Items tagged "DMCA"

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Appeals Court Rejects Viacom Arguments Against YouTube

April 5, 2012 DMCA , Filtering , Safe Harbor , SOPA

In their case against YouTube, Viacom and other content companies keep looking for ways to impose a duty to monitor on the video-sharing site. Despite the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) clear statements that services don’t need to monitor, the content companies keep trying to pick away at other components of the law to work their way around it. (Public Knowledge filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this case, arguing that filters and monitoring aren’t required to meet the DMCA requirements)

Today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York shot down the majority of those theories. Meanwhile, the case has been sent back to the district court level for more factfinding on exactly how much YouTube employees may have known about the presence of specific infringing files on their service.

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I don’t always rip my DVDs, but when I do I prefer to do it myself

March 13, 2012 DMCA , DRM

It looks like the ridiculous “drive-to-the-store-and-pay-to-have-us-rip-your-dvds” service that was hinted at last week was not a joke. Today Wal-Mart and the major movie studios are rolling it out for real.

As we have already detailed, this program is insulting to the public and embarrassing to movie studios, but let’s go a bit deeper. We should be clear about one thing – there is nothing inherently wrong with movie studios and Wal-Mart offering people a service that lets them upload their movies to a cloud service. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with charging them for the privilege.

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Warner Bros. Embarrasses Self, Everyone, With New “Disc-to-Digital” Program

March 5, 2012 Copyright Office , DMCA , Fair Use , Piracy

In an announcement that was either an inspired piece of Yes Men-esque performance art or a stunning example of corporate myopia, last week Warner Home Entertainment Group President Kevin Tsujihara discussed a new DVD digitization service called “disc-to-digital.” The program, which would have merely been ill-advised had it been announced ten years ago, today stands as a testament to the ability of movie studios to blind themselves to reality.

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No, Really, You Should Be Able to Rip Your DVDs

March 2, 2012 Anti-circumvention , Copyright Office , DMCA , Fair Use

Today, we followed up our request urging the Copyright Office to allow consumers to break the digital locks on their DVDs so they can play them on their phones, tablets, and other digital devices. Along with the reply comments we filed today, we included the statements of nearly 400 users (warning: massive pdf) who stated for the record that they own lawfully made DVDs and would like to be able to space shift their movies exactly the way they can shift music from CDs to their iPods.

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Public Knowledge Unveils Internet Blueprint Project

February 28, 2012 ACTA , DMCA , Enforcement , Internet Blueprint , Press Release

Today Public Knowledge launched the Internet Blueprint, an ambitious project to develop bills that will help make the internet a better place for everyone. The site consists of six new bills Congress could pass today, as well as a way for the public to submit and vote on their own ideas.

“There are lots of people with great ideas about what rights and protections Internet users should have.  Public Knowledge is taking the next step by putting those ideas into a form that Congress and other policymakers can consider,” said Michael Weinberg, the PK senior staff attorney who is coordinating the project.

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Tell The USTR Not to Do Big Content’s Bidding

February 1, 2012 ACTA , DMCA , DRM , Enforcement , Special 301

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is asking for public comment in its Special 301 inquiry for 2012. Special 301 is an annual report that the USTR compiles listing countries that allegedly fail to provide adequate and effective protection for intellectual property rights of US persons. As we have said before, this report has turned into an exercise that arm-twists countries into instituting laws and policies that serve the interests of big content even where these policies hurt the free expression and due process rights of citizens.

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Help Make it Legal to Rip Your DVDs

January 26, 2012 Anti-circumvention , Copyright Office , DMCA , DRM

Quick – what’s the legal difference between ripping a CD and ripping a DVD?  Ripping a DVD is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and could get you sued.  Unlike CDs, DVDs are protected by a digital lock.  The mere act of breaking that lock – even for a legitimate purpose – is a violation of the DMCA. 

Fortunately, the DMCA also has a built-in mechanism to deal with situations where it prevents people from doing legitimate things.  And that’s why we need your help to make sure that DVD ripping is granted an exemption from the DMCA.

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PIPA and SOPA: Compare and Contrast

January 5, 2012 DMCA , Enforcement , Internet Protocol , Protect IP Act , SOPA

I keep getting asked if the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) is better or worse than the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Even without addressing how misleading relative terms like “better” can be, it’s impossible to give an unequivocal answer because of several significant differences between the details of the bills, even if they both do many of the same things (and do them badly).

So while both bills try to curb online infringement by tampering with the domain name system (DNS); allow private actors to de-fund targeted sites, and grant blanket immunity to certain intermediaries for taking copyright law into their own hands, each has its own peculiarities that cause additional problems.

Is PIPA worse?

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PK In the Know Podcast: AT&T/T-Mo, SOPA, MegaUpload, and Digital Parasites

December 16, 2011 Broadband , DMCA , Enforcement , Fair Use , FCC

On today’s podcast we discuss the (near) end of the AT&T/T-Mobile deal, MegaUpload vs. UMG and YouTube, and SOPA. We also have an extended interview with Robert Levine, author of Free Ride, How Digital Parasites are Destroying The Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back.

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Subscribe to the podcast here

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Did YouTube Give Universal Music a Universal Veto?

December 16, 2011 DMCA , Enforcement , Fair Use

It is likely that even MegaUpload did not anticipate the madness it would unleash when it released a video of major artists (and hangers-on) endorsing the site set to the beat of a wildly catchy song.  Of all of the questions raised in the video’s aftermath, those flowing from Universal Music Group’s (UMG) legal filing take the cake (for now).

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