Posts tagged copyright law
Posts tagged copyright law
Copyright law is outmoded and unfair. Why doesn’t the federal government fix the copyright laws instead of kowtowing to the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America? Could it be because government is financially indebted to the old guard segment of the entertainment industry (as well as to the banking system) and doesn’t want to provoke its masters.
Putting it into perspective: Megaupload had 25 petabytes of data residing on more than 1,000 servers. One petabyte of data, according to Gizmodo, equals 13.3 years of high definition television content. If our math is correct, that’s 332.5 years worth of HDTV content stored on Megaupload’s servers.
Yesterday was a historic day. The internet community came together and crushed all of the work and millions of dollars that went into lobbying for passing SOPA and PIPA. As illustrated by this fantastic image by ProPublica we clearly made an impact and moved many SOPA supporters to the opposition column. Additionally, many of PIPA’s co-sponsors have now reneged on their sponsorship and instead, oppose the bill now.
SOPA and PIPA might still make its way to vote and still has the potential of passing as there are so many people that are yet undecided. That would obviously be terrible. But that’s not the point of this post.
The key to all of this is that we spoke with our voices, not our money. We rallied around a cause and showed the world what the internet community is capable of. We made it clear to everyone that we will not stand for this bullshit anymore. We are a venerable force to be reckoned with and we will not kowtow to the agendas and lobbyists that our opponents throw at us. This marks the day of a new future: one where communities can be far louder than dollars.
January 18th, 2012 is the day the internet won.
by Mike Masnick Wed, Jan 18th 2012
We’ve been talking about the Golan case, and its possible impact on culture, for years. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s the third in a line of cases, starting with the Eldred case, to challenge aspects of copyright law as violating the First Amendment. The key point in the case was questioning whether or not the US could take works out of the public domain and put them under copyright. The US had argued it needed to do this under a trade agreement to make other countries respect our copyrights. Of course, for those who were making use of those public domain works, it sure seemed like a way to unfairly lock up works that belonged to the public. It was difficult to see how retroactively taking works out of the public domain could fit into the traditional contours of copyright law… but today, on the day of the big SOPA/PIPA protests…that’s exactly what happened (pdf).
That the Supreme Court released this on the same day of widespread protests against overreaching copyright law is a bit of unfortunate irony. The truth is that Congress is the one who could fix this by actually fixing copyright law and making it clear that the Court’s interpretation was wrong. But, instead, because Hollywood pays the bills, they only make copyright law worse. While it’s easy to blame this ruling on the Supreme Court, it really implicates Congress. And, thus, it’s actually depressingly fitting that this ruling came out today.
More and more it seems the lunatics (in the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of the U.S. government) are running the asylum.
Forget Wiretapping Laws, Now You Might Be Able To Use Copyright Law To Stop Anyone From Recording You Ever
There was a recent ruling in a copyright dispute between Swatch (the watchmakers) and Bloomberg that could have troubling implications concerning wiretapping issues. Effectively, it presents a blueprint for how to use copyright law to block otherwise perfectly legal recordings. At issue was that Swatch held an analysts call, as most public companies do regularly. It’s pretty standard for various financial firms to push out transcripts of such calls and to report/analyze them. In this case, Bloomberg recorded the call and offered a transcript to its subscribers. Pretty standard stuff. But… here, Swatch claimed copyright on the call. Why? Because they also recorded it (via a partner company), and since that recording was “fixed,” they could claim that it was covered by copyright, and then sued Bloomberg.
This ruling was on a motion to dismiss from Bloomberg, which the judge rejected, claiming that Swatch properly established that it had a valid copyright in the recording. It also declined to rule on the fair use claim at this point, though one hopes that, at a later stage, the fair use argument gets a stronger hearing.
Read more here.
» via TechDirt
A 19-year-old New York man faces up to five years in prison after federal authorities arrested him on Tuesday for allegedly streaming live copyrighted sporting events over the Internet.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) announced that Mohamed Ali was taken into custody at his home and charged with one count of criminal infringement of a copyright.
“Today’s arrest sends a clear message to website operators who mistakenly believe it’s worth the risk to take copyrighted programming and portray it as their own,” ICE Director John Morton said in a statement.
“Protecting legitimate business interests are a priority for HSI, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center and our law enforcement partners. We are dedicated to protecting the jobs, the income and the tax revenue that disappear when organized criminals traffic in stolen content for their own profit.”
Ali was the operator of site that provided online access to telecasts of sporting events and pay-per-view events, such as the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Ultimate Fighting Championship and (UFC) and boxing events. The website did not host the pirated content. Rather, it embedded video displays whose content was running on a stream from another website.
The two domain names associated with the site, HQ-STREAMS.COM and HQ-STREAMS.NET, were seized by ICE in February as part of “Operation in Our Sites,” an ongoing investigation into websites that illegally offer copyrighted material.
Ali made more than $6,000 in profits from February 2010 to January 2011, according to ICE.
Another man from New York, Brian McCarthy, was arrested in March and charged with criminal copyright infringement. He was the owner of channelsurfing.net.
The advocacy group Demand Progress called the arrest a “shocking overreach.”
While the criminal complaint alleges that McCarthy did engage in the “reproduction and distribution” of copyrighted material, it is never clear that he actually reproduced any of the specified broadcasts.
“Under that sort of thinking, everyone who’s sent around a link to a copyrighted YouTube video is a criminal,” Demand Progress warned, calling the prosecution a “radical shift” in the way the government polices the Internet.