November 11, 2013 |
First there was the Boy Scouts' "Respect Copyrights" activity patch, backed by the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Then there was "Crime-Fighting Canines," a weekly anti-piracy comic strip series for children in which two black Labrador retrievers named Lucky and Flo sniffed out bootleg DVDs. The series was part of a school education campaign led by the MPAA. Now that group, along with the Recording Industry Assn. of America and the nation's main Internet service providers, is quietly backing another controversial push to educate schoolchildren about the evils of piracy.
October 31, 2013 |
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.)
October 11, 2013 |
The nation's biggest television companies including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are asking the Supreme Court to shut down Aereo Inc., a startup distribution service that they view as a threat to their business. Launched in 2012 and available in a handful of markets including New York City, Aereo transmits the signals of local broadcast stations to consumers via the Internet. Aereo charges its subscribers between $8 and $12 a month for the service, which includes a small antenna to receive the signals and access to a cloud-based digital video recorder that can hold up to 40 hours of programming.
October 1, 2013 |
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...
October 1, 2013 |
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.
July 25, 2013 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.
May 6, 2013 |
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.