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DMCA

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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