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Copyright Infringement

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ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
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.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
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.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 2013 | By Daniel Miller
Unlike last year, people hoping to jazz up their Academy Awards viewing parties this weekend with an oversized statuette resembling Oscar are now out of luck. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has settled a lawsuit it brought against an Edwardsville, Ill.-based events rental company for copyright infringement stemming from the alleged renting and selling of eight-foot statues that looked like the Oscar statuettes. The case against TheEventLine.com and its president, Robert Hollingsworth, was settled late last year and dismissed Nov. 19. In a lawsuit filed March 9 in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, the Academy had alleged that Hollingsworth continued to market, sell and rent the eight-foot statues after he'd been notified of the alleged infringement in a letter sent in March 2011.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 11, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 2012 | By August Brown
The Pittsburgh MC Mac Miller is one of the most polarizing figures in rap music, selling reams of records to his college-age peers but loathed by many serious genre fans . Now he can add a new name to his enemies' list -- the Bronx MC Lord Finesse, who Miller sampled on a 2010 mixtape track, "Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza. " Miller has openly cited Finesse as a major influence, and he heavily sampled the MC-producer's 1995 track "Hip 2 Da Game" for a track off Miller's free 2010 mixtape "K.I.D.S.
BUSINESS
August 4, 2012 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
It can be a dog-eat-dog world in social games. Electronic Arts Inc. on Friday filed a copyright infringement suit against Zynga Inc., alleging that the social gaming company's "The Ville" misappropriated EA's game "The Sims Social. " EA's lawsuit was just the latest in a string of bad news for Zynga. The San Francisco social gaming company was hit Monday with a shareholder lawsuit claiming that Zynga investors and executives — including its chief executive, Mark Pincus — had improperly cashed out $516 million in company stock in April, three months before Zynga posted disappointing earnings that sent its shares plummeting 37% in one day. In a blog post explaining EA's lawsuit, Lucy Bradshaw, head of Maxis, the EA-owned studio that created "Sims Social," outlined why EA contends that Zynga "ripped off" its intellectual property.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2001 | Associated Press
EBay Inc. has begun monitoring items for sale on its site for possible copyright infringement in response to pressure from software makers and intellectual property interests. The new program has removed about 12 listings per day for software, movies, music and other copyrighted content since it began in December. The software industry's anti-piracy trade group and manufacturers of copyright products, such as Microsoft Corp., pushed for the change.
BUSINESS
September 30, 1998 | KAREN E. KLEIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Question: I am writing a reference guide for the Internet. I will have to mention company names but do not want to infringe on copyrights or have my guide interpreted as an endorsement. How can I find out about disclaimers? Should I hire an attorney to review the guide? --Jane Puglisi, Palmdale * Answer: Merely mentioning the name of a company and factually stating its Internet address, for example, should not constitute trademark or copyright infringement.
BUSINESS
April 21, 1986
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Boston last year against Management Information Source Inc., alleging that MIS' manuals on Lotus' 1-2-3 and Symphony software programs infringed upon the copyright of and plagiarized extensively Lotus' user manuals for those packages. MIS agreed in the settlement to stop distributing its first edition of "The Manual:1-2-3" and to cease further production or sale of its first edition of "The Manual: Symphony."
NEWS
March 30, 1993 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether a performer can record a parody of a popular tune without paying copyright fees. The justices said they would review a ruling that requires the rap group 2 Live Crew to pay damages for what was deemed a "blatantly commercial" mockery of Roy Orbison's hit, "Oh, Pretty Woman." In their 1989 album "As Clean As They Wanna Be," 2 Live Crew sang about a "big hairy woman."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 2014 | By David G. Savage and Maura Dolan
WASHINGTON - The California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is known for progressive rulings that champion individual rights over government and corporations, but when it comes to show business, the "Hollywood Circuit" - as it has been dubbed - stands accused of routinely siding with the home-turf entertainment industry. Judges famously sided with film studios in the early 1980s when the studios sued Sony for infringing their copyrights by selling the Betamax video recorders.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Hotfile, one of the biggest file-sharing websites on the Internet, has agreed to pay $80 million in a settlement that ends film studios' litigation against the company, the Motion Picture Assn. of America said Tuesday.  The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in addition to awarding the damages, ordered the site to shut down unless it starts using special technology to stop the illegal sharing of studios' content. The judgment comes after the court found Hotfile, and its principal Anton Titov, liable for copyright infringement in August .  ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll “This judgment by the court is another important step toward protecting an Internet that works for everyone,” said Chris Dodd, the MPAA's chairman and chief executive.
OPINION
November 19, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Trying to decode rap lyrics, as rich as they often are in regional slang and obscure references, can be like watching a foreign-language movie without subtitles. For instance, on "A Queens Story," what does Nas mean when he raps, "You be starving in Kew Gardens/Bolognas and milk from a small carton"? That's where the Rap Genius website comes in. Users of the site not only have transcribed and uploaded thousands of raps, they annotated them with explanations. For instance, three Rap Genius contributors explained that Kew Gardens is the site of the Queens Criminal Court, and bologna sandwiches with a carton of milk is a typical meal served in jail.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 31, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Robin Thicke's “Blurred Lines” will surely go down as one of the biggest songs of 2013. The slinky dance track was No. 1 for 12 weeks, sold more than 6 million copies and served as the soundtrack for one of the most deliciously trainwrecky VMA performances ever. It also has had its share of controversy, including its NSFW video, critics blasting its sexual lyrics and the family of late soul legend Marvin Gaye calling it a blatant rip-off. In August, Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr. (better known as T.I.)
NEWS
October 1, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court announced Tuesday it had agreed to decide eight new cases, including a copyright dispute over the 1980 Oscar-winning film “Raging Bull” and a clash over union fees for home healthcare workers in Illinois. The court has said it planned to proceed as normal this week, despite the government shutdown, and it is due to hear the first round of arguments next week. The justices met behind closed doors Monday to sift through more than 2,000 appeals that piled up over the summer.
NATIONAL
October 1, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court, preparing for the beginning of its new term, announced Tuesday that it had agreed to decide eight new cases, including a copyright dispute over the 1980 Oscar-winning boxing film "Raging Bull," and a case that will consider what constitutes a crime of violence that could prohibit someone from owning a gun. The court, which has said it will proceed normally despite the government shutdown, is scheduled to hear...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 2006 | Robin Abcarian, Times Staff Writer
It's hard to know whom to sympathize with in this fight. On one side: the paparazzi who stalk celebrities in their moments of greatest vulnerability - at doctors' offices, with their newborns, when they are falling-down drunk. On the other: a blogger who helps himself to those photos, scrawls puerile comments on them, and posts them on his immensely popular and profitable website. The owners of one L.A. photo agency are so frustrated with what they consider to be blatant theft by self-styled "gossip gangsta" Perez Hilton that they've decided to make a federal case of it. On Nov. 30, X17 Inc., known for the aggressive pursuit of celebrity prey, filed a $7.6-million federal copyright infringement lawsuit against Hilton, alleging that he has used 51 photos without permission, payment or credit.
NEWS
March 12, 1990 | BOB SIPCHEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Imagine that a biographer is rummaging through an old trunk. He discovers a previously unseen letter from George Washington to Martha. He unfolds the brittle pages. "Martha, I must tell you, I was fibbing when I said, 'I cannot tell a lie.' " When that hypothetical biography is published, will you, the book buyer, get to read the Founding Father's confession? Hard to say.
NEWS
September 25, 2013 | By Jon Healey, This post has been updated, as noted below.
The line between a fair use of copyrighted works and an infringement is blurry, and sometimes it takes a judge to decide where a particular use falls. The dispute between Universal Music Publishing and Lauren LoPrete shows how copyright owners can use that lack of clarity to stifle creativity and defeat the purpose of copyright protection. LoPrete started a Tumblr page called This Charming Charlie in early August, posting cleverly altered panels from old Peanuts comic strips. Instead of author Charles Schulz's words, the dialogue bubbles contained snippets from songs by the English pop band The Smiths.
BUSINESS
September 17, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
Despite the growth of Netflix, Amazon.com and other legal channels for watching entertainment online, the volume of pirated movies, TV shows, music, books and video games online continues to grow at a rapid pace. The amount of bandwidth used for copyright infringement in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific has grown nearly 160% from 2010 to 2012, accounting for 24% of total Internet bandwidth, according to a study from NetNames, the British brand protection firm. At the same time, the number of people engaged in copyright infringement has grown dramatically too. In January2013, 327 million unique users illegally sought copyrighted content, generating 14 billion page views on websites focused on piracy, up 10% from November 2011, according to the report.
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