Items tagged "Copyright Office"

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Will the White House Explain why Copyright Laws are Privileging Cell Phone Companies?

February 22, 2013 Anti-circumvention , Competition , Copyright Office , DRM , Handset Exclusivity

So 100,000 of you (and counting) are as puzzled as we are as to why copyright laws such as the DMCA should prevent people from keeping their existing phones when they switch phone companies. By hitting that threshold of signatures several days before the 30-day deadline, the petition should generate a response from the White House.

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Secret Bill Pushes Part of SOPA and Wastes Your Money

July 10, 2012 Copyright Office , SOPA

A mere 5 months after SOPA and PIPA met their very public demise, a new intellectual property enforcement bill is on the fast track through the House Judiciary Committee.  The bill, which was largely secret until a day before it was scheduled to be marked up, is an attempt to revive an idea that was killed as part of SOPA earlier this year.  In addition to being a surprising attempt to develop intellectual property (IP) legislation in secret again, it highlights a phenomenal waste of taxpayer resources.  After all, what is going to improve our copyright system more: international IP attaches or being able to look up who actually owns a copyright?

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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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Public Knowledge Responds To Movie Industry On DVD Copying

March 2, 2012 Copyright Office , Press Release

Public Knowledge today submitted close to 400 comments to the U.S. Copyright Office in support of PK’s petition that consumers be able to copy DVDs they lawfully own onto devices they also own.

The comments were submitted in the reply round of comments the Copyright Office seeks every three years on whether there should be exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

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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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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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Modernizing the Copyright Office, One Database at a Time

November 30, 2011 Copyright Office , DMCA

Right now the Copyright Office is in the process of overhauling how it administers part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which has the potential to make the copyright notice-and-takedown process easier for service providers and copyright owners alike. The DMCA provides a safe harbor for online service providers that limits their liability for users’ infringement if they satisfy a number of conditions. One of those conditions is the agent designation requirement: the service provider must designate an agent to receive infringement notices from copyright holders so the service provider can take down the allegedly infringing content (subject to a counter-notice from the user). This week, Public Knowledge filed comments in the Copyright Office’s rulemaking to update its directory of service providers’ agents.

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As the Net Neutrality debate brews, PK and others continue push for strengthening the proposal. Our three points of concern are ensuring protections for wireless access to the Internet, preventing paid prioritization, and simplifying the definition of “broadband Internet access service” (to avoid potential loopholes). Senator Al Franken sent a letter to the FCC Friday emphasizing the importance of “significantly strengthen[ing]” the proposal. Also, PK’s head of government relations responded to the mythical the meme that “300 Members of Congress are opposed to Net Neutrality”.

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An Adventure in Bureaucracy

June 30, 2010 Copyright Office , Regulation

One of my research assignments as an intern here at PK involves looking at the organization and function of the Copyright Office, which exists as a part of the Library of Congress. In this research, I wanted to consider the various rules and regulations governing the Office and the Library in general. It turns out that, in addition to the relevant Federal statutes, the Library’s rules and the Office’s rules published in the Federal Register, and the Copyright Office’s “Compendium” of internal practices, all of which are available to the public online, there’s another body of regulations that are harder to find. These Library of Congress Regulations (“LCR”) are legally binding on the Library, but take some digging to find.

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NEWSFLASH: Phantom Signal Royalty Charges Spook Cable Operators and Consumers

July 23, 2009 Copyright Office , SHVERA

A 2008 Copyright Office policy decision has resulted in cable operators getting charged copyright royalties for transmissions of broadcast content that do not actually take place — transmissions referred to as “phantom signals” since they eerily appear on copyright holders’ balance sheets, but not on a cable subscriber’s television screen.  Now, this really starts to sting when you realize that the cost to cable operators of these rather spooky royalties charges necessarily get passed on to cable subscribing consumers for content they never actually receive!

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