Disney Fixes Its Sketchy DVD Rental License, Wins Injunction Against Redbox Over Digital Downloads

3 09 2018

Tech Dirt

Mike Masnick

[ed’s note: we need no more evidence than this case to substantiate our claim that judges in the US court system have lost their collective memories from the contracts classes they took in law school. Apparently, not a one of them is willing to use common sense and legal judgment to mark terms of service and other wrap contracts as the crap that they usually are. Here, we have yet another stunning example of a judge sticking with bad precedent rather than pointing out the obvious and thereby bringing some wisdom into the void].

Tech Dirt

Mike Masnick

Earlier this year we wrote about Disney’s silly lawsuit against Redbox. If you don’t recall, Redbox, whose main business was renting DVDs out of kiosks started also offering digital download codes that could be purchased at their kiosks. What Redbox did, was it would buy Disney “combo packs” (that came with both a DVD and a download code) and would offer up just the slip of paper with the code out of its kiosks. This seems like perfectly reasonable first sale rights. A legitimate code was purchased, and then resold.

When we wrote about the case back in February, it involved the court smacking down Disney, and even saying that the company was engaged in “copyright misuse” in overclaiming what copyright allowed the company to do. . . .

So my prediction following that was: “this almost certainly means that Disney is quickly reprinting the packaging on all its Combo Pack DVDs to make this language more legalistic to match the Lexmark standard.”

And… bingo. That’s exactly what happened. In a new ruling, the court has now granted a preliminary injunction against Redbox all because of the new “contract” language Disney has put on its DVDs (though amusingly, in a footnote, the court notes “Disney does not concede that the changes were necessary.”)

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180831/00545440550/disney-fixes-sketchy-dvd-rental-license-wins-injunction-against-redbox-over-digital-downloads.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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A Presentation on Legal Issues for Podcasters – Who Owns What?

6 08 2018

David Oxenford
August 3, 2018
Broadcast Law Blog

Last week, I spoke at Podcast Movement 2018 – a large conference of podcasters held in Philadelphia. My presentation, Legal Issues In Podcasting – What Broadcasters Need to Know, was part of the Broadcasters Meet Podcasters Track. The slides from my presentation are available here. In the presentation, I discussed copyright issues, including some of the music rights issues discussed in my articles here and here, making clear that broadcaster’s current music licenses from ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and even SoundExchange don’t provide them the rights to use music in podcasts. Instead, those rights need to be cleared directly with the holders of the copyrights in both the underlying musical compositions as well as in any sound recording of the song used in the podcast.

 

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The content in this post was found at https://www.broadcastlawblog.com/2018/08/articles/a-presentation-on-legal-issues-for-podcasters-who-owns-what/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com.

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District Court Delivers Opinion for the Ages Striking AB 1687 as Violation of IMDb’s First Amendment Rights

14 03 2018

[ed: not an IP case as such. But important]

Pay or Play

on March 7, 2018

California’s Actor-Age Censorship Law (AB 1687), which would have required IMDb.com to remove age-related information from its web pages, was declared unconstitutional by a district court last month on free speech grounds.

SAG-AFTRA vigorously campaigned for the law, which it claimed would mitigate age discrimination in Hollywood.  Within two months of the law taking effect in 2017, IMDb obtained a preliminary injunction and later filed for summary judgment claiming the legislation impermissibly restricted its First Amendment rights.  Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California agreed.

Although Chhabria acknowledged the law may be well-intentioned, he applied strict scrutiny and found the law is not narrowly tailored to eliminate age discrimination in the industry.

The law is under-inclusive, Chhabria determined, because it targets solely IMDb rather than other online sources which would remain free to broadcast an actor’s age.

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The content in this post was found at https://payorplay.foxrothschild.com/2018/03/articles/litigation-and-statutory-developments/district-court-delivers-opinion-for-the-ages-striking-ab-1687-as-violation-of-imdbs-first-amendment-rights Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com.

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Domain Names: The dangers of “snapping”

14 03 2018

Lime Green IP news

MARCH 12TH, 2018 BY DAVID TAYLOR AND SEAN KELLY

DNS Belgium, the Registry operating the .BE country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), recently published an article warning domain name owners of the risks inherent in the practice of “snapping”.  Although anyone can legitimately snap up an expired domain name, problems can arise when cybercriminals grab expired domain names and then use them in damaging ways, such as pointing them to fake retail websites or re-creating email addresses based on them.

The practice of “snapping” (also known as backorders or snapbacks) has been around for some time and domain name owners should carefully consider the potential risks before allowing their domain names to expire.  The cost of renewing a domain name is, after all, small in comparison with the cost of legal action to recover one that has been registered by a third party who is using the domain name in a way that is damaging.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.limegreenipnews.com/2018/03/domain-names-the-dangers-of-snapping/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com.

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Congress Probably Will Ruin Section 230 This Week (SESTA/FOSTA Updates)

27 02 2018

For the past year, I’ve been covering Congress’ efforts to create a sex trafficking exception to Section 230’s immunity. From the beginning, it was clear that the proponents did not understand Section 230’s powerful but counter-intuitive doctrinal mechanisms, yet their initiative to gut Section 230 had momentum. Two bills were introduced: SESTA in the Senate and FOSTA in the House. Both bills as introduced were terrible.

After a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, SESTA was amended to fix some of its roughest edges, but the amendments didn’t resolve SESTA’s structural flaw (I’ll discuss that below). As part of a House Judiciary Committee hearing, FOSTA as introduced was replaced by substitute FOSTA, which still had problems but represented a more productive approach to address sex trafficking. Amended SESTA and substitute FOSTA passed the Senate Commerce Committee and House Judiciary Committee, respectively, queuing both up for passage by their respective chambers. However, amended SESTA has been slowed by Sen. Wyden’s hold; and for reasons that aren’t clear to me, the House Judiciary Committee didn’t report substitute FOSTA until last week. Ten days ago, the House Energy & Commerce Committee waived jurisdiction over FOSTA to help get the bill on the House floor.

Ever since substitute FOSTA emerged, one of the key questions has been how Senate and House might reconcile the different policy approaches in SESTA and FOSTA if both advanced. No one I spoke to, not even the inside-Congress experts, were confident in their predictions. Last week, a backroom deal was announced that apparently answers that question, but in substantively and procedurally deficient ways. This is BAD NEWS.

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/02/congress-probably-will-ruin-section-230-this-week-sestafosta-updates.htm

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Section 230 Protects Grindr From Harrassed User’s Claims–Herrick v. Grindr

6 03 2017

This is a well-constructed and thoughtful Section 230 ruling. If this case keeps going in the same direction, it has the potential to become a major Section 230 precedent.

Herrick claims that ex-boyfriend JC used Grindr to launch a vicious five-month e-personation attack. JC allegedly created fake dating profiles in Herrick’s name, with his contact info, saying Herrick wanted sex; with the predictable result that allegedly hundreds of horny men responded to the profiles and sought out Herrick at his home and workplace. Craigslist has been used for similar attacks for a long time, and California created an “e-personation” crime to combat them. Herrick further claims he’s contacted Grindr over 50 times about this harassment campaign and never received a response other than a form acknowledgement email.

Herrick sued Grindr in state court and got an immediate TRO instructing Grindr to “immediately disable all impersonating profiles created under Plaintiff’s name or with identifying information relating to Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s photograph, address, phone number, email account or place of work.” Grindr removed the case to federal court. The court’s opinion is in response to Herrick’s request to extend the TRO. The court denies the request.

Section 230

If you are a Section 230 fan, I encourage you to read the opinion’s entire discussion about Section 230. It’s not that long, and I considered quoting the whole thing. It’s worth the read.

 

 

…..

Because the opinion is so savvy about Section 230, I’m awarding the rare and coveted Technology & Marketing Law Blog Judge-of-the-Day honors to Judge Valerie Caproni. Congratulations, your honor. Opinions like this remind us why the US judicial system is so respected by other countries. May it always be that way.

Case citation: Herrick v. Grindr, LLC, 2017 WL 744605 (SDNY Feb. 24, 2017). Complaint.

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The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2017/03/section-230-protects-grindr-from-harrassed-users-claims-herrick-v-grindr.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Encryption patent that roiled Newegg is dead on appeal

6 03 2017
Patent-holding company TQP Development made millions claiming that it owned a breakthrough in Web encryption, even though most encryption experts had never heard of the company until it started a massive campaign of lawsuits. Yesterday, the company’s litigation campaign was brought to an end when a panel of appeals judges refused (PDF) to give TQP a second chance to collect on a jury verdict against Newegg.

The TQP patent was invented by Michael Jones, whose company Telequip briefly sold a kind of encrypted modem. The company sold about 30 models before the modem business went bust. Famed patent enforcer Erich Spangenberg bought the TQP patent in 2008 and began filing lawsuits, saying that the Jones patent actually entitled him to royalties on a basic form of SSL Internet encryption. Spangenberg and Jones ultimately made more than $45 million from the patent.

Newegg finally took the TQP patent to a jury trial but lost in 2013 when a jury said Newegg should pay $2.3 million for infringement. But after a long delay, Newegg still won the lawsuit on post-trial motions. US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap agreed with Newegg’s lawyers that because the company’s encryption scheme didn’t change “key values” with each block of data, it couldn’t possibly fit into the description of the Jones patent.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/encryption-patent-that-roiled-newegg-is-dead-on-appeal/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke will appeal “Blurred Lines” copyright ruling

24 12 2016
The copyright dispute between “Blurred Lines” song creators Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, and the family of Marvin Gaye, will continue on to a higher court.

Earlier this year, Gaye’s family said in court that Williams and Thicke stole critical elements from Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up” for their 2013 hit “Blurred Lines.” A jury agreed with Gaye’s family and awarded them $7.4 million, which was later reduced to $5.3 million. Now, Williams and Thicke are looking to appeal (PDF) that decision in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case was unusual because in a pre-trial hearing, the judge ruled that the applicable 1909 copyright law only covered sheet music, not the song’s actual sound. The judge later reversed his decision, ordering Williams and Thicke’s lawyers to produce an audio recording of “Got To Give It Up” that only included a bass line and keyboard chords underneath some vocals from Gaye. This was the only version of “Got To Give It Up” that the jury was permitted to hear to compare with “Blurred Lines.”

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/12/pharrell-williams-robin-thicke-will-appeal-blurred-lines-copyright-ruling/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



German judges explain why Adblock Plus is legal

13 12 2016
Last month, Adblock Plus maker Eyeo GmbH won its sixth legal victory in German courts, with a panel of district court judges deciding that ad-blocking software is legal despite German newsmagazine Der Spiegel’s arguments to the contrary. Now, the reasoning of the Hamburg-based panel of judges has been made public.

According to an unofficial English-translated copy (PDF) of the judgment, Spiegel Online argued it was making a “unified offer” to online consumers. Essentially, that offer is: read the news content for free and view some ads. While Internet users have the freedom “not to access this unified offer,” neither they nor Adblock Plus have the right to “dismantle” it. Eyeo’s behavior thus amounted to unfair competition, and it could even wipe the offer out, Spiegel claimed.

 

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/12/german-judges-explain-why-adblock-plus-is-legal/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



EFF calls on HP to disable printer ink self-destruct sequence

31 10 2016
HP Inc. should apologize to customers and restore the ability of printers to use third-party ink cartridges, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said in a letter to the company’s CEO yesterday.

HP has been sabotaging OfficeJet printers with firmware that prevents use of non-HP ink cartridges and even HP cartridges that have been refilled, forcing customers to buy more expensive ink directly from HP. The self-destruct mechanism informs customers that their ink cartridges are “damaged” and must be replaced.

“The software update that prevented the use of third-party ink was reportedly distributed in March, but this anti-feature itself wasn’t activated until September,” EFF Special Advisor Cory Doctorow wrote in a letter to HP Inc. CEO Dion Weisler. “That means that HP knew, for at least six months, that some of its customers were buying your products because they believed they were compatible with any manufacturer’s ink, while you had already planted a countdown timer in their property that would take this feature away. Your customers will have replaced their existing printers, or made purchasing recommendations to friends who trusted them on this basis. They are now left with a less useful printer—and possibly a stockpile of useless third-party ink cartridges.”

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/09/hp-should-apologize-and-stop-sabotaging-non-hp-ink-cartridges-eff-says/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.