Another 512(f) Claim Fails)–Hughes v. Benjamin

26 03 2020

Technology & Marketing Law Blog
Eric Goldman
February 5, 2020

Hughes is a YouTuber. She made a 10 minute video of Hillary Clinton’s election night party called “We Thought She Would Win” and posted it to her channel. Benjamin also is a YouTuber, but on the opposite end of the political spectrum. He created a 2 minute video called “SJW Levels of Awareness,” which consisted solely of 6 excerpts from Hughes’ video without any additional commentary. He posted this video to his channel, which contained other videos criticizing the Left, feminists, and Black Lives Matter. Hughes sent a takedown notice to YouTube, which YouTube honored. Benjamin counternoticed, which YouTube apparently honored as well. Hughes sued Benjamin for copyright infringement and a 512(f) violation due to his counternotice. The court dismisses both claims.

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2020/02/video-excerpts-qualify-as-fair-use-and-another-512f-claim-fails-hughes-v-benjamin.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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Can a Retweet Constitute Copyright Infringement? Uh….–Bell v. Chicago Cubs

26 03 2020

Technology & Marketing Law Blog
Eric Goldman
February 6, 2020

Bell authored a book called “Winning Isn’t Normal.” He got a copyright registration for the book and a separate registration for a 241 word passage from the book (I won’t include that passage here for reasons that soon will be obvious). Bell claims this passage is the heart of the book.

In May 2016, Moawad Group posted the passage to its social media accounts. Bell sued Moawad Group for copyright infringement. In 2018, the Moawad case survived a motion to dismiss. Bell v. Moawad Grp., LLC, 326 F. Supp. 3d 918 (D. Ariz. 2018). The Moawad case apparently settled. There are other copyright lawsuits over the passage.

Lifrak was the director of the Chicago Cubs’ mental skills program (apparently he’s now an independent consultant). In May 2016, Lifrak retweeted the Moawad post to his then-1,000 followers, which generated 9 retweets and 14 likes. Bell sued Lifrak and the Chicago Cubs for copyright infringement. The defense sought a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, which the court partially grants.

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2020/02/can-a-retweet-constitute-copyright-infringement-uh-bell-v-chicago-cubs.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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