The media company paid by the EU Parliament to make a video promoting a copyright law it stood to make millions from once sued a photographer for complaining that they'd ripped him off

Yesterday, I wrote about how MEP Julia Reda resolved the mystery of how the European Parliament came to produce a batshit smear-campaign video promoting the new Copyright Directive and smearing the opposition to the Directive (including signatories to the largest petition in human history): it turned out that the video had been produced by AFP, a giant media company that stands to make millions if the Directive passes. Read the rest

The EU hired a company that had been lobbying for the Copyright Directive to make a (completely batshit) video to sell the Copyright Directive

At the end of February, the EU Parliament released a bizarre video "explaining" the Copyright Directive, a controversial and sweeping internet regulation that has inspired more opposition than anything else in EU history. Read the rest

Omniverse CEO rejects piracy accusations, claims that he has a legit, "mind-blowing" 100-year license to stream TV on the internet

Mitch Wagner writes, "Omniverse CEO Jason DeMeo says a piracy lawsuit against his streaming TV service is full of crap. Omniverse faces piracy litigation from an alliance of content companies. But DeMeo says his company has a mind-blowing 100-year deal that allows it to stream TV channels over the Internet. Looks like somebody more than 25 years ago may have traded the crown jewels for a handful of beans, and Omniverse is enjoying the benefit today." Read the rest

History is made: petition opposing the EU's #Article13 internet censorship plan draws more signatures than any petition in human history

As of this writing, the petition opposing Article 13 -- the part of the EU's new Copyright Directive that mandates copyright filters for online communities, services and platforms -- has 4,920,535 signatories, making it the largest petition in the history of our species (edging out this one from 2017). Read the rest

Terra Nullius: Grifters, settler colonialism and "intellectual property"

Terra Nullius is my latest column in Locus magazine; it explores the commonalities between the people who claim ownership over the things they use to make new creative works and the settler colonialists who arrived in various "new worlds" and declared them to be empty, erasing the people who were already there as a prelude to genocide. Read the rest

Record label censors copyright lawyers' site by falsely claiming it infringes copyright

SpicyIP is arguably the leading blog for experts on India's copyright system, but links to it disappeared from Google's search index following a fraudulent claim of copyright infringement filed by Saregama, India's oldest record label. Read the rest

Yet another study shows that the most effective "anti-piracy" strategy is good products at a fair price

It's been 20 years since Napster burst on the scene, and after decades of lawsuits, draconian criminal penalties, even no-knock gunpoint search warrants, there remains no evidence that "copyright enforcement" has a measurable impact on copyright infringement -- and at the same time, there's persistent, credible evidence that infringement goes down when product offerings get better and prices get more reasonable. Read the rest

Europeans! Tell your MEPs that your vote depends on their rejection of #Article13!

At the end of March, the European Parliament will sit down to vote on the new Copyright Directive, an unparalleled disaster in the history of internet regulation with the power to wipe out the EU's tech sector, handing permanent control of the internet over to US Big Tech, all in the name of protecting copyright (while simultaneously gutting protection for artists). Read the rest

Zachary Knoles imagines video games as pulp novel covers

Artist Zachary Knoles created a wonderful series of illustrations that pay tribute to video games by imagining them as pulp novel covers, with the game writers' names in the by-line slots (a very nice touch indeed!). (via Gameraboy) Read the rest

Artists against Article 13: when Big Tech and Big Content make a meal of creators, it doesn't matter who gets the bigger piece

Article 13 is the on-again/off-again controversial proposal to make virtually every online community, service, and platform legally liable for any infringing material posted by their users, even very briefly, even if there was no conceivable way for the online service provider to know that a copyright infringement had taken place. Read the rest

Insider sources say Apple is shutting its east Texas stores to escape the jurisdiction of America's worst patent court

The Eastern District of Texas is home to a crooked court that is in the pocket of patent trolls, handing down ludicrous rulings in favor of the trolls, whose "head offices" are tiny, unoccupied offices in empty, dusty office buildings, the rent on which entitles patent trolls to claim that their rights are being infringed in the demense of the Eastern District's terrible judges. Read the rest

Beyond "more copyright": how do we improve artists' lives and livelihoods through policy?

Last year while I was on tour in Australia with my novel Walkaway, I sat down for an interview with legal scholar Rebecca Giblin (previously), whose Authors' Interest project studies how we would craft copyright (and other policies) if we wanted to benefit creators, rather than enriching corporations; we talked about the power and limits of copyright to benefit authors, and how other policies, like antitrust, are crucial to getting authors their fair share. Read the rest

Florida inmates sue prisons for digitally confiscating the music they were sold

Last August, Florida's prison system announced that it was switching digital music providers and would be wiping out the $11.2 million worth of music that it had sold inmates -- music they'd paid for at $1.70/track, nearly double the going rate for music when not purchased from prison-system profiteers. Read the rest

Girl Scout puts shirtless 'Aquaman' hunk on cookie box and sales soar

With the help of her mom, a Girl Scout in Colorado has turned Samoas into "Momoas." Cookie sales have skyrocketed for fifth-grader (and "Top Cookie CEO") Charlotte Holmberg of Highlands Ranch since she and her mom started gluing a shirtless photo of beefcake Aquaman star Jason Momoa on Samoa boxes. Charlotte's mom, a marketing professional, was inspired by a meme photo she saw on the internet of Momoa and started designing new box art.

KUSA:

...so her and Charlotte got to work printing out the pictures and gluing them on dozens of boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

They put it on Facebook, and you can guess what happened next.

"The moms are getting really excited and they're saying that they need them," Charlotte said.

Even other Girl Scouts are hitting up Charlotte, asking to buy some. Now you know why they call her the Top Cookie CEO.

They say Thin Mints are the most popular Girl Scout cookie. That might now be a thing of the past.

A statement has not been issued from Momoa.

images via Girl Scouts of Colorado

(Vice) Read the rest

LA Times demands that reporters sign away rights to books, movies and other works they create while working at the paper

The LA Times Guild has been negotiating a new contract with the newspaper, but has hit a wall thanks to an unprecedented demand from the paper's owners: they want writers to sign away the rights to nonfiction books, novels, movies and other works they create separate from their reporting for the paper. The newspaper is also demanding the right to use reporters "byline, biography and likeness" to market these works. Read the rest

The Final Version of the EU's Copyright Directive Is the Worst One Yet

Despite ringing denunciations from small EU tech businesses, giant EU entertainment companies, artists' groups, technical experts, and human rights experts, and the largest body of concerned citizens in EU history, the EU has concluded its "trilogues" on the new Copyright Directive, striking a deal that -- amazingly -- is worse than any in the Directive's sordid history. Read the rest

Netherlands court strikes down Dutch grifter's patent claim over Ethiopia's ancient staple grain teff

Teff is one of the oldest grains to have been cultivated, a staple for so long that its original cultivation date is lost to history and can only be estimated at between 1000 and 4000 BCE; it is best known as the main ingredient in injera, the soft pancakes that are served with Ethiopian meals. Read the rest

More posts