Feeds

Sci-Fi fans blow stacks at copybot attacks

Updated: Ustream issues mea culpa

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Ustream has rained on the science fiction world’s big event, with its copyright enforcement bots unplugging the Hugo awards for showing winners’ clips.

We’ll never know just how many award-winners planned to commit “fair use” by accepting their awards in front of screenings of snippets of their work, because a brainless pre-programmed bot slapped down Worldcon’s glittering ceremony while Neil Gaiman was accepting his award for his Dr Who script, The Doctor’s Wife.

io9 is particularly outraged, and for good reason: the Ustream feed was taken out before one of its contributors, Charlie Jane Anders, could accept a best novelette award. io9 also claims that complaints to Ustream have so far gone unanswered.

The copybot attack wasn’t lifted at all for the event, even though the clips the bot blocked were provided by studios – and even though the use of clips in this context probably fall under any normal definition of “fair use” under US copyright law.

As io9 puts it: “In case anyone still believes that copyright rules can't stop free speech or snuff out a community, the automated censorship of the Hugo Awards is a case in point.”

El Reg couldn’t agree more. ®

Update: Ustream has contacted The Register to let us know that it's posted this apology to both its users and the Hugos.

The streaming service's CEO agrees that the broadcast should not have been shuttered by the Vobile third-party infringement-watcher. He says Vobile has been suspended while it's recalibrated, and states that "we need to ensure fair use of copyright as permitted by law". ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.