Articles about copyright

Scheming copyright scam lawyer John Steele disbarred in Illinois

Notorious copyright troll and scammer John Steele of Prenda Law has been disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court. The decision is not surprising, given the law firm's long history of legally dubious efforts to extract money from people – something that culminated in Steele pleading guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, and money …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 May 2017

US court decision will destroy the internet, roar Google, Facebook et al

Internet giants Google, Facebook and a wide range of organizations from Pinterest to Kickstarter to Wikimedia have responded furiously to a recent decision by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that could have huge liability implications for online companies. "This has already created tremendous uncertainty in the online …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 May 2017
Man holds banana like a gun. Photo by Shutterstock

'Judge Java' to sueball-slinging smut studio: Test your pirate-hunting tools or walk the plank

A grumble-flick studio will be blocked from lobbing copyright infringement claims at pirates until it proves its tools for identifying illegal downloaders work. Judge William Alsup – of Google v Oracle fame – ordered this week that Malibu Media must show the court that its software can accurately finger users who have …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2017
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All that free music on YouTube is good for you, Google tells music biz

Google wants you to believe that free music on YouTube doesn't deter people from paying for the same music somewhere else. Pull the other one, it's got bells on, the music industry has replied. Google commissioned RBB Economics to produce a report, which we've seen in full, examining the effect of cannibalisation on paid music …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 May 2017
'Broken Copyright' StockMonkeys.com

US copyright law shake-up: Days of flinging stuff on the web and waiting for a DMCA may be over

Analysis The holes and flaws in America's copyright law are under serious review thanks to two decisions by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – both of which come with significant implications for media companies. But, if the Trump Administration has anything to do with it, one of those flaws will not be tackled by the Supreme …

KickassTorrents kicked out again, this time by Australia

Australia's Federal Court has come to the conclusion that KickassTorrents' primary purpose is copyright infringement and has therefore ordered the nation's internet service providers to block access to its many URLs. The case is notable because it's the second win for Big Content under Australia's site-blocking regime and also …
Judge gavel, photo via Shutterstock

European Court of Justice lays down the law on Kodipocalypse

Europe's highest court has made it easier for member states to halt the sale of media sticks with preloaded pirate streaming links and add-ons. The past few months have seen significant growth in pre-configured streaming boxes or USB sticks. These use the Kodi platform, an open-source player, configured by a vendor with add- …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Apr 2017

Come celebrate World Hypocrisy Day

Comment Thanks to the World Intellectual Property Organization, today is World Intellectual Property Day 2017. Perhaps this celebration needs a dark companion – World Hypocrisy Day. Here's why. In the 17 years World IP Day has been running, there's been a radical shift in corporate power. This has taken place most dramatically in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Apr 2017
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LiveJournal trial a storm in a safe harbour

US forum admins will be watching a Californian court with nervous interest, as social forum LiveJournal goes to trial for copyright infringement. The trial is being seen as a test of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), since LiveJournal had previously argued it was protected by that law's safe harbour provisions. …

Australia bins safe harbour, presses ahead with Minister-as-NetAdmin plan

Australia this week shelved planned safe harbour reforms to copyright and decided to proceed with laws that would make its attorney-general NetAdmin-in-chief. The latter law, the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Bill aims to give Australia's government a new set of powers to ensure carriers and service …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2017
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UK to block Kodi pirates in real-time: Saturday kick-off

Analysis Last week in the High Court, Justice Arnold agreed to a request from the Football Association and the Premier League, and supported by the BBC, amongst others, that broke new ground, technically and legally. The order, which has the support of the major UK ISPs, is unusual in several ways. It permits the ISPs to block access …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Mar 2017

Silicon Valley bites back via Europe’s copyright reform

Exclusive Silicon Valley has pushed back hard against Europe’s copyright reforms in the forthcoming response from the European Parliament’s rapporteur, a full draft of which has been seen by The Register. Politico published a partial draft of the European Parliament’s response to the Commission’s proposals – only the odd pages – earlier …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Mar 2017

Kodi-pocalypse Now? Actually, it's not quite here yet

With some in the media industries predicting an imminent "Kodipocalypse", a survey of more than 2,000 UK internet users suggests that simply being nice to those users who download illegal content – on Kodi or otherwise – isn't effective. The poll found that 22 per cent thought the threat of disconnection or court action would …
A man buried in paperwork

How to nuke websites you don't like: Slam Google with millions of bogus DMCA takedowns

Analysis Big corporations are abusing the system for taking down files and links to copyright-infringing content by sending millions of fake links, according to Google. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), online providers are given legal protection from having illegal content on their servers if they respond to requests …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Feb 2017

Oracle refuses to let Java copyright battle die – another appeal filed in war against Google

Oracle has brought its legal war with Google back to life, alleging Android's Java framework ripped off Big Red's copyright. According to a lengthy court document filed today by the database giant, and obtained by El Reg, Oracle will once again make its case that Google violated copyrights it holds on core Java libraries. The …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Feb 2017

Biggest Kodi sweep: Brit cops nab five, bag some dodgy sticks

UK copyright cops made their biggest sweep yet in the crackdown on preloaded Kodi TV streaming kit. Five people were arrested today in Rhyl in Wales, and Bootle, Bolton, Manchester and Cheadle in England. Police did not release names. The five were quizzed by investigators and have all been released on bail. It is believed the …

Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

Pay TV and other copyright industries are pinning their hopes that new prosecutions of “Kodi USB stick” sellers will thwart what they call an “epidemic” of streaming piracy. Last year, a wave of arrests were made in Teesside and Birmingham in England, with Middlesbrough shopkeeper Brian Thompson of Cut Price Tomo’s TV likely …

Chinese pirates are facing lifelong 'social credit' downgrade

Copyright infringement and use of counterfeit goods in China could downgrade a citizen's "social credit" with lifelong consequences as the country gears up to overhaul its IP laws and institutions. Following the evolution that the United States made in the late 19th century*, Chinese businesses are growing away from their …

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