Articles about copyright

Burning copyright symbol. Photo by SHUTTERSTOCK

Linux kernel community tries to castrate GPL copyright troll

Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman and several other senior Linux figures have published a “Linux Kernel Community Enforcement Statement” to be included in future Linux documentation, in order to ensure contributions to the kernel don't fall foul of copyright claims that have already seen a single developer win "at least …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Oct 2017

Monkey selfie case settles for a quarter of future royalties

The curious case of the monkey that took a selfie and was denied copyright for its efforts has come to an end, with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and photographer David Slater agreeing on a future stream of royalty payments to simian charities. The case kicked off in 2011 when Slater left a camera within …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Sep 2017
'Broken Copyright' StockMonkeys.com

Scientists, free software bods still worried about EU copyright proposals

European digital rights groups and open science advocates are mobilising against proposed EU copyright changes they say would hamper information sharing. At issue is a proposal, which first landed last year, to stop people uploading copyrighted material by applying a YouTube-like filter against content fingerprints. That …
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Canadian ISPs do not Canuck around: Bloke accused of piracy grilled in his home for hours

If you thought American or British copyright fights were petty, consider the case of Canadian Adam Lackman – who had a bailiff, lawyers, and computer experts burst into his home, seize his gear, and grill him for hours. Lackman, a self-described tech entrepreneur, hosts the TVAddons website which links to plugins called addons …
Iain Thomson, 3 Aug 2017

House fire, walk with me: Kodipocalypse now includes conflagration

Pirate TV boxes may not be safe, IP champions FACT and Westminster Council, in the south of the UK, have claimed. "The safety issues we have found so far are to do with the device's power supply. It is not double insulated nor does it have another grounding system (it only has a two-pin plug) meaning if a short were to occur …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2017

Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts

Analysis Remember that selfie of the grinning monkey way back in 2014? It was taken by an Indonesian crested macaque named Naruto using the camera of wildlife photographer David Slater. And it is at the heart of a long-running copyright case that's now ended up before the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court in San Francisco. Why? Because it's …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jul 2017
Combine harvester... Photo by shutterstock

US Copyright Office suggests 'right to repair' laws a good idea

Last week, to little fanfare, the US Copyright Office took its first baby steps towards stopping auto-makers wrapping their software in copyright rules. The decision is important because auto-makers use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's “technical protection measures” (TPMs) provisions to restrict diagnosis and repair to …

Europe-wide BitTorrent indexer blockade looms after Pirate Bay blow

Analysis Europe's highest court has ruled that notorious torrent search engine The Pirate Bay infringes copyright, opening the door for ISPs across the continent to be obliged to block access to it. The decision is just the latest in a seven-year legal battle between Dutch anti-piracy group Brein and ISPs Ziggo and XS4All, and provides …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2017
Cat attacking

Arista-cats win some, lose some against Cisco

Both Cisco and Arista have claimed victory in the latest instalment of their intellectual property lawsuit. The punch-and-counterpunch case dates back to 2014, when Switchzilla sued the then-startup for patent violations and over the copyright attached to its command-line interface (CLI). While trying to fend off the …

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
Photo by JStone / Shutterstock

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. …

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