Locast’s free TV service is in peril as Big 4 networks win copyright ruling

2 09 2021

ars technica
Jon Brodkin
9/2/2021

The major broadcast networks have won a big copyright ruling against Locast, a nonprofit organization that provides online access to broadcast TV stations. Although it’s a partial summary judgment, the ruling by a federal judge rejects Locast’s primary defense against claims of copyright infringement.

Locast was sued by ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC in July 2019. The companies alleged that Locast “must have a license to retransmit copyrighted television programming” even though the TV channels are available over the air for free. The lawsuit argued that Locast must “secure the consent of the broadcasters to retransmit the broadcast signals” in the same manner as cable, satellite, and online video services. Locast fought the lawsuit, saying it qualified for a copyright-law exemption available to nonprofits.

US District Judge Louis Stanton yesterday granted the networks’ motion to dismiss Locast’s affirmative defense that its service is exempt from liability under the US copyright law.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/09/locasts-free-tv-service-is-in-peril-as-big-4-networks-win-copyright-ruling/ 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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Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Copyright Infringement Claim Against Disney’s Inside Out Movie

4 06 2021
On August 3, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Masterson v. Walt Disney Company, affirmed a district court’s dismissal of Carla Masterson’s copyright infringement claims against The Walt Disney Co. The infringement claim was based on Masterson’s allegation that Disney’s Inside Out (the Movie) violated her copyrights in her book of poetry, What’s On the Other Side of the Rainbow? (A Book of Feelings) (the Book) and her movie script, The Secret of the Golden Mirror (the Script). Masterson’s Book was a collection of poems featuring a cloud-like character, Mr. Positivity, and anthropomorphic doors representing different feelings. The Script is about Mr. Positivity and the anthropomorphic doors helping a child cope with a difficult situation. In contrast, Disney’s Inside Out is about an eleven-year-old girl and the anthropomorphized emotions that control her brain from her brain’s “Headquarters.” The district court held that the literary works were not substantially similar and granted Walt Disney’s motion to dismiss.
The content in this post was found at https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/08/15/ninth-circuit-affirms-dismissal-copyright-infringement-claim-disneys-inside-movie/id=124078/ 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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Easier Copyright Registration Coming for Blogs and Social Media Posts

3 06 2021

LexBlog/99 Park Row
Jason Mueller & Robert Hough
August 10, 2020
Starting this month [August 2020], social media influencers and other authors of online content can take advantage of a new group copyright registration option for short online works such as blog entries, social media posts and web articles. Authors could even register their own comments to a social post as separate copyrightable works in certain situations.

The U.S. Copyright Office announced that the new registration option allows applications covering groups of up to 50 literary works if those works meet the eligibility requirements. Most notably, each separate work must contain between 50 and 17,500 words, and all works in a single application must be created by the same individual, or jointly by the same group of individuals (although there is no limit on the number of applications that can be filed). In addition, all works must have been first published as part of a website or online platform, such as an online newspaper, social media website or social networking platform, and all works in a single application must have been first published within the same three calendar month period. Copyright claims in the selection, coordination or arrangement of the group as a whole will not be permitted. Resulting registrations will cover each work as a separate work of authorship.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/08/10/copyright-registration-blogs-social-media-posts/ 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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Internet Archive Responds To Publishers Lawsuit: Libraries Lend Books, That’s What We Do

3 06 2021

Tech Dirt
Mike Masnick
Jul 31st 2020
Last month, we wrote about the big publishers suing the Internet Archive over its Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) program, as well as its National Emergency Library (NEL). As we’ve explained over and over again, the Internet Archive is doing exactly what libraries have always done: lending books. The CDL program was structured to mimic exactly how a traditional library works, with a 1-to-1 relationship between physical books owned by the library and digital copies that can be lent out.

While some struggled with the concept of the NEL since it was basically just the CDL, but without the 1-to-1 relationship (and thus, without wait lists), it seemed reasonably defensible: nearly all public libraries at the time had shut down entirely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the NEL was helping people who otherwise would never have had access to the books that were sitting inside libraries, collecting dust on the inaccessible shelves. Indeed, plenty of teachers and schools thanked the Internet Archive for making it possible for students to still read books that were stuck inside locked up classrooms. But, again, this lawsuit wasn’t just about the NEL at all, but about the whole CDL program. The publishers have been whining about the CDL for a while, but hadn’t sued until now.

Of course, the reality is that the big publishers see digital ebooks as an opportunity to craft a new business model. With traditional books, libraries buy the books, just like anyone else, and then lend them out. But thanks to a strained interpretation of copyright law, when it came to ebooks, the publishers jacked up the price for libraries to insane levels and kept putting more and more conditions on them. For example, Macmillan, for a while, was charging $60 per book — with a limit of 52 lends or two years of lending, whichever came first. And then you’d have to renew.

Basically, publishers were abusing copyright law to try to jam down an awful and awfully expensive model on libraries — exposing how much publishers really hate libraries, while pretending otherwise.

Anyway, the Internet Archive has filed its response to the lawsuit,

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200730/23251945010/internet-archive-responds-to-publishers-lawsuit-libraries-lend-books-thats-what-we-do.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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Print-on-Demand Vendor Doesn’t Qualify for DMCA Safe Harbor–Feingold v. RageOn

2 06 2021

Technology & Marketing Law Blog
Eric Goldman
July 24, 2020

This case involves two copyright-protected photos that users submitted to the RageOn print-on-demand service. Among other defenses, RageOn invoked the DMCA safe harbor. The Greg Young v. Zazzle case held that Zazzle qualified for the 512(c) safe harbor for displaying user-supplied photo on its site, but not for manufacturing and shipping the physical items contain the photos. This court says that RageOn disqualified for several of the DMCA safe harbor’s elements.

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2020/07/print-on-demand-vendor-doesnt-qualify-for-dmca-safe-harbor-feingold-v-rageon.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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Stretching the Bounds of Personal Jurisdiction, 4th Circuit Finds Geotargeted Advertising May Subject Foreign Website Owner to Personal Jurisdiction in the U.S.

1 06 2021

LexBlog/99 Park Row
J. Alexander Lawrence & Lily Smith
July 21, 2020
Foreign websites that use geotargeted advertising may be subject to personal jurisdiction in the United States, even if they have no physical presence in the United States and do not specifically target their services to the United States, according to a new ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Kurbanov, twelve record companies sued Tofig Kurbanov, who owns and operates the websites: flvto.biz and 2conv.com. These websites enable visitors to rip audio tracks from videos on various platforms, like YouTube, and convert the audio tracks into downloadable files.

The record companies sued Kurbanov for copyright infringement and argued that a federal district court in Virginia had specific personal jurisdiction over Kurbanov because of his contacts with Virginia and with the United States more generally. Kurbanov moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, and the district court granted his motion.

The district court found that both flvto.biz and 2conv.com were semi-interactive, that the visitors’ interactions with them were non-commercial, and that Kurbanov did not purposefully target either Virginia or the United States. As a result, the court ruled that no federal court in the United States had personal jurisdiction over Kurbanov and to exert such jurisdiction would violate due process. On appeal, however, the Fourth Circuit reversed the district court’s ruling and remanded the case.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/07/21/stretching-the-bounds-of-personal-jurisdiction-4th-circuit-finds-geotargeted-advertising-may-subject-foreign-website-owner-to-personal-jurisdiction-in-the-u-s 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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Twitch Faces Sudden Stream of DMCA Notices Over Background Music

1 06 2021

Tech Dirt
Timothy Geigner
Jul 10th 2020

There is obviously a great deal of action going on currently in the streaming world, spurred on in part by the COVID-19 crises that has many people at home looking for fresh content. Between the attempts to respond to social movements and tamp down “hateful” content to changes to the competitive landscape, streaming services are having themselves a moment. But with the sudden uptick in popularity comes a new spotlight painting a target on streaming platforms for everyone from scammers to intellectual property maximilists.

Twitch has recently found itself a target for the latter, suddenly getting slammed with a wave of DMCA notices that appear to focus mostly on background music.

Copyright strikes are an occupational hazard for many Twitch streamers and content creators, but a recent surge of DMCA takedown requests has overwhelmed the community. Now, Twitch support staff has responded to complaints, stating that the claims are focused on clips with background music from 2017 to 2019, and recommending that streamers remove them. The tweets also state that this is the first time that Twitch has received mass DMCA claims against clips.

Given that Twitch is still most popular as a site for live-streams and let’s-plays of video games, the speculation is that a great deal of this is targeting clips that include video game music. And, as we’ve seen elsewhere, it’s also the case that scammers are currently using game music as a method to try to takedown or monetize the videos of others. Whether or not that’s what is going on here is anyone’s guess, as Twitch is making it fairly clear that the flood of notices is so large that it’s simply taking down content and advising its streamers to proactively take down anything that might include this sort of copyrighted content.

Except that leaves no room for a number of things, including arguments for Fair Use of certain music,

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200709/10153644873/twitch-faces-sudden-stream-dmca-notices-over-background-music.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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Fair use case confirms that using short video clips does not insulate from copyright infringement claims.

26 05 2021

LexBlog/99 park row
Steve Vondran
July 6, 2020

Using the “Heart of the Work” is something everyone should consider before relying on the fair use defense

Plaintiff Los Angeles News Service (LANS) licensed its news stories, photographs, audiovisual works, and other services to other news media outlets. While covering the 1992 Los Angeles riots, LANS filmed several segments of nighttime rioting, including the iconic segment titled Beating of Reginald Denny. Although LANS refused to grant defendant Channel 9 television station a license, the station broadcast the footage a number of times on commercially sponsored news programs.

Plaintiff sued the defendant for using an excerpt of its copyrighted videotape of the Reginald Denny beating during the 1992 Los Angeles riot.

The TRIAL court, weighing the statutory factors of 17 U.S.C.S. § 107, found that summary judgment for the defendant under a “fair use” defense was proper.  On appeal, the APPEAL COURT held that summary judgment was improper:  defendant’s use of plaintiff’s copyrighted tape was arguably in the public interest, as a percipient recording of a newsworthy event, defendant’s use was commercial and came in the wake of plaintiff’s refusal to issue a license.

Although the defendant used the tape because it recorded news of considerable significance from the best perspective of any witness, there was no evidence that alternatives were not available.

There was no dispute that the defendant used the “heart” of the tape. Under such circumstances, the court could not say that “fair use” was the only reasonable conclusion a trier of fact could reach.  Summary judgment was thus improper.

Analysis:

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Case citationLos Angeles News Service v. KCAL-TV Channel 9, 108 F. 3d 1119 – Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/07/06/fair-use-case-confirms-that-using-short-video-clips-does-not-insulate-from-copyright-infringement-claims/ 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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Suit Takes Aim at Internet Archive, Spurs End of National Emergency Library

26 05 2021

An update from Kaitie Eke, one of the firm’s summer associates:

A copyright infringement lawsuit filed by four major publishing companies against the Internet Archive has prompted early termination of the site’s National Emergency Library, a project that made books available electronically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the project’s conclusion may render some of the publishers’ complaints moot, the suit also takes aim at the ongoing operation of the Open Library and larger Controlled Digital Lending (“CDL”) practices.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/06/30/suit-takes-aim-at-internet-archive-spurs-end-of-national-emergency-library/ 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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Dumb Mistake in Copyright Registration Leads to Brutal and Unjust Consequences

24 05 2021

LexBlog/99 park row
June 26, 2020
Rick Sanders

Americans assume copyright is something you have to register for. The rest of the world assumes either registration is voluntary or honestly doesn’t know what you’re talking about.

The truth about copyright registration, in the United States, is a little more complicated. Or, more accurately, a little more mystical. You do not need to register a work to have copyright in it. Copyright attaches itself (“vests in”) the author as soon as it’s “fixed in a tangible medium.” As a result, almost everything you’ve ever written, doodled, painted in an art class, sculpted out of Play-Doh®, sketched out, etc. is protected by copyright.1For the rest of your life, plus another 70 years, so your heirs can benefit from those notes, doodles, emails, finger-paintings, etc.

BUT: Unless and until you register your work, you cannot enforce the copyright.

Having an unregistered copyright is a bit like having only the blueprints for a house, then trying to live in it.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/06/26/dumb-mistake-in-copyright-registration-leads-to-brutal-and-unjust-consequences/ 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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