The Beat Goes On: In SCO v. Novell, Tenth Circuit Remands UNIX Copyright Ownership Issue for Trial

25 08 2009

The Tenth Circuit has ruled in the closely watched SCO v. Novell appeal, and while it upheld a judgment in favor of Novell for royalties due from The SCO Group, the appeals court remanded for a trial on the issue of ownership of the copyrights in the UNIX code that is at the heart of SCO’s copyright litigation against IBM over its contribution of code to the Linux operating system.

The SCO v. Novell case is one of a complicated series of litigations that commenced in 2003 when SCO claimed that copyrights in the UNIX code that it acquired as a result of a transaction with Novell in 1995 were infringed by IBM and users of the Linux OS.

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Google Book “Settlement” is Bad for Law, Copyright owners and Users

25 08 2009

Raymond Nimmer:

Many have asked my opinion of the Google Settlement. I join the broad opposition to the “settlement”: This is a bad deal for everyone other than for Google (which will become an entrenched monopoly). It is also bad precedent, taking legislative prerogatives, the property rights of millions of people, and important commercial choices, and placing them in the hands of a few lawyers, a few companies, non-representative organizations, and a judge.

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Online Retailer Isn’t Liable for User Comments–Cornelius v. DeLuca

24 08 2009

By Eric Goldman

Cornelius v. DeLuca, 2009 WL 2568044 (E.D. Mo. Aug. 18, 2009)

DeLuca runs bodybuilding.com, a fitness website and online retailer. The plaintiffs sell dietary supplements (“syntrax,” whatever that is). The plaintiffs allege that their competitors posted shill reviews to bodybuilding.com designed to harm the plaintiffs’ business. The plaintiffs sued both bodybuilding.com and the putative shillers. This ruling deals only with bodybuilding.com’s liability.

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Controversy Still Surrounds Google Book Project

21 08 2009

September 4 marks the deadline for authors and publishers to opt out of a proposed settlement allowing Google, Inc. to move forward with its plan to scan millions of books and make them available on an online database.

The settlement, reached last October after two years of negotiations, would involve lawsuits filed against Google for copyright infringement by requiring it to establish a system of identifying and compensating copyright holders.

However, as the September 4 deadline draws near, more and more opponents of the deal are speaking up. Recently, organizations such as the National Writers Union and entertainment agency William Morris Endeavor have come out against it. The controversy is likely to continue as few appear to understand all the details of the over 300-page settlement document.

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Kenneth Crews criticizes lack of options for authors in Google Books Settlement

18 08 2009

Google Books Settlement and Author Rights

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The Google Books Settlement is like an archeological adventure. Move another stone in the wall and you find another dark and mysterious passage. Consider Section 3.5(a) of the settlement agreement. It is one important step in a series of opportunities for authors and rightsholders to wiggle free of the settlement terms. Unfortunately, each opportunity is limited and maybe even illusory. Choice is good, and the settlement agreement appears to give considerable flexibility to rightsholders, but appearances often do not match reality. The lack of real choice leaves authors and rightsholders in a long-term, and sometimes involuntary, relationship with the Google Books Search project.

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AP to Public: Don’t rewrite!

17 08 2009

Dear Rich: I am working on a book presentation and was researching an article on MSNBC. At the bottom of the article, it read: “This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.” What do they mean when they say it can’t be rewritten?

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Court rules copying your own DVD’s is illegal

16 08 2009

A federal court has found a DVD copying company’s software violates U.S. copyright law. What is more, the court held copying DVD’s (including ones you’ve purchased and legally own) is illegal.

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WTO Ruling a Possible Boon to U.S. Copyright Holders

13 08 2009

We haven’t read the World Trade Organization’s big ruling, handed down Wednesday, ordering China to be stop forcing U.S. companies to deal with the Chinese government when they want to distribute their copyrighted works. The ruling is 460 pages (460 pages!?). Maybe, if the action from Hazeltine proves less than entirely compelling this weekend, we’ll digest it and get back it to you. For now, LBers, you’ll have to deal with our shiftlessness and accept our news-coverage roundup.

The dealio: The ruling, according to the WSJ, represents a stinging blow to China — “it’s biggest defeat yet” — in the long-running battle over how American books, movies and music are distributed in China. According to the WSJ, the ruling could help break open the tight controls that have crippled the ability of filmmakers, musicians, videogame designers and other artists to widely market their creations at reasonable prices. Click here for the NYT article;

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Updates on Perfect 10 v Google

12 08 2009

http://news.justia.com/cases/featured/california/cacdce/2:2004cv09484/167815/#20090809


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RealNetworks court loss a reminder about limits of “fair use”

12 08 2009

RealNetworks suffered a serious blow late Tuesday night in its ongoing DMCA drama with the movie studios. Judge Marilyn Patel granted a temporary injunction against the company, barring it from selling its RealDVD copying software thanks to language in Real’s license with the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA). Patel did not directly include the issue of fair use as part of her ruling, though she did make an observation about its relevance to the DMCA, asserting that it can’t be used as a defense against DMCA circumvention violations.

This case addresses both RealDVD (a software package) and, to a lesser extent, a prototype hardware product that would have ripped DVDs directly to a hard drive and hosted the files as a media server. Real originally tried to launch RealDVD in September of 2008 as a product which could rip DVDs to a user’s hard drive and play them back, while leaving CSS encryption intact. The software did not modify or change the files, and—unlike similar software packages—Real had even obtained an official license from the DVD CCA to do so. Sounds like everything was on track, right? Wrong.

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