Redditors Launch A ‘Rescue Mission’ For Embattled Sci-Hub, With The Ultimate Aim Of Building A Decentralized Version

Techdirt has just written about belated news that the FBI gained access two years ago to the Apple account of Alexandra Elbakyan, the founder of Sci-Hub. This is part of a continuing attempt to stop the widespread sharing of academic papers, mostly paid for by the public, and currently trapped behind expensive paywalls. You might Read more about Redditors Launch A ‘Rescue Mission’ For Embattled Sci-Hub, With The Ultimate Aim Of Building A Decentralized Version[…]

Lone Developer Stands Up To Grand Theft Auto DMCA Claim, Wins – reverse engineered  code the original code

Earlier this year fans reversed engineered the source code to Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. They released it to the web, but Grand Theft Auto copyright holder Take-Two pulled it offline via a DMCA claim. But one fan stood up to the publisher and has now succeeded in getting the Read more about Lone Developer Stands Up To Grand Theft Auto DMCA Claim, Wins – reverse engineered  code the original code[…]

What3Words sent a legal threat to a security researcher for sharing a better open-source alternative, turns into a Striesand

A U.K. company behind digital addressing system What3Words has sent a legal threat to a security researcher for offering to share an open-source software project with other researchers, which What3Words claims violate its copyright. Aaron Toponce, a systems administrator at XMission, received a letter on Thursday from London-based law firm JA Kemp representing What3Words, requesting Read more about What3Words sent a legal threat to a security researcher for sharing a better open-source alternative, turns into a Striesand[…]

Covid-19 Vaccine Crisis Shows Intellectual Property Dangers

Virologist and medical researcher Jonas Salk developed a successful polio vaccine that was approved in 1955, helping the world all but eradicate the disease. When the late journalist Edward Murrow asked Salk who owned that vaccine’s patent, he famously responded, “Could you patent the sun?” It was in large part his commitment to keeping the Read more about Covid-19 Vaccine Crisis Shows Intellectual Property Dangers[…]

Microsoft honored 99.57% of 17m copyright removal requests last Q 2020

As an intellectual property company itself, Microsoft encourages respect for intellectual property, including copyrights. We also are committed to freedom of expression and the rights of users to engage in uses that may be permissible under applicable copyright laws. Links to webpages containing material that infringes on the rights of copyright owners may be removed Read more about Microsoft honored 99.57% of 17m copyright removal requests last Q 2020[…]

Content Moderation Case Study: SoundCloud Combats Piracy By Giving Universal Music The Power To Remove Uploads (2014)

n most cases, allegedly infringing content is removed at the request of rights holders following the normal DMCA takedown process. A DMCA notice is issued and the site responds by removing the content and — in some cases — allowing the uploader to challenge the takedown. SoundCloud has positioned itself as a host of user-created Read more about Content Moderation Case Study: SoundCloud Combats Piracy By Giving Universal Music The Power To Remove Uploads (2014)[…]

French Film Company Somehow Trademarks ‘Planet’, Goes After Environmental NGOs For Using The Word

We cover a great many ridiculous and infuriating trademark disputes here, but it’s always the disputes around overly broad terms that never should have been trademarked to begin with that are the most frustrating. And that most irritating of those is when we get into geographic terms that never should be locked up by any Read more about French Film Company Somehow Trademarks ‘Planet’, Goes After Environmental NGOs For Using The Word[…]

‘Save Europe from Software Patents’, Urges Nonprofit FFII – DE is trying for 3rd time using underhanded sneaky tactics

Long-time Slashdot reader zoobab shares this update about the long-standing Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, a Munich-based non-profit opposing ratification of a “Unified Patent Court” by Germany: The FFII is crowdfunding a constitutional complaint in Germany against the third attempt to impose software patents in Europe, calling on all software companies, independent software developers Read more about ‘Save Europe from Software Patents’, Urges Nonprofit FFII – DE is trying for 3rd time using underhanded sneaky tactics[…]

Proposed U.S. Law Could Slap Twitch Streamers With Felonies For Broadcasting Copyrighted Material

According to Politico offshoot Protocol, the felony streaming proposal is the work of Republican senator Thom Tillis, who has backed similar proposals previously. It is more or less exactly what it sounds like: A proposal to turn unauthorized commercial streaming of copyrighted material—progressive policy publication The American Prospect specifically points to examples like “an album Read more about Proposed U.S. Law Could Slap Twitch Streamers With Felonies For Broadcasting Copyrighted Material[…]

Poland’s Bid To Get Upload Filters Taken Out Of The EU Copyright Directive Suddenly Looks Much More Hopeful

one of the biggest defeats for users of the Internet — and for online freedom of expression — was the passage of the EU Copyright Directive last year. The law was passed using a fundamentally dishonest argument that it did not require upload filters, because they weren’t explicitly mentioned in the text. As a result, Read more about Poland’s Bid To Get Upload Filters Taken Out Of The EU Copyright Directive Suddenly Looks Much More Hopeful[…]

Disney (Disney!) Accused Of Trying To Lawyer Its Way Out Of Paying Royalties To Alan Dean Foster, Star Wars and Alien book writer

Disney, of course, has quite the reputation as a copyright maximalist. It has been accused of being the leading company in always pushing for more draconian copyright laws. And then, of course, there’s the infamous Mickey Mouse curve, first designated a decade ago by Tom Bell, highlighting how copyright term extensions seemed to always happen Read more about Disney (Disney!) Accused Of Trying To Lawyer Its Way Out Of Paying Royalties To Alan Dean Foster, Star Wars and Alien book writer[…]

GitHub Restores YouTube Downloader Following DMCA Takedown, starts to protect developers from DMCA misuse

Last month, GitHub removed a popular tool that is used to download videos from websites like YouTube after it received a DMCA takedown notice from the Recording Industry Association of America. For a moment, it seemed that GitHub might throw developers under the bus in the same fashion that Twitch has recently treated its streamers. Read more about GitHub Restores YouTube Downloader Following DMCA Takedown, starts to protect developers from DMCA misuse[…]

To Prevent Free, Frictionless Access To Human Knowledge, Publishers Want Librarians To Be Afraid, Very Afraid

After many years of fierce resistance to open access, academic publishers have largely embraced — and extended — the idea, ensuring that their 35-40% profit margins live on. In the light of this subversion of the original hopes for open access, people have come up with other ways to provide free and frictionless access to Read more about To Prevent Free, Frictionless Access To Human Knowledge, Publishers Want Librarians To Be Afraid, Very Afraid[…]

Twitch Suddenly Mass-Deletes Thousands of Videos, Citing Music Copyright Claims – yes, copyright really doesn’t provide for  innovation at all

“It’s finally happening: Twitch is taking action against copyrighted music — long a norm among streamers — in response to music industry pressure,” reports Kotaku. But the Verge reports “there’s some funny stuff going on here.” First, Twitch is telling streamers that some of their content has been identified as violating copyright and that instead Read more about Twitch Suddenly Mass-Deletes Thousands of Videos, Citing Music Copyright Claims – yes, copyright really doesn’t provide for  innovation at all[…]

Former Patent Litigator Becomes Federal Judge And Begins Advertising For Patent Trolls To Come To His Court (And They Have In Droves)

For years, you may recall that we would write about the insane nature of forum shopping for patent trolls, in which the trolls would flock to the federal courts in East Texas. Going back nearly 15 years, we wrote about how East Texas courts became grand central for patent troll cases, leading to all sorts Read more about Former Patent Litigator Becomes Federal Judge And Begins Advertising For Patent Trolls To Come To His Court (And They Have In Droves)[…]

US govt wins right to snaffle Edward Snowden’s $5m+ book royalties, speech fees – and all future related earnings

The US government’s Department of Justice has won its multi-million-dollar claim to Edward Snowden’s Permanent Record book royalties as well as any future related earnings. A federal district court in eastern Virginia this week ruled that Uncle Sam was entitled to the proceeds of Snowden’s bestseller, an estimated $5.2m, and “any further monies, royalties, or Read more about US govt wins right to snaffle Edward Snowden’s $5m+ book royalties, speech fees – and all future related earnings[…]

EU Copyright Companies Want Legal Memes Blocked Too Because They Now Admit Upload Filters Are ‘Practically Unworkable’

The passage of the EU Copyright Directive last year represented one of the most disgraceful examples of successful lobbying and lying by the publishing, music, and film industries. In order to convince MEPs to vote for the highly controversial legislation, copyright companies and their political allies insisted repeatedly that the upload filters needed to implement Read more about EU Copyright Companies Want Legal Memes Blocked Too Because They Now Admit Upload Filters Are ‘Practically Unworkable’[…]

Gods & Monsters Isn’t The First Time Monster Energy Has Been Annoying About Naming Rights – unbelievable that you can trademark an actual word!

Monster Beverage tried to stop Ubisoft from trademarking the name “Gods & Monsters” earlier this year to prevent confusion between its brand of highly caffeinated sodas and the upcoming action adventure game. It turns out this is the sort of thing Monster does a lot. Monster routinely challenges “monster”-related trademarks, including, tactical gear, ice cream, Read more about Gods & Monsters Isn’t The First Time Monster Energy Has Been Annoying About Naming Rights – unbelievable that you can trademark an actual word![…]

This Guy is Suing the Patent Office for Deciding an AI Can’t Invent Things

A computer scientist who created an artificial intelligence system capable of generating original inventions is suing the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over its decision earlier this year to reject two patent applications which list the algorithmic system, known as DABUS, as the inventor. The lawsuit is the latest step in an effort by Read more about This Guy is Suing the Patent Office for Deciding an AI Can’t Invent Things[…]

YouTube threatens to remove music videos in Denmark over songwriter royalty fallout

YouTube is embroiled in a very public spat with songwriters and music publishers in Denmark, via local collection society Koda. According to Koda – Denmark’s equivalent of ASCAP/BMI (US) or PRS For Music (UK) – YouTube has threatened to remove “Danish music content” (ie. music written by Danish songwriters) from its service. The cause of Read more about YouTube threatens to remove music videos in Denmark over songwriter royalty fallout[…]

Libraries lend books, and must continue to lend books: Internet Archive responds to greedy publishers’ lawsuit

Yesterday, the Internet Archive filed our response to the lawsuit brought by four commercial publishers to end the practice of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), the digital equivalent of traditional library lending. CDL is a respectful and secure way to bring the breadth of our library collections to digital learners. Commercial ebooks, while useful, only cover Read more about Libraries lend books, and must continue to lend books: Internet Archive responds to greedy publishers’ lawsuit[…]

The Record Industry Is Going After Parody Songs Written By an Algorithm

Georgia Tech researcher Mark Riedl didn’t expect that his machine learning model “Weird A.I. Yankovic,” which generates new rhyming lyrics for existing songs would cause any trouble. But it did. On May 15, Reidl posted an AI-generated lyric video featuring the instrumental to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” It was taken down on July 14, Reidl Read more about The Record Industry Is Going After Parody Songs Written By an Algorithm[…]

Copyright Claims Block Star Trek, Cartoon Network Comic-Con Panels video streams. Somehow they get to fix DMCA in 20 minutes – why doesn’t the  rest of the world?

It wouldn’t be a virtual event without a few technical difficulties. Though I can’t imagine the media giants showcasing at San Diego Comic-Con’s online event were worried about copyright violations affecting their panels. Considering, you know, they’re the ones that own the copyright. Of course, that’s exactly what happened. On Thursday, ViacomCBS livestreamed an hour-long Read more about Copyright Claims Block Star Trek, Cartoon Network Comic-Con Panels video streams. Somehow they get to fix DMCA in 20 minutes – why doesn’t the  rest of the world?[…]

Research Libraries Tell Publishers To Drop Their Awful Lawsuit Against The Internet Archive

I’ve seen a lot of people — including those who are supporting the publishers’ legal attack on the Internet Archive — insist that they “support libraries,” but that the Internet Archive’s Open Library and National Emergency Library are “not libraries.” First off, they’re wrong. But, more importantly, it’s good to see actual librarians now coming Read more about Research Libraries Tell Publishers To Drop Their Awful Lawsuit Against The Internet Archive[…]

The internet becomes trademarkable, sort of, with near-unanimous Supreme Court ruling on Booking.com

The internet’s domain names have become potentially trademarkable following a decision by the US Supreme Court today that Booking.com can in fact be registered with America’s Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) – against officials’ objections. The near-unanimous decision [PDF] – Justice Stephen Breyer was the sole rebel – went against the PTO’s legal arguments that Read more about The internet becomes trademarkable, sort of, with near-unanimous Supreme Court ruling on Booking.com[…]