10 Years Later, You Can Finally Buy The Best Documentary About L.A.

Los Angeles Plays Itself is a story of how L.A. has been portrayed on screen, its thesis unfolding through hundreds of iconic film clips. But the biggest reason that Thom Andersen's legendary documentary has reached a near-cult status is that, due to copyright issues, the film has never been properly released in… » 7/09/14 6:30pm Wednesday 6:30pm

So Long, Open Web: Mozilla Accepts Closed Source DRM and We All Lose

It's official: the last holdout for the open web has fallen. Flanked on all sides by Google, Microsoft, Opera, and (it appears) Safari's support and promotion of the EME DRM-in-HTML standard, Mozilla is giving in to pressure from Hollywood, Netflix, et al, and will be implementing its own third-party version of DRM.… » 5/15/14 5:15am 5/15/14 5:15am

Your Right to Record Movies Off TV Came 30 Years Ago Today

Today, DRM fears inspire a lot of jokes that reference George Orwell's 1984. But it was in that titular year, three decades ago today, that the U.S. Supreme Court reached a decision that defined and protected our right to record copyrighted material: Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., or the… » 1/17/14 6:00pm 1/17/14 6:00pm

A US Army Base Is Running a Bunch of Illegal Windows 7 Copies

Given the United States' intolerance for copyright infringement and the piraters that propagate it, you'd think Uncle Sam would be a little more keen on making sure that his men were playing by the book themselves. As it turns out, a whole mess of computers running unlicensed, illegal copies of Windows 7 belong to… » 12/23/13 10:50am 12/23/13 10:50am

YouTube's Copyright Crackdown: Everything You Need To Know

We're in the second week of a YouTube copyright enforcement crackdown whose most visible effects have been on the video gaming community. Each day turns up a new example of a video getting thrown in YouTube jail on a ridiculous technicality. The situation seems to defy common sense, but we'll try to explain it in… » 12/19/13 1:11pm 12/19/13 1:11pm

WordPress Strikes Back Against DMCA Censorship Trolls

A few months ago, we told you the story of Oliver Hotham, a British journalist whose reporting on Straight Pride UK was silenced by a spurious DMCA takedown request from the hate group. Now the Hotham's web host, WordPress, has filed a complaint in court against Straight Pride. This may be the case that helps finally… » 11/21/13 3:12pm 11/21/13 3:12pm

Google Wins the Right to Keep Scanning Millions of Books for Free

Nearly a decade after it started, the lawsuit between the Authors' Guild and Google over its book-scanning program has been thrown out. This means that Google can keep digitizing millions of books for free distribution, and more importantly, that fair use is in the public's best interest. » 11/14/13 12:52pm 11/14/13 12:52pm

Why DRM in Cars Is Going to Drive Everyone Mad

Forget extra cup holders or power windows: the new Renault Zoe comes with a "feature" that absolutely nobody wants. Instead of selling consumers a complete car that they can use, repair, and upgrade as they see fit, Renault has opted to lock purchasers into a rental contract with a battery manufacturer and enforce… » 11/14/13 7:00am 11/14/13 7:00am

The Most Convoluted DMCA Takedown Request of All Time

Anti-Gay group Straight Pride UK is abusing the DMCA takedown process to censor work by a journalist. No surprise there—the DMCA is twisted for all kinds of dumb purposes. The inexplicable part? The hate group filed a takedown on... its own press release. How dare you say that we said the words that we wrote in a… » 8/13/13 5:40pm 8/13/13 5:40pm

Microsoft Gave Google a Copyright Takedown Request for Microsoft.com…

Because every company with even just a three-legged rat in the copyright race basically just shotgun sprays Google for takedown requests these days, Microsoft accidentally but very hilariously asked Google to censor... Microsoft.com. That's got to be even worse than HBO giving Google a takedown request for VLC. Yeah,… » 7/29/13 8:30pm 7/29/13 8:30pm

What Is TPP? The Biggest Global Threat to the Internet Since ACTA

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The United States and ten governments from around the Pacific are meeting yet again to hash out the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) on May 15-24 in Lima, Peru. The TPP is one of the worst global threats to the Internet since ACTA. Since the negotiations have been secretive from the beginning, we…

» 5/14/13 6:20pm 5/14/13 6:20pm

Why Isn't Gatsby in the Public Domain?

When The Great Gatsby rolls out to theaters across the country this weekend, it will bring to the screen a story familiar to millions from a literary classic that's often dubbed the proverbial "Great American Novel." Here’s what many folks don’t know: even though the book was published nearly 90 years ago and is a… » 5/08/13 12:29pm 5/08/13 12:29pm