Items tagged "DMCA"

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PK In the Know Podcast

July 30, 2010 DMCA , DRM

In this week’s edition of the In the Know Podcast, we discuss the Copyright Office’s Section 1202 Anticircumvention Rulemaking Report, also known as the DMCA report.  Then, we speak with the people behind Rock Your Phone, an alternative iPhone app store, about what an alternative iPhone app store is and why they think that Apple may be acting anticompetitively.

You can download and listen to the audio by clicking here (MP3) or stream it using the player below:

Want to subscribe to our podcast? Click here for the MP3 feed and here for the mixed audio/video feed.

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Defining ‘circumvention’: another DMCA case

July 23, 2010 Anti-circumvention , DMCA , DRM

What do printer cartridges, garage door openers, and universal power supply calibrations have in common? They all use copyrighted code, they all feature technological impediments to unauthorized execution of their code — and now they’ve all been the focus of appellate litigation under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

One of the most-litigated and most-argued provisions of the DMCA is section 1201, the “anti-circumvention” provision which forbids breaking or bypassing certain technological measures that protect copyrighted works. Broadly speaking, section 1201(a) deals with technological measures that restrict access to a copyrighted work, and 1201(b) deals with copy controls and other measures that restrict not your access to a work but what you can do with the work after accessing it. Section 1201(a) forbids both trafficking in circumvention tools and the act of circumvention itself; 1201(b) covers only trafficking. An ongoing source of controversy is whether and how closely ‘access’ under 1201(a) must be tied to an underlying act of copyright infringement before circumvention liability will attach. To put it another way, is what you were going to do with a work once you accessed it relevant to the question of whether you’re allowed to grant yourself access? Different appellate courts have come down on opposite sides of this issue, and another circuit court just waded into the mix.

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Court Tosses $1B Sought by Viacom from YouTube

June 23, 2010 DMCA , Filtering , Safe Harbor

A decision from a federal district court in New York today affirmed that online hosts shouldn’t have to pay if their users are infringing. The opinion, issued by Judge Louis Stanton of the Southern District of New York, found on summary judgment that Google and YouTube qualified for the safe harbors of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. By acting to take down infringing postings when it was notified of them, YouTube was able to meet the standards of the law, despite the fact that Viacom complained that YouTube generally knew that infringing works were on the site.

 

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ACTION ALERT: Tell the Obama Administration What You Think of ACTA

June 22, 2010 ACTA , DMCA , DRM , Piracy , Three Strikes

CLICK HERE TO WRITE THE WHITE HOUSE NOW

The Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement continues to roll along with negotiations taking place in Switzerland in the coming weeks. Rumor has it that these negotiations might be bringing us to a finalized ACTA soon, despite protests from public interest groups, technology companies, and legislators around the world that its ham-fisted approach to enforcement can do grave harm to consumers, innovation, communication, and can even make it harder for lifesaving medications to reach populations in need. It’s time to make sure that your voices are heard on this important issue. And we have two ways that you can do that. One is by signing a declaration of principles crafted by a coalition of experts assembled at American University. The other, more direct method is by writing to the President himself, using our action alert submission form.

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Should Customs decide what’s a circumvention device?

May 24, 2010 Anti-circumvention , DMCA , DRM , Enforcement

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a complex and highly controversial statute, and the anti-circumvention provisions in section 1201 are some of its most complex and controversial components. Despite more than a decade’s worth of judicial interpretation, there remain plenty of unsettled questions about just what constitutes circumvention and just what constitutes a protected technological measure. And what we do know for sure makes a strong case that the anti-circumvention provisions are overbroad and have significant and harmful unintended consequences.

Yet the Senate is considering a bill that could significantly ramp up enforcement of section 1201 and exacerbate those unintended consequences. Among other things, the bill would give US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the authority to decide for itself whether merchandise is a prohibited circumvention device, and thus to seize the merchandise at the border.

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Walmart Buys Vudu, Becoming a Disruptive Peer-to-Peer Video Provider

February 24, 2010 Broadband , Competition , DMCA , Network Neutrality , P2P

Just as it has sought to offset slower CD sales with its digital music store, Walmart–the nation's largest DVD retailer–is looking to insure against lower DVD sales by purchasing the online video company Vudu.

But Vudu isn't just another Internet video company with a loopy name offering a pure over-the-top video service. Like Sezmi, its delivery method is an interesting hybrid. While Sezmi leverages free over-the-air TV, leased spectrum, and broadband (with ample local storage as a force multiplier), Vudu uses a hybrid peer-to-peer model. Content is both delivered to a Vudu device through a standard client/server model, as well as peer-to-peer between different Vudu devices. Additionally, content is pre-positioned at the edge of the network to increase the number of peers.

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ACTA Makes ISPs An Offer They Can’t Refuse

February 22, 2010 DMCA , Filtering , Forum Shopping , International , Non-Discrimination

The leaked ACTA Internet chapter has a footnote that says an ISP can only hang on to its "safe harbor" by implementing certain policies designed to discourage the use of their networks for copyright infringement, and that "An example of such a policy is providing for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscriptions and accounts in the service provider's system or network of repeat infringers." Three strikes and you're out.

USTR's claim that ACTA wouldn't "change" US law is plausible (if not comforting). Similar language is already part of US law (17 U.S.C. 512 §(i)(1)(A))–as is the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution, of course, which assures that no person can be "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." One would hope that, like the existing statute, the ACTA language will be read in the context of the Constitution, which assures that mere accusations of copyright infringement are not enough to kick someone off the Internet. One would also hope that other countries, if they end up agreeing to a version of ACTA with this language, also understand that a "repeat infringer" must have been afforded due process.

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UPDATED: Music Labels Ask Blogs to Post Songs to Promote Artists, Ask Google to Erase Blogs for Post

February 11, 2010 DMCA , Fair Use , Filtering , Network Neutrality , Piracy

Today's news that Google shut down music blogs that were accused of copyright infringement is rightfully getting plenty of coverage. Mostly, it is being held up as another in a long line of examples of problems with the DMCA notice-and-takedown system. This is a great example of a problem with the DMCA because, at least according to The Guardian, the notices that Google relied on to delete the blogs were woefully incomplete. Google should not have acted until it had proper notices from rights holders, including the name of the actual work allegedly infringed. Since many of the notices did not even include this information, there was no way for the bloggers to file a DMCA counternotice. For an update on the DMCA part of this story, check out Wired and Google's own post. Of course, the DMCA confusion does a great job of illustrating the points about filtering below.

It is important that this story is being used to point out problems with the DMCA, and with Google's policies for dealing with DMCA complaints. how complicated DMCA implementation can be. What it equally important, if less commented on, is what it can tell us about copyright filtering.

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Landmark Australian Ruling Deals a Blow to Three Strikes Down Under

February 4, 2010 BitTorrent , DMCA , Filtering , Safe Harbor , Three Strikes

For those of us who believe that the Internet should remain an open, democratic and non-discriminatory platform, with few exceptions, the last two years have brought a steady stream of bad news from Down Under. First, there were rumblings that Australia was seeking to implement a “three strikes” policy toward those accused of online filesharing. Next, New Zealand came close to instituting its own three strikes mandate, though thanks to the efforts of activists, that deeply-flawed law was struck down at the last minute. Finally, after a number of previous, failed attempts, the Australian government announced that it plans to mandate the use of real-time filtering technologies on public ISPs sometime during the next year. Just when it seemed like no one in the Australian and New Zealand governments appreciated the damaging effects of such policies, an Australian federal court judge has ruled that the ISP iiNet is not responsible for the actions of its subscribers. In the landmark ruling (full text here), which will likely have ramifications in the U.S. and elsewhere, the judge rebuffs Hollywood’s attempt to require iiNet to act as a copyright cop, dealing a blow to three strikes in the process. Let’s take a closer look.

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2010 State of the Net Three Strikes Panel — what MPAA and RIAA don’t want you to know

January 28, 2010 Broadband , DMCA , Fair Use , FCC , MPAA

Yesterday, the MPAA and RIAA made a giant political misstep by refusing to participate in a debate about three strikes. In doing so, they exposed the public and a number of US policy makers to policy that would strip Internet subscribers of their constitutional due process rights.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I attended this year's State of the Net Conference beautifully orchestrated by Tim Lordan and his crew at the Internet Caucus Advisory Committee.

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