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Articles about Copyright Law

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

UK agrees copyright cooperation with China

The UK and Chinese governments have agreed to coordinate policies and development of copyright law. The governments have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) pledging closer working on the issue. The document was signed on behalf of the UK's Intellectual Property Office by Baroness Wilcox, a minister at the Department for …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Sep 2010
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
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

Oz A-G to host ISPs and copyright industry in ‘three strikes’ confab

Australia’s attorney-general Robert McClelland will host what could be a very uncomfortable meeting in September, with the copyright industry on one side of the table, and ISPs on the other. According to The Australian, the death-match industry consultation is designed to “gauge the views of key stakeholders” about copyright …

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

UK gov squeezes copyright law into cheat sheets

The UK Government will produce 'model contracts' to be used in copyright dealings in an attempt to make copyright law more useful and understandable. It will also standardise the way copyright exceptions to copyright law are dealt with in contracts. The Government has published a paper outlining new policies on copyright. It …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Nov 2009
The Register breaking news

Copyright Act could defang infringement notices: iiNet

Yesterday’s proceedings in the ongoing “iiTrial” High Court appeal turned up an interesting problem in the copyright holders’ wish to turn ISPs into their enforcers: a savvy and funded user group could use Australia’s copyright law to prevent ISPs from issuing notices against them. This issue emerged during submissions by …
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 “ …

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
The Register breaking news

Google's copyright review: Google lays down the Google law

Google's contribution to the review of the intellectual property created to please Google was always going to be an important document. And here it is, typos and all; what a shame Google didn't review it on the way out of the door - some parts are unreadable. In its essay to the "Independent Review of Intellectual Property and …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Pub landlady's footie sat-TV battle moves law's goal posts

The pub landlady who was fined for screening FA Premier League (FAPL) football matches using a foreign satellite decoder has had her criminal conviction overturned by the High Court. The court said that Karen Murphy had been wrongly found guilty of violating UK copyright laws. This is because Murphy had paid for a service …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Mar 2012
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Digital player maker 'incited consumers to break the law', says ASA

A company must change the way it advertises its digital music player because the ads encourage people to copy music in a way that breached copyright law, the advertising industry regulator has said. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has told 3GA Ltd to find a new way to advertise the Brennan JB7 machine, which is a CD …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Mar 2011
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
The Register breaking news

Google infringes copyright by displaying and linking to news site content

A Belgian appeals court has upheld an earlier ruling that Google infringes on newspapers' copyright when its services display and link to content from newspaper websites, according to press reports. The search engine giant is responsible for infringing the copyrights of the papers when it links to the sites or copies sections of …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Software copied functions, but didn't infringe copyright

A computer program does not infringe the copyright of another one just because it performs the same function as it, but it could do if it copies the means by which the other program works, an advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said. Advocate General Yves Bot said that computer programs that have the same possible …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Dec 2011

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
The Register breaking news

UK dons dunce hat on copyright law

Copyright reform in the UK has 'stalled' as the Government has caved in to the 'vested interests' of the content industry, the head of a digital rights activist group has said. The view comes as the UK 'abjectly fails' a test of its copyright laws. The international umbrella body for consumer rights organisations, Consumers …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

Punters are the real losers in BT, TalkTalk copyright court blow

The British ISP industry has spent a small fortune of its customers' money fighting the people who would, in a saner world, be its business partners - only to suffer a crushing defeat. On Tuesday Lord Justice Richards threw out BT and TalkTalk's judicial review against the 2010 Digital Economy Act. Yet as trench warfare goes, …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Mar 2012

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

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 to …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

Google-fixated EC chiefs ask Europe to revise copyright law

Brussels needs to rethink its copyright laws to cover digital books, two Eurocrats declared today. The information society Commissioner, Viviane Reding, and the internal market and services Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, issued a joint statement in which they called for a revision of copyright legislation that takes into …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 Sep 2009
The Register breaking news

Italian regulator asks for copyright reform after Google settlement

Italy's competition regulator has asked the Italian parliament to reform copyright law after accepting Google's settlement of a dispute with newspapers. It does not have the power to solve the problem of the exploitation of newspaper content, it said. The Italian Federation of Newspaper Editors had complained in 2009 that if …
Kable, 19 Jan 2011

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 on …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Mar 2014
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EU finally ratifies copyright treaty

The European Union has ratified an international agreement on copyright law which was first negotiated in 1996 and which has formed the basis of EU copyright law since 2001. The European Union and its member states have finally ratified two agreements created by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the Copyright …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Dec 2009
The Register breaking news

Software emulation copyright case bumped to ECJ

A small software company did not infringe copyright in analytical software giant SAS's software by writing a program that emulated its functions, the High Court has provisionally ruled. The Court has asked the European Court of Justice, though, to check that its interpretation of laws based on the EU's Software Directive and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Jul 2010
The Register breaking news

Poll: 55% break copyright law

A poll has spotlighted the folly of current copyright law in the UK. Fifty-nine per cent of respondents in the National Consumer Council (NCC) commissioned poll thought copying their own CDs was perfectly legal, and 55 per cent said they have done so. However, current law states that it is illegal to rip CDs to any other media …
The Register breaking news

Google fined for book copyright

A French court has found Google guilty of infringing copyright by digitising books without the approval of the publisher. The search giant must pay €300,000 in damages to Herve de La Martiniere. Google will also have to pay a daily fine of €10,000 until it clears the books from its database, the BBC reports. The three year …
John Oates, 18 Dec 2009
The Register breaking news

Brussels data watchdog cries foul over secret copyright talks

The man charged with protecting EU citizens' personal data and privacy has protested at being frozen out of secret negotiations to tighten international copyright law online. Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervisor, spoke out after a draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) leaked on Friday. It …
Team Register, 22 Feb 2010
The Register breaking news

Google parks panzers on Germany's lawn over 'link tax' plan

Google is attacking Germany's politicos in an effort to prevent the country's Parliament from passing a copyright law in the country that would force search engines to pay publishers for running links to newspaper stories. The world's largest ad broker is lobbying hard against the so-called ancillary copyright law by moaning …
Team Register, 27 Nov 2012

China ponders joining controversial IP trade treaty

China has signalled it may consider joining the group of nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade treaty that has attracted extensive criticisms for its proposed reforms to copyright law and other intellectual property regulations. China's People's Daily reports that Ministry of Commerce “spokesman Shen …
Simon Sharwood, 31 May 2013
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

Japan hides anti-piracy warning on P2P networks

The Japanese government has complemented its already robust digital copyright laws with the unusual practice of hiding warning notices disguised as pirated content on popular domestic peer-to-peer networks. The “copyright awareness” files contain a strongly-worded message designed to scare, shame and deter the reader into …
Phil Muncaster, 05 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Court filings are protected by copyright, says lawyer

A US lawyer has claimed that copyright is violated when courts pass legal submissions on to a commercial publisher. The lawyer claims that the US courts' behaviour undermines the hundreds of hours of work put into submissions. An intellectual property law expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, said that an …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Aug 2009
Tetris on Game Boy

Happy Birthday Tetris: It's flipping 30

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
The Register breaking news

Second Life gets its first copyright law suit

A dispute over a sex bed has become the first copyright law suit within online alternative reality game Second Life. The lawyer behind the suit told weekly podcast OUT-LAW Radio that the nature of the game should not change the issues at stake. Eros is a company founded by ex-plumber Kevin Alderman to make and sell digital …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Jul 2007
The Register breaking news

UK opposes copyright exemptions for mash-ups

There should be no new exemption from copyright law for users' adaptations of copyright-protected content, the UK Government has said. To create such an exemption for user-generated content would ignore the rights of content creators, it said. The Government has responded to a consultation paper published by the European …
OUT-LAW.COM, 03 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Don't panic over the secret copyright treaty

Secret gatherings of the world's governments are usually the stuff of fevered imaginings, but just one such gathering is this week generating its own fair share of paranoia. Some of the world's biggest economies are gathered in South Korea this week to discuss copyright law in secret. The plans they are coming up with are still …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Nov 2009
The Register breaking news

Microsoft, EMC, NetApp support Oracle against Google

Microsoft, EMC, and NetApp have joined Oracle in urging the US Federal Circuit Appeals Court to overturn an earlier decision in the landmark Oracle versus Google Java trial. The three companies filed an amici curiae brief on Tuesday – legal-speak for "friends of the court." Such briefs are a way for parties not directly involved …
Jack Clark, 20 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Free Ride: Disney, Fela Kuti and Google's war on copyright

Wars over creators' rights are pretty old – much older than copyright law. In one of the first "copyfights", in 561AD, about 3,000 people died, writes Robert Levine in his new book Free Ride. St Colmcille and St Finnian clashed over the right to make copies of the Bible, with the King castigating Colmcille for his "fancy new …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Aug 2011

Sci-Fi fans blow stacks at copybot attacks

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- …
The Register breaking news

RIP: The copyright quango that wanted to terminate your rights

As we reported yesterday, the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property is to be abolished. The Coalition has decided that dismantling copyright is a task that the Intellectual Property Office is quite capable of performing without assistance, and has folded SABIP's duties back into the IPO. SABIP was founded in 2008 in …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jul 2010
The Register breaking news

EC plans stronger data protection and copyright laws

The European Commission will strengthen legal protections for personal data, reform copyright law and ensure that device and software makers embrace standards, it said when outlining its new digital policies. The Commission will also consider forcing companies to tell users and customers when their systems have been breached and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 May 2010
The Register breaking news

Australia goes cold on ACTA

Another bit of flesh dropped off the decaying zombie that is ACTA, with the Australian parliamentary Treaties Committee recommending that ratification be deferred - partly because of its near-collapse in Europe. The committee states that ACTA should not be ratified until a range of conditions, including a cost-benefit analysis, …
The Register breaking news

Google to skew search results to punish PIRATES

Online copyright infringers take note. Beginning next week, Google will modify its search algorithms so that it ranks search results based on the number of valid copyright removal notices it receives for a given site, among other factors. The search giant says it "regularly" receives requests to remove URLs from its search …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2012

China strikes blow for property rights, British move to collectivism

The afternoon M'Lords will debate a bill in Parliament which seeks to weaken your rights over the stuff you create. Buried in the Business and Enterprise Reform Bill, which is being debated today, are measures to "collectivise" intellectual property via extended collective licensing - all in the name of reforming 'orphan works' …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

GPLv2 - copyright code or contract?

Two prominent IP lawyers have warned that the all-pervasive General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) contains legally ambiguous wording that may be problematic for licensees. They claim GPLv3 and AGPLv3 are much better suited for the realities of modern open source software. "If you go back in time to when GPLv2 was written, I …
Austin Modine, 15 Oct 2009
The Register breaking news

The Open Rights Group gets rights wrong again

When Open Rights Group executive director Jim Killock opens his mouth, his foot soon disappears inside. The UK's leading digital rights advocate has just demonstrated still more difficulty understanding the "rights" the group campaigns about. At a Citizen 2012 data conference in London yesterday, where he was introduced as "the …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Why are scribes crying just 'cos Google copied their books? asks judge

A US Appeals Court has suggested that authors suing Google should be pleased that the advertising giant is scanning millions of books and putting them online for all. A lawsuit to halt the tome digitising effort, brought by the Authors Guild and groups representing photographers and graphic artists, is up before the lofty court …