Paul (not his real name) has never seen the movie The Divide. He’s a horror buff and sometimes tries to find odd and decidedly bad flicks to watch with his wife. The Divide would have fit the bill. It made $16,700 at the box office – that amounts to about 2,100 tickets sold – and closed with $130,839 in the bank. It cost $3 million to make. → Read More
Pinterest has had trouble brewing for a while over what some people say are frequent copyright violations that happen when users ‘pin’ photos on the site without permission from the photo’s owner. But as one photographer/lawyer/Pinterest user recently discovered, the copyright problem at Pinterest is even more complicated than that.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is delayed in Congress, but it is definitely not dead. The media company lobbyists and their Congressmen (hello, Lamar Smith!) are simply regrouping. Some of the more controversial aspects of the bill include transferring liability for copyright infringement to sites that host user-generated content and blocking that content via DNS servers.
To highlight the… → Read More
A group of Star Wars fans in New York were organizing a marathon of all six movies at their local bar, but have canceled the event after receiving a cease and desist letter from Lucasfilm. The letter apparently declared the marathon in violation of copyright, and said they’d forbidden public screenings. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ll be giving Lucasfilm any… → Read More
As ridiculous as the copyright battles are here in the states, it’s a bit surreal when you see them exceeded elsewhere by an order of magnitude or two. According to German internet industry association ECO, ISPs in that country are giving up their subscribers to rightsholders at the mind-boggling rate of around 300,000 per month. To put that in perspective, you remember that big kerfluffle about … → Read More
Limewire has agreed to pay $105 million to record labels, after a protracted court battle in which the record companies famously estimated Limewire’s damages could reach $75 trillion. So in a way, Mark Gorton and the venerable file-sharing company are getting off easy here. Isn’t it a tacit admission of how ridiculous their arguments were that they’re accepting a fraction of a… → Read More
The Advocate General of the European Union Court of Justice, Cruz Villalón, says that national courts there should not have the ability to tell Internet Service Providers to filter their connections in order to prevent copyright infringement because such a move would conflict with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. That was a mouthful, yes. It should be noted that the Advocate General’s opinion… → Read More
So we’re all pretty desensitized by now to the mind-blowing stupidity on display by the record industry in its foolhardy attempts at assigning damages in piracy cases — was anyone surprised when they told one woman, who had shared 24 songs, that she owed nearly two million dollars? Yes, ridiculous. But this — this is beyond ridiculous. This is… sublime.
The record companies suing… → Read More
The efforts of media companies to quash online piracy are a bit like someone trying to put out a forest fire with a wet noodle. The latest pathetic flail comes in the form of coercing Google into censoring its results for some search terms. A number of words will no longer be autocompleted or trigger an instant search, among them the interesting and perfectly legal “bittorrent.” → Read More
It’s only fair that after giving the music industry in general a hard time, I should acknowledge when they do something right. Universal Music Group has just donated a huge collection of recordings from the 1930s and 40s to the Library of Congress, where they will be available to be listened to for free. The collection includes iconic, rare, and never-digitized tracks from the jazz and pre-rock… → Read More