A Finnish anti-piracy group has copied—down to the CSS file—the design and layout of The Pirate Bay’s classic pirate ship-themed design. In a statement to TorrentFreak, The Pirate Bay was nonplussed. “We are outraged by this behavior,” an anonymous Pirate Bay spokesman told TorrentFreak. “People must understand what is right and wrong. Stealing material like this on the Internet is a threat to economies worldwide. We feel that we must make a statement and therefore we will sue them for copyright infringement.”
Interesting new organization, trying to restore some sense of balance to the whole copyright/IP domain. Necessary, no doubt, but given the current political climate, I can't see much hope for success, unless you count maintaining the current gridlock as successful. Rolling back the ridiculous changes of the past 20 years is what's needed, but alas, I see no hope for that at all, no matter how reasonable your proposals.
A new intellectual property rights organisation has popped up in the United States called New Media Rights. New Media Rights strikes a different balance than most intellectual property organisations; they champion the rights of independent creators as well as those of individual consumers.
Why am I not surprised?
So, late Friday, we reported on how the Republican Study Committee (the conservative caucus of House Republicans) had put out a surprisingly awesome report about copyright reform. You can read that post to see the details. The report had been fully vetted and reviewed by the RSC before it was released. However, as soon as it was published, the MPAA and RIAA apparently went ballistic and hit the phones hard, demanding that the RSC take down the report. They succeeded.
Future tyrants won't have to burn the library, they'll just turn it off.
News spread quickly on the web today of the predicament faced by a woman in Norway, Linn, who has lost all access to the eBooks she legitimately purchased from Amazon. The story first emerged on a friend's blog, where a sequence of e-mails from Michael Murphy, a customer support representative at Amazon.co.uk were posted. These painted a picture some interpreted as Amazon remotely erasing a customer's Kindle, but in conversation with Linn I discovered that was not what had happened - something just as bad did, though.
This could huge: if the Court comes to it's senses and stops this idiocy we're back to some semblance of sanity in the patent regime. If it allows it to stand the slippery slope towards conversion of every idea into "intellectual property" of some sort or another will have become a water slide.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider how patent rules apply to self-replicating technologies, accepting an appeal from a farmer seeking to circumvent Monsanto’s planting restrictions on its genetically modified seeds.
If the appellate court ruling stands and the first sale doctrine is destroyed, this will have repercussions across the economy like a magnitude 10 earthquake.
Tucked into the U.S. Supreme Court’s agenda this fall is a little-known case that could upend your ability to resell everything from your grandmother’s antique furniture to your iPhone 4.
Wow. Just wow.
According to the former Register of Copyrights, Ralph Oman, under copyright law, any new technology should have to apply to Congress for approval and a review to make sure they don't upset the apple cart of copyright, before they're allowed to exist. I'm not joking. Mr. Oman, who was the Register of Copyright from 1985 to 1993 and was heavily involved in a variety of copyright issues, has filed an amicus brief in the Aereo case.
When even the Fed recognizes that patents are nothing more than the ultimate form of rent seeking, maybe we can make some move away from the current system.
Our patent system is a mess. It's a fount of expensive litigation that allows aging companies to linger around by bullying their more innovative competitors in court.
Far too often companies make a business decision to just roll over and play dead when confronted with the prospect of expensive and often fruitless patent litigation - not so in this case! Nice to see a legal salvo headed back at the trolls.
Red Hat has taken a unique step in defending itself from a patent infringement claim from Twin Peaks Software: a counterclaim that Twin Peaks is in copyright violation on mount, the file management app that is licensed under the GPLv2. Not only is Red Hat seeking GPL compliance, it's also going after Twin Peaks for damages and is seeking an injunction on Twin Peaks' own product sales.
Of course you can! Surprised? I'm not ...
If you don't believe the system is broken, read the patent. If you still don't find this totally absurd, perhaps you're an intellectual property attorney ... or should consider a career as such.
A lawsuit over $98 yoga pants feels sort of ridiculous its face. But the case is actually a big deal.
If this UI feature isn't obvious to any skilled practitioner of the art, I don't know what would be. But I guess if you can patent the rectangle you can patent anything.
Apple has eked out yet another legal victory against its Android competition.
Bots gone wild ...
Last night, robots shut down the live broadcast of one of science fiction's most prestigious award ceremonies. No, you're not reading a science fiction story. In the middle of the annual Hugo Awards event at Worldcon, which thousands of people tuned into via video streaming service Ustream, the feed cut off — just as Neil Gaiman was giving an acceptance speech for his Doctor Who script, "The Doctor's Wife." Where Gaiman's face had been were the words, "Worldcon banned due to copyright infringement." What the hell?
Hadn't thought of this. Just another good reason to avoid purely digital (and "protected") content.
Many of us will accumulate vast libraries of digital books and music over the course of our lifetimes. But when we die, our collections of words and music may expire with us.
Monkey business... see also this followup.
Here's an excellent question (via the Legal Satyricon): if a monkey steals your camera and takes a bunch of pictures with it, who (if anyone) owns the rights to the pictures?
If you want to know what's wrong with Washington in general and the patent process in particular, seek no further ...
How’s this: A lawsuit that pits a former Ross Perot presidential running mate against the king of patent aggregating/molecular cooking — with a cameo role from organized labor?