Everything You Wanted to Know About Emojis and the Law

12 07 2019

Eric Goldman
Technology & Marketing Law Blog
November 29, 2018

For the past couple of years, I have invested significantly in all things emojis. This post rounds up everything I’ve done during that period.

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/11/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-emojis-and-the-law.htm 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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Restricting Competitive Keyword Ads Is Anti-Competitive–FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

12 07 2019

Eric Goldman
Technology & Marketing Law Blog
November 26, 2018

Starting in 2002 and continuing for about a decade, 1-800 Contacts systematically locked up many of its online contact lenses retail competitors into settlement agreements that prohibited the parties from bidding on each other’s trademarks at the search engines. Perhaps not coincidentally (this was the subject of some back-and-forth among experts), 1-800 Contacts unapologetically and consistently charges higher prices than its online retailer competitors.

In 2016, the FTC filed an administrative complaint against 1-800 Contacts, alleging that its competitive advertising restrictions were illegal restraints on trade. The enforcement action implicates a number of complex topics, including: (1) when are settlement agreements pro- or anti-competitive; (2) when (if ever) can competitors agree to restrict advertising; and (3) when does competitive keyword advertising infringe trademarks? The case’s complexity virtually ensured long, fact-intensive, divisive, and very expensive proceedings. Both sides lawyered (10+ on each side) and experted up. . . .

Earlier this month, the Commission affirmed the ALJ ruling in a 3-1 ruling (one commissioner was recused). The majority opinion completely vindicates the FTC’s decision to bring the case. The dissent’s opinion, in contrast, raises numerous substantive and procedural flaws with the majority decision. The split of opinion exposes some potentially significant ideological fault lines that might define this cohort of commissioners.

Case citation: In the Matter of 1-800 Contacts, Inc., 2018 WL 6078349 (FTC Docket #9372, Nov. 7, 2018)

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/11/restricting-competitive-keyword-ads-is-anti-competitive-ftc-v-1-800-contacts.htm 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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Kim Kardashian Deep Fake Video Removed By Copyright Claim

11 07 2019
Timothy Geigner
Tech Dirt
June 19, 2019
. . . a deep fake of Kim Kardashian that altered an interview given to Vogue Magazine, such that she appears to be discussing a conspiratorial group called Spectre and giving her own fans a hard time. It’s all fairly parodic and not something that passes the most basic smell test. And, yet, as the discussion rages on as to how sites should respond and handle deep fakes, this particular video was taken down due to a copyright claim . . . .

As hard as it is generally to come up with an answer to this homework assignment, it is all the more difficult to answer this question with copyright law. Copyright very specifically carves out space for all of the above to make room for fair use, which is why it so boggles the mind that YouTube agreed to take down this Kim Kardashian video in the first place. The entire point of this particular deep fake is far less malicious than the Pelosi video and seems to be completely geared toward humor and parody. Suggesting that moves like this are a problem because they’re only available to the wealthy misses the point: moves like this aren’t legally available to anyone at all, rich or otherwise.

None of this is to say that the ability to create deep fakes isn’t a problem, of course. But it sure as hell isn’t a problem that can be easily solved by throwing copyright law at it.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190619/05392542429/kim-kardashian-deep-fake-video-removed-copyright-claim.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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Researchers can now legally restore “abandoned” online game servers

11 07 2019
Kyle Orland
ars technica
Oct. 29, 2018

Among a wide range of new DMCA exemptions recently approved by the Librarian of Congress (LoC) is a limited legal right for video game preservationists to restore online games that have been “abandoned” by their creators to a playable form. But the new rules come with a number of caveats that could require some significant hoop-jumping from affected research institutions.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/10/researchers-can-now-legally-restore-abandoned-online-game-servers 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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Copyright Office Extends Anti-Circumvention DMCA Exemptions To All Filmmakers, Not Just Documentarians

11 07 2019

Timothy Geigner
Tech Dirt
Nov 2nd 2018

Earlier this year, we wrote a bunch of posts on the Copyright Office’s request for comment on changes needed to the DMCA’s anti-circumvention exemption list. There were lots of interesting submissions, but one that caught my attention was a whole bunch of film association groups, most of them for documentarians, advocating that the anti-circumvention they enjoyed to be able to use clips from other films and content be expanded to include filmmakers generally. This would address the copyright industries’ cynical attempt to route around Fair Use usage by filmmakers by simply locking up their content behind all kinds of DRM that, unless you’re a documentarian, you can’t circumvent. The MPAA, as you would expect, said that allowing for this would kick off “widespread hacking” of all the DVDs on the planet, while all it was really concerned about was the licensing agreements it was able to secure by filmmakers who didn’t want to violate the DMCA to get the Fair Use clips they wanted.

Well, the Copyright Office made its decision and the exemption will now be offered to filmmakers en masse.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181101/10104240962/copyright-office-extends-anti-circumvention-dmca-exemptions-to-all-filmmakers-not-just-documentarians.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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SoundCloud Troll Getting DMCA Takedowns Shows The Weakness Of Notice And Takedown Systems

11 07 2019

Timothy Geigner
Tech Dirt
Nov. 20, 2018

Much has been written at this point about the problems with various “notice and takedown” policies, including in the DMCA. Much of the problems arise from the DMCA’s requirement that service providers “expeditiously” remove infringing material upon notice, which naturally leads to platforms erring on the side of removal versus taking a hard — and manual — look at the material in question to see if it’s really infringing. This results in all kinds of takedowns of speech that is not infringing, typically as a result of human error, a dispute over the actual ownership of rights, a lack of recognizing fair use, or, perhaps most often, an automated system for sending DMCAs simply screwing up.

But another weakness in the notice and takedown policy is in how much power it places in the hands of trolls and bad actors to simply fuck with people. This can be seen in action in the case of one SoundCloud troll getting all kinds of music taken down by pretending to be a rights holder.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181116/09175541064/soundcloud-troll-getting-dmca-takedowns-shows-weakness-notice-takedown-systems.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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Secrets of Social Media: Who owns social media accounts?

11 07 2019

James Pooley
IP Watchdog
November 12, 2018

Andy Bitter, a former sports journalist covering the travails and triumphs of the Virginia Tech football team, was sued last month by his former employer, a local newspaper, for trade secret theft. According to the plaintiff Roanoke Times he was obligated by the company’s employee handbook to turn over all company property, and this necessarily included the Twitter account he had used to stay in touch with his 17,000+ followers… In spite of the mess it created, the Roanoke Times has reminded us of some important questions for industry in the information age. Who owns social media accounts? What role do they play in building competitive advantage? And how should companies manage their use?

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The content in this post was found at https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2018/11/12/secrets-social-media-accounts/id=103135/ 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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The Music Modernization Act: What Licensee Services Need to Know About Its Implementation

11 07 2019

Allison L. Stillman, A. John P. Mancini, Richard M. Assmus & Xiyin Tang
LexBlog
October 18, 2018

On 11 October 2018, the Music Modernization Act (“MMA”) was signed into law. It effects a sweeping overhaul of the compulsory mechanical license mechanism set forth in 17 U.S.C. §115—among other significant changes. While many in the industry have been closely following the bill as it worked its way through the legislature, the following provides an overview of key terms regarding the mechanical licensing procedures under the new law that every digital music service provider should know. Importantly, though many aspects of the new system require further regulation and many months (or even years) before they are effective, certain licensee obligations will begin as early as next month.

The Blanket License

“Covered Activities”

Copyright Infringement Litigation

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2018/10/18/the-music-modernization-act-what-licensee-services-need-to-know-about-its-implementation/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

For further information on the MMA, please read the full legal update.

This article was originally published on AllAboutIP – Mayer Brown’s  blog on relevant developments in the fields of intellectual property and unfair competition law. For intellectual property-themed videos, Mayer Brown has launched a dedicated YouTube channel

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Art, AI & Infringement: A Copyright Conundrum

9 07 2019

Timothy Geigner
Tech Dirt
Oct 16th 2018

A case in point of this would be Canadian artist Adam Basanta, who has come up with a bonkers and very cool method for both producing machine-generated art and then validating that art for human consumption by comparing it to real-world artwork made by us lowly apes. Let’s start with his setup.

Broadly, Basanta’s machine has two stages: creation and validation.

Creation happens with a hardware setup that Basanta likens to a Rube Goldberg machine: two computer scanners tipped on their sides and pointed face to face, endlessly scanning each other, and the results – influenced by shifts in the room’s lighting, randomized settings and an automatically moving mouse – are interpreted by a computer and turned into colourful abstract pictures.

The second stage is validation. Another computer running a custom-built program automatically checks each image against an online database of real art made by human hands. If the machine-made image is similar to one that has been human-made, the computer dubs it a success and keeps it; if there is no match, the image is deleted forever.

If that doesn’t get your heart beating a little faster, you simply don’t care about art. This setup is, at the very least, incredibly interesting, and Basanta’s method for validating whether the art produced by the machines is good enough for human consumption or not kicks the interest level into overdrive. His setup generates something like a thousand images a day, with a tiny fraction of that being deemed worthy of retention. The whole thing was good enough to warrant an art exhibit in Canada and Basanta has featured many of the images on his website as well.

And that’s where the trouble started. Artist Amel Chamandy has alleged that Basanta violated her copyright on a piece she created called “A World Without Trees”, as well as the trademark rights she has on her own name. Both claims stem from one of the pieces Basanta’s machine setup used to validate its own artwork against and the naming convention it used to denote the new pieces it created.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181005/09595440788/art-ai-infringement-copyright-conundrum.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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Three Cyberspace Courts now online and open for business

9 07 2019

Zhen Feng, Suyu Yuan & Helen Xia
LexBlog
October 16, 2018

On 9 August and 28 September 2018, the new Cyberspace Courts in Beijing and Guangzhou were officially opened. These new specialised courts, along with their equivalent one that was formed in Hangzhou in August 2017, are meant to tackle the quickly swelling stream of internet-related court procedures in China. The establishment of these specialised courts is an encouraging step for the Chinese internet sector as well as for IP owners: it promises a more flexible procedure, less bureaucracy in obtaining evidence and higher quality judgments, handed down by specialist judges.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2018/10/16/three-cyberspace-courts-now-online-and-open-for-business/ 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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