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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Reform of EU Patent Law

7 12 2009

The Council has agreed on a framework for reform of the EU patent law. The Council approves the idea of a European and EU Patents Court (EEUPC) that will have exclusive jurisdiction in respect of civil litigation related to the infringement and validity of EU patents and European patents. The EEUPC should comprise a Court of First Instance, a Court of Appeal and a Registry.

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Israel’s Emblaze Accuses Apple of Patent Infringement

7 12 2009

Israeli technology company Emblaze Ltd. has accused Apple Inc. of patent infringement. the allegations concern a live video-streaming application that the technology giant plans to provide for its iPhone and iPod Touch.

It is not clear which application is intended, but Apple approved an application last week called “Knocking”, that is the first to allow live video streaming, on the 3G network, directly from one device to another.

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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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The ACTA Internet provisions: DMCA goes worldwide

8 11 2009

That warm flood of outrage through the veins is addicting—but it also runs the danger of being addictive, and of being too easy. As the news broke this week about the “Internet provisions” in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), it didn’t take long for the outrage to emerge.

For instance, the popular blog Boing Boing (we love you, Cory!) announced that, under the proposed ACTA provisions being drafted by the US, “ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn’t infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.”

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Apple Takes Another Bite: Trademark Protection Today

21 10 2009

The notoriously vigilant Apple Corporation – maker of the iPod and a few other products you might have heard of – has targeted yet another company in its ongoing pursuit of trademark protection. According to both Apple Insider and All Things Digital, Apple is challenging a supermarket chain out of Australia who’s recently redesigned logo bears too much of resemblance to the company’s own iconic symbol.

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Licensing pact a big step towards fixing EU music stores

20 10 2009

Major members of the online music industry, including iTunes and Amazon, have signed an agreement with the European Commission to work towards more even and widespread music distribution across all of Europe. As part of the agreement, the music industry intends to do away with the limitations of the current licensing system so that music fans can have greater choice and clear usage rights, no matter where they are in Europe.

The agreement came after the fourth Roundtable on the Online Distribution of Music held Monday by Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. Participants included Amazon, BEUC, EMI, iTunes, Nokia, PRS for Music, SACEM, STIM, and Universal. It was the first time the music industry has managed to agree on a common roadmap in Europe, which has been frustratingly segmented for years thanks to outdated licensing and rights practices in the EU.

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Google book digitization prompts the EU to rethink copyright

19 10 2009

The legal settlement that would sanctify Google’s book digitization efforts may be on hold, but that hasn’t stopped the sniping over digitization in general, and Google’s specific role in vending e-books. The Frankfurt Book Fair, a major publishing event, is playing host to the latest skirmishes over what role Google and other organizations should play in controlling access to digitized material.. . .

The Google book settlement was not well received within the EU, in part because of the same sorts of competition concerns that caused the US Department of Justice to weigh in against it. But Europeans had some distinct concerns, as Google has scanned copies of European works that reside in US Libraries, even though these were never licensed for US distribution

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Google Adwords Don’t Violate Trademark Law

23 09 2009

An adviser to the European Court of Justice says the use of a competitor’s trademark as a keyword by companies advertising on Google doesn’t violate trademark law.

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Japanese RIAA wants server-side music DRM for mobile phones

20 09 2009

Imagine the outrage that would occur if everyone’s iPhones and BlackBerrys wouldn’t let them play music until each song was authenticated on a DRM server as a legit purchase? Such a scenario could play out in Japan if the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) has its way—the organization is pushing for an agreement with music sites that could result in every phone checking with the cloud before playing the user’s selections in an attempt to curb music piracy within the country.

Executives from the RIAJ have begun talks with unnamed music download sites and mobile phone operators this week, according to anonymous participants speaking to the Financial Times. It works like this: when a user chooses a song on his or her phone, the phone would first talk to a server to see if the song was legitimately purchased from… somewhere. If the server gives the green light, the song will play; if not, the user is out of luck. If the companies come to an agreement by the end of this year, a system could be in place by 2011.

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