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John Lemke

U.S. Court Grants Order to Wipe Pirate Sites from the Internet | TorrentFreak - 0 views

  • A U.S. federal court in Oregon has granted a broad injunction against several streaming sites that offer pirated content. Among other things, the copyright holder may order hosting companies to shut down the sites' servers, ask registrars to take away domain names, and have all search results removed from Google and other search engines.
  • ABS-CBN requested power to take the sites offline before the owners knew that they were getting sued, and without a chance to defend themselves. While that may seem a lot to ask, Judge Anna Brown granted the request.
  • The preliminary injunction is unique in its kind, both due to its broadness and the fact that it happened without due process. This has several experts worried, including EFF’s Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry.
John Lemke

'You could be liable for $150k in penalties-settle instead for $20 per song' | Ars Tech... - 0 views

  • It works like this: users accused by Rightscorp are found via IP addresses appearing in BitTorrent download swarms. If ISPs agree to forward Rightscorp's notices—and an increasing number of them are doing so—the users get notices that they could be liable for $150,000 in damages. Unless, that is, they click on a provided link and agree to settle their case at a low, low price. Typically, it's $20 per song infringed.
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    They are calling it RIAA-light
John Lemke

Commander Hadfield's Amazing Cover Of David Bowie's Space Oddity Disappears Today, Than... - 0 views

  • Commander Hadfield posted on Twitter this morning that today is the last day for the video online, because they only had a license to use it for one year.
  • It's got over 22 million views, and it's about to go away... because of copyright and the idea that everything needs to be licensed.
  • One would hope that David Bowie (and/or whoever else holds the copyrights in question) would recognize just how insanely bad this looks and would "grant" a perpetual free license to keep this video online. Bowie, himself, has had a rather progressive view of copyright for many years. Back in 2002, for example, Bowie declared that "I'm fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing," and further noting that this is "terribly exciting."
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    What a shame. Especially since he did a great job with the cover.
John Lemke

Rep. Goodlatte Slips Secret Change Into Phone Unlocking Bill That Opens The DMCA Up For... - 0 views

  • Because of section 1201 of the DMCA, the "anti-circumvention" provision, companies have been abusing copyright law to block all sorts of actions that are totally unrelated to copyright. That's because 1201 makes it illegal to circumvent basically any "technological protection measures." The intent of the copyright maximalists was to use this section to stop people from breaking DRM. However, other companies soon distorted the language to argue that it could be used to block certain actions totally unrelated to copyright law -- such as unlocking garage doors, ink jet cartridges, gaming accessories... and phones
  • Separately, every three years, the Librarian of Congress gets to announce "exemptions" to section 1201 where it feels that things are being locked up that shouldn't be. Back in 2006, one of these exemptions involved mobile phone unlocking.
  • Every three years this exemption was modified a bit, but in 2012, for unexplained reasons, the Librarian of Congress dropped that exemption entirely, meaning that starting in late January of 2013, it was possible to interpret the DMCA to mean that phone unlocking was illegal. In response to this there was a major White House petition -- which got over 100,000 signatures, leading the White House to announce (just weeks later) that it thought unlocking should be legal -- though, oddly, it seemed to place the issue with the FCC to fix, rather than recognizing the problem was with current copyright law.
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  • While this gives Goodlatte and other maximalists some sort of plausible deniability that this bill is making no statement one way or the other on bulk unlocking, it certainly very strongly implies that Congress believes bulk unlocking is, in fact, still illegal. And that's massively problematic on any number of levels, in part suggesting that the unlocker's motives in unlocking has an impact on the determination under Section 1201 as to whether or not it's legal. And that's an entirely subjective distinction when a bill seems to assume motives, which makes an already problematic Section 1201 much more problematic. Without that clause, this seemed like a bill that was making it clear that you can't use the DMCA to interfere with an issue that is clearly unrelated to copyright, such as phone unlocking. But with this clause, it suggests that perhaps the DMCA's anti-circumvention clause can be used for entirely non-copyright issues if someone doesn't like the "motive" behind the unlocker.
  • Unfortunately, the bill was deemed so uncontroversial that it's been listed on the suspension calendar of the House, which is where non-controversial bills are put to ensure quick passage. That means that, not only did Goodlatte slip in a significant change to this bill that impacts the entire meaning and intent of the bill long after it went through the committee process (and without informing anyone about it), but he also got it put on the list of non-controversial bills to try to have it slip through without anyone even noticing.
John Lemke

Surprise: ASCAP and Music Labels Colluded To Screw Pandora | Techdirt - 0 views

  • A key part of this was that the major labels, key members of ASCAP, suddenly started "dropping out" of ASCAP in order to do licensing directly. At first we thought this was a sign of how the labels might be realizing that ASCAP was obsolete and out of touch, but it has since become clear that these "removals" were all something of a scam to force Pandora into higher rates.
  • What happened was that ASCAP and Pandora had first negotiated a higher rate than Pandora had agreed to in the past -- reaching a handshake agreement. However, before that agreement could be finalized, these labels started "withdrawing" from ASCAP in order to negotiate directly. As part of that, both ASCAP and the labels refused to tell Pandora which songs had been withdrawn, meaning that if Pandora accidentally played one of the withdrawn songs (again, without knowing which songs were withdrawn),
  • Your Honor, by the time Pandora asked for this information on November 1st, both ASCAP and Mr. Brodsky [Sony Executive VP] had in their possession this very list. The deposition testimony from ASCAP was that this list as is could have been delivered to Pandora within 24 hours were it only to get the go-ahead from Sony to do so. ASCAP never received the go-ahead. We cited much of the internal back-and-forth on this in our briefs... My favorite is the following exchange between Mr. DeFilippis and Mr. Reimer of ASCAP on December 19th, 2013, PX 193. You see the question being asked by Mr. DeFilippis: why didn't Sony provide the list to Pandora? Mr. Reimer's response: Ask me tomorrow. Mr. DeFilippis: Right. With drink in hand. And the inference here is just incredible. This data was sitting there, your Honor, and nobody was willing to give it to Pandora.
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  • There's a lot more in there, but it seems abundantly clear that these labels "withdrawing" from ASCAP had nothing to do with competition or market rates. It appears that it had little to do with even withdrawing from ASCAP. Instead, it seems to have been designed from the start to basically screw over Pandora, in what certainly smells an awful lot like collusion, by forcing Pandora to pay exorbitant rates or suddenly face a massive copyright liability because no one would tell them what songs were being "withdrawn" from an existing licensing agreement.
John Lemke

Why The Copyright Industry Is Doomed, In One Single Sentence | TorrentFreak - 0 views

  • In order to prevent copyright monopoly violations from happening in such channels, the only means possible is to wiretap all private digital communications to discover when copyrighted works are being communicated. As a side effect, you would eliminate private communications as a concept. There is no way to sort communications into legal and illegal without breaching the postal secret – the activity of sorting requires observation.
  • Therefore, as a society, we are at a crossroads where we can make a choice between privacy and the ability to communicate in private, with all the other things that depend on that ability (like whistleblower protections and freedom of the press), or a distribution monopoly for a particular entertainment industry. These two have become mutually exclusive and cannot coexist, which is also why you see the copyright industry lobbying so hard for more surveillance, wiretapping, tracking, and data retention (they understand this perfectly).
  • Any digital, private communications channel can be used for private protected correspondence, or to transfer works that are under copyright monopoly. In order to prevent copyright monopoly violations from happening in such channels, the only means possible is to wiretap all private digital communications to discover when copyrighted works are being communicated. As a side effect, you would eliminate private communications as a concept. There is no way to sort communications into legal and illegal without breaching the postal secret – the activity of sorting requires observation.
John Lemke

YouTube goes nuts flagging game-related content as violating copyright | Ars Technica - 0 views

  • According to TubeFilter, YouTube told these MCNs last week that it would begin pre-screening a sample of their affiliates' videos for copyright violation before the video posts to YouTube, in a process that could take as little as a few hours or up to a few days. The pre-screening system is also be based on good behavior, so to speak, and affiliates who are never caught uploading copyrighted material will be checked less frequently.
John Lemke

US Court Secretly Lets Government Share Megaupload Evidence With Copyright Industry | T... - 0 views

  • Apparently part of the issue for the original filing to reveal this information was that some copyright holders are getting antsy that as the case drags on, they won't also be able to file civil cases against Megaupload before the three-year statute of limitations expires. However, as Megaupload's lawyers point out, there is no urgency here since the government itself made no move to share this information over the past two years. If it really wanted to share the information it had ample time to make the request and allow Megaupload's lawyers to review and take part in the process, rather than trying to route around them entirely. I'm guessing the recent successes against IsoHunt and Hotfile may have contributed to the timing as well. The MPAA pretty clearly thinks it can use those two cases to go after Megaupload as well, outside of the criminal case which will continue.
John Lemke

Revisiting The Purpose Of The Copyright Monopoly: Science And The Useful Arts | Torrent... - 0 views

  • If there’s one thing that needs constant reminding, it’s the explicit purpose of the copyright monopoly. Its purpose is to promote the progress of human knowledge. Nothing less. Nothing more.
  • [Congress has the power] to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
  • has the power, and not the obligation
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  • two kinds of monopolies: copyright monopolies and patent monopolies, respectively. Science and the useful arts. The “science” part refers to the copyright monopoly, and the “useful arts” has nothing to do with creative works – it is “arts” in the same sense as “artisan”, that is, craftsmanship.
  • the purpose of the copyright monopoly isn’t to enable somebody to make money, and never was. Its sole purpose was and is to advance humanity as a whole. The monopoly begins and ends with the public interest; it does not exist for the benefit of the author and inventor.
  • The second thing we note is the “science” part. The US Constitution only gives Congress the right to protect works of knowledge – educational works, if you like – with a copyright monopoly. “Creative works” such as movies and music are nowhere to be found whatsoever in this empowerment of Congress to create temporary government-sanctioned monopolies.
  • Which brings us to the third notable item: “the exclusive right”. This is what we would refer to colloquially as a “monopoly”. The copyright industry has been tenacious in trying to portray the copyright monopoly as “property”, when in reality, the exclusive rights created are limitations of property rights (it prohibits me from storing the bitpatterns of my choosing on my own hardware). Further, it should be noted that this monopoly is not a guarantee to make money. It is a legal right to prevent others from attempting to do so. There’s a world of difference. You can have all the monopolies you like and still not make a cent.
  • The fourth notable item is the “for limited times”. This can be twisted and turned in many ways, obviously; it has been argued that “forever less a day” is still “limited” in the technical sense. But from my personal perspective – and I’ll have to argue, from the perspective of everybody reading this text – anything that extends past our time of death is not limited in time.
John Lemke

DOJ Lawyer Explores 'Copyright Freeconomics'; Suggests Copyright Needs To Change | Tech... - 0 views

  • Industry organizations have abandoned litigation efforts, and many copyright owners now compete directly with infringing products by offering licit content at a price of $0.
  • This sea change has ushered in an era of “copyright freeconomics.” Drawing on an emerging body of behavioral economics and consumer psychology literature, this Article demonstrates that, when faced with the “magic” of zero prices, the neoclassical economic model underpinning modern U.S. copyright law collapses. As a result, the shift to a freeconomic model raises fundamental questions that lie at the very heart of copyright law and theory. What should we now make of the established distinction between “use” and “ownership”? To what degree does the dichotomy separating “utilitarian” from “moral” rights remain intact? And — perhaps most importantly — has copyright’s ever-widening law/norm divide finally been stretched to its breaking point? Or can copyright law itself undergo a sufficiently radical transformation and avoid the risk of extinction through irrelevance?
  • The other interesting bit of the report is Newman's suggestion that an interesting proposal for changing copyright laws that might actually make traditional "maximalists" and "minimalists" both happy is to increase more moral rights for copyright -- and allow copyright holders to effectively choose if they want to enforce the "economic" rights to exclude by going after statutory damages, or, alternatively, enforce the "moral" rights to protect their reputation. His argument is that this might fit better with the nature of content creation today:
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    "John Newman"
John Lemke

Switzerland Questions Crazy Hollywood Claims About File Sharing... Ends Up On Congressi... - 0 views

  • Last December, we wrote about a report put out by the Swiss executive branch noting that, based on their research, it appeared that unauthorized file sharing was not a big deal, showing that consumers were still spending just as much on entertainment, and that much of it was going directly to artists, rather than to middlemen. In other words, it was a market shift, not a big law enforcement problem. At the time, we wondered if Switzerland had just bought itself a place on the USTR's "Special 301 list" that the administration uses each year to shame countries that Hollywood doesn't like.
John Lemke

David Byrne and Cory Doctorow Explain Music and the Internet | culture | Torontoist - 0 views

  • Byrne and Doctorow were there to talk about how the internet has affected the music business. While that was certainly a large part of the discussion, the conversation also touched on all the ways technology and music interact, from file sharing to sampling.
  • Doctorow pointed out that two of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed hip-hop records of the 1980s—Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, and the Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique—would have each cost roughly $12 million to make given today’s rules surrounding sample clearance.
  • “In the world of modern music, there are no songs with more than one or two samples, because no one wants to pay for that,” Doctorow said. “So, there’s a genre of music that, if it exists now, exists entirely outside the law. Anyone making music like Paul’s Boutique can’t make money from it, and is in legal jeopardy for having done it. Clearly that’s not what we want copyright to do.” When the conversation turned to downloads and digital music distribution, both men were surprisingly passionate on the topic of digital rights management, and how it’s fundamentally a bad idea.
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  • Doctorow argued that the way humans have historically shared music is totally antithetical to the idea of copyright laws. He pointed out that music predates not only the concept of copyright, but language itself. People have always wanted to share music, and, in an odd way, the sharing of someone else’s music is embedded in the industry’s business model, no matter how badly some may want to remove it.
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    "Doctorow pointed out that two of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed hip-hop records of the 1980s-Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, and the Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique-would have each cost roughly $12 million to make given today's rules surrounding sample clearance."
John Lemke

Copyright and the DMCA | WFUV Radio - 0 views

  • Some of these DMCA rules outline restrictions on the frequency some songs can be played. In any 3-hour period, we can webcast: No more than 3 songs from one album;no more than 2 played consecutively No more than 4 songs from a set/compilation;no more than 3 played consecutively No more than 4 recorded songs by the same artist(live studio appearances are okay)
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    List streaming radio restrictions.
John Lemke

Guy Sues Over 'Da Da Da Da Da Da.... CHARGE!' Jingle He Might Not Have Written | Techdirt - 0 views

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    A few different folks sent over variations on this story about how a guy named Bobby Kent claims to have come up with the now ubiquitous "da da da da da da... CHARGE!" music in 1978. If you've been to a major sporting event in the US in the past few decades, you've almost certainly heard it
John Lemke

Another Loss For Righthaven: Court Explains That Its Demand For Domain Names Is Silly |... - 0 views

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    Righthaven hasn't been having too much luck lately. We've already covered how its having a bad day for a few different reasons, and here's another one. As you may know, in nearly every lawsuit Righthaven files, it also demands that the defendant hand over his or her website, in addition to the $75,000 to $150,000 it usually asks for. This has left a bunch of folks scratching their heads, as there's simply no precedent for saying that if you infringe on someone's copyright, they get your domain. And, now, we have a court making that point clear. Eric Goldman points us to a ruling in Las Vegas by judge Roger Hunt (the same judge who unsealed the filing that may kill off most of Righthaven's lawsuits...), in which he points out that asking for the domain name has no basis in law:
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