Uh-oh: Cox Cable's insurer won't back them in court against BMG Music


BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music. has been trying to enlist Cox Cable as an accomplice in a copyright trolling scheme, demanding that the company pass on copyright infringement notices that accuse users of downloading music and order them to pay large sums of music or face punishing lawsuits. Read the rest

Party like it's 1998: UK government bans ripping CDs -- again


In 2014, Britain strode boldly into the late 20th century, finally legalising "private copying" -- ripping CDs, taping LPs, recording TV shows, backing up your ebooks and games -- but now it's thought better of the move. Read the rest

Google steps up to defend fair use, will fund Youtubers' legal defenses


After years of missteps, blunders and disasters in which Youtube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, user-friendly new initiative though which it will fund the legal defense of Youtube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright infringement claims. Read the rest

DRM in TIG welders


Some of Miller's TIG welding power supplies come intentionally crippled, locking out many useful functions until you buy a $400 SD card. Read the rest

Copyfraud: Anne Frank Foundation claims father was "co-author," extends copyright by decades


The Anne Frank Foundation -- a Swiss nonprofit that supports children's charities and provides a stipend to gentiles who hid Jews during WWII -- has claimed that Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father, is the legal co-author of her diaries, a move that will have the effect of extending copyright on the diaries to at least 2030. Read the rest

EU wants to require permission to make a link on the Web


Digital commissioner Günther Oettinger (CDU – EPP) is joining with European Parliament president Martin Schulz (SPD – S&D) in pressing the European Commission to create a copyright interest in links, meaning that making a link to a Web-page that contains infringing material would expose you to liability for copyright infringement yourself. Read the rest

EFF on TPP: all our worst fears confirmed


The US spent five years locking its trading partners in smoke-filled rooms with its most rapacious corporate lobbyists, writing a secret trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, all the while assuring us all that it would be great when it was done. It's awful. Read the rest

How TPP will clobber Canada's municipal archives and galleries of historical city photos


Jesse writes, "Like you, I've been following the TPP news with much trepidation. My partner is a librarian-archivist, so I'm keenly away of how difficult copyright law can make the job of the average archivist. I put together a piece explaining how the TPP's copyright extension will hurt Canadian city archives, and the galleries of historical city photos we love so much." Read the rest

Washington Redskins' lawyers enumerate other grossly offensive trademarks for the USPTO


The US Patent and Trademark Office and the Washington Redskins are embroiled in a fight over whether the Redskins name is too offensive to qualify as a trademark. The Redskins have tried various tacks, including invoking the First Amendment, arguing that the Constitution guarantees them the right to be offensive and to then have the government stop other people from copying their offensiveness, but now they've taken a new -- and surprisingly compelling -- direction. Read the rest

Itunes terms and conditions as a graphic novel in many cartoonists' styles


Artist Robert Sikoryak is creating a full-length graphic novel based on the terms and conditions for Apple's Itunes, a novella-length document of eye-watering legalese that you "agree" to without ever reading. Read the rest

Beautiful, free/open 3D printed book of lost Louis H. Sullivan architectural ornaments


Tom Burtonwood creates 3D printed books of dimensional, public domain architectural elements: in 2013, he made Orihon and in 2014 he made Folium, which featured work from Ancient Egypt to Louis Sullivan department store decorations. Now he's released a new work: "Twenty Something Sullivan." Read the rest

Librarian of Congress puts impossible conditions on your right to jailbreak your 3D printer


Writing about yesterday's landmark Copyright Office ruling on the right to jailbreak, law-and-3D-printing expert Michael Weinberg says, "The 3D printer unlocking decision by the Librarian of Congress manages to capture exactly what happens when copyright is stretched to cover every possible problem that could come up in society." Read the rest

Librarian of Congress grants limited DRM-breaking rights for cars, games, phones, tablets, and remixers

Every three years, the Librarian of Congress allows the public to request exemptions to a law that makes it a felony to break a digital lock, even on on a device that you own, and which you are breaking for a lawful purpose. For the past year, public interest groups have been spending their scarce money and resources writing petitions to the Copyright Office, arguing that people who own devices with computers in them should have the same property rights as they do in their non-computerized devices: the right to open, change, and improve the things they own in lawful ways.

Ministry of Irony: Orwell estate tries to censor mentions of the number 1984


The Orwell estate filed a bogus copyright and publicity right theft against an inactive Cafepress store where no one had ever bought one of the "1984 is already here" shirts or tea-towels on offer from film critic Josh Hadley. Read the rest

Pirates are the best customers: just sell good stuff at a reasonable price in a timely fashion


Alex from Copy-Me writes, "We've just released its fourth episode, called 'Pirates Are The Best Customers' - which talks about piracy and artists." Read the rest

Youtube's pay TV service makes video-creators a deal they literally can't refuse


As part of the launch of Youtube Red, the company's new porny-sounding ad-free pay TV service, top creators are being told that they must allow their work into the paywalled/ad free zone, or be excluded from Youtube altogether. Noncommercial Youtube creators get a choice (for now). Apparently, the punishment for making Youtube into a success is losing the right to choose how to make money off your stuff. Read the rest

Sony licensed stock footage, then branded its creator a pirate for using it himself


Mitch Martinez licensed a stock footage clip to a Sony music label to use in a video; when the company proceeded to file a Youtube copyright complaint against him and refused to take his calls, he filed a copyright claim against them, told them he was cancelling their license to his footage, and threatened to make them re-edit the music video, removing his footage from it. Read the rest

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