Archive for the ‘Copyright Policing’ category

Oh no, you don’t!

July 3, 2010

You may think that downloading a movie or TV series on the Internet isn’t hurting anybody but you’re wrong! Here is a report from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York which explains how harmful illegal distributing of films and serials is. The American motion picture and television industries employ approximately 2.4 million people, to whom the industries pay over $140 billion in wages yearly. The industries also support over 95,000 small businesses across all 50 states, including caterers, dry cleaners, florists, hardware and lumber suppliers, and other retailers. The industries contribute over $15 billion in taxes annually. The U.S. economy loses an estimated $25.6 billion per year, and an estimated 375,000 jobs per year, to criminal copyright infringement. 

Due to the support of this industry, domain names of seven popular websites have been banned for the violation of copyright infringement laws. Manhattan federal court ordered seizures of  TVSHACK.NET, MOVIES-LINKS.TV, FILESPUMP.COM, NOW-MOVIES.COM, PLANETMOVIEZ.COM, THEPIRATECITY.ORG, and ZML.COM in connection with distribution of pirated movies and TV programs over the Internet.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, six of the websites, TVSHACK.NET, MOVIES-LINKS.TV, FILESPUMP.COM, NOW-MOVIES.COM, PLANETMOVIEZ.COM, and THEPIRATECITY.ORG, are “linking” websites, which provide access, or “links,” to other websites where pirated movies and television programs are stored. Linking websites are popular because they allow users to quickly browse content and locate illegal copies of movies and television shows that would otherwise be more difficult to find.

The seventh website, ZML.COM, is a “cyberlocker,” which is a website on which illegal copies of movies and television shows are stored for downloading. Linking sites advertising infringing content are usually linked to cyberlockers,  here the illegal material is stored.

There are many of these websites which may not be as popular as those are, but this can be a warning to all of them as well. So, watch out!

What’s your take on it?

Source: Read more from Justice.gov 

YouTube under fire!

June 1, 2010

I’m a huge YouTube fan!

YouTube has revolutionized the Internet. The fact that you can watch (almost) whatever you want whenever you want is something that was intangible just a few years ago. It is commonly said that the Internet has made the world a smaller place, this could not be more there for YouTube. We are able to watch videos from any part of the world from decades ago. It’s an amazing thing!

But, time and time again YouTube has found itself in court over copyright infringements. YouTube hosts user-generated content, which means that people who post videos and share their stuff on YouTube are content creators. Some believe that if you look at YouTube simply as the platform, it’s no longer YouTube’s responsibility to monitor its content and impossible to know which stuff is unauthorized and which is not. Moreover, content creators are breaking the copyright law leaving YouTube to clean up the mess.

On the other hand, some say YouTube has built its business on an empire of unauthorized copyrighted contents. If you were to think of all the videos that you’ve watched on YouTube, how many of them do you think were originals? On YouTube upload page, you’ll see this disclaimer:

Do not upload any TV shows, music videos, music concert, or commercial without permission unless they consist entirely of content you created yourself. Pleas refer to our copyright tips page for some guidelines and links to help you determine whether your video infringes someone elses copyright.

In regards to their rules, the existence of YouTube is under question!

Now, what becomes of the contents on YouTube, the ones that are copyrighted stay on YouTube until their copyright owner notices them and complains. Then, they are removed.

   Anytime YouTube becomes aware that a video or any part of a video on our site infringes the copyrights of a third-party, we will take it down from the site as required by law. If you believe that a video on the site infringes your copyright, please send us a copyright notice and we’ll take it down. If you believe we’ve removed a video that you uploaded in error and that you are the copyright owner or have permission, you can file a counter notice and let us know. Accounts determined to be repeat infringers may be subject to termination. Users with suspended or terminated accounts are prohibited from creating new accounts or accessing YouTube’s community features.  

But nowadays, instead of automatically removing the video from YouTube, they give users the option if modifying the video by removing the music subject to the copyright claim and post the new version. This is more or less what the YouTube spokesperson said.

With everything that has been said, I think that if YouTube were to reach a certain agreement with the TV cables and music companies maybe it wouldn’t have to remove or mute video clips. What’s your take on it?

Copy, Right?

April 10, 2010

I am sure that by now we are all fully familiar with the concept of copyright. We are confronted by it on a daily basis. For instance, when we want to download articles, movies, music and so on. But are you aware of  what the requirements are for something to have copyright?

Copyright beneficiaries are not required to devise something inventive or new; an author need establish only that she has created (i) an “original work of authorship” that is (ii) “fixed in a tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which [it] can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.” 17 U.S.C. § 102(a). Fixation is satisfied so long as the work is stored in some tangible form from which a person or machine can perceive it; storage on a computer’s hard drive, on a diskette, or on a CD-ROM disc all qualify.

The work needs to be of independent creation rather than copying someone elses work. However, the standard of originality causes a lot of difficulties for the courts. What do you think?