Tag Archives | Copyright Law

Lots Of Illegal Downloading Occurring At The NBC, Sony Pictures, Fox Offices

universal-bustFrom the pot-calling-the-kettle-black department, via TorrentFreak:

A few days ago we wrote about a new website that exposes what people behind an IP-address have downloaded on BitTorrent.

Armed with the IP-ranges of major Hollywood studios we decided to find out what they’ve been downloading. As expected, it didn’t take us long before we found BitTorrent ‘pirates’ at several leading entertainment industry companies. Yes, these are the same companies who want to disconnect people from the Internet after they’ve been caught sharing copyrighted material.

First up is Sony Pictures Entertainment. This single IP-address alone a wide variety of music and movies have been downloaded. And this is probably just the tip of the iceberg, as YouHaveDownloaded only tracks only a small percentage of all public BitTorrent downloads.

Another Hollywood studio where it’s not uncommon to download music, TV-shows and movies is NBC Universal. The employee(s) behind one of the IP-addresses at the Fort Lauderdale office in Florida downloaded the first season of ‘Game of Thrones,’ some trance music, a DVD of ‘Cowboys and Aliens’, and much more.

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Supreme Court Rules Congress May ‘Re-Copyright’ Public Domain Works

719646029Decades or centuries after its creator has passed on to another realm, a piece of art or film or literature may remain copyrighted content, perhaps forever, the Supreme Court has ruled. Ars Technica reports:

Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. In a 6-2 ruling, the court ruled that just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.”

The top court was ruling on a petition by a group of orchestra conductors, educators, performers, publishers and film archivists who urged the justices to reverse an appellate court that ruled against the group, which has relied on artistic works in the public domain for their livelihoods.

They claimed that re-copyrighting public works would breach the speech rights of those who are now using those works without needing a license.

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SOPA Author Is A Copyright Violator

Vice notes that many of the congress members supporting SOPA/PIPA perhaps need to do a bit of inner soul searching, as they themselves have websites with copyright violations. That includes Lamar Smith of Texas, the author of SOPA, whose website background is a photo (likely lifted from Flickr) by someone named DJ Schulte, who does not receive credit or a link as he should have:

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Missing Wikipedia? Here’s How You Can Access It

As most Internet users already know, leading Internet companies like Google, Wikipedia, and Craigslist are protesting the SOPA legislation very publicly today, with Wikipedia totally blacked out. But, if you really, really need to access Wikipedia today, they have kindly explained how to come in through the back door:

Is it still possible to access Wikipedia in any way?

Yes. During the blackout, Wikipedia is accessible on mobile devices and smart phones. You can also view Wikipedia normally by disabling JavaScript in your browser, as explained on this Technical FAQ page. Our purpose here isn’t to make it completely impossible for people to read Wikipedia, and it’s okay for you to circumvent the blackout. We just want to make sure you see our message.

Wikipedia blackout

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Swiss Government Study: Online Piracy Benefits Artists

uesc_03_img0154Encouraging results regarding unauthorized downloading, via TorrentFreak:

The Swiss government has been conducting a study into the impact downloading has on society. This week their response was published and it was crystal clear. Not only will downloading for personal use stay completely legal, but the copyright holders won’t suffer because of it, since people eventually spend the money saved on entertainment products.

The overall conclusion of the study is that the current copyright law, under which downloading copyrighted material for personal use is permitted, doesn’t have to change.

The entertainment industries have opposed all these technological inventions out of fear that their businesses would be crushed. This is not the right response according to the Swiss government, which favors the option of putting technology to good use instead of taking the repressive approach.

The government report further concludes that even in the current situation where piracy is rampant, the entertainment industries are not necessarily losing money.

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Bob Dylan, Plagiarist

It’s hard to believe that Dylan would so naively copy other people’s work and pass it off as his own, but that appears to be exactly what he’s done. From ARTINFO:

Time and time again folk rock legend Bob Dylan has blatantly borrowed for his lyrics. Christie’s auction house acknowledged in 2009 that a handwritten Dylan poem that was up for sale really consisted of words from a song by country crooner Hank Snow. Director Martin Scorsese showed in his 2005 documentary, “No Direction Home,” how Dylan stole the line “Go away from my window…” — the immortal opener of his 1964 song “It Ain’t Me, Babe” — from singer John Jacob Niles. Dylan also purloined text from Japanese writer Junichi Saga‘s novel “Confessions of a Yakuza” for his 2001 album “Love and Theft.” And that’s not the only thing Dylan lifted from Asia.

Dylan painting

Bob Dylan's "Opium," (2009) next to a photograph by Léon Busy, taken in Vietnam in 1915.

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Samsung Claims That iPads Are Stolen From Kubrick

wholeIt’s fascinating to examine the point at which an element of science fiction actually comes true. Apple is in a legal struggle with Samsung to prevent it from selling tablet devices that resemble the iPad. Samsung’s defense: The iPad is in fact ripped off from a tablet design created by Stanley Kubrick for 1968′s 2001: A Space Odyssey. FOSS Patents writes:

Late last night, Samsung filed its opposition brief to Apple’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the United States.

One element of Samsung’s defense strategy is interesting enough that I wanted to report on it beforehand. Ever since Apple started to assert the design of the iPad against other manufacturers, many people have been wondering whether there’s actually prior art for the general design of the iPad in some futuristic devices shown in sci-fi movies and TV series. And indeed, Samsung’s lawyers make this claim now in their defense against Apple’s motion for a preliminary injunction.

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Who Is The Protect IP Act Really Protecting?

The Preventing Real Online Threats of Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or PROTECT IP Act, is supposedly targeted at so-called ”rogue websites” that trade in infringing goods. Abigail Phillips gives some much-needed context to the controversial legislation for the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Last year’s rogue website legislation is back on the table, with a new name: the “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011″—or (wink, wink) “PROTECT IP”. The draft language is available here.

Screen shot 2011-05-12 at 6.44.57 PM

The earlier bill, which failed to pass thanks largely to a hold on the legislation placed by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, would have given the government dramatic new copyright enforcement powers targeted at websites “dedicated to infringing activities,” even where those websites were not based in the United States. Despite some salient differences (described below) in the new version, we are no less dismayed by this most recent incarnation than we were with last year’s draft.

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