copyright

EFF sues US government on how DMCA threatens security research

EFF sues US government on how DMCA threatens security research

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA has been one of the most debated laws affecting the tech industry. While the intention to protecty copyright in this modern age is commendable, the DMCA has often been waved around by giant companies, like record labels, as a threat to those who make even the slightest error in using, say, music in a YouTube video. That law happens to also impose restrictions in security research, which digital rights advocate Electronic Frontier Foundation or EFF is now challenging by suing the US government.

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Google, Oracle to head to court as settlement talks fall through

Google, Oracle to head to court as settlement talks fall through

Six hours. That's how long, or, to be more blunt, short settlement talks between tech giants Google and Oracle lasted. Given that duration, the outcome should probably already be evident. The the companies failed to reach a settlement regarding an ongoing copyright infringement lawsuit Oracle filed against Google for the use of its proprietary Java APIs in Android. As the settlement failed, the two will head back to court next month to perhaps once and for all give closure to both the actual question of infringement as well as damages to be paid. If any, that is.

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Oracle wants $9.3b from Google for using Java in Android

Oracle wants $9.3b from Google for using Java in Android

The squabble between Apple and Samsung over certain design patents may have hogged the spotlight time and again, but there is another lawsuit that is taking just as long and has just as grave a repercussion, at least for the Android world. For nearly six years now, Google and Oracle have been going back and forth over the copyright infringement lawsuit revolving around the use of Java APIs in Android. Ahead of a pretrial scheduled end of April, Oracle is seeking a whopping sum of $9.3 billion in damages for the profits that Google made from Android.

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Pirate Bay co-founder builds Kopimashin to “bankrupt” record label

Pirate Bay co-founder builds Kopimashin to “bankrupt” record label

Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde was arrested and sentenced to prison for copyright infringement and got out of jail last year. Even though his prison term is done, he still owes the record labels millions of dollars in damages and you might expect that he would stay away from any further issues with piracy. Sunde isn’t staying away though, he has created an "art installation" called the Kopimashin.

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YouTube pledges legal support for creators in copyright battles

YouTube pledges legal support for creators in copyright battles

Google's YouTube has announced a new program that aims to support creators on the service when they become the targets of copyright claims. In select cases, when a video creator is being unfairly targeted with copyright takedown requests when in fact their content is protected under "fair use" guidelines, YouTube says it will provide up to $1 million to cover legal costs in the event of a lawsuit. In addition, YouTube will keep the video in question live on the website as a sign of support.

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Library of Congress OKs modification of car software

Library of Congress OKs modification of car software

Until recently, it was illegal for owners to unlock their smartphones, which basically constituted modifying the device's software, because it was deemed to be a violation of copyright laws. While that issue has more or less become moot this year, the fight seems to have now shifted to cars, as more and more vehicles include sophisticated infotainment software into the latest models. According to the Library of Congress' new guidelines, car owners don't violate copyright laws when they modify the car's software, a position strongly opposed by many in the auto industry.

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Google’s decade-long Online Library case is over (for now)

Google’s decade-long Online Library case is over (for now)

An appeals court has agreed with a 2013 ruling by Judge Denny Chin that Google's digitization of 20 million books did not violate copyright laws. Google's snippet feature - or snippet view, if you prefer - shows only a tiny portion of any given book at a time. As such, it has been ruled that any reading of an entire book would be far too great an undertaking to consider realistic. "Snippet view," said the appeals court ruling, "at best and after a large commitment of manpower, produces discontinuous, tiny fragments, amounting in the aggregate to no more than 16% of a book."

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Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing is underway

Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing is underway

After years of sidestepping the legal matter, Kim Dotcom's extradition hearing is underway in Auckland. Dotcom, along with three others, have been accused by US authorities of operating a “criminal enterprise” via the now defunct website Megaupload, a file storage website that was home to copyrighted TV shows, music, movies, and more. The drama started in early 2012, when the US government seized Megaupload and New Zealand police raided Dotcom’s local mansion.

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DCMA takedowns sent to any Vimeo video with “Pixels” in it

DCMA takedowns sent to any Vimeo video with “Pixels” in it

What do you do when you have a multi-million dollar embarrassment of a film? Why issue take copyright notices on anything and everything that has the film's name on it, whether or not it make sense. As if the flack it received for the "Pixels" wasn't enough, now Columbia Pictures is reported to be behind a series of DCMA-induced removal of Video content. The alleged crime? Only that said videos have the word "pixels" in them. Nevermind if they're not even related to the film.

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Supreme Court declines to Google’s appeal in Oracle copyright suit

Supreme Court declines to Google’s appeal in Oracle copyright suit

The United States Supreme court rejected an appeal from Google after it lost a copyright infringement case against Oracle. The case originally dates back to 2010. It was then that Oracle Corp., the software company behind Java, alleged that Google's Android OS infringed on copyrighted Java APIs (application programming interfaces). In 2012, a district court found the case in favor of Google, but, in May of last year, the judge's ruling was overturned when an appeals court ruled in favor of Oracle. As the U.S. Supreme Court has backed off, this could be the ruling that stands, holding that API's can be copyrighted.

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Slew of copycat Kickstarters reported for DMCA infringement [Update]

Slew of copycat Kickstarters reported for DMCA infringement [Update]

Kickstarter is the place to go for crowdfunded projects, but from the multitudes of original content arise the occasional copycat productions, ripping off someone else's work. Kickstarter just issued its first transparency report which details all of the requests and claims in 2014 to take down campaigns. Out of the 22,252 68,668 projects submitted in 2014, 282 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claims were made on a total of 240 Kickstarter projects. Surprisingly, the crowdfunding company only pursued actions against 44% of those reported projects.

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Canadian ISPs required by law to notify users of illegal downloads

Canadian ISPs required by law to notify users of illegal downloads

January 1st saw a new law, part of the Copyright Modernization Act, go into effect in Canada that requires internet service providers and website hosts to notify their users when copyright holders have detected illegal downloading. When an ISP now receives a letter of complaint from a copyright holder, they must forward it to the customer tied to the IP address associated with the download, or face fines of up to $10,000. The same applies to VPN (virtual private network) services, who must also record customer logs for a least 6 months.

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