Brief: Psystar not down and out just yet, website back up

21 12 2009

Last week, Dow Jones Newswires quoted a Psystar lawyer, Eugene Action, who said that the company was shutting down and firing its eight employees in order to comply with an injunction issued against the company. Though Psystar still plans to appeal an unfavorable ruling in its California lawsuit with Apple, don’t count the company out just yet, according to lead counsel Kiwi Camara.

“Regrettably, Mr. Action was misquoted in an early story that seems to have been picked up elsewhere,” Camara told Computerworld. “Psystar does not intend to shut down permanently.”

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Brief: Google Book Search violates French copyright law

18 12 2009

Google’s preferred way of indexing information—doing it without permission, relying on fair use or fair dealing laws—has run into yet another spot of trouble in Western Europe. A French court has just ruled that the advertising giant must pay €300,000 in damages to a French publishing group for scanning, indexing, and displaying snippets of its work as part of Google Book Search.

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Jacobsen v. Katzer: Open Source Software Project Gains Key Rulings in Copyright Infringement Litigation

16 12 2009

Jacobsen v. Katzer involves a dispute over rights in software code distributed pursuant to the open source Artistic License. Last year the case yielded one of the very few judicial rulings dealing with open source software. As we wrote at the time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected the argument that open source licenses are enforceable only in a breach of contract action. In a broadly worded opinion that endorsed the open source approach to licensing, the court held that open source license restrictions are enforceable under U.S. copyright law, thereby making the federal courts, and the potent remedies under the Copyright Act, available to open source licensors.

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Don’t Sing-a-long: Capitol v Vimeo re ‘Lip Dub’ Videos

14 12 2009

Lip Dub – Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri on Vimeo.

Vimeo is a video-sharing site (owned by InterActive Corp). It apparently hosts many videos consisting of ‘lip dubs,’  . . .

The video above appears to reproduce a copyrighted work in its entirety . .  .

Complaint Capitol v Vimeo

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Record Label Sues Google and Microsoft for Linking to Infringing Music–Blues Destiny v. Google

8 12 2009

By Eric Goldman

Blues Destiny Records LLC v. Google, Inc., 3:09-cv-00538-WS-EMT (N.D. Fla. complaint filed Dec. 7, 2009) [warning: 1.5MB PDF]

Blues Destiny Records, a small Blues music label, doesn’t like RapidShare, a website that allows users to publish files, because users are posting its copyrighted music there. It also doesn’t like that people who search for the label’s artists in Google and Microsoft get search results that link to sites that link to allegedly infringing copyrighted copies on RapidShare. The complaint was ambiguously worded in describing whether Google and Microsoft directly link to RapidShare or only indirectly link to sites that link to RapidShare, but my own searches indicated that Google’s search results did not take searchers directly to RapidShare. So I believe the information flows are something like this:

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Judge in Tenenbaum Case Condemns US Copyright Act

8 12 2009

U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner, the federal judge who presided over the recent file-sharing lawsuit against graduate student Joel Tenenbaum by the RIAA has called on the US Congress to reform the copyright law.

In a decision issued Monday, Judge Gertner stated “As this court has previously noted, it is very, very concerned that there is a deep potential for injustice in the Copyright Act as it is currently written. It urges — no implores — Congress to amend the statute to reflect the realities of file sharing… there is something wrong with a law that routinely threatens teenagers and students with astronomical penalties for an activity whose implications they may not have fully understood.”

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Artists’ lawsuit: major record labels are the real pirates

7 12 2009

Given how aggressively the recording industry likes to pursue file sharers, one would assume that the industry itself is in the clear when it comes to copyright infringement. But that assumption has been put to the test in Canada, where a massive infringement lawsuit is brewing against some major players. Members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, including the Big Four (Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada), face the prospect of damages ranging from $50 million up to $60 billion due to their use of artists’ music without permission. That’s right: $60 billion.

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How Team Tenenbaum missed a chance to shape P2P fair use law

7 12 2009

Federal judge Nancy Gertner today officially brought down the tent on the Joel Tenenbaum P2P Big Top World ‘O Fun, all but admitting that she would have given Tenenbaum’s arguments about “fair use” a truly sympathetic hearing were it not for the shoddy behavior of his legal team. What could have turned into a watershed case instead became another statutory crucifixion, with Gertner finally entering the jury’s $675,000 verdict against the young file-swapper whose defense crashed down with an in-court admission that he had been lying all along.

Gertner signed off the jury’s damage amounts, which means that Sony BMG is entitled to $112,500, Warner Bros. gets $225,000, Arista Records gets $45,000, and Universal picks up $292,500.

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Resident Advisor: Plagiarism in Electronic Music

1 12 2009
Where there’s a hit there’s a writ: Plagiarism in electronic music

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New Google Books Settlement Excludes Non-English Books From Proposed Digital Library

1 12 2009

In September the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York indefinitely delayed the settlement between Google and the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers, and other plaintiffs due to criticism from other interested parties. Now, Google has issued a revised settlement meant to address the critics’ issues–specifically, for out-of-print books that are still under copyright but whose copyright holders cannot be found. First, responding to complaints from the European Union, Google Books will not include non-English orphan works. Second, copyright holders now have 10 years to claim their work.

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