Articles about Copyright Law

Judge to Dish Network: your Hopper's hip, it ain't no Aereo

A US judge has shot down a motion to ban Dish Network's Hopper TV streaming service under the Supreme Court's recent ruling that shut down streaming startup Aereo. In a judgment made public on Wednesday, Judge Dolly Gee of the US District Court of the Central District of California found that the Hopper service was not subject …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jan 2015
Julia Reda MEP, Pirate Party. Pic: Joachim S. Müller

Last Pirate in Brussels: Put ME in charge of yer IP treasure chest. Yarr!

Analysis With more individuals than ever posting their words and pictures to social media and sites like Flickr, you may think it's an odd time to weaken the copyright controls and protections we have over our work. Yet Europe has got itself into a unique pickle over copyright – and it was advised this week to slash such protections as …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jan 2015

EU copyright law: Is the Pirate Party's MEP in FAVOUR of it?

The Pirate Party's sole MEP, Julia Reda, unsurprisingly says that copyright law in the European Union is not fit for purpose. Reda presented her report on the EU’s current copyright law (the InfoSoc Directive) on Monday. As might be expected from a Pirate Party politician, Reda was critical of the Directive’s failure to grant …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Jan 2015
A Simple XMLFilter class

Google v Oracle: US Supreme Court turns to Obama in Java copyright war

The US Supreme Court hasn't decided whether it will hear arguments in the long-running dispute between Google and Oracle over Java copyrights, and it has asked the Obama administration to weigh in before it makes up its mind. On Monday, the Supremes posted a memo inviting US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr to "express …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jan 2015
Somali pirates storm the box

Arrr: The only Pirate in European Parliament to weigh in on copyright

As speculation and arguments mount over proposed EU copyright legislation, the Pirate Party MEP will publish her report on the matter on 19 January. Julia Reda, currently the only Pirate in the European Parliament, has been made “rapporteur” on the implementation of the previous directive on the so-called 2001 Infosoc …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Jan 2015
Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiedangerous/ licensed under creative commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ please attribute

End well: this won't. European Copyright Society wants one EU law to rule 'em all

Copyright laws in every EU country should be the same, the European Copyright Society (ECS) has said. In a letter to the European Commission's digital commissioner Günther Oettinger (4-page 499KB PDF), the academic think tank on copyright said "actual Union-wide unification … of copyright" as opposed to simply further …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Jan 2015

Google Tax part 94: EU's H-dot wavers over copyright levy

EU digi-chief Gunther H-dot Oettinger has been characteristically clear as mud in explaining his plans for copyright reform. Speaking on Wednesday night to the European Parliament’s working group on copyright, H-dot seemed to call for a so-called ancillary copyright law. This type of law, which requires news aggregators to pay …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Dec 2014
Google_skull

Spanish scraper scrapped: Google axes Google News

+Comment Google will close its Google News service in Spain next week, rather than pay newspapers for news excerpts. Spain recently revamped its copyright law and the changes take effect (PDF, Spanish) on 1 January. Law-makers threw newspapers a bone: the right to be remunerated by news aggregators. According to academic Eleonora …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Dec 2014
A sinking ship

The Pirate Bay SUNK: It vanishes after Swedish data center raid

Torrent search engine and copyright-infringement poster child The Pirate Bay fell offline worldwide on Tuesday – reportedly after cops raided a data center in Stockholm, Sweden. The site remained unavailable for much of the day, only reemerging in the late hours with a new URL using the top-level domain for Costa Rica. It's …
Neil McAllister, 10 Dec 2014

One-click, net-modelled UK copyright hub comes a step closer

Britain's experiment in "making copyright work like the internet" reached beta stage on Tuesday following a deal with a major picture library which gives developers half a million photos to work with. The non-profit, open source Copyright Hub is designed to bring about one-click licensing of relatively low-value digital works …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Dec 2014
Golden Dropping of Excellence

VISUALISED: The Golden Vulture Dropping of Excellence

CoTW After a short break for fresh air and relief from the hilarity of El Reg's commentards, Comment of the Week returns! Opening this week's account of the hilarious and the fail-filled is aptly named commentard Phuq Witt, with this dreadfully dull and unfunny aside on our review of the Banana Pi: "I met a Minecraft user called …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Nov 2014
Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiedangerous/ licensed under creative commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ please attribute

Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

Musicians and composers have launched a High Court legal challenge to a change the government has made to UK copyright law. British bureaucrats insisted on introducing a long-overdue private copying exception without compensation - the only European state to do so. The exception "legalises" the making of a copy of legitimately …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Nov 2014
Ryanair

EU Ryanair 'screen-scraping' case could affect biz models

Some price comparison websites and other online businesses could be forced to alter their business models if the EU's highest court takes steps to prevent unauthorised "screen-scraping" of data, an expert has said. The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) is due to hear arguments today from Ryanair and a Dutch price comparison …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Nov 2014

Aereo-no! Streaming telly biz axes staff, shuts down operations

Embattled video streaming firm Aereo has been forced to lay off most of its staff as the company continues to face a US ban. Local news reports from Boston broke word that the company has shut down its operations in the city and closed its offices, laying off local all employees in the process. According to an employee letter …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Nov 2014

New Euro digi chief says he WILL consider an EU-wide copyright law

Europe’s new digi chief Gunther H. Oettinger has said that he could have a first draft of new copyright laws within six months. Oetti made the comments to the German Bundestag committee on the Digital Agenda on Tuesday, but with the German barely through the door of his new office at the European Commission – he officially …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Nov 2014

Remember the Aereo streaming TV service? Wasn't it COOL? Well, it's pretty much dead now

Embattled streaming TV service Aereo was dealt a fatal blow Thursday as a US judge barred the service from broadcasting live television streams. Judge Alison Nathan ruled in favor of the broadcasting companies looking to bar the service from showing their feeds to customers online, issuing a temporary injunction to block the …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Oct 2014
Houses of Parliament at night-time

Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers

The House of Lords has agreed new legislation making “revenge porn” a criminal offence in England and Wales, punishable by up to two years in prison. The UK's upper parliamentary house voted unanimously late Monday night to accept the amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill making its way through Parliament, which …

WikiLeaks reveals new draft of Trans-Pacific Partnership

+Comment WikiLeaks has revealed a new draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the controversial free trade treaty currently being negotiated by 12 nations in the Asia-Pacific region. The new leak comprises a version of the treaty's second chapter said to be the result of round of negotiations conducted in Vietnam during May 2014. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014
Doctor Who meme

UK reforms on private copying and parody come into force

Reforms to UK copyright rules that enable private copying, parodying and general quotation of copyrighted material to take place legally have come into force. The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations and Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations were …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Oct 2014
Wobegong eats Bamboo Shark

Grooveshark caught in a net of its own making

Music streaming service Grooveshark has become the latest casualty of copyright law, courtesy of executives trying to boost its catalogue in its start-up days. In a summary ruling that decides a case launched in 2011, The New York Times reports, Manhattan federal district judge Thomas Griesa entered a filing of direct …
Jade Goody and pals

The BNP can rip off your works for ‘parodies’ – but only if it's not racist

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled on who can use copyrighted work in a parody, and said it’s fair game – as long as it’s not, er, sexist or racist. Traditionally, authors have been able to use moral rights to disassociate their work from a derivative. But this latest interpretation of the EU’s parody …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Sep 2014

Cracking copyright law: How a simian selfie stunt could make a monkey out of Wikipedia

Analysis That so-called Macaca nigra monkey selfie isn’t in the public domain, no matter what Wikipedia wants you to think. In fact, the encyclopedia's stance on the matter could backfire and hit it in the pocket. A photo sold by British snapper David Slater since 2011 hit the headlines again this month when Wikipedia refused to …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Aug 2014
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 …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Aug 2014

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

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

+Comment 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

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 …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014

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

Analysis 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
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
Tetris on Game Boy

Happy Birthday Tetris: It's flipping 30

Antique Code Show Forget the oil, forget the gas – even forget the aggressive foreign policy. The commodity that granted Russia its modern day super-wealth is clearly Tetris, which clocks up its 30th birthday today. Youtube Video Poor old beardie Alexey Pajitnov – the title’s original designer and programmer – bashed out his first attempt on a …
Giles Hill, 06 Jun 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
International Space Station

US space-station crisis: 'We have enough of our own problems' sighs Russian deputy PM

Quotw Google was dealt a blow this week when a US Appeals Court overturned an earlier ruling that Oracle’s Java software interfaces (APIs) are copyrighted. A jury had said Google's Android source code infringed Oracle’s Java, but that decision was moot once Judge William Alsup decided APIs are not the kinds of things you can …
Slide from Oracle's 2012 case against Google using Java

Oracle vs Google redux: Appeals court says APIs CAN TOO be copyrighted

In a major victory for Oracle, a US Appeals Court has overturned an earlier ruling in the database giant's multibillion-dollar intellectual property lawsuit against Google, finding that Oracle's Java APIs are in fact covered by copyright. In its original suit, filed waayyyy back in 2010, Oracle argued that Google had swiped …
Neil McAllister, 09 May 2014

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
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

Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties

Online radio service Pandora is being sued by a group of record labels seeking payout for songs released more than four decades ago. The Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) said that a number of its member labels, both major and independent, are seeking to recoup money from the streaming music giant for its use of songs …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2014

Newsnight goes sour on Tech City miracle

+Sketch BBC's Newsnight decided to get a reality check on Britain's economic miracle of East London's "Tech City Cluster" on Friday, and asked me if I'd like to contribute. With a hangover and not much sleep the night before? Of course I would. Radio 4's Today and BBC2's Newsnight are invitations you don't turn down if you think you' …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Mar 2014

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

ISPs' pirate-choking blocking measures ARE effective – music body

High Court orders dished out to telcos in the UK and elsewhere in the European Union demanding that they block access to sites serving pirated content have helped to decrease access to BitTorrent trackers, a music industry body has claimed. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry published its annual report …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Mar 2014

TV scraper Aereo pulled off air in six US states after tellyco court injunction victory

TV retransmitter Aereo, which created its business hoping to weasel around a loophole in the law, has been banned in six US states after a judge granted a preliminary injunction that bans it from operating in them. Aereo provided each subscriber with access to a tiny antenna in the cloud, deploying thousands of these antennas …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2014

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 …
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

Exclusive 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

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
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 …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Dec 2013
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

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 …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Nov 2013
Disney's Beagle Boys

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

Analysis 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 …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Nov 2013

Google SO CAN scan ALL BOOKS onto its sites - judge

Google has defeated writers who alleged the web giant broke the law when it put extracts from millions of books online for free. The Authors Guild and groups representing photographers and graphic artists sued the advertising goliath, claiming the Google Books website was a massive breach of copyright. The service has scanned 30 …
Shaun Nichols, 15 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 …
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 “ …
The Register breaking news

Australia threatens Adobe, Apple, with geo-blocking ban

Australia's Parliamentary inquiry into IT pricing has found no plausible reason hardware, software and digital downloads costs more down under, and recommended changes to copyright law so locals can access cheaper goods. The Inquiry kicked off last year, as a part-populist, part-sensible probe into why Australian consumers and …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2013