Anti-piracy group's study reveals that pirates are mostly people who couldn't afford, find, or use a commercial version

Muso is a London-based anti-piracy contractor, helping big entertainment companies conduct surveillance and legal threats against online infringers; in a new CitizenMe study they commissioned, 1,000 British internet users were surveyed; the headline finding: 83% of infringing downloads are triggered by an unsuccessful search for a commercially available version of the same work. Read the rest

On June 20, an EU committee will vote on an apocalyptically stupid, internet-destroying copyright proposal that'll censor everything from Tinder profiles to Wikipedia (SHARE THIS!)

The European Union is updating its 2001 Copyright Directive, with a key committee vote coming up on June 20 or 21; on GDPR day, a rogue MEP jammed a mass censorship proposal into the draft that is literally the worst idea anyone in Europe ever had about the internet, ever. Read the rest

Of Dog's Breakfasts, Article 13, and Mythbusting

As anyone who has been following the sorry saga of the EU copyright reform, key elements -- Articles 3 on text and data mining, 11 on the link tax and 13 on the upload filter censorship machine -- are turning into the proverbial dog's breakfast, a complete and utter mess. The well-founded criticisms of the proposed law have piled up to an unprecedented extent, causing the politicians behind it to resort to iterative obfuscation. Successive arguments against each of the three articles mentioned above have led to the Commission's original text being mashed and murdered in an attempt to "address" the points by adding in new "clarifications" that just make things worse.

"Originality" is just filing the serial numbers off of others' contributions to your ideas

Alex from Copy-Me writes, "Copy-Me's got a fresh video out on the myths behind the way we process and arrive at 'fully formed' ideas. Minds do not operate differently for different people. Minds do not leap. And they don’t work unconsciously. Read the rest

Sweden's notorious copyright troll said they'd sue, but if you ignore them, they just go away

When the Danish copyright troll Njord Law started operating in Sweden, it went to court saying that it was planning on enforcing copyright, not engaging in "speculative invoicing" -- a kind of legal blackmail that involves sending out thousands of legal threats on the off chance that some people will pay you to go away. Read the rest

Happytime Murders film successfully trolls Sesame Street into marketing the film

Sesame Street lawyers are not happy that Jim Henson's son Brian has a raunchy puppet film coming out called Happytime Murders. After they filed a suit against the film, Henson retained a crack puppet lawyer named Fred (above) to defend them. Read the rest

EFF on Cockygate: trademark trolls vs romance literature

Romance author Faleena Hopkins earned the wrong kind of notoriety when she registered a trademark on the word "cocky" for use in romance novel titles and then began indiscriminately threatening to sue her peers for using this common trope. Read the rest

Legal battle royale: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds maker sues Fortnite maker

Fortinte has eclipsed the previously reigning PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and now PUBG believes that success has come at the expense of their copyrights. So here comes the lawsuit! Read the rest

Germany's scientific texts were made free during and after WWII; analyzing them today shows the negative effect of paywalls on science

In 1942, the US Book Republication Program permitted American publishers to reprint "exact reproductions" of Germany's scientific texts without payment; seventy-five years later, the fate of this scientific knowledge forms the basis of a "natural experiment" analysed by Barbara Biasi and Petra Moser for The Center for Economic and Policy Research, who compare the fate of these texts to their contemporaries who didn't have this semi-public-domain existence. Read the rest

Futuristic designs for products the EU's stupid new copyright law would kill

The Polish thinktank Centrum Cyfrowe commissioned designers to come up with "speculative designs" for products that could be enabled by a European approach to copyright reforms that favored a more equitable balance tilted towards creators and the public and away from large corporations -- even as the EU is preparing to kill this future by passing an extreme, corporate-aligned copyright regime that runs on censorship and mass surveillance. Read the rest

All Rights Reserved: a YA dystopia where every word is copyrighted

In Gregory Scott Katsoulis's All Rights Reserved, we get all the traditional trappings of a first-rate YA dystopia: grotesque wealth disparity leading to a modern caste system, draconian surveillance to effect social control in an inherently unstable state, ad-driven ubiquitous entertainment as the only distraction from environmental collapse -- but with an important difference.

Mur Lafferty wrote a science fiction story about the DMCA to help EFF's fair use for vidders campaign

Every three years, the US Copyright Office asks America about the problems with Section 1201 of the DMCA, which bans breaking DRM even for legal reasons, and America gets to answer with requests for exemptions to this rule. Read the rest

Congress wants to extend the copyright on some sound recordings to 144 years

Back in March, the House passed the Music Modernization Act, a welcome bill made it easier for musicians to get paid reliably for digital streaming. Read the rest

FanFlick Editor: an entry in EFF's Catalog of Missing Devices

Wonderful EFF supporters keep on coming up with great new entries for EFF's Catalog of Missing Devices, which lists fictional devices that should exist, but don't, because to achieve their legal, legitimate goals, the manufacturer would have to break some Digital Rights Management and risk retaliation under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Now, EFF supporter Rico Robbins has sent us the "FanFlick Editor," a welcome addition to the Catalog, alongside of Dustin Rodriguez's excellent list of missing devices like the Software Scalpel and MovieMoxie; and Benjamin MacLean's Mashup Maker.

If you have your own great ideas for additions, send them to me and maybe you'll see them on EFF's Deeplinks!

Meet the FanFlick Editor. With this revolutionary video editor, you can directly rip your favorite movies from DVDs or Blu-rays or even digital copies from iTunes, Google Play, and any other service. Edit the film to your heart's content and then distribute the edit decision list (EDL) -- a file that contains instructions that other people can use to edit their own copies during playback while they watch, so they can experience your vision for the movies you both love (or even the ones you hate!).

Used your own footage, graphics, or audio? No problem! FanFlick Editor keeps track of what you made and what you ripped, and packages up your other content with your FanFlick EDL. That way, you only distribute material whose copyright you control, or that is in the public domain, or that fair use permits.

Read the rest

If you watch one cat video this year, let it be this one

Watch this while you can. Run.

Thanks, Doug! Read the rest

"Cocky" romance novelist embarks on a second career as a trademark troll: will romance writing fall from grace?

Over the past 20 years, the world has become a lot more cognizant of the risks of unbalanced copyright, as what was once a way to help creators gain leverage over publishers, studios and labels became a rubric for mass surveillance, unaccountable censorship and monopolism. Read the rest

In just 7 months, the US public domain will get its first infusion since 1998

In 1998, the US Congress retroactively extended the copyright on US works, placing public domain works back into copyright and forestalling the entry into the public domain of a great mass of works that were soon to become public domain; now, 20 years later with no copyright term extension in sight, the US public domain is about to receive the first of many annual infusions to come, a great mass of works that will be free for all to use. Read the rest

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