April 7, 2014 |
Hollywood studios are turning the screws on Kim Dotcom, founder of the once infamous piracy website Megaupload. Several major U.S. studios on Monday filed a lawsuit against Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor) and others associated with Megaupload, alleging that they encouraged and profited from massive copyright infringement of movies and television shows before they were indicted on federal criminal charges and Megaupload was shut down. “When Megaupload.com was shut down in 2012 by U.S. law enforcement, it was by all estimates the largest and most active infringing website targeting creative content in the world,” said Steven Fabrizio, senior executive vice president and global general counsel of the Motion Picture Assn.
March 11, 2014 |
Gawker Media is asking a California federal judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by Quentin Tarantino over his leaked screenplay for "The Hateful Eight," arguing it only facilitated the reading of the unproduced screenplay and didn't enable any copyright infringement. Tarantino sued Gawker for contributory copyright infringement in January, after its Defamer blog published a post titled "Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino 'Hateful Eight' Script" with download links to third-party websites hosting copies of the document.
March 4, 2014 |
Two of the nation's preeminent legal experts on copyright law are siding with broadcasters in their legal fight against Aereo, a start-up service that transmits local television signals via the Internet. In a brief filed at the Supreme Court, UCLA School of Law professor David Nimmer and Peter Menell, a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law, warned that if Aereo were found to be legal it could "decimate multiple industries. " The broadcasters are hoping that the high court will overturn last year's 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruling that found Aereo's transmissions and recordings are not "public performances" of copyrighted material.
March 1, 2014 |
This post has been updated. While Hollywood executives and film stars chatter about who's going to win Oscars, the buzz in geekier circles is focused on a low-budget film that, despite being at the other end of the quality scale from "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave," could set a worrisome legal precedent. The 13-minute trailer for "Innocence of Muslims," a crude piece of anti-Islamic agit-prop, is best known for triggering outraged protests across the Middle East and northern Africa.
February 28, 2014 |
Back in 2010, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig gave a lecture on copyright law. Speaking at a conference for the organization Creative Commons, he used YouTube clips of fans dancing to Phoenix's song " Lisztomania" as an example of proper "fair use" principles. He later uploaded the full lecture, which included the clips, to YouTube. Liberation Music, the firm that licenses the Phoenix song in Australia and New Zealand, disagreed with Lessig's take. The firm issued a YouTube takedown order , asking that the lecture video be removed, and later threatened their own lawsuit against Lessig.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO - In a ruling that a dissenting judge called "unprecedented," a federal appeals court ordered Google Inc. on Wednesday to take down an anti-Muslim video that an actress said forced her to leave her home because of death threats. Google said it would appeal the ruling, but removed the video, "Innocence of Muslims," from YouTube and other platforms. The video has incited violent Muslim protests and has been banned by several Muslim countries. The 2 to 1 decision by the 9 t h U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the actress who appeared in the film never consented to being in it and her performance may be protected by copyright law. "While answering a casting call for a low-budget amateur film doesn't often lead to stardom, it also rarely turns an aspiring actress into the subject of a fatwa ," Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for the majority.