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Posts tagged Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Randy Queen backs down from DMCA threats against Escher Girls
August 6, 2014 | 2:35 pm

Here’s a quick update to yesterday’s story about Randy Queen using the DMCA to stifle Escher Girls’ criticism of his art. The Mary Sue reports that Queen has apologized and stood down his threats. He posted a public statement to his Facebook page in which he indicated a period of high stress in his personal life led him to lash out without thinking. Tumblr has restored the posts in question but the images are still absent. Hopefully they can get put back soon, too, given that their use was well within the bounds of criticism and commentary that have...

Comic book creator Randy Queen attempts to stifle criticism with DMCA, provokes Streisand Effect
August 5, 2014 | 7:26 am

If you don’t think you’re getting enough attention on the Internet, there’s a way to fix that. Though you probably won’t like the results. Every so often, you run across one of those “Streisand Effect” cases where someone decides to try to stifle criticism of themselves and it backfires in a big way. I thought I’d seen the most amusing possible example of that yesterday with this Ars Technica story about a hotel whose web site promised a $500 fine for negative Yelp reviews (they swore they were “just kidding,” but not before a major backlash brought them...

Dropbox uses file hashes to comply with DMCA requests. So what?
April 2, 2014 | 2:50 am

Surprise! Dropbox has anti-piracy measures in place. You’ve probably seen the stories by now. When you right-click that file on your drive and ask for a public link that you can share so your friend can download it, Dropbox runs a hash on the file—it basically takes the file’s fingerprint by assigning a specific character to particular bits. If it finds that hash matches a list of hashes that have been declared verboten by DMCA request, it tells you that you can’t share it. (Likewise, it hashes files so that it can save space by only storing one copy of...

Tarantino suit of Gawker over link to leaked script may be capitalizing on Streisand Effect
February 3, 2014 | 12:40 pm

tarantinoQuentin Tarantino got so upset that someone leaked a copy of the script for his next movie, The Hateful Eight, online that he announced he would not be making that movie after all. He got further upset when he found out that celebrity/tech news site Gawker’s “Defamer” blog actually linked to file locker sites where the script could be downloaded. So, he is now suing Gawker. Tarantino’s suit claims that Gawker itself posted the leaked script to those sites, which Gawker editor John Cook insists is false. In the end, the suit comes down to “contributory copyright infringement”—the same...

Congress to Consider DMCA Anti-Circumvention Reform…But Probably Not Very Hard
May 9, 2013 | 10:40 pm

Well, it’s that time of decade again. Someone in Congress has finally—or, rather, once again—taken note of how the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions step all over consumer rights and introduced legislation to try to balance the scales. Ars Technica reports that three Democrats and a Republican, including California rep Zoe Lofgren, have introduced the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013. This act would rewrite the anti-circumvention provision to make DRM-breaking illegal only if it’s done in order to “facilitate the infringement of a copyright.” Non-infringing uses, such as ripping DVDs, unlocking cell phones, and so on, would presumably be allowed....

Unlocking Cellular Devices Became Illegal Today
January 26, 2013 | 4:00 pm

How to unlock iPhone 5  By Keaton Keller A while ago, I thought that cellphone carriers were unaware that consumers could buy a phone for the contract price and then use it anywhere unrestricted. Then, after a while I learned this wasn’t the case and that carriers had every possible loophole filled in. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a bill to hinder hackers from wandering away from their device’s service provider, will now include an additional rule stating that unlocking phones will be deemed illegal. Keep in mind, people will do it and in the past we’ve seen the U.S. Government do something like this before. Jailbreaking, the act...

Universal responds to Megaupload allegations in viral video takedown
December 13, 2011 | 12:06 pm

The saga of the Megaupload viral video takedown just got weirder. Universal has responded that several of the artists portrayed in the video did not consent to appearing in it, and Techdirt reports featured artist will.i.am filed a takedown notice of his own for that reason. Megaupload insists that it has contracts for all artists and material featured in the video, so someone on one side or the other is obviously either lying or mistaken. I do wonder why those artists allowed Megaupload to film them singing its praises if they didn’t want Megaupload to use what it filmed....

Allegedly fraudulent Universal DMCA takedown notice raises questions about DMCA, SOPA
December 11, 2011 | 12:17 pm

This story might need to be taken with a grain of salt based on its sources, but it could have some serious implications if true. Megaupload, like Rapidshare, is a cyber-locker site where people can upload files of any kind for others to download. Many of those files are illicitly-copied commercial material, which naturally gives Hollywood, record labels, and publishers (after all, this material does include both e-books and audiobooks) conniptions. Recently, a number of music celebrities recorded a music video in support of Megaupload. This was considered a newsworthy event, and covered by a number of places, but...

Ruling in favor of UCLA right to rip DVDs may have implications for HathiTrust
October 5, 2011 | 12:01 pm

Did I just hear the DMCA’s anti-circumvention precisions creak a little? Ars Technica reports that a judge has ruled educational institutions are legally entitled to rip and stream DVDs that they have legally purchased. The case involves UCLA ripping and streaming some educational DVDs from Ambrose Video Publishing. Ambrose sued over the anti-circumvention provision violation, insisting its DVDs were sold under a licensing agreement that prohibits rebroadcast and public display. However, the UCLA insisted that fair use gave it the right to rip and stream, and that Ambrose’s catalog specifically says “All purchases by schools and libraries include...

MP3Tunes decision bodes well for cloud media storage
August 24, 2011 | 11:15 pm

mp3tunesA recent decision in the lawsuit against Michael Robertson’s user-uploaded-music locker MP3Tunes.com could have profound implications for the use of media in the cloud—if it stands, profoundly good ones. Music label Capitol Records sued the company for enabling piracy, and attempted to argue that it didn’t qualify for “safe harbor” under the DMCA’s copyright provisions. A judge mostly disagreed—essentially, he said that MP3Tunes was in the clear except on essentially one point. And though a number of places have been spinning that one point as a RIAA “victory”, in actuality the victories for MP3Tunes far outnumber it. That one...

Canada could get DMCA-style DRM anti-circumvention law
January 29, 2011 | 6:09 pm

Canada may be about to get its own anti-circumvention law, akin to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, PaidContent reports. In response to calls from the US entertainment industry to tighten up its copyright enforcement, the Canadian legislature is considering a bill called C-32 which contains such a provision. The DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision, that prohibits users from cracking digital rights management even to make fair use of devices and media they own, has been a fairly controversial law in Internet circles ever since it was passed. Canada, however, has largely been able to avoid such a law—until now. The...

Brazil’s copyright law forbids using DRM to block fair use
July 12, 2010 | 2:31 am

copy.jpgThis little article by Cory Doctorow in Boing Boing is important news, so I reprint it in full: A UN treaty called the WIPO Copyright Treaty requires countries to pass laws protecting "software locks" (also called DRM or TPM). Countries around the world have adopted the treaty in different ways: in the US, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits all circumvention of software locks, even when they don't protect copyright (for example, it would be illegal to for me to break the DRM on a Kindle to access my own novels, were they sold with Kindle DRM). Brazil has just created the...