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Articles about Copyright Law

Monkey Selfie

US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

The US Copyright Office has refused to register the copyright of the infamous selfie taken by a monkey. The Office said in its latest copyright law compendium (PDF) that images taken by animals, including the 2011 primate self-shot, could not be registered for copyright by a human. Monkey Selfie "The Office will not register …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Aug 2014
shutterstock_copyright_theft_burn_sidey must credit and link to shutterstock

One European copyright law-to-rule-them-all? EU launches review

The European Commission is seeking industry views on whether to completely harmonise copyright laws across the EU. The Commission has launched a consultation in an effort to gather views on how to modernise the existing EU copyright framework (36-page/223KB PDF). Respondents are being asked for views on matters ranging from the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Dec 2013

Copyright minister: Those missing TWO copyright exceptions? We're still on track

Just this morning it appeared that the government had quietly dropped two of the five changes it wants to make to UK copyright law - but copyright minister Viscount Younger has just released a statement saying it "remains firmly committed to implementing each of these important exceptions". All five SIs are still listed on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 May 2014

Euro judges: Copyright has NOT changed, you WON'T get sued for browsing the web

The highest European Court today confirmed that the internet can carry on working just like it has for 20 years. In doing so, it was batting away a strange request for "clarification" on copyright from the UK's Supreme Court. For the internet to function, it was established very early on that certain devices - such as routers, …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jun 2014
Street Fighter

Developer CEO 'liable for copyright infringement' over unlawful tool

The chief executive of a software company in Germany has been found liable for copyright infringement after software developed by the company was amended in an open source environment to allow copyright-protected material to be accessed unlawfully. Appwork created "JDownloader2", a download management tool, but allowed any …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Dec 2013
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

UK 'copyright czar' Edmund Quilty quits as Blighty's Director of Copyright Enforcement

Britain's unofficial "copyright czar", Edmund Quilty, is moving on. Probably the most influential civil servant you've never heard of, Quilty has served as the Director of Copyright Enforcement and Policy at the UK patent office for six years, far longer than the typical stint for a career bureaucrat of two years. "We can …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Jan 2014

OK, EU chiefs, 3 years of copyright wrangling - let's get it sorted. Now this white paper... DOH!

Europe’s copyright reform process has stalled after a dispute between European commissioners – and reportedly some intense pressure from Silicon Valley’s “Third Senator”, European Commissioner Neelie Kroes. The current reform process got going in May 2011 with a “blueprint” for IP rights reform, kicking off a long and cautious …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

Oz to review copyright law for digital age

Australia will review its Copyright Act to ensure the they serve the nation in the digital age. The review, announced by Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, will “reflect the fact that technology is constantly evolving and testing the boundaries of copyright law," Roxon said. The eventual review will be handled by the …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Apr 2012

You gotta fight for your copyright ... Beastie Boys sue toymaker over TV ad

Hip-hop heroes the Beastie Boys aren't impressed by toymaker GoldieBlox's climbdown in their rather bizarre copyright dispute – which started when the building-block company used the band's music in an ad. The MCs have now filed a countersuit against the venture-capital-bankrolled toy biz, which sued the Beasties after …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

Using copyright to avoid Freedom of Info law? Ha, ha, NICE try!

Public bodies that disclose copyright-protected information in order to comply with a request under freedom of information (FOI) laws are not guilty of copyright infringement, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said. Although the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) states that public bodies must not disclose …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Aug 2012
shutterstock_copyright_sidey

ACCC calls for liberalised copyright in Oz

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission is siding with citizens over copyright holders – at least a little bit. In its submission to an inquiry into this country’s copyright law, the competition regulator suggests that a service such as Optus’ TV Now – banned by the High Court after a bitter battle with the country’s …

EU green-lights 'copyright land grab' law on orphan work

EU ministers backed new laws to allow libraries, museums and universities - among other organisations - to digitise works that have become "orphaned" from their creators. The Council of Minister's formal adoption of the EU's Directive on orphan works [29-page 154KB PDF] means that member states will now have to implement the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Oct 2012

Haitian snapper humbles photo giants AFP, Getty Images in $1.2m copyright victory

Photographers have won a landmark victory after a US federal jury awarded $1.2m to freelance photojournalist Daniel Morel after media giants uploaded and credited to themselves some shots he had posted on Twitter. A New York jury decisively backed a Haitian photojournalist Morel in a copyright case against photo agency Getty and …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Nov 2013
RoboCop

SECRET draft copyright treaty LEAKED: Meet the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The text of the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) isn't as bad as we thought. It's worse. A draft, published by Wikileaks, offers a patent-and-copyright wish list that would see the infamous DMCA automatic take-downs spread throughout the Pacific, plants and animals become patentable with few restrictions, and …
The Register breaking news

Bundestag holds 'unusual' hearing on German Copyright Act

A "highly unusual" additional parliamentary hearing on proposed changes to German copyright law is a sign that there is increasing opposition to the publisher-driven plans, an expert has said. A cross-party sub committee on new media is scheduled to stage a hearing of stakeholders' views on the proposed amendments to the German …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Feb 2013
Disney's Beagle Boys

Instagram Act: UK.gov's latest copyright landgrab stymied - for now

Remember the notorious ‘Instagram Act’? If you recall, clauses smuggled into April’s Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (ERRA) - in the name of allowing reuse of orphan works - paved the way for the Government to grab your photographs and other visual images, in breach of international conventions. The mechanics of the scheme …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

UK's first copyright swap-shop for cat pics (etc) still yonks away

The UK's Copyright Hub, designed for high-volume legit trading of copyrighted material, will launch in July. Ultimately the service will allow individual Brits to, for example, easily license music to use in wedding videos, cat photos for calendars or illustrations for books. But not just yet. Its chairman Richard Hooper …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Republicans deny Hollywood pressure to pull copyright proposal

The Republican Study Committee, an influential caucus made up of members of the US House of Representatives, has denied pulling a policy paper calling for a reform of the existing patent system under pressure from lobbyists. The policy paper, entitled Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it, looked at …
Iain Thomson, 19 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Chinese court orders Apple to cough £100k to writers for violating copyright

Apple got a nasty post-Christmas present in China on Thursday when a Beijing court hit it with a 1.03m yuan (£102,000) fine after ruling the fruity tech titan was responsible for applications which appeared on its App Store containing unlicensed content. The Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court concluded that Apple had …
Phil Muncaster, 30 Dec 2012

Australia's Copyright Act gets digital upgrade

The Australian Law Reform Commission has released the final terms of reference of its review of copyright. The Attorney-General’s Department received in excess of 60 submissions in response to the draft terms of reference, which were released for public consultation in March this year. The revised terms for "Copyright and the …
The Register breaking news

Music resale service ReDigi loses copyright fight with Capitol Records

A US District Court in New York has ruled that ReDigi, an online marketplace that allows users to sell their purchased music files, violates copyright law. Cambridge, Massachusetts–based ReDigi, which launched its service in October 2011, claimed to be "the world's first, real legal alternative to expensive online music …
Neil McAllister, 01 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Anonymous turns ire on Japan after anti-piracy law passes

It was only a matter of time – hacktivist group Anonymous has taken aim at the web sites of political parties and government departments in Japan in retaliation for a tough new anti-piracy bill passed last week. The update to the Copyright Law was brought about after heavy lobbying by a content industry dismayed that illegal …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

UK Supreme Court backs news leech in copyright fight

The UK's Supreme Court has sided with a technology company and a public relations industry group in a long-running copyright case - but bounced it up to Europe for ultimate clarification. The decision (PDF) by the court offers a temporary respite for the Meltwater Group, a parasitic news scraper-cum-headline aggregator, after a …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Software functionality not subject to copyright: EU court

In a far-reaching decision for the software industry, the European Court of Justice has decided that the functionality of software – as distinct from the actual code – is not covered by copyright. The decision concludes a long-running court case first brought by SAS against World Programming Limited (WPL). WPL had gotten under …
The Register breaking news

New NZ copyright law means ISPs could cash in

New Zealand ISPs could have a tidy new revenue stream courtesy of their illegal downloading customers as new copyright laws take effect in September. New Zealand Commerce Minister Simon Power yesterday announced that a NZ$25 fee will be charged by ISPs to rights-holders, such as movie studios, for processing each allegation of …
The Register breaking news

Republican staffer fired for copyright reform suggestions

A Republican staffer who wrote a position paper suggesting that the current system of copyright legislation might benefit some market-based reform has been summarily fired. Last month the Republican Study Committee, an influential group made up of members of the US House of Representatives, put out a position paper saying that …
Iain Thomson, 07 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

Virus lab blogger collared by blundering copyright cop bot

A malware researcher's website was nobbled last week by an automated bot that accused her of breaching copyright law. Web storage biz MediaFire, which is used by Mila Parkour to host dozens of downloads for her Contagio blog, pulled the plug on her account because it contained three files that were flagged up for copyright …
John Leyden, 10 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

Gov must act on 'innocent' web-browsing copyright timebomb

The government should legislate rather than wait for the UK or the European courts to rule on whether internet users have to pay to browse websites, a UK media monitoring business has said. James Mackenzie, commercial director of Cutbot, told Out-Law.com that businesses and internet users could both suffer if the government …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

You want the Cloud? You can't have proper copyright, then

UK law makers and the judiciary should take note of new research that has claimed that a narrow reading of copyright law exceptions can result in an erosion of investment in new technologies, an expert has said. Harvard Business School Professor Josh Lerner has published a new report (32-page/300KB PDF) that claims that venture …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Don't reform copyright yet, begs publishers' body

The government should not change UK copyright laws until supposed problems with the current framework can be assessed in light of how a new 'digital copyright exchange' (DCE) works, the Publishers Association has said. Richard Mollet, chief executive of the association, said that the benefits the DCE could bring could eradicate …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Feb 2012
McAfee slurp

McAfee accused of McSlurping Open Source Vulnerability Database

Intel security subsidiary McAfee may be in hot water after it allegedly scraped thousands of records from the Open Source Vulnerability Database instead of paying for them. The surreptitious slurp was said to be conducted using fast scripts after McAfee formally inquired about purchasing a license to the data. Those scripts, …
Darren Pauli, 08 May 2014
The Register breaking news

Flog secondhand MP3s at your peril - law guru

Redigi, an American startup company, has found itself in trouble for selling legally downloaded digital music tracks secondhand. Last week it was on the receiving end of a copyright infringement suit in the US. The arguments that will run in the US court are similar to those that would be used here in the UK, and it is clear …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Japan Anonymous aims to fight download law by picking up litter

Japan has set up a task force to battle Anonymous and potential cyber-espionage attacks. The move follows online protests by the hacktivist group against Japan's new law against illegal downloads on June 22. The Finance Ministry was forced to suspend one of its websites on 26 June after it "had been alerted that some of the …
John Leyden, 04 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

'Oppressive' UK copyright law: More cobblers from IP quangos

A new report by intellectual property campaigners has again put the UK on the naughty step. This year, as last year, activists list the UK alongside Brazil and Thailand as having the most "oppressive" copyright laws in the world. The report was published by an international NGO called Consumer International, but this delegates …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 May 2012
The Register breaking news

BBC's images of murdered infant did not breach privacy, copyright

Copyright and privacy law do not prevent the BBC from publishing images of a murdered child, a Scottish criminal appeals court has ruled. The High Court of Justiciary ruled that the BBC could have access to six photographs of Declan Hainey in a "healthy and apparently happy" state in order to include the images in a report on …
OUT-LAW.COM, 26 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Copyright law must be relaxed, says new group

Librarians, digital activists, ISPs, music managers and other associations and trade bodies have called for the relaxing of copyright law in the EU to allow more people to access and re-use copyrighted material. The bodies have joined together to launch a series of demands in a declaration they have called Copyright For …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 May 2010
The Register breaking news

EU Parliament calls for pan-EU copyright law

The European Commission should create a directly enforceable EU-wide copyright law that could be used to bring copyright infringers to book, the European Parliament has said. Current law is not closely harmonised enough, it said. The Parliament has adopted a report from a French MEP which examined the state of intellectual …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Sep 2010

Copyright trolls, biz scum, freetards - it's NOT black and white

A new intellectual property rights organisation has popped up in the United States called New Media Rights. New Media Rights strikes a different balance than most intellectual property organisations; they champion the rights of independent creators as well as those of individual consumers. New Media Rights provide free legal …
Trevor Pott, 15 Dec 2012

TPP treaty nearly ready to roll over us, says Oz minister

An Australian government minister has said he expects the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to be finalised soon. Talks on the treaty – which has been criticised for following a corporate America agenda on issues like patents, copyright law, and investor-state dispute settlement – stalled late last year. At the …

No, Minister. You CAN'T de-Kindle your eBooks!

The government has bungled proposed changes to UK copyright law by claiming the format of eBooks can be legally changed - for example, from the Amazon kindle format to a PDF. The changes were published yesterday as the last debris of the Hargreaves Review to wash up on the statute book. (The rest has either been implemented or …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Mar 2014

Presto! After Supreme Court loss, Aereo says it's a cable company now

After months of claiming it had "no Plan B" if it lost its case before the US Supreme Court, TV-streaming outfit Aereo has told a judge that it wants to remain in business – as a cable operator. In a four-page letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan, first revealed by the Hollywood Reporter, Aereo's attorneys make the case for …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

F1 team wins CAD copyright war, wakes up to £700k hangover

The High Court said Aerolab had breached the confidence of team Force India and that team Caterham (previously Lotus) had infringed its rival's copyright. The judge rejected claims from Force India that Caterham/Lotus and its chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne, were liable for breach of confidence. Gascoyne previously worked …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Euro beaks mull copyright of software features

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) should apply copyright protection to the functions of computer programs, a software company has told it, according to media reports. SAS Institute Inc claims that World Programming Ltd infringed its copyrights by developing a rival software program it designed using information published in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Sep 2011
The Register breaking news

Creatives spin copyright licence that sticks to web

A range of organisations from across the global creative industries have formed a coalition with the aim of developing a universal standard framework for licensing out use of their copyrighted material. The Linked Content Coalition (LCC) officially launched late last month and said its "remit" over the next year is to "create …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 May 2012
Supreme Court Building

US Supremes just blew Aereo out of the water

The US Supreme Court has ruled against TV-streaming biz Aereo in its copyright case with US broadcasters. The 6-3 opinion (PDF) upholds a lower court ruling that found the company in violation of US copyright law. Aereo essentially has data centers in ten US cities, each fitted with miniature antennas and hardware that pick up …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

EU recording copyright extension 'will cost €1bn'

Extending the term of copyright protection for sound recordings from 50 to 70 years will cost the general public more than €1bn, an intellectual property academic has claimed. Earlier this week changes were approved to the EU's Directive on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights. The change means music …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Sep 2011

Aereo has to pay TV show creators? Yes. This isn't rocket science

As widely expected, the US Supreme Court has ruled that TV show creators should be paid by video streaming biz Aereo for the distribution of their work. The TV rebroadcaster, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, was found to have exploited a loophole in American law's definition of "performance" by six of nine justices in an …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

Update copyright law for pre-industrial era, says law professor

UK copyright law needs an overhaul to bring it into line with pre-industrial cultures, says a top legal academic. It may strike you as the Most Imaginative Use of Politically-Correct Rhetoric you've ever heard, but the joke is ultimately on you: the project has won funding from the Department of Business. The study, Who Owns The …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Feb 2011

Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov

The government's fourth IP minister* in less than two years took office at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills last week, but her predecessor has left a few undetonated hand grenades in her in-tray. One of them concerns using other people's copyrighted works for free – whether they like it or not. They're all …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jul 2014
australia

Is Australia backing away from 'fair use' proposals?

As the Australian Law Reform Commission puts the final polish on its year-long inquiry into Australia's copyright law, the country's Attorney-General has upended the ice bucket over the idea of any radical reform. The long-running inquiry had raised hopes that at least some reforms would be adopted, such as the creation of a “ …