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  • Photothek via Getty Images

    Embedding a tweet could violate copyright

    by 
    Steve Dent
    Steve Dent
    02.16.2018

    If you've ever embedded a tweet on your blog, that could be a copyright violation, according to a New York federal court ruling. Numerous sites, including Time, Yahoo (which is part of Oath, Engadget's parent company) and Breitbart published stories with an embedded tweet containing an image of NFL star Tom Brady. The tweet was posted by another party, but the photographer who took the photo accused the news sites of copyright infringement for embedding it. The judge agreed, saying their actions "violated plaintiff's exclusive display right."

  • Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    Google will make copyright credits more apparent in image searches

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    02.09.2018

    Google has reached a deal to end Getty Images' European complaint over photo copyrights, and it's quite likely that you'll notice the effects. A new agreement between the two will see Google obtain a "multi-year" license for Getty's photos in its products in exchange for reforming its approach to copyright in image search. Google will do more to highlight copyright attribution for the photos you find, so you'll know whether or not you'd need to pay for a picture. It will also pull "view image" links for pictures to reduce the number of direct downloads.

  • Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

    Streaming services must give songwriters a 44 percent pay hike

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    01.27.2018

    Songwriters just claimed a major victory in the fight for better pay from streaming giants like Apple and Spotify. The US Copyright Royalty Board has ruled for an increase in songwriter rates that will give them a 43.8 percent pay raise over the next 5 years. They also won't have to jump through hoops to figure out how much they're owed: they'll claim either a percentage of revenue or the total content costs, whichever pays the most. There are no longer caps on writer rates, for that matter.

  • Anatolii Babii via Getty Images

    YouTube reportedly curbing musician criticism with promotion deals

    by 
    Rachel England
    Rachel England
    01.24.2018

    YouTube has always had a rocky relationship with the music industry, and the struggle looks set to continue following reports that the video streaming service is effectively bribing artists to keep their criticisms to themselves. According to sources cited by Bloomberg, YouTube has given a number of musicians several hundred thousand dollars for promotional support, on the promise that they don't say negative things about the site.

  • Getty Images

    Redbox says Disney lawsuit is a baseless attempt to stamp out rivals

    by 
    Mallory Locklear
    Mallory Locklear
    01.17.2018

    Last month, Disney filed a lawsuit against Redbox claiming that the rental company was violating Disney's copyrights. Redbox buys the Disney discs it rents at retail and when those discs come with download codes for digital copies, Redbox sells them to its customers. But Disney says that's against its terms of sale and requested an injunction, any profits Redbox made from those sales and $150,000 per copyright infringement. Redbox has now clapped back, Variety reports, filing an opposition to Disney's complaint and injunction request.

  • Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Spotify

    Spotify faces $1.6 billion lawsuit over song licensing

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    01.02.2018

    Spotify is no stranger to facing lawsuits accusing it of offering unlicensed songs, but the latest could prove to be very costly. Hollywood Reporter has learned that Wixen Music Publishing, which manages the song composition rights for artists ranging from Neil Young to Zach de la Rocha, has sued Spotify for copyright damages of at least $1.6 billion. Wixen claims that the streaming service is using tens of thousands of songs without proper licenses and the compensation to match. The plaintiff had already objected to proposed $43 million settlement in another case in May, so this wasn't coming entirely out of the blue.

  • Daily Caller

    YouTube took down FCC's 'Harlem Shake' video for 7 hours

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    12.16.2017

    Remember when "Harlem Shake" musician Baauer said he'd take down FCC chairman Ajit Pai's video marking (and really, trivializing) the death of net neutrality? He meant it... although his effort didn't last long. The Verge notes that Baauer's label Mad Decent successfully removed the video from Daily Caller's YouTube channel with a copyright notice for a whopping 7 hours -- not much more than a momentary blip. The brief success is highlighting the concerns about the "shoot first, ask questions later" approach to copyright takedowns at sites like YouTube.

  • Fred Prouser / Reuters

    Disney sues Redbox for reselling DVD download codes

    by 
    Timothy J. Seppala
    Timothy J. Seppala
    12.01.2017

    Disney isn't too happy with Redbox at the moment. The short-term movie rental service has been selling the download codes that come with the Disney discs it buys and subsequently lends out to customers. The Wall Street Journal reports that unlike other studios, Redbox doesn't have a distribution deal in place with Disney and as a result, it has to buy discs at retail. Then, it sells the download slips to customers at its kiosks for between $7.99 and $14.99.

  • cmannphoto via Getty Images

    CBS is suing someone for posting a 'Gunsmoke' screenshot online

    by 
    Timothy J. Seppala
    Timothy J. Seppala
    11.02.2017

    CBS is suing a photographer for copyright infringement as a means of avoiding paying a copyright infringement claim the photographer filed against the TV network. Yes, you read that correctly. Jon Tannen posted a screenshot of the old show Gunsmoke to one of his social media accounts, according to Torrent Freak and when CBS caught wind, it filed a $150,000 lawsuit (PDF) citing:

  • vadimguzhva via Getty Images

    US libraries will continue to preserve old games

    by 
    Mariella Moon
    Mariella Moon
    10.27.2017

    Libraries and museums will most likely have more time to preserve old games before they disappear completely. The US Copyright Office has announced that it plans to recommend the renewal of a DMCA exemption giving museums and libraries the right to preserve old games, so long as they require sever support that's no longer working. They can even hack consoles to keep those games running if needed. This exemption has been in place since 2015, but it needs to be renewed every three years.

  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    Digital rights groups speak out against EU plan to scan online content

    by 
    Mallory Locklear
    Mallory Locklear
    10.17.2017

    For the past few years, the European Union has been developing reforms that would turn Europe into a Digital Single Market. Under such a structure, anyone in Europe would be able to buy goods and services online from any of the EU member states, not just where they currently happen to be, and services like Netflix would be the same in each country, though that piece would be quite a bit harder to implement. However, there's another part of this conversation that has drawn a fair amount of backlash and this week led major rights groups to pen an opposition letter to the EU.

  • Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage

    Pepe the Frog creator battles the 'alt-right' through copyright law

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    09.18.2017

    Pepe the Frog creator Matt Furie has long been unhappy with how the "alt-right" hijacked his friendly amphibian for hateful memes, going so far as to declare their uses "illegal" and to kill off the character in a symbolic gesture. And now, he's fulfilling that promise to fight back. Furie has sent cease-and-desist notices to multiple "alt-right" personalities (including racist Richard Spencer, conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich and Reddit's r/the_Donald community), and he's issuing Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests to pull infringing content from sites like Amazon, Google, Reddit and Twitter.

  • David Slater/Wildlife Personalities (and Naruto)

    Monkey selfie copyright battle ends with a settlement

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    09.11.2017

    The battle over who owns the rights to a monkey's selfies has raged for years, but it's coming to a quiet end. Camera owner David Slater, PETA and Blurb have reached a settlement in the case before a federal appeals court could rule whether or not Slater or PETA (on behalf of the monkey, a crested macaque named Naruto) owned the photos. The truce doesn't appear to alter Slater's original court victory, but it will have him donating 25 percent of future revenue from the selfies to charities that protect the habitats of Naruto and his species.

  • Ollie Millington/Redferns

    Facebook offers to pay labels for music in homemade videos

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    09.05.2017

    You've probably seen more than one homemade Facebook video that uses a popular song to spice up an otherwise plain clip. How many graduation videos have Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" blaring in the background? That soundtrack isn't legal, however, and Facebook reportedly wants to fix this. Bloomberg sources claim that the social network is offering labels and publishers "hundreds of millions of dollars" to clear songs for use in video uploads. You wouldn't have to worry about a copyright takedown ruining a precious moment, in other words.

  • YouTube clarifies how much cash its creators can make.

    YouTube clarifies how much cash its creators can make

    by 
    Steve Dent
    Steve Dent
    08.08.2017

    A lot of creators rely on YouTube to make a living, but despite recent efforts to improve, the Google-owned site still takes videos down for no good reason. On top of that, mismatching ads to offensive videos recently spawned an "adpocalypse" that deprived legitimate creators of revenue. In a blog post, YouTube now says it will unveil new icons to let you know to what extent your video is being monetized. It'll also give you a new way to appeal directly in the Video Manager for copyright and community guideline problems.

  • Amblin Entertainment / TriStar Pictures

    Kodi boxes 'threaten to undermine' the UK's anti-piracy efforts

    by 
    Jamie Rigg
    Jamie Rigg
    07.07.2017

    Media centre software Kodi is once again taking flak for its role in facilitating digital piracy today. An announcement from the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has praised "innovative" services like Netflix and Spotify for keeping Brits on the straight and narrow, but notes that the scale of online piracy remains "stable" -- which is just a positive way of saying no gains have been made in tackling infringement over the past 12 months, following several years of decline. While not mentioning Kodi specifically (which isn't unusual), the IPO states that "illicitly adapted set-top boxes" are partly to blame for this, and "threaten to undermine recent progress."

  • Kodi

    UK copyright body throws idle threats at Kodi box owners

    by 
    Matt Brian
    Matt Brian
    06.27.2017

    Audio-visual enthusiasts know and recognise that Kodi is the swiss-army knife of media centres. But for lots of people around the world, the software is synonymous with movie and TV show piracy. "Fully-loaded" Kodi boxes have made the open-source platform a huge target for copyright authorities and rights holders, who are now using the courts to punish people who sell ready-made illegal streaming solutions. The end user has typically escaped punishment, but the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) is now warning UK owners that they too could see the long arm of the law tap them on the shoulder.

  • Michał Ludwiczak

    Copyright troll lawyer is finally disbarred for fraud

    by 
    Rob LeFebvre
    Rob LeFebvre
    05.22.2017

    While it is illegal to download copyrighted files from file-sharing sites, it is also against the law to extort downloaders. John L. Steele, a Chicago lawyer who pled guilty to perjury, fraud and money laundering resulting from alleged "honeypot" schemes, has just been disbarred by an Illinois court. Both Steele and his law partner, Paul Hasmeier, were indicted last March for uploading porn videos that they acquired through sham companies in the West Indies and then suing whomever downloaded them, resulting in a staggering $6 million in settlement fees. That's quite a honeypot.

  • Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

    China says Apple isn't cloning a local phone maker

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    03.25.2017

    Did it seem ridiculous to you that Beijing officials ordered a ban on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus over a dubious design patent claim? You're not the only one. A court has reversed the ban (which was suspended during a dispute process) and declared that Apple isn't violating the patents of Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services, which insisted that the iPhone 6 riffed on the look of its 100c smartphone. Regulators issued the ban without real proof of wrongdoing, according to the ruling, and the iPhone has traits that "completely change the effect" of its design versus its (frankly very generic-looking) rival. Customers haven't had a problem telling the difference between the iPhone and 100c, the court says.

  • Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Nintendo

    Nintendo wins a key case against a 3DS modchip seller

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    03.07.2017

    Nintendo is no stranger to cracking down on companies that sell tools enabling pirated games on its consoles. However, its latest victory might be more important than most. The company has won a copyright case in Canada that accused Go Cyber Shopping (GCS) and its founder, Jeramie King, of illegally selling 3DS flashcarts, modchips and other piracy-oriented tools. While Nintendo would likely be happy enough with that triumph, it notes that this is the first case "of its kind" to test the Canadian Copyright Act's anti-circumvention measures -- think of it as a rough parallel to aspects of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the US.