Boing Boing 

Studios: embedding YouTubes makes you guilty of infringement

Timothy B. Lee at Ars: "the MPAA ... urged the Seventh Circuit not to draw a legal distinction between hosting content and embedding it. In the MPAA's view, both actions should carry the risk of liability for direct copyright infringement."

Infringe-a-licious Tokyo tee: best Star Wars shirt ever?

Writer and comics creator Brian Michael Bendis (Twitter) is in Tokyo, and tweeted a series of infringment-spotting snapshots today. The Stormtrooper/Star Wars shirt he found and photographed, above, makes me weep with desire.

Boing Boing's Beschizza talks Megaupload, ACTA, and torrent justice on RT TV

[Video Link]

Boing Boing's managing editor Rob, not Bob, but Rob, Beschizza speaks on the Russian television news network RT about Megaupload, ACTA, the global copyfight wars, and the high-flying hijinks of Kim Dotcom.

TOM THE DANCING BUG: God-Man, in "Copyright or CopyWRONG!"

WE INVITE you to visit the TOM THE DANCING BUG WEBSITE, and ENCOURAGE you to follow RUBEN BOLLING on the TWITTER.

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Kim Dotcom, allegedly


This splendid work, by Aurich Lawson, is a perfect aperitif for Sean Gallagher's wonderful article about the ridiculous but astoundingly successful con artist, Quake cheat and entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.

The President's challenge: What more does government want — or deserve — from the tech world?

There's an old joke. Heavy rains start and a neighbour pulls up in his truck. "Hey Bob, I'm leaving for high ground. Want a lift?" Bob says, "No, I'm putting my faith in God." Well, waters rise and pretty soon the bottom floor of his house is under water. Bob looks out the second story window as a boat comes by and offers him a lift. "No, I'm putting my faith in God." The rain intensifies and floodwaters rise and Bob's forced onto the roof. A helicopter comes, lowers a line, and Bob yells "No, I'm putting my faith in God."

Well, Bob drowns. He goes to Heaven and finally gets to meet God. "God, what was that about? I prayed and put my faith in you, and I drowned!"

God says, "I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter! What the hell more did you want from me?"

As SOPA looked shakier, the President handed a challenge to the technical community:

"Washington needs to hear your best ideas about how to clamp down on rogue Web sites and other criminals who make money off the creative efforts of American artists and rights holders," reads Saturday's statement. "We should all be committed to working with all interested constituencies to develop new legal tools to protect global intellectual property rights without jeopardizing the openness of the Internet. Our hope is that you will bring enthusiasm and know-how to this important challenge."

All I can think is: we gave you the Internet. We gave you the Web. We gave you MP3 and MP4. We gave you e-commerce, micropayments, PayPal, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, the iPad, the iPhone, the laptop, 3G, wifi--hell, you can even get online while you're on an AIRPLANE. What the hell more do you want from us?

Take the truck, the boat, the helicopter, that we've sent you. Don't wait for the time machine, because we're never going to invent something that returns you to 1965 when copying was hard and you could treat the customer's convenience with contempt.

Republished with permission from O'Reilly Radar

New Righthaven offers hosting service "with a spine"

After snatching a notorious copyright troll’s name at auction, a Swiss company is turning Righthaven.com into a web hosting service. The intended customers?

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British admin for download links database may be first extradited to US for copyright charges

No British citizen has ever been extradited to the United States for a copyright offense. But Richard O'Dwyer, the 23-year-old college student who ran TV Shack, may become the first.

As I understand it, the charges aren't that his (very popular) site actually hosted the copyrighted content, but that it served as a directory of links to other servers online where those downloads could be found.

Torrentfreak has more on the legal battle. The lawyer for accused hacker Gary McKinnon, whom the US would also like to extradite for prosecution, is representing O'Dwyer. They lost their first round in the extradition case today, and have 14 days to appeal.

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New Yorker on new Pirate Bay religion, the Missionary Church of Kopimism

Cory blogged earlier about the Missionary Church of Kopimism, Sweden’s newest registered religion. Now there's a feature about it in the New Yorker, by Rollo Romig:

The Missionary Church of Kopimism picks up where Piratbyrån left off: it has taken the values of Swedish Pirate movement and codified them into a religion. They call their central sacrament “kopyacting,” wherein believers copy information in communion with each other, most always online, and especially via file-sharing. Ibi Botani’s kopimi mark—a stylized “k” inside a pyramid—is their religious symbol, as are CTRL+C and CTRL+V. Where Christian clergy might sign a letter “yours in Christ,” Kopimists write, “Copy and seed.” They have no god.

“We see the world as built on copies,” Gerson told me. “We often talk about originality; we don’t believe there’s any such thing. It’s certainly that way with life—most parts of the world, from DNA to manufacturing, are built by copying.” The highest form of worship, he said, is the remix: “You use other people’s works to make something better.”

THE FIRST CHURCH OF PIRATE BAY (New Yorker)

Righthaven domain sells for $3300

After a few days on the block, copyright troll Righthaven's domain name sold for $3,300 this afternoon. The funds go to creditors of the bankrupt firm, which tried -- and failed -- to build a business shaking down websites that excerpted content from its clients' publications.

We almost bought it just so we could redirect it at humorously-chosen sites, but it got a bit too racy for us around the $2k mark. The whois currently remains the law firm that seized it; if you won it, get in touch!

Previously: Righthaven in its death throes, domain going up for auction

Universal: artists didn't give consent to appear in Megaupload video

UMG claims that several artists appearing in Megaupload's music video did not give their consent. The video, in which famous singers praise the file storage site, was removed from YouTube after Universal issued DMCA takedown notices to the service. In response, Megaupload sued the company, claiming that it fraudulently abused the DMCA to delete content that it does not own. [GigaOm] (Previously.)

Bratz copyright lawsuit tossed

You can't copyright an idea, even if the idea is grotesquely disproportionate images of young women.

A court recently dismissed a lawsuit filed by Brooklyn photographer Bernard Belair against the company behind the Bratz dolls, despite its admission that the toy's design was directly inspired by his work.

"Although the Bratz dolls may indeed bring to mind the image that Belair created, Belair cannot monopolize the abstract concept of an absurdly large-headed, long limbed, attractive, fashionable woman," Judge Shira A. Scheindlin wrote. "He has a copyright over the expressions of that idea as they are specifically articulated ... but he may not prevent others from expressing the same idea in their different ways."

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Young people's idea of copyright vs. the law

Andy Baio looks at youngsters' persistent misapprehensions about copyright law, which is stricter than many realize. Exhibit A: a popular YouTube of Pulp Fiction scenes, remixed in chronological order, posted with the disclaimer "No copyright infringement. I only put this up as a project."

Under current copyright law, nearly every cover song on YouTube is technically illegal. Every fan-made music video, every mashup album, every supercut, every fanfic story? Quite probably illegal, though largely untested in court.

No amount of lawsuits or legal threats will change the fact that this behavior is considered normal — I'd wager the vast majority people under 25 see nothing wrong with non-commercial sharing and remixing, or think it's legal already.

Isn't it also interesting how many young artists still instinctively honor the idea, as they see it, of copyright? Respect for other artists comes naturally. People don't stop respecting copyright until they see how little the claimed principles have to do with the reality of enforcement—especially when it's used to condem their own creative expressions as a form of theft.

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Super-Fun-Pak Comix, featuring Happy Hobo Times and MORE!

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Steve Jobs shills green tea and Sony hardware in Taiwan

Andy Ihnatko explains what's going on in the image above, which was snapped and submitted to him by a reader in Taiwan.