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The Craigslist Case and Other Examples of Copyright Abuse

May 2, 2013 DMCA , Enforcement , Safe Harbor , Statutory Damages

This week, a federal district court in California refused to toss craigslist’s claims that it owns its users’ postings. More and more, we’re seeing fine print in terms of use (“TOU”) agreements and end user license agreements (“EULAs”) that try to make copyright claims. Why?

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The Copyright Reform Debate Continues Uncensored

December 6, 2012 DMCA , Fair Use , MPAA , SOPA , Statutory Damages

Last month the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) released (and then retracted 24 hours later) a thought-provoking policy paper entitled Three Myths About Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix It. As the leading group for conservative policy ideas and discussion in the U.S. House of Representatives, the RSC could play a critical role in presenting the conservative arguments for copyright reform. 

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The Debate over Copyright Reform Cannot Be Censored

November 19, 2012 DMCA , Fair Use , MPAA , SOPA , Statutory Damages

This past Friday, the House Republican Study Committee released a policy brief entitled Three Myths About Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it.  The brief, examines three common content industry assertions about the benefits of copyright, and concludes that rather than promoting productivity and innovation, current copyright law inhibits them.  The brief then makes a number of suggestions to reform the system, including reducing statutory damages, expanding fair use, punishing copyright abuse and shortening copyright terms significantly.

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Five Takeaways From World’s Fair Use Day

January 15, 2010 DRM , Enforcement , Fair Use , Statutory Damages

By many accounts, World's Fair Use Day was a great success. We had a capacity crowd, with hundreds more joining in on the webcast. Members of the audience included staff from the White House, the State Department, the US Copyright Office and Congress. Since one of the main missions of the event was to demonstrate to policymakers the importance of fair use to our culture, our discourse and our economy, having a strong turnout from government is key.

I've now had a few days to reflect on the day's events.

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Perspective on Payments: Comparing Filesharing Damages to Criminal Sentences

August 27, 2009 Piracy , Statutory Damages

Via BoingBoing and then through Gizmodo, Gaper's Block has a post up putting into some perspective the enormity and enormousness of the damages ($1.92 million) that Jammie Thomas is supposed to pay to the record labels for engaging in some P2P file sharing (Conor McCarthy of Gaper's Block estimated penalties under the Illinois Criminal Code):

Here is a list of 7 ideas to get you started, but first we should make a few rules. Some of these "crimes" have imprisonment as part of their sentence.

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