Google Books hasn’t cost authors a dime, company says

29 07 2012

On Friday, Google filed for summary judgment in the Google Books case against the Authors’ Guild, renewing its argument that the entire project constitutes fair use. That company argues therefore that it does not need permission from authors in order to scan substantial portions of their work.

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Music publisher uses DMCA to take down Romney ad of Obama crooning

27 07 2012

A YouTube video produced by the Romney for President campaign got hit by a takedown request on Monday, highlighting the challenges that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act can pose for free speech.

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Offering P2P File-Sharing Software for Downloading May Be Copyright Inducement–David v. CBS Interactive

23 07 2012

By Eric Goldman

David v. CBS Interactive Inc., CV 11-9437 DSF (C.D. Cal. July 13, 2012). The complaint.

When the Grokster Supreme Court opinion came out in 2005, there was a lot of confusion about the relationship between copyright “inducement” and contributory/vicarious infringement. Did the Supreme Court announce a new basis of derivative liability, or was inducement just a subset of contributory infringement? We haven’t gotten a crystal-clear answer over the years, but this case provides a resounding one: the court says the defendants in this case may be liable for inducing infringement even though they aren’t liable for contributory or vicarious infringement. Because this case demonstrates that inducement can completely bypass the existing derivative liability scheme, it’s troubling.

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Judge rules against broadcasters, denying injunction against Aereo TV

15 07 2012

In March, a coalition of major broadcasters sued a New York City-based TV-streaming startup called Aereo, which the broadcasters said was stealing their content so users could watch TV online. Today, a Manhattan US District Judge ruled against the coalition, which includes ABC, CBS, NBCUniversal, and Fox, saying she would not order Aereo to stop distributing service to its customers while the trial was ongoing.

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Canadian Supreme Court embraces fair use in landmark decisions

15 07 2012

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in five copyright cases heard by the court last year, setting the scene to re-write much of Canada’s intellectual property law as it pertains to digital media.

In the five cases, the Court established broader definitions for fair dealing (down here below the Great White North, we call our version “fair use”), in particular, for photocopying textbooks. Previously, a public umbrella body called Access Copyright charged additional fees, often passed directly to students, for university-given access to copyrighted textbooks and similar work. The Court trashed much of that setup, finding that photocopying textbooks for or by students for private study or research is fair dealing, and likely will save Canadian universities and students millions of dollars annually.

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Sanctions, Subpoenas and Porn: A Copyright Tale

15 07 2012

A Denton, Texas-based lawyer was sanctioned for subpoenaing the names of people who purportedly downloaded porn. He took his case to a federal appeals court and left smarting.

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No Negligence Claim for Infringement via Shared Internet Connection (Preempted by Copyright Act) – Liberty Media v. Tabora

12 07 2012

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani]

Liberty Media Holdings, LLC v. Tabora & Whetstone, 12 Civ. 2234 (LAK) (S.D.N.Y.; July 9, 2012)

A question that was floating around in the blogosphere was whether you can be sued for maintaining an open wi-fi connection where a third party engages in file-sharing using your connection. A district court judge in New York answered that question in the negative. (This case involved a shared internet connection, rather than open wi-fi, but this shouldn’t change the result.)

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SOPA architect now pushing for “IP Attaché” legislation

12 07 2012
Ars Technica

 

Another week, another controversial intellectual property enforcement bill hits Capitol Hill. This time, it’s called the IP Attaché Act, and while a draft bill has been released so far, it hasn’t officially be introduced in Congress.

The bill, its proponents say, “streamlines” the process of intellectual property enforcement abroad. Meanwhile, opponents charge that this is wholly unnecessary, given the myriad of federal agencies that already do this, in addition to the fact that this bill has been drafted in secret.

Some media outlets have charged that this new bill is a way to re-introduce SOPA, the controversial bill that died in Congress earlier this year. Indeed, this bill is sponsored chiefly by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who also was one of the primary architects of SOPA.

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Tech and Media Elite Are Likely to Debate Piracy

10 07 2012

NYT

By

Published: July 9, 2012

It’s not often moguls admit they made a mistake.

But lately some of the highest-paid executives at the world’s largest media companies have talked a lot about the lessons they learned from a failed industry-wide attempt to pass anti-piracy legislation six months ago.

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Op-ed: MPAA/RIAA lose big as US backs copyright “limitations”

9 07 2012

Well, it’s been a fun week on the international trade agreement front. Monday began yet another negotiating round for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, this time in San Diego. To the amazement of everyone, the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced on July 3 it would now include a provision in the intellectual property (IP) chapter recognizing the importance of “limitations and exceptions” to copyright and embracing the international 3-part test for what constitutes suitable limitations and exceptions. (For those not familiar with this term of art, “limitations and exceptions” are things like Fair Use and First Sale Doctrine in the United States. As the name implies, limitations and exceptions to copyright limit the rights of the copyright holder and create exceptions to the general rule against copying without permission.)

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