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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...
July 25, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Many musicians and wannabe stars have enjoyed posting on YouTube their own versions of singer-songwriter Jason Mraz's first international hit, "I'm Yours. " Trouble was, Mraz had no quick and easy way to find those versions and collect royalties. Now he may have found a solution. Audiam Inc., which launched overseas last month and in the U.S. on Wednesday, searches YouTube for people using Mraz's copyrighted songs and collects part of the advertising revenue generated by those clips, under an agreement with YouTube.
May 22, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Amazon has a plan to monetize fan fiction: It's called Kindle Worlds. On Wednesday, Amazon announced a new scheme in which writers of fan fiction can self-publish and sell that writing with the sanction of the original copyright holder. The idea is that everyone, including Amazon, will profit. The fan fiction authors will get 35% of net revenue for full-length books; Amazon and the original copyright owner will split the other 65%, in terms that the company will not disclose. Until now, fan fiction has largely been available for free; in the cases where it was not, sales definitely fell into a gray area.
May 21, 2013 | By Paresh Dave
A music publisher is suing Facebook and its ad agency for using an Eminem song without permission in an ad for Facebook Home. Eight Mile Style, which oversees Eminem's portfolio, said in the copyright infringement lawsuit that ad agency Wieden + Kennedy included an Eminem song in the commercial “to curry favor with Facebook by catering to [founder Mark] Zuckerberg's personal likes and interests. " The lawsuit alleges that days before the ad premiered at the April 4th Facebook event the agency noticed an old website allegedly belonging to Zuckerberg.
May 6, 2013 | By Joe Flint
A lawsuit to stop lawsuits? That's the latest twist in the fight between Aereo, a start-up company that streams broadcast TV signals over the Internet, and the networks trying to put it out of business. Aereo recently announced that it would expand its service -- currently only available in New York City -- to Boston. CBS, one of the companies that has sued Aereo in New York for copyright theft, promptly said it would sue in Boston as well. "Stealing our signal will be found to be illegal in Boston, just as it will be everywhere else," a CBS spokesman tweeted.
May 6, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
A company that made millions of dollars by suing people for improperly viewing pornographic movies on the Internet repeatedly deceived courts while “seeking easy money” from people too embarrassed to defend themselves, a federal judge ruled Monday. U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II found that Prenda Law Inc., its attorney, its owners -- who also are lawyers -- and affiliated companies made false statements in court in an online piracy case. He ordered the companies and the lawyers to pay $81,320 in fees and damages to the attorneys for one of the people they sued.
April 18, 2013 | By Meg James
In an epic clash between old and new media, Google Inc.'s video website YouTube has scored another huge victory in the long-running skirmish over copyright infringement brought by television giant Viacom Inc. A federal judge in New York on Thursday ruled that YouTube had not violated Viacom's copyright even though users of the popular online site were allowed to post unauthorized video clips from some of Viacom's most popular shows, including Comedy...
April 9, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
There are trolls who live under bridges in fantasy novels. Then there are "copyright trolls. " The latter have always occupied one of the most squalid corners of the legal system. They're people or firms that acquire copyrights to movies, music or other creative works chiefly to turn a profit by filing lawsuits alleging piracy. Often the threat of a lawsuit is used to scare Web users into paying nominal settlement fees to avoid legal costs and a big penalty. Collect a few checks of a few thousand bucks each from enough defendants, and presto!
April 1, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Aereo, a media company that distributes broadcast programming via the Internet, survived a major legal challenge to its business from CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and other broadcasters. In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York ruled that Aereo's transmissions and recordings of broadcast programming are not "public performances" of copyrighted material and added that the broadcasters "have not demonstrated that they are likely to prevail on the merits on this claim in their copyright infringement action.
March 20, 2013
Supap Kirtsaeng was a Thai student in the United States who helped finance his education (and then some) by reselling textbooks that family members bought for a low price in Thailand. Textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons sued Kirtsaeng for copyright infringement in 2008, citing a federal ban on importing copyrighted goods without the copyright holder's permission. Lower courts agreed with Wiley, opining that the "first sale" doctrine - a buyer's right to sell, lend, rent or give away a lawfully purchased copy of a copyrighted work - did not apply to foreign-made products even if they'd been manufactured under contract with the copyright holder.
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