Tag Archives | Copyright

‘Dear Andrew J. Crossley, Are You F—ing Stupid?’

Andrew Crossley's website after hackers targeted it

Andrew Crossley's website after hackers targeted it

Thanks to Mark for sending us this story by Paul Kendall in the Telegraph. As the distributor of the film Rip: A Remix Manifesto, which takes a very liberal view of copyright, I want to hate Andrew Crossley as much as the correspondent whose opening line is the title of this post. On the other hand, we can’t pay our filmmakers nearly as much as we used to because of piracy. Where do you stand in this debate?

Andrew Crossley gets a lot of hate mail. Litigants contacting his central London legal practice regularly refer to him as ‘scum’. One particularly abusive email he received recently began: ‘Dear Andrew J Crossley. Are you f—ing stupid?’ before threatening to kill him.

When the young paralegals who work in his office pick up their phones they brace themselves for a tirade of abuse. On the internet, in forums dedicated to discussions of his work, Crossley is routinely castigated, derided, insulted and threatened, if not with murder then with grievous bodily harm or some other painful invasion of his personal space.

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South Park Sued For ‘What What (In The Butt)’ Parody

South Park ParodyYou have to love the way that Trey Parker and Matt Stone keep getting themselves into legal trouble for the scripts of South Park. Keep up the good work gentlemen! From the Hollywood Reporter:

Less than a month after South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were forced to apologize for lifting material for a spoof of Inception from the website CollegeHumor, the show is again facing accusations of content theft. The producers of the animated hit, including Viacom and Comedy Central, are being sued for allegedly ripping off a copyrighted music video for the viral phenomenon What What (In the Butt).

The video was produced by Brownmark Films based on a song by Samwell. Released in 2007, it became a massive hit and was featured on PerezHilton.com and VH1’s Best Week Ever, and has been downloaded over 33 million times on YouTube. According to the site, it’s one of the most watched music videos of all time…

U.S.… Read the rest

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Banksy, Fox and The Simpsons Video

Thanks to Alexia Tsotsis at TechCrunch [go there for full commentary] for showing us how megamedia corporations are conveniently using copyright law to promote their intellectual property:
In case you haven’t been reading Twitter at all in the past day or so, last night “Banksy” was both the sixth search term on Google Trends and the number six trending topic on Twitter (where it remains to this morning), all because of the elusive street artist’s unbelievably dark and meta storyboarding of the animated series’ infamous intro, which Fox just removed from YouTube for copyright violations. Before Fox pulled it down, the YouTube video had currently amassed 42,305 views, and it’d be safe to say that almost none of us actually watched it on TV...
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The Real Cost Of Free

Cory Doctorow, photographed by Jonathan Worth (CC)

Cory Doctorow, photographed by Jonathan Worth (CC)

Cory Doctorow delivers a fierce rant defending his beliefs and practices regarding the price of his creative works and his time, at Paid Content (love the irony of the site’s name!):

Last week, my fellow Guardian columnist Helienne Lindvall published a piece headlined The cost of free, in which she called it “ironic” that “advocates of free online content” (including me) “charge hefty fees to speak at events”.

Lindvall says she spoke to someone who approached an agency I once worked with to hire me for a lecture and was quoted $10,000-$20,000 (£6,300-£12,700) to speak at a college and $25,000 to speak at a conference. Lindvall goes on to talk about the fees commanded by other speakers, including Wired editor Chris Anderson, author of a book called “Free” (which I reviewed here in July 2009), Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde and marketing expert Seth Godin.

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Pirate Radio Cranks Up the Volume for Documentary

Pirate Radio USAVia Joe Nolan's Insomnia: Hello friends. This weekend I discovered an entertaining and eye-opening pirate radio documentary online: Pirate Radio USA. Given the post-Clinton legalization of media monopolies, the subject of pirate radio has once again become a hot-button topic. Pirate radio broadcasters use homemade technologies to take over radio frequencies, broadcasting without licenses, outside of FCC rules and regulations. Pirate radio has become a form of civil disobedience. The various subjects of the documentary fight directly against the corporate media by simply "stealing" FM bandwidth to broadcast their radical, rocking messages. Of course, the irony is that the airwaves above the United States are owned exclusively by the public. How can you steal what you already own?
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Set Music Free: Orchestra to Record Copyright-Free Classical Music

Set Music FreeAn online music site has raised over $68,000 to hire a full orchestra to record royalty-free classical music. (“Although the actual symphonies are long out of copyright, there is separate protection for every individual performance by an orchestra,” notes one technology site.”)

MusOpen has reached their fundraising goal for both the orchestra and a recording facility, and will now record the complete symphonies of Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky. For every additional $1,000 raised, they’ve promised to add additional recordings.

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Filesharing “Bully” Lawyer Faces Disciplinary Hearing

A British lawyer’s firm sent thousands of letters demanding £500 ($800) damage payments over filesharing, based on IP addresses obtained from ISPs. But now England’s Solicitors Regulation Authority is referring that lawyer to a disciplinary tribunal after hearing strong complaints from a consumer watchdog group. Which? Magazine had received testimonials from more than 20 different people who insisted they hadn’t actually shared any files, and were being wrongly accused. (“It appears few if any of the recipients have subsequently been successfully prosecuted over the claims…”)

Today the consumer group which publishes the magazine applauded the news of the disciplinary tribunal, “because we’ve received so many complaints from consumers who believe they been treated appallingly by this law firm.” The filesharing could’ve occurred over unsecure wireless connections, the group argues, and they added that the lawyer’s behavior was “both aggressive and bullying.”

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Is Plagiarism OK?

PrtscrThe New York Times ponders plagiarism in the digital age, where films like Rip: A Remix Manifesto question traditional notions of copyright and fair use:

At Rhode Island College, a freshman copied and pasted from a Web site’s frequently asked questions page about homelessness — and did not think he needed to credit a source in his assignment because the page did not include author information.

At DePaul University, the tip-off to one student’s copying was the purple shade of several paragraphs he had lifted from the Web; when confronted by a writing tutor his professor had sent him to, he was not defensive — he just wanted to know how to change purple text to black.

And at the University of Maryland, a student reprimanded for copying from Wikipedia in a paper on the Great Depression said he thought its entries — unsigned and collectively written — did not need to be credited since they counted, essentially, as common knowledge.

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Google Attorney Calls Intellectual Property Treaty “Gollum-like”

Nothing like a good Lord of the Rings reference to make your point about Copyright Law. Declan McCullagh writes on CNET News:

from Vic201401 at Wikimedia Commons

Gollum sculpture at Wax Museum in Mexico City. Photo: Vic201401 (CC)

An attorney for Google slammed a controversial intellectual property treaty, saying it has “metastasized” from a proposal to address border security and counterfeit goods to an international legal framework sweeping in copyright and the Internet.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is “something that has grown in the shadows, Gollum-like,” without public scrutiny, Daphne Keller, a senior policy counsel in Mountain View, Calif., said at a conference at Stanford University.

Both the Obama administration and the Bush administration had rejected requests from civil libertarians and technologists for the text of ACTA, with the White House last year even indicating that disclosure would do “damage to the national security.” After pressure from the European Parliament, however, negotiators released the draft text two weeks ago.

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Hitler ‘Downfall’ Parodies Removed from YouTube

Downfall ParodyNein! Nein! Nein! Gottverdammt YouTube! Gottverdammt Constantin Film! Es ist wahr! Mein Leben ist vorbei. What the hell YouTube, you did this on Hitler's birthday?!? WTF. Reports Mashable:
The movie studio responsible for the award-winning, German-Austrian film Downfall (German: Der Untergang) has asked YouTube to take down several videos from the massively popular subtitled “Hitler finds out…” meme, and the site has complied.Search YouTube and you’ll still find hundreds of Downfall parodies, but click through to some of the bigger ones and you’ll now get the message, “This video contains content from Constantin Film, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”
Downfall No More... Yep, all the ones we have on disinfo.com are gone...
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