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The “Copyright Deadlock:” ContentID, Fair Use, and Derivative Works on YouTube

Posted by Cyberbear on April 25, 2017 in Copyright Law, Social Media |

Posted By: Emily Weiss

Jim Sterling has a thriving YouTube channel. His videos include reviews of video games, along with longer video essays on the state of the games industry. Unlike a lot of other YouTubers, Jim refuses to monetize his videos, and instead supports himself through his Patreon page. But this doesn’t always prevent his videos from being monetized.

YouTube’s ContentID system, which came into being after a multitude of copyright disputes, was intended to allow copyright holders to “fingerprint” and claim their copyrighted material when it was used in other videos. As a result, some third parties, like Nintendo, could claim their copyrighted content through the ContentID system and monetize the video themselves.

Jim didn’t like this. So he decided to put copyrighted footage in his videos from multiple companies. Lo and behold, they claimed their content through the ContentID system. But since different companies had different ideas about the monetization of the video, the end result was that Jim’s videos ultimately remained without advertisements. Jim called his solution the “Copyright Deadlock.” But was his solution legal?

Read more…

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The Collective Yar: Fallacies and Failure of Digital Copyrights in an All-Access Culture

Posted by Cyberbear on April 25, 2017 in Copyright Law, Intellectual Property, Internet |

Posted By: Drew Weigel

The notion that copyright, in part or in whole, might be an inadequate theory of property for digital media is not new. Some have responsibly argued that the statutory distinction between performance and distribution falls apart when applied to digital media, creating a false and unnecessary distinction between interactive and non-interactive digital communications. Others have gone off the deep end and argued that copyright itself had developed into collective brain damage, fostering a permission culture where expression in a digital era is diminished or completely silenced by fear of infringement. We’re going to descend even further into madness and explore why the heuristics of copyright law—inherently based in property traditions from nobody remembers when—fail to protect that which is demonstrably too elusive to be protected under the same theory. Read more…

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Does Internet Fan Fiction Violate Copyright Law or is Fan Fiction Protected by Fair Use?

Posted by Cyberbear on April 25, 2017 in Copyright Law, Intellectual Property |

Posted By: Julia Ketchum

 

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and thought maybe it should have ended differently? Or have you wanted to see a copyrighted character interact in a new situation outside the normal tale? For fan fiction writers, using copyrighted characters and copyrighted settings to make a new story is an exciting way to show their fan appreciation for their favorite story. Fan fiction is defined by Merriam-Webster is “stories involving popular fictional characters that are written by fans and often posted on the Internet” and has been around for ages, even before the internet. Fan fiction can be based on any media from video games, plays, books, to even fan fiction written about real celebrities. With the rise of the internet, fan fiction is now easy and free to distribute to others on the internet thought such sites as fanfiction.net, archiveofourown.org, and wattpad.com. However, is fan fiction legal? Firstly, we will look at the exclusive rights copyright holders have over their own copyrighted product and whether or not any copyright rights are infringed by fan fiction. Next, we will look at the exception to copyright liability: Fair use. Looking at the factors of fair use, we will try to argue a position on fan fiction and whether or not it is protected by fair use. Overall, the factor of ‘transformative’ will determine if fan fiction is subject to copyright liability or if it should be considered fair use. Read more…

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Computer Software: The Transfer of Licenses Sale of Back-up Copies in the European Economic Area

Posted by Cyberbear on April 25, 2017 in Computer Software, Copyright Law, Intellectual Property |

Posted By: Timothy T. Emmart

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently held that it is an infringement of copyright to sell or transfer a physical back-up copy of a software program, when the original physical copy has been damaged, lost or destroyed. This ruling came after another ruling by the same court that created criteria for the lawful transfer of software licenses to third parties. The later ruling is in the same vein as U.S. copyright law, which allows the owner of a copy of a computer program to make another copy of that program for archival purposes and to sell or transfer that copy, along with the copy from which such archival copies were prepared. Read more…

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Justifying Video Game Piracy – The Out-of-Print Defense

Posted by Cyberbear on April 9, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Posted By: Ryan Rempp

 

The video game emulator community argues that it is okay to download a video game if it is not in production and no longer in the primary market. Does that argument hold water, legally speaking?


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Yelp – The New Teflon Dons?

Posted by Cyberbear on April 9, 2017 in Internet, Trademark |

Posted By: Stephen Timmer

Yelp Defeats Legal Challenge to its User Review Filter.” It is a headline that we have all become accustomed to seeing; the scales of justice tipping in the favor of the 800-lb. gorilla of review sites. As a refresher, Yelp is one of the most recognized review sites on the Internet. Yelp professes itself as a source for consumers to locate local businesses, determine the quality of their services and to provide a forum for consumers to issue reviews on said businesses. James Demetriades, a manager of three restaurants in Mammoth Lakes, California, filed a lawsuit against Yelp; he claimed the site’s review filter was skewed towards displaying negative reviews of one of his restaurants and suppressing the positive reviews. While the case did not go in favor of Mr. Demetriades, it is important to understand how the California Superior Court in Los Angeles applied the law against him and how it was misapplied in this high-profile case. The rules of law cited in the case that could be crucial in holding Yelp liable in future litigation based upon different factual scenarios. Read more…

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The CDA – A Bulletproof Vest for Internet Service Providers?

Posted by Cyberbear on April 9, 2017 in CDA, Internet, Judicial Decisions |

Posted By: Stephen Timmer

Super Mario’s Pizzeria is celebrating two years in business! His business is in highly competitive area surrounded by other, established pizza places like Luigi’s Lovely Pizza Pies. Mario prides himself on customer satisfaction, whether patrons dine in or if they order take out through his mobile phone app (powered, ironically, by a video game company). He’s even snagged some prime catering gigs from businesses, like Sonic the hedge fund guy. Then one day a less than flattering review shows up on a review site for local businesses called “Holla!” under the name of “The Princess”. Holla, to protect anonymity of its users, allows them to use pseudonyms to protect against any reprisals and to elicit more candid comments. The Princess talks about how she got a fly in her Turtle Soup and how she sat at her table for twenty minutes before someone came over to take her order. Out of five stars she only gave Super Mario’s a half of a star. This review devastated both his dine in and his take out business. Mario has a pretty good memory and he never recalled anybody ever coming in and having an experience like that. Mario starts to think that Holla has made up the review and is favoring Luigi’s pizza joint, based on the lack of any negative reviews about his place. When Mario requests to Holla that they take that defamatory review down, they tell him to go stuff himself down a pipe. Knowing that the review has got to go, Mario decides to take Holla to court to compel them to take the review down. Unfortunately the court gave his case a game over when they told him that Holla cannot be held liable for the comments of its users, because they were not the one’s that posted it. Disheartened, Mario starts to consider a career in the plumbing business.

Unfortunately, a scenario with an infamous review site actually happened to a local service business in Seattle, where an anonymous review put dent in his business. Online service providers have been granted a seemingly bulletproof status thanks to legislation from Congress. While it has typically been a losing battle to challenge these providers in court over their content, recent developments in the United States Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit  could give businesses an extra life against online providers and their users’ content. Unfortunately, this light at the end of the tunnel for merchants could prove to have dire constitutional consequences for the users of the online services. Read more…

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Can You Keep a Secret: Defending Trade Secrets in the Digital Age

Posted by Cyberbear on April 9, 2017 in Trade Secrets |

Posted By: Stephen Timmer

 

Aha! You are a computer and software salesperson that has finally found the angle necessary to break through and win the business of the fastest and steadily growing law firm in the country. You are sitting in a coffee shop with free and unsecured wi-fi when this epiphany comes to you; deciding that you cannot wait until you get to your office to enter this information, you use and an app on your smartphone that links to client database at your office computer. As luck would have it, your unscrupulous rival from the other computer and software company happens to be in the coffee shop that day as well. Your competitor decides to hack into your phone, using the same unsecured wi-fi signal, to see what you have gotten so excited about. He makes his way to the app that connects to your computer database and finds the note about winning the business at the law firm. Being the opportunist that your competitor is, he sets up a meeting with the business manager of the firm, uses “your epiphany” to lock up the firm in an exclusive multi-year deal to purchase their computers and software from his company.

Sadly, the possibility of a scenario like this occurring is all too real. The ever-growing demand for information to be available and accessible is making the vulnerability of a company’s trade secrets a conundrum to be dealt with. In Allied Portables v. Youmans, a case that was heard in the Federal District Court of Middle District of Florida, a former employee gained access to the company’s business software from a home computer in an attempt to prevent the manager of business operations from using the software. Allied also accused the former employee of having unauthorized access to their customer list. As wireless technologies continue to proliferate, we can only expect situations like this to become more common for businesses to deal with. Businesses will be leaning even more on their legal representation for answers on how to deal with the demand for accessible information and the protection of their trade secrets; attorneys will need to ask themselves how much the law can do to help their business clients. Perhaps the solution lies in reimagining policies regarding technology use in the workplace in order to mitigate their chances of having trade secrets exposed. Read more…

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Google AdWords and Trademarks: The Difficulties and the Confusion

Posted by Cyberbear on March 31, 2017 in Litigation, Trademark |

Posted By: Aidan L. Clark

Avoiding consumer confusion is the paramount goal of trademark law. Being able to identify a name or slogan—called a mark—with a certain product, service, or source of that product or service, can only benefit a well-running consumer market. As with many of our laws in the United States, they were drafted and codified in an analog-type time. Though, as we’ve moved into a digital-type era, issues and questions have arose about how to apply these laws to the new type of world in which we live. Trademark law is a prime illustrator of this struggle.
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Is Regulation of Encryption a Regulation of Free Speech?

Posted by Cyberbear on March 25, 2017 in Computer Software, Encryption, Internet with Comments closed |

Posted By: Aidan L. Clark

 

Could the government regulate encryption? Encryption is a word that is used quite often in the public vernacular. At times, encryption is used as a general term, which is invoked when one is referring to concepts of digital information security and securing content of communications. Oftentimes, encryption code is copyrighted, a form of intellectual protection usually reserved for forms of expression protected by the First Amendment. However, it is important to understand the concept of encryption in a fuller sense if there is to be a discussion on the feasibility of regulating such a technology. This is because it is vital to understand why encryption came about, what it is, what it can do, and what it certainly cannot do, when attempting to discover the public policy effects of putting rules in place to govern it. Read more…

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