Tag Archives | Copyright

Your Life Will Some Day End; ACTA Will Live On

From Ars Technica:

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) isn’t just another secret treaty—it’s a way of life. If ACTA passes in anything like its current form, it will create an entirely new international secretariat to administer and extend the agreement.

Knowledge Ecology International got its hands on more of the leaked ACTA text this week, including a chapter on “Institutional Arrangements” that has not leaked before. The chapter makes clear that ACTA will be far more than a standard trade agreement; it appears to be nothing less than an attempt to make a new international institution that will handle some of the duties of groups like the WTO and WIPO.

Why bother? Well, from the perspective of countries like the US, the existing institutions have problems. For one, they feature a huge number of nations, some of whom have blocked some of the anti-counterfeiting provisions desired by the US and others.

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‘Internet Enforcement’ Copyright Treaty Leaks Online

Treaty of ParisCory Doctorow writes on BoingBoing:

Someone has uploaded a PDF to a Google Group that is claimed to be the proposal for Internet copyright enforcement that the USA has put forward for ACTA, the secret copyright treaty whose seventh round of negotiations just concluded in Guadalajara, Mexico.

This reads like it probably is genuine treaty language, and if it is the real US proposal, it is the first time that this material has ever been visible to the public. According to my source, the US proposal is the current version of the treaty as of the conclusion of the Mexico round.

I’ve read it through a few times and it reads a lot like DMCA-plus. It contains, for example, a duty to technology firms to shut down infringement where they have “actual knowledge” that such is taking place.

This argument was put forward in the Grokster case, and as Fred von Lohmann argued then, this is a potentially deadly burden to place on technology companies: in the offline world Xerox has “actual knowledge” that its technology is routinely used to infringe copyright at Kinko’s outlets around the world — should that create a duty to stop providing sales and service to Kinko’s?

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What Could Have Been Entering the Public Domain on January 1, 2010?

At right, the cover for the first edition of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale, which featured the first appearance of that martini-drinking secret agent with a license to kill. (Photo gallery of Casino Royale's various covers found on the Guardian). Here's an excellent essay from Duke University's Center for the Study of the Public Domain: CasinoRoyale
Casino Royale, Marilyn Monroe’s Playboy cover, The Adventures of Augie March, the Golden Age of Science Fiction, Crick & Watson’s Nature article decoding the double helix, Disney’s Peter Pan, The Crucible... Current US law extends copyright protections for 70 years from the date of the author’s death. (Corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years.) But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years (an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years). Under those laws, works published in 1953 would be passing into the public domain on January 1, 2010. What might you be able to read or print online, quote as much as you want, or translate, republish or make a play or a movie from? How about Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel? Fleming published Casino Royale in 1953. If we were still under the copyright laws that were in effect until 1978, Casino Royale would be entering the public domain on January 1, 2010 (even assuming that Fleming had renewed the copyright). Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2049. This is because the copyright term for works published between 1950 and 1963 was extended to 95 years from the date of publication, so long as the works were published with a copyright notice and the term renewed (which is generally the case with famous works such as this). All of these works from 1953 will enter the public domain in 2049.
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‘Star Trek’ Leads List of Most Pirated Movies 2009

Peter Lauria writing in the New York Post:

Poor Paramount.

Online pirates pinched more than 20 million copies of “Star Trek” and the sequel to “Transformers,” giving those two Paramount Pictures releases the dubious distinction of being the most ripped-off films of the year, according to a report released by file-sharing tracking service TorrentFreak.

Though the “Transformers” sequel bested “Star Trek” at the box office, Trekkie faves Kirk and Spock were more popular than morphing car-robots among digital thieves.

TorrentFreak reported that “Star Trek” was illegally downloaded just under 11 million times, while 10.6 million copies of “Transformers” were lifted.

While precise data is hard to come by, the pirated copies certainly seem to have cost the studio. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, worldwide revenue at the Viacom-owned studio fell $535 million, or 13 percent, to $3.7 billion.

“Transformers” still ranks as 2009’s highest-grossing film at the domestic box office, raking in $402 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.

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Chicago Woman Could Get 3 Years for Taping 3 Minutes of ‘Twilight: New Moon’

NewMoonDAN ROZEK reports in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Taping three minutes of “Twilight: New Moon” during a visit to a Rosemont movie theater landed Samantha Tumpach in a jail cell for two nights.

Now, the 22-year-old Chicago woman faces up to three years in prison after being charged with a rarely invoked felony designed to prevent movie patrons from recording hot new movies and selling bootleg copies.

But Tumpach insisted Wednesday that’s not what she was doing — she was actually taping parts of her sister’s surprise birthday party celebrated at the Muvico Theater in Rosemont.

While she acknowledged there are short bits of the movie on her digital camera, there are other images that have nothing to do with the new film — including she and a few other family members singing “Happy Birthday” to her 29-year-old sister at the theater.

“It was a big thing over nothing,” Tumpach said of her Saturday afternoon arrest.

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Secret Copyright Treaty Threatens Internet Freedom

From Boing Boing via Bytestyle.tv: The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama's administration refused to disclose due to "national security" concerns, has leaked. It's bad. It says: * That ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn't infringing will exceed any hope of profitability. * That ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability. This means that your entire family could be denied to the internet -- and hence to civic participation, health information, education, communications, and their means of earning a living -- if one member is accused of copyright infringement, without access to a trial or counsel.
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Secret Copyright Treaty Leaks. It’s Bad, Very Bad

Many thanks to Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing for publicizing this. Certainly not change I can believe in:

The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama’s administration refused to disclose due to “national security” concerns, has leaked. It’s bad. It says:

  • That ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn’t infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.
  • That ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability. This means that your entire family could be denied to the internet — and hence to civic participation, health information, education, communications, and their means of earning a living — if one member is accused of copyright infringement, without access to a trial or counsel.
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100 Years of Big Content Fearing Technology — In Its Own Words

This is a great article on ars technica from Nate Anderson:

It’s almost a truism in the tech world that copyright owners reflexively oppose new inventions that do (or might) disrupt existing business models. But how many techies actually know what rightsholders have said and written for the last hundred years on the subject?

The anxious rhetoric around new technology is really quite shocking in its vehemence, from claims that the player piano will destroy musical taste and the “national throat” to concerns that the VCR is like the “Boston strangler” to claims that only Hollywood’s premier content could make the DTV transition a success. Most of it turned out to be absurd hyperbole, but it’s interesting to see just how consistent the words and the fears remain across more than a century of innovation and a host of very different devices.

So here they are, in their own words—the copyright holders who demanded restrictions on player pianos, photocopiers, VCRs, home taping, DAT, MP3 players, Napster, the DVR, digital radio, and digital TV.

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Shepard Fairey Responds To The AP: Yes, I Lied. But It Was Still Fair Use.

ObamaHopeJason Kincaid writes on TechCrunch:

We reached out to Shepard Fairey about the AP’s release this evening claiming that he had admitted lying about which image he used as the source image for his iconic Hope poster. He sent us a response (reproduced below), which effectively confirms what the AP says.

Tonight’s admission focuses on the photo that Fairey originally claimed to use during his creation of the ‘Hope’ poster — he claimed to use an image other than the one the AP claims to own, and then lied and deleted evidence when he realized he was wrong. Both were taken at the same press event. The one Fairey originally said he used showed Obama next to George Clooney, the one he really used was a close-up. The AP has succeeded in character assassination (perhaps rightfully so given Fairey’s actions), but Fairey may still have a case arguing that his image is protected under fair use.

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