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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Google removes news previews in France to avoid paying publishers

    by 
    Steve Dent
    Steve Dent
    09.26.2019

    Google has announced that it will not pay publishers in France for search results, and will instead show stripped back results for News. That will happen next month when France enforces new rules base on Europe's controversial copyright law. "We will no longer display an overview of the content in France for European press publishers, unless the publisher tells us that it's okay," said Google in a blog. It added that publishers will get new webmaster settings that will allow them to specify how much information they want to preview in News results.

  • SOPA Images via Getty Images

    YouTube sues user who extorted others through fake takedown requests

    by 
    Christine Fisher
    Christine Fisher
    08.20.2019

    A lawsuit filed by YouTube yesterday claims that a user abused its copyright infringement reporting system to extort fellow YouTubers and carry out a swatting attack. YouTube alleges that Christopher Brady, of Omaha, Nebraska, filed dozens of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices, which falsely claimed that materials posted by other users infringed his copyrights. Not only were the takedown notices bogus, they were allegedly part of Brady's plan to extort money from those users.

  • Future Publishing via Getty Images

    YouTube warns its copyright changes could result in more takedowns

    by 
    Steve Dent
    Steve Dent
    08.16.2019

    YouTube will no longer allow copyright holders to seize a creator's revenue over very brief or unintentional music clips that appears in videos, it said in a blog post. That means that if a five-second clip or the radio from a passing car appears in a video, labels won't be able to make a "manual claim" and seize all the revenue. However, they'll still be allowed to completely strike or demonetize videos with short clips, which "may result in more blocked content in the near-term," YouTube admitted.

  • DNY59 via Getty Images

    Major broadcasters sue nonprofit TV service over copyright infringement

    by 
    Christine Fisher
    Christine Fisher
    07.31.2019

    CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox have joined forces in a fight against Locast, a nonprofit streaming service funded in part by AT&T Inc and Dish Network Corp. The service is marketed as a distribution alternative for people who can't get local TV signals through their antenna, but it's also earned a reputation as a free alternative for consumers who are tired of their cable bills. According to The Wall Street Journal, the four networks claim Locast is retransmitting their local TV signals without permission, therefore violating copyright law.

  • pressureUA via Getty Images

    YouTube revamps its copyright claim system for creators

    by 
    Mariella Moon
    Mariella Moon
    07.10.2019

    Those in the business of hosting videos created by the public need to have a solid copyright protection and claim system in place. While YouTube's is far from perfect -- in fact, it's been abused and used to extort creators -- the company has rolled out changes to the system that make it easier to deal with infringement claims. To start with, people manually filing copyright infringement claims must now provide timestamps for the exact part of the videos they're reporting.

  • Spotify claims it 'overpaid' songwriters and wants its money back

    by 
    AJ Dellinger
    AJ Dellinger
    06.21.2019

    Spotify and music publishers have been in a bit of a tiff for months over a planned royalty rate increase that would require streaming services to pay more to artists. You can bet the company is watching the numbers closely, especially while it appeals the new rules. Spotify now claims that it overpaid songwriters and publishers last year, and now it's asking for its money back, according to Music Business Worldwide.

  • Alex Wong via Getty Images

    InfoWars can't use Pepe the Frog after lawsuit settlement

    by 
    Daniel Cooper
    Daniel Cooper
    06.11.2019

    The creator of Pepe the Frog has made it known, several times over, that he didn't want his creation to become a symbol for the far right. That may be easier now, as the website InfoWars has settled a lawsuit related to its use of the character, which includes a pledge never to use it again. The Daily Beast reports that Pepe creator, Matt Furie, sued the conspiracy page after it sold an unauthorized poster featuring Pepe.

  • Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    Poland challenges EU's new copyright law over censorship fears

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    05.26.2019

    The EU's contentious copyright law is already facing some opposition from one of its existing members. Poland has submitted a complaint to the European Court of Justice arguing that the law's requirement for filtering content had the potential for censorship. This would violate both the Polish constitution as well as EU treaties, Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski told TVP Info.

  • Barry Brecheisen/Invision for Park City Live/AP Images

    Twitch streamers can soundtrack shows with Anjunabeats' dance tunes

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    05.13.2019

    Twitch streamers don't have great options for legal music -- if they're not willing to pay for licenses, they typically have to either rely on free-to-use fare or accept that parts of their on-demand video will be muted. They'll have a better option from now on, though. Dance music label Anjunabeats has cleared 350 tracks (over 29 hours' worth) for use in Twitch streams, giving you a thumping soundtrack when you're chatting with viewers or just want to hear more than game sounds.

  • Florian Gaertner/Getty Images

    YouTube wants more YouTubers in its 'Trending' feed

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    04.30.2019

    YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki has answered mounting concerns about how it handles content, including who gets the most coveted promotions. She acknowledged feedback that the "Trending" section tended to rehash content "again and again," and vowed that the site would have "at least half" of its trending videos come from YouTubers, with the rest belonging to music and conventional outlets. The company was already near that goal, Wojcicki said, but it would "expand on" that target.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    EU passes divisive Article 13 copyright law

    by 
    Christine Fisher
    Christine Fisher
    03.26.2019

    In what should be its final vote on the matter, the European Parliament approved its new, highly controversial copyright rules. While the Copyright Directive is meant to empower creatives and news publishers, the rules are seen by many as over the top and a threat to freedom of expression. The directive has been debated since the EU first voted on it in 2016, and while the rules are now final, it's likely the debate will continue as the directive is handed down to member states.

  • Chris Trotman via Getty Images

    The 'Fortnite' dance lawsuits are close to falling apart

    by 
    Daniel Cooper
    Daniel Cooper
    02.15.2019

    Epic Games has found itself slapped with a flurry of lawsuits, all alleging the company of stealing people's dance moves and selling them on for a profit. These dances are incorporated into its world-conquering game Fortnite, which are bought by players for a quantity of in-game currency (costing real money). That's angered a number of musicians and viral video stars, who feel that they've been ripped off, but in one high-profile case, the law might be on Epic's side.

  • Rockstar Games

    'GTA Online' cheat creator ordered to pay $150,000 in damages

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    02.11.2019

    Game publishers are still using lawsuits to take down cheaters, and their latest move could deal a particularly serious blow. A court has ordered Florida resident Jhonny Perez to pay $150,000 in damages (and $66,869 in attorney fees) for creating and sharing Elusive, a paid cheating tool for GTA Online that allowed infinite money and other cheats. Perez allegedly violated Take-Two Interactive's copyright, disrupted gameplay balancing, threw off its in-game purchase model and soured the experience for honest players.

  • Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

    BlocBoy JB is the latest to sue Epic over a 'Fortnite' dance

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    01.23.2019

    No, artists still aren't done suing Epic Games for allegedly violating copyright by using their dances in Fortnite. TMZ has learned that BlocBoy JB is suing Epic for reportedly copying his "Shoot" dance with the "Hype" emote in the battle royale game. Like Fresh Prince star Alfonso Ribiero, BlocBoy said he didn't have the copyright yet but was in the midst of securing it. And like before, there's no doubt that the dance is similar -- the question is whether or not there's a case.

  • Håkan Dahlström via Getty Images

    EU copyright laws face uncertain fate after 11 countries reject proposal

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    01.19.2019

    Internet giants like Google might breathe a little easier in Europe... at least, for now. The EU has called off January 21st negotiations for a final vote on the controversial Copyright Directive after 11 countries, including Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, said they wouldn't support the latest version of the proposal. European Parliament Member Julia Reda noted that most of these countries (Croatia and Portugal are exceptions) have previously argued that the disputed Articles 11 and 13 of the directive didn't do enough to protect users' rights, and this may have played at least some part in their opposition.

  • Google

    Google shows its bleak vision of search under new EU copyright laws

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    01.17.2019

    Google hasn't been shy about decrying the consequences of the EU's proposed Copyright Directive. Now, however, it's using stark visuals to illustrate its point. The company recently told Search Engine Land that it was experimenting with a version of its search engine to gauge the "impact" the Directive would have on both users and publishers, and provided screenshots to illustrate this test. The result, according to Google would be rather... empty. As publishers would have the right to demand payment for use of tiny snippets of content under the Directive's Article 11, Google believes it would have to avoid using the content altogether -- that means blank thumbnails and missing preview text.

  • Epic Games

    Orange Shirt Kid's mom is suing 'Fortnite' creators over dance

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    01.15.2019

    Epic Games is facing yet another lawsuit over the use of dance moves in Fortnite, although this one might not be so straightforward. The mom of Orange Shirt Kid, whose Random dance reached the game as Orange Justice, is suing Epic for allegedly using the routine "without consent or authorization" and thus violating his copyright and trademarks. Rachel McCumbers' son submitted the dance to Epic as part of its BoogieDown contest and initially didn't pass muster, but a wave of support (including a petition) led the developer to include it in the game regardless. There's no question that Orange Justice is his -- it even uses his catchphrase, "it's also a great exercise move." However, there are a number of reasons this case might face daunting odds.

  • Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

    Alfonso Ribeiro sues Epic for using the Carlton dance in 'Fortnite'

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    12.17.2018

    It's no secret that Epic has patterned many of Fortnite's dance emotes on real-world moves, but that's increasingly landing the game studio in hot water. Mere weeks after rapper 2 Milly sued Epic (and 2K) for allegedly duping the Milly Rock, Alfonso Ribeiro has filed his own lawsuit accusing the developer of copying Carlton's signature dance from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Ribiero's attorney told TMZ that Epic mimicked the "iconic" swaying through its Fresh emote without asking permission or offering compensation. The TV star is in the midst of copyrighting the dance.

  • Nicole Lee/Engadget

    Facebook and ZeniMax settle VR copyright lawsuit

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    12.12.2018

    John Carmack isn't the only one ending a legal fight with ZeniMax. Facebook and ZeniMax have agreed to settle a lawsuit that had accused Facebook and Oculus of violating copyright for the alleged "unlawful misappropriation" of ZeniMax VR code. The two haven't revealed terms of the deal, but ZeniMax claimed that it was "fully satisfied" with the result. We've asked Facebook if it can comment.

  • Philip Pacheco/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    YouTube bans the founder of far-right group the Proud Boys

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    12.10.2018

    The Proud Boys have lost another online platform, though this time it's not for the far-right group's hate speech and support for violence. YouTube has terminated Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes' account following "multiple third-party claims" of copyright violations. The company didn't name the specific violations in a statement to CNET, but it did say that it pulls the accounts of "repeat offenders."