Sony filed a trademark application for "Let's Play"

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"Let's play" videos are a hugely popular online genre in which gamers narrate their playthroughs of games that excite and challenge them. Read the rest

Anne Frank's diary is in the public domain; editors aren't co-authors

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Anne Frank's father, Otto, edited Frank's diary before publishing it. He also endowed two foundations -- one Swiss, one Dutch -- to administer her legacy. Read the rest

Some countries learned from America's copyright mistakes: TPP will undo that

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America's 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act made it easy to censor the Internet: under the statute, you can make virtually anything disappear by claiming, without evidence, that it infringes your copyright, and there are almost no penalties for abuse. Read the rest

Copyfraud: Disney's bogus complaint over toy photo gets a fan kicked off Facebook

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Justin Kozisek, a staffer for the Star Wars Action News podcast, bought a $6.94 Rey toy at Walmart and posted a photo of it to Facebook, and he and his SWAN colleagues were surprised to get a DMCA notice from Disney/Lucasfilm claiming that they had infringed copyright by posting a photo of their toy. Read the rest

Happy Birthday's copyright status is finally, mysteriously settled

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September's court ruling that Warner Chapell Music didn't hold the copyright to "Happy Birthday" was swiftly followed by a claim from the Association for Childhood Education International, a nonprofit established to administer the money that Warner Chapell extorted through its fraudulent claims. Read the rest

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

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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

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

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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

Buck Rogers and the Copyright Trolls

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Remember the Sherlock Holmes case where the Conan Doyle Estate was shaking everyone down for sub-litigation payoffs and asserting claims over Holmes (despite serious copyright scholars all saying they had no right to do so) until Les Klinger stuck to his guns?

Now it’s happening again, with some minor variations, only this time the weapon of choice is Buck Rogers.

Court tells millionaire yoga troll Bikram Choudhury that poses can't be copyrighted

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Bikram Choudhury, the millionaire accused serial rapist who popularized hot yoga in America, sued other hot yoga studios in 2003, including "open source yoga" practicioners, asserting that he held a copyright over the sequence of poses conducted in his class. Read the rest

NZ government leaks on TPP: copyright terms will go to life plus 70 years

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An official New Zealand government bulletin on yesterday's conclusion of the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations accidentally confirmed something we all believed was in there all along: an extension of copyright terms to match the USA's bizarre, evidence-free, century-plus terms. Read the rest

Cox cable: Rightscorp is a mass copyright infringer

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Rightscorp is the publicly traded extortion racket that tries to force/bribe ISPs into disconnecting their customers from the Internet unless those customers pay "settlements" for unproven allegations of copyright infringement. Read the rest

Happy Birthday is in the public domain

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The Happy Birthday song hasn't been in copyright for generations, and everybody knew it. That didn't stop Warner Chapell music from running a scam where they extorted "royalties" from movies and restaurants that featured the song, charging less than it would cost anyone to litigate the question. Read the rest

Boston's WGBH initiates careless, groundless legal action against Fedflix project

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "I got mugged by a bunch of Boston hooligans. Readers of Boing Boing may be familiar with my FedFlix project which has resulted in 6,000 government videos getting posted to YouTube and the Internet Archive." Read the rest

Ashley Madison commits copyfraud in desperate bid to suppress news of its titanic leak

The company is shotgunning DMCA notices against journalists and others who reproduce even the tiniest fraction of the dump of users who signed up to find partners with whom to cheat on their spouses -- included in the dump are thousands of people who paid $15 to have their data permanently deleted from the service. Read the rest

When it comes to censorship, WordPress has your back

Automattic, WordPress's parent company, has a new transparency report that shows that they've bounced 43% of their 2015 copyright censorship demands for being frivolous or invalid. Read the rest

Foo Fighters demand bullshit terms from concert photographers

If you're a commercial photographer attending a Foo Fighters gig, you get the right to run photos of their choosing exactly once, and they get all rights to everything you've shot forevermore. Read the rest

July 4: Rumblefish claims to own US Navy rendition of "America the Beautiful"

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Adafruit Industries has been stripped of revenues from its Youtube channel after Rumblefish -- a notorious music-rights agency -- claimed to own the copyright on a public domain, taxpayer-funded rendition of "America the Beautiful." Read the rest

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