Techdirt Book Club

Copyfraud is the book club selection this month at Techdirt.

Podcast: Pensando el Derecho

Discussion of Copyfraud with Hiram Meléndez Juarbe of the University of Puerto Rico.

Infringement vs. Theft

Matthew Ingram explains Why it’s wrong to call copyright infringement “theft.”

Christopher Sprigman reviews Copyfraud

At JOTWELL, Christopher Sprigman (University of Virginia) has posted a review of Copyfraud entitled Law in the Books vs. Law in the World. Sprigman writes:

The copyright law on the books is not the copyright law we have out in the world.  The rights of copyright owners are both broad and relatively clear, and the remedies available for infringement of those rights are very powerful – indeed, they are purposely designed to be supra-compensatory.  But the rights of users – i.e., of the public at large – are both narrow and poorly defined.  The result of this mismatch is predictable: over-assertion of copyright is unlikely, in the run of cases, successfully to be resisted.  This fact contributes in turn to a slow shift in the real-world content of the copyright law toward broader property claims, and away from the careful balance that copyright law attempts to achieve between private rights and public access to our culture.

Surprisingly Free Podcast: Copyfraud Edition

Jerry Brito and Jason Mazzone discuss Copyfraud on the Surprisingly Free podcast.

Paying for Fair Use: Super Bowl Edition

Honda’s Super Bowl ad parodying Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is very likely protected by fair use. Nonetheless, Honda “licensed the concept” from Paramount.

Overreaching: White House Edition

Works of the U.S. government are in the public domain. Yet this notice accompanies White House photographs posted at flickr:

“This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.”

Awkward language aside (what is “for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photographs”?) the restrictions are unenforceable.



SOPA Moves North

The Toronto Star reports on SOPA-like provisions making their way into copyright legislation under consideration in Canada.  

Retrieving Files from Megaupload

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched an effort to help lawful users of Megaupload retrieve their files.

Disappearing Games

UBISOFT (makers of Myst and many other games) has adopted a policy of only authorizing one installation. Period. This wasn’t clear to a number of customers who changed machines, reinstalled operating systems, or changed video cards and found that the game they “purchased” disappeared.