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DMCA

  1. [UPDATED] Randy Queen Pulls Defamation Threats, Apologizes to Escher Girls Blog Admin

    Hooray!

    Yesterday we told you about how Escher Girls, a tumblr dedicated to scrutinizing the inaccurate female anatomy that's become industry standard in comics, was facing legal threats from an artist upset with his work being featured. Today the blog's admin, Ami Angelwings, has heard from that artist yet again, and it seems like the matter is going to work out in her favor.

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  2. Unrealistic Female Anatomy Tumblr “Escher Girls” Currently Facing Harassment From DMCA-Abusing Comic Artist

    Someone's about to learn about the Streisand Effect.

    If you're a comics loving feminist on the Internet, then you probably have a passing familiarity with Escher Girls and the sometimes snarky, oftentimes insightful work they do. If you're a comic book artist who doesn't understand the difference between defamation and constructive criticism (or copyright infringement and fair use, for that matter), Escher Girls is the bane of your existence. And, unfortunately, now the site is facing unfounded legal action from one particularly upset artist.

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  3. Good News For Sad People: This Charming Charlie Has Gotten a Copyright Reprieve

    I am an intellectual property and I need to be loved!

    At last, someone has spoken out against the copyright takedown threats against This Charming Charlie -- namely, Morrissey himself.

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  4. Microsoft Keeps Accidentally Sending Copyright Takedown Requests to Sites that Host Open Office

    Dammit, Microsoft, stop being the schoolyard bully of the Internet.

    You know how totally innocent companies and software keeps getting accused of violating another bigger company's copyright? Like, all the time? Well it's happened again, and this time the culprit is Microsoft, who seem to think that their open source competitor Apache Open Office has stolen from them somehow.

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  5. Today in Not Understanding Copyright: HBO Flags VLC Player in DMCA Takedown Request

    In a related story, I'm planning to sue Weather.com because it might rain today.

    Ahh, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. How often are you a source of anger and confusion for all of us! Under this well-meaning but boneheaded law, copyright holders send literally millions of takedown requests to Google every single month -- 14,855,269 URLs during the past month alone, if you're counting. Predictably, that includes plenty of totally illegitimate claims requesting the removal of content that doesn't infringe anything. Take HBO's recent request, for example, for Google to take down a URL linking not to an HBO show, but to the perfectly legal open source VLC Player program. Yes, just the level of professionalism and attention to detail we've come to expect from copyright claims on the Internet!

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  6. Cory Doctorow’s Homeland Falls Victim to Fox’s DMCA Dragnet

    Homeland is a show about a potentially turned prisoner of war starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis that's produced by Fox for Showtime. Homeland is also a book by Cory Doctorow about...well, it's complicated, but it's a sequel to Little Brother. Fox doesn't seem to care that they're two different things, though, as they're apparently issuing DMCA takedown notices for both.

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  7. Movie Studios Get Circular, Ask Google to Take Down Their Own DMCA Takedown Requests

    Let's say you're a wealthy, seafaring merchant. You suspect a pirate is sneaking up the hull of your ship to steal your hard-earned doubloons in the hold, so you cry out to the Imperial Navy to arrest the dastardly villain! But when the Imperial pirate-hunter arrives, you panic and call to the Navy to come and arrest him, too -- yeah, the guy who was supposed to arrest the first guy. Well, that's sort of what some movie studios are doing right now. NBC Universal and Lionsgate, among others, are asking Google to take down the takedown requests they themselves had requested, and Google isn't having it.

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  8. Copyright Holders Want Google to Kill Its Nonexistent Daily Limit on DMCA Takedown Requests

    Obviously, copyright holders have a right to protect their content from being pirated on the Internet, but automatic Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests are the absolute pits when it comes to copyright law enforcement. Companies flood Google with thousands of requests a day to remove content that often in no way violates the law. Sometimes it's even the copyright holder's own content. Now anti-piracy groups RIAA and BREIN want Google to eliminate its daily limit on takedown requests, even though Google doesn't have a daily limit on takedown requests.

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  9. WordPress Takes Down Original Blog Posts After Bogus DMCA Claim by Content Thief

    Today in DMCA Being A Great Idea That Is Working Really Well news, the journal-monitoring blog Retraction Watch had 10 of its posts taken down by it's service provider, WordPress, after being on the receiving end of a meritless DMCA claim from a site that stole their content -- and then had the massive stones to claim the copyright on it, demanding that WordPress remove the offending -- and oh yeah, original -- posts from Retraction Watch. Because the DMCA is working just the way it's meant to, is why.

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  10. HBO Tells Google to Remove Links to HBO Because the DMCA is the Worst

    We never tire of these stories, because they constantly remind us all how stupid and pointless automated Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests are. HBO has filed a request with Google demanding that they remove links to -- you guessed it -- HBO's own website, because they say they are violating their own copyrights. The request demands that links to other legitimate sites be removed as well, because again, automated DMCA takedown requests are the worst.

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  11. Studios Demand Google Take Down Their Own Sites Because DMCA Really Works For Real

    Is it time to declare that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a mess yet? Because several major studios have requested that Google take down legitimate websites featuring their own content, including their Facebook pages, and in one case a direct link to a show's page on its own network website. The requests were most likely filed automatically by bots scouring the Internet for copyright violations, but still, when you ask Google to take down your own movie from iTunes and Amazon because of copyright violations that don't exist, you look like a jerk. Or at least an idiot. Yeah, probably an idiot.

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  12. You Can Unlock Smartphones Acquired Before This Coming January, After That It’s Illegal Again [UPDATED]

    The way in which the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is enforced only shows just how silly the entire thing is. For example, the DMCA allows the Library of Congress to grant exemptions to the act, allowing folks to circumvent digital rights management schemes, for whatever reason they deem fit. If that sounds horrifyingly arbitrary, that's because it totally is. One of the actions that always seems to be up for exemption is the jailbreaking of smartphones. Thanks to a new set of exemptions, jailbreaking is totally legal, but only under ridiculously specific circumstances.

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  13. 1.5 Million Educational Blogs Taken Down Over Single DMCA Notice From Textbook Publisher

    Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, violation notices are no joke. Well, okay, the system they're involved in is a joke, but receiving a DMCA notice can be rough going for web hosting firms. Depending on the sender's tenacity, even one of these notices can spell doom and gloom. It's for this reason that those on the receiving end are quick to respond to the things. This, often as not, results in a knee-jerk reaction. One shining example was how the textbook publisher Pearson managed to get exactly 1,451,943 educational blogs taken down over a single DMCA notice last week.

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  14. Pirates Beware: Google Takedown Requests Up 1,137% Since 2011

    It's not a good time to be in the business of helping internet pirates. According to a new report, Google has seen a dramatic rise in DMCA takedown requests in recent months. How high, you ask? Requests have doubled in the last few weeks, and spiked an unbelievable 1,137 percent year-over-year. According to the report, Google received requests to take down 1.5 million URLs per week last month. In July 2011, they were asked to take down an average of 131,577 each week.

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  15. American Library Association Comes Out Against CISPA; Why They Are Heroes

    While there was a big outcry against SOPA that included protest from many well-known Internet giants like Wikipedia and Reddit, the backlash against CISPA hasn't had quite as many champions. Some sites that came out against SOPA, like Facebook, are actually pro-CISPA for very self-interested but logical reasons. Along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), whose opposition to the bill is frankly no surprise, the American Library Association (ALA) has also come out against CISPA, and in doing so have suddenly become my heroes. Here's why.

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  16. Piracy Is Not Theft But Unwarranted Takedowns Are

    Who ever would have thought that one of the most relevant issues to copyright infringement and piracy in the 21st century would be something as seemingly insignificant as a semantic distinction? Yet, here we are. Granted, "copyright infringement" is an unweildy term, and "piracy" is one that can feel overly broad, but "theft" -- in almost any digital context -- is flat-out inaccurate and, frankly, misleading. Many people, myself included, will get dragged into arguments all the time for saying "piracy is not theft" and having it misconstrued as some kind of value statement. It isn't; it's a statement of fact. But beyond all that, there's another reality of digital media sharing, consumption, and control that is woefully ignored: Piracy is literally not theft, but the unwarranted takedown of non-infringing material is.

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  17. Viacom’s Billion Dollar Lawsuit Against YouTube Goes Forward, Threatening DMCA’s Few Useful Qualities

    Way back in 2007, Viacom filled a billion dollar suit against YouTube claiming that YouTube was purposefully turning a blind eye to copyright infringing content in order to boost the site's popularity. The suit didn't last long however, and soon a court threw the case out based on the fact that YouTube, by cooperating with DMCA takedown requests and removing allegedly infringing content, fell under the DMCA's "Safe Harbor" protection, rendering the site protected from lawsuits so long as they were clearly trying to keep things under control. Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals has reversed that decision, and YouTube is back in the hotseat, apparently for not trying hard enough, which is utterly ridiculous. In fact, they're already trying too hard.

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  18. The Real Reason We Don’t Need SOPA or PIPA: We Already Have Broken Copyright Law, DMCA

    Now don't get me wrong, there are awful, awful aspects to both SOPA and PIPA. The prospect of DNS blocking is egregious censorship. The prospect of cutting off funds and ad revenue to "infringers" without due process is egregious. Even without those provisions, though, we still don't need or want SOPA or PIPA. Why? Because we already have dangerously broken copyright law: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

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  19. Universal Casually Mentions Takedown Agreement With YouTube That Is Not Limited To Copyright Infringement [UPDATED]

    The latest development in the Universal-MegaUpload battle is almost as unexpected as it is troubling, and suggests that YouTube probably isn't the neutral party you thought it was. In order to protect the Mega Song and get it back up on YouTube where it could stay unmolested, MegaUpload filed a restraining order against Universal that would keep them from messing with the video until they could provide proof of infringement, thereby validating the DMCA taked0wn request. In a bizarre twist, Universal has said that won't be necessary: The takedown was not a DMCA affair but rather the result of a private contract between Universal and YouTube, the critera of which are not limited to mere copyright infringement. Say what?

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  20. Universal Has Episode of Tech News Today Pulled From YouTube, Continues To Flip Out Over MegaUpload Song

    Getting videos pulled from YouTube seems to be all the rage these days. First we had Viacom pull the trailer for The Last of Us for absurd reasons, and now Universal is following suit by having an episode of Tech News Today pulled from YouTube for the sole reason that the episode covered the MegaUpload song debacle. The episode in question contained two clips of the song -- only one of which was played with the accompanying audio -- during a discussion of the impending lawsuit between MegaUpload and Universal. Apparently, those short clips felt like salt in the wound to Universal, who had the episode pulled immediately and successfully, despite the lovely little thing we like to call "fair use."

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