As a sizeable hoster of things and collector of links, Google receives its fair share of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices. Only, that fair share has increased by around a billion percent since 2006.
The DMCA takedown and counter-takedown procedures has been a mess for a while now. And it didn’t look like anyone who could fix it cared to. Which made it a surprise when the Copyright Office asked for public comment on the issue on New Year’s Eve.
Songwriter, musician, and dedicated music copyright activist David Lowery has retained a law firm and filed an ambitious class action lawsuit against Spotify. He’s suing on behalf of all the artists—which could be literally any number of artists—that he claims Spotify is stiffing.
What do you do when you face millions dollars in fines for committing a crime that didn’t necessarily hurt anyone? (Though it does hurt an industry.) If you’re Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde, you make an art project that highlights how ridiculous those fines seem.
YouTube announced today that it’s going to cover the legal costs of copyright lawsuits facing a few videos that they believe are strong examples of fair use. This is one of those situations where good PR and good work actually coincide.
You may have read that the European Commission intends to prevent hyperlinks to copyrighted material. The good news is that this isn’t true, but the bad news is that there is a real proposal to change copyright law that could change how we use hyperlinks – the bedrock of the world wide web.
Decrypting copyrighted materials is, according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, an illegal act. Yesterday, the Library of Congress issued a set of exemptions to the DMCA’s decryption ban, which many outlets, including Gizmodo, hailed as “victories” and “big wins.” They’re not. At best, the new rules allow…
Copyright law (and therefore DRM, the software companies can use to lock down their products) is controlled by the Library of Congress. Every three years, the Librarian makes decisions on certain critical exemptions. This time around, it looks like they’ve got things right.
George Orwell’s estate is watching you—at least if you try and use the number ‘1984’. In an ironic turn of events, the Orwell estate has recently issued a copyright takedown to prevent the use of the four digits without permission, reports Torrent Freak.
Google’s been embroiled in a battle with writers and the Authors Guild over whether or not the company’s book scanning project infringed on their copyright. Today the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals held that it’s fair use.
You may have heard that Deadspin’s GIFs disappeared from Twitter. And then Deadspin disappeared from Twitter. And then Deadspin reappeared on Twitter. It all seems completely ridiculous, except all of it was a pretty standard blunt-force application of copyright law on the internet. The only unusual part was that…
If you have ever tried scanning or photocopying a banknote, you may have found that your software—such as Adobe Photoshop, or the embedded software in the photocopier—refused to let you do so. That’s because your software is secretly looking for security features such as EURion dots in the documents that you scan, and…
This post was originally published January 5, 2015, but this year’s second round of Facebook warnings are very similar, so everything still applies.
Sending threatening letters is a storied tactic for companies trying to get money from alleged pirates, by this stage. But spying on people and trying to subpoena their neighbours? Not so kosher, at least according to one federal judge.
In 2007, a home video of a baby dancing to Prince’s 1984 masterpiece Let’s Go Crazy was uploaded onto YouTube. Eight years and a few dozen lawyers later, a federal appeals court has ruled that uploading the video was an OK thing to do — a judgement that is of surprising importance to the rest of the internet.
The English language is a voracious eater, consuming words and digesting them into whole new things. Sometimes words that used to be trademarked by companies pass into generic use—like escalator, thermos, and aspirin. And sometimes words live in limbo: still trademarked, but used all the time as generic terms. Here…
Copyright law is complicated, but one thing is clear: The Digital Millennium Copyright Law was not designed to enable censorship. Unfortunately, the owners of Ashley Madison are using—and abusing—DMCA takedown notices to do just that in order to keep its hacked data off the web.
The video “Pantone Pixels,” published in 2011, was an independent art project that used a swath of colors to illustrate a picture of the creator’s parents. Last week, Vimeo took it down. Turns out it was too similar to “Pixels,” a 2015 movie starring Adam Sandler.