Son of ACTA: meet the next secret copyright treaty

13 03 2011

So many countries in need of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, so little time! The US government, still trying to secure final passage for the drafted-in-secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), has already turned its attention to a new multilateral trade agreement that will bring the wonders of the DMCA to countries like Australia, Brunei, Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), like the ACTA before it, had its intellectual property chapter drafted by the US. Once again, the chapter was drafted in secret and has been classified for at least four years after negotiations end. The agreement exports (nearly verbatim) the DMCA’s rules on digital locks, ISP liability, and subscriber disconnections, with a few extra goodies on the side.

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Supremes to decide if public domain works can be re-copyrighted

10 03 2011

The Supreme Court will says it will hear a case considering whether public domain works can be pushed back into the copyright closet. And advocacy groups say that free speech is at stake in this fight. Congress’ decision to uphold an international treaty allowing for public works to be “restored” into copyright will create an atmosphere of uncertainty for libraries, they warn, caretakers of the public domain.

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Illegal TV streamers, here’s how the feds will hunt you down

10 03 2011

When the US government decides to take down a website offering access to free TV streams over the Internet, it doesn’t mess around. Newly unsealed court documents show that Brian McCarthy, the 32-year old alleged operator of Channelsurfing.net, got the complete treatment—investigators dug into his domain name registrar, his ISP, his Gmail account, his ad brokers, and the Texas driver’s license database. They even sent a surveillance team to the Deer Park, Texas home where McCarthy lived with his parents.

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“Consumer Reviews of Doctors and Copyright Law” Talk Notes

3 03 2011

By Eric Goldman

You may recall that Medical Justice is a vendor trying to help doctors squelch online patient reviews–most recently by getting a prospective copyright assignment of the unwritten reviews and then sending 512(c)(3) takedown notices for any unwanted online reviews that are now newly owned. This is a terrible hack on the entire consumer review ecosystem, and it’s been bothering me for some time as I mentioned in my recent Regulation of Reputational Information paper.

Last month, I gave my first public talk about Medical Justice at the University of Houston. I styled the talk “Consumer Reviews of Doctors and Copyright Law,” two topics I never thought would go together but apparently they do. My talk slides. I will have more to say about Medical Justice’s system and its many deficiencies in the near future.

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Jan.-Feb. 2011 Quick Links, Part 3 (Trademarks, Domain Names and Trade Secrets Edition)

3 03 2011

By Eric Goldman

Trademarks and Domain Names

* From my perspective, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) domain name seizures are one of the US government’s top 5 all-time worst assaults on the Internet’s integrity. DHS’s ICE division is grabbing domain names—the virtual equivalent of printing presses—citing half-baked legal theories and poorly researched factual claims without any advance notice or adversarial proceedings. This is exactly what we expect our government won’t do.

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Australia confirms ISPs are not copyright cops

28 02 2011

The Federal Court of Australia has dismissed a case (read the ruling) from the movie industry which argued that ISPs must take action against file-swappers, based on allegations of infringement from copyright holders. The case against ISP iiNet was an appeal of the original judgment in the matter, which also went against rightsholders.

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The Righthaven Lawsuits: What is Fair Use of Online Publications?

28 02 2011

Righthaven LLC is an intellectual property enforcement firm that was formed by a group of copyright attorneys and Stephens Media, the publisher of the Law Vegas Review-Journal. The company has been making a name for itself; since early 2010, has brought two hundred copyright infringement suits in the District of Nevada alone against Web site owners, forum operators and bloggers alleged to have unauthorized copies of the Review-Journal’s articles on their sites. . . .

So far, about half of the Righthaven lawsuits have settled, probably for the low four figures. Righthaven Lawsuits, a Web site that tracks the Righthaven litigation, estimates that Righthaven has taken in about $364,000 thus far.  But some Righthaven targets are fighting back, raising defenses such as copyright fair use and implied license, in several cases with the assistance of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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Educational Video Streaming: A Short Primer

23 02 2011

Arnie Lutzker has taught many times for the Center for Intellectual Property. In the past, he presented at various CIP seminars and conferences. And he contributed a chapter to the CIP Handbook. Arnie is a great copyright teacher and the CIP staff welcomes his wisdom and insight.

Recently, Arnie wrote an article on the dispute between the Association for Information Media and Equipment (AIME) and UCLA. To be fair, Arnie is representing AIME and so this article should be read with an understanding that he is advocating on their behalf. Nevertheless, I think his analysis and observations should substantively contribute to the ongoing discussion of this very important subject of streaming video to classes.

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Read Educational Video Streaming – A Short Primer (PDF)

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Library Copyright Alliance Enters the Online Video Discussion

23 02 2011

I meant to post this information when it came out recently but better late than never. For those of you following the conversation on whether or not the law permits educational institutions to stream entire movies or videos within an online course, the Library Copyright Alliance has joined the discussion with an issue brief accessible from this site: http://www.arl.org/news/pr/Streaming-Films-19feb10.shtml

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No Fair Use For E-Reserves Or Online Courses?

23 02 2011

Many of you, like me, have been watching the publishers’ (plaintiffs) lawsuit against Georgia State University (GSU) concerning the amount of copyrighted material posted in the University’s electronic reserves and online course management systems, pursuant to fair use. The burning question for me is how much was too much for the publishers?

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