Posts Tagged ‘ intellectual property ’

MPAA may like donuts, but they shouldn’t be the (copyright) police

February 10, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Mitch Stoltz  

"The company Donuts controls about 200 new top-level domains, including .movie, .theater, and .media. Yesterday, MPAA announced that it has made a deal with Donuts that will make MPAA a 'trusted notifier' for reporting copyright-infringing websites, with the expectation that Donuts will disable or suspend those websites' domain names. According to the website TorrentFreak, this will make MPAA 'the definitive authority on what is considered a large-scale piracy website.' This raises the risk of a website losing its domain name, or having it co-opted, without a court judgment or other legal process." (02/10/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/02/mpaa-may-donuts-they-shouldnt-be-copyright-police  

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Warner/Chappell doesn’t own “Happy Birthday;” must pay back $14 million

February 10, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Music publisher Warner/Chappell Music will return $14 million in fees to settle a lawsuit that challenges its claim to 'Happy Birthday,' one of the world's best-known songs. A federal judge ruled in September that Warner/Chappell didn't own the lyrics and had no right to charge for their use. The Los Angeles Times cites court documents released Monday that outline terms of a settlement reached in December. Under the deal, Warner/Chappell will give up its claims to the ubiquitous song and reimburse those who paid licensing fees. The settlement was announced as a trial was set to begin." (02/10/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/02/10/music-publisher-doesnt-own-happy-birthday-has-to-pay-back-14-million  

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Not Mormon [TM], but still Mormon

February 10, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Vera Ranieri  

"Who is a Mormon? This is a fundamental question of self-identity, religion, and even Wikipedia. One would think, however, that that answer would not be found in trademark law. Intellectual Reserve, Inc. (IRI), which owns and manages the trademarks of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has made a series of trademark claims against small startups and organizations using the term 'Mormon' in their names and URLs, including our client, the Mormon Mental Health Association (MMHA)." (02/09/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/02/not-mormonr-still-mormon  

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The research pirates of the Dark Web

February 9, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Kaveh Waddell  

"There's a battle raging over whether academic research should be free, and it's overflowing into the dark web. Most modern scholarly work remains locked behind paywalls, and unless your computer is on the network of a university with an expensive subscription, you have to pay a fee, often around 30 dollars, to access each paper. Many scholars say this system makes publishers rich -- Elsevier, a company that controls access to more than 2,000 journals, has a market capitalization about equal to that of Delta Airlines -- but does not benefit the academics that conducted the research, or the public at large. Others worry that free academic journals would have a hard time upholding the rigorous standards and peer reviews that the most prestigious paid journals are famous for." (02/09/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/02/the-research-pirates-of-the-dark-web/461829/  

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Je suis #researchparasite

February 3, 2016
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"In an editorial at the New England Journal of Medicine ('Data Sharing,' Jan. 21), Dan Longo and Jeffrey Drazen have coined an interesting new term: 'research parasite.' In theory, the authors say: Data sharing is beautiful. But when you get down to all the practical details, it turns out to be one of those beautiful theories that just won't work in the real world. ... Put in slightly less adversarial language, the term 'research parasite' seems to include both people who try to disprove other researchers' findings, and people who try to build on them without the original researchers' permission. In other words, research parasites are people who do what they used to call 'science.'" (02/01/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/42994  

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Tribal trademark trolls, clothing company return to court

February 2, 2016
posted by

Farmington Daily Times    

"The Navajo Nation is seeking potentially millions of dollars from Urban Outfitters Inc. over clothing, jewelry and other merchandise bearing the tribe’s name that the popular retailer has sold. The clothing chain will ask a federal judge in Santa Fe on Wednesday to limit how far back in time the tribe can go to seek money over the company’s products, which included everything from necklaces, jackets and pants to a flask and underwear with the 'Navajo' name. The tribe’s lawsuit alleging trademark violations has been working its way through the courts for more than three years." (02/02/16)

http://www.daily-times.com/story/news/local/navajo-nation/2016/02/02/know-navajo-nation-urban-outfitters-dispute/79728234/  

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Stupid Patent of the Month: Sharing your hard copy documents, but on a social network

January 31, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Vera Ranieri  

"Back when you were a kid, you may (depending on your age) have checked books out of your library using a circulation card. The cards, like the one pictured to the right, would allow the librarian to keep track of the books, who had them, and when they were expected back at the library. This month’s Stupid Patent is awarded to Xerox, who on January 19, 2016 was awarded a patent on essentially the library circulation card, but done electronically. The patent, U.S. Patent No. 9,240,000, is entitled 'Social Network for Enabling the Physical Sharing of Documents.'" (01/29/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/01/stupid-patent-month-sharing-your-hard-copy-documents-social-network  

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No one owns the law. Everyone owns the law.

January 26, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Mitch Stoltz  

"In a democracy, no one owns the law -- or to put it another way, everyone owns the law. If a judge claimed that she should be paid a toll every time someone copied a passage from one of her decisions, we would find it absurd. If the lobbyist who wrote sections of your city's business code announced he could decide, at any time, to sharply limit public access to those sections, he would be run out of town. The right to read the law -- and just as important, the right to copy, discuss, and share the law -- is essential to the rule of law itself. But six huge industry associations are trying to undermine that principle, insisting that it doesn't apply to a growing category of law: laws that began as private standards but are later incorporated into federal and state regulations. Insisting that they own a copyright in these laws, they've joined forces to stop a tiny non-profit, Public.Resource.Org, from posting them online." (01/25/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/01/no-one-owns-law-everyone-owns-law  

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“Notice-and-stay-down” is really “filter-everything”

January 24, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Elliot Harmon  

"There's a debate happening right now over copyright bots, programs that social media websites use to scan users' uploads for potential copyright infringement. A few powerful lobbyists want copyright law to require platforms that host third-party content to employ copyright bots, and require them to be stricter about what they take down. Big content companies call this nebulous proposal 'notice-and-stay-down,' but it would really keep all users down, not just alleged infringers." (01/21/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/01/notice-and-stay-down-really-filter-everything  

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Yosemite sham: Trademark trolls try to tap taxpayers

January 15, 2016
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp  

"Hell hath no fury like a former business partner scorned. The Associated Press reports that a company called Delaware North, which ran Yosemite National Park's hotels and restaurants for two decades under contract with the US National Park Service, wants a $51 million payoff after losing those concessions to a higher bidder. Why the payoff? Delaware North claims that it owns the names of long-existing park attractions which it did not start, does not own, and only temporarily operated. The Ahwahnee Hotel. Curry Village. Oh, yes, and 'Yosemite National Park.'" (01/14/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/4110  

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Yosemite: Famed hotel name to change in trademark dispute

January 14, 2016
posted by

ABC News ABC News    

"The names of iconic hotels and other landmarks in the world-famous Yosemite National Park will soon change in an ongoing battle over who owns the intellectual property, park officials said Thursday. The luxurious Ahwahnee Hotel will become the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, and Curry Village will become Half Dome Village, said park spokesman Scott Gediman. The move comes in an ongoing dispute with Delaware North, the company that recently lost a $2 billion bid -- the National Park Services largest single contract -- to run Yosemite's hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities. Delaware North demands to be paid $51 million for the names and other intellectual property." (01/14/16)

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/yosemite-famed-hotel-change-trademark-dispute-36295861  

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Hate of the Union: The TPP is an offense to the people

January 14, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Paul Street  

"Lawyers and lobbyists for giant multinational corporations have been working up the TPP and promoting it for nearly a decade. The measure would join the United States along with 11 other nations along the Pacific Rim (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) in a 'free-trade zone' covering nearly 40 percent of the world's economy. Obama and his largely Republican 'free trade' allies say the TPP will open foreign markets to American goods and 'level the playing field by forcing Asian competitors to improve labor and environmental standards.' But that's just blatantly deceptive business propaganda. The measure isn't really about trade and it certainly isn't about improved standards. Its real thrust is to strengthen corporations' ability to protect and extend their intellectual property rights (drug patents, movie rights, and the like) and to guarantee that they will be compensated by governments for any profits they might lose from having to meet decent public labor and environmental (and other) standards -- something certain to discourage the enactment and enforce of such standards." (01/14/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/14/hate-of-the-union-the-tpp-is-an-offense-to-the-people/  

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US patent grants slow in wake of Supreme Court business methods ruling

January 13, 2016
posted by

Computer World    

"There are some big changes in the patent landscape hiding behind a small drop in the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last year. The 1 percent decline in utility patent grants -- the first since 2007 -- follows three successive years of more than 8 percent growth, according to analysis by IFI Claims Patent Services. ... IFI blames the business method turnaround on the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2014 decision in Alice vs CLS Bank International. In that landmark case the court ruled that encoding a business method in software does not make it patentable -- or, as Justice Clarence Thomas put it in the first paragraph of the ruling, 'Merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform that abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.'" (01/13/16)

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3021903/technology-law-regulation/us-patent-grants-slow-in-wake-of-supreme-court-business-methods-ruling.html  

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David Bowie understood the vital import of intellectual property

January 12, 2016
posted by

Seton Motley Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley  

"There are those who say intellectual property isn't the same as physical property -- and doesn't deserve physical property's legal protections. Bowie, I'm quite sure, would have laughed at such utter foolishness. While waving his well-paying Bowie Bonds in their faces. Bowie unleashed his intellectual-property-protection-reliant Bonds in 1997. In 2002, he correctly predicted how technological advances would do harm to things like Bowie Bonds -- and all things intellectual property." [editor's note: Any time you fall into the misperception that Heartland is a "libertarian" organization, just Google their site for the terms "Keystone" or "intellectual property" for a dash of cold statist water in the face - TLK] (01/12/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/01/david-bowie-understood-the-vital-import-of-intellectual-property/  

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Judge rules on whether monkey can own selfie photos copyright

January 7, 2016
posted by

CBS News CBS News    

"A federal judge in San Francisco said Wednesday he plans to dismiss a copyright lawsuit filed on behalf of an Indonesian monkey by an advocacy group that claims the animal owns the rights to a famous series of 'monkey selfie' photographs. CBS San Francisco reports that U.S. District Judge William Orrick said he agreed with arguments by camera owner David Slater and self-publishing software company Blurb Inc. that federal copyright law doesn't allow animals to claim copyright protection." (01/07/16)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/monkey-selfie-copyright-ruling/  

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Here, there and everywhere: Beatles songs to be streamed for first time

December 23, 2015
posted by

The Guardian The Guardian [UK]    

"As a band, the Beatles were famed for their adoption of new recording technology, everything from tape-looped studio effects to double-tracked vocals. But in more recent years their songs have been absent from that most modern of ways to consume music: streaming websites. Until now, that is. From Christmas Eve the full Beatles catalogue will become available on nine separate music streaming sites, including Spotify, Google Play and Amazon Prime. It will even be on Apple Music, eight years after the end of a long and brutal legal battle between the technology company and the Beatles' Apple record label over the use of the Apple logo in the music business." (12/23/15)

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/dec/23/beatles-back-catalogue-music-streaming-spotify-apple-music  

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EFF to court: Stop shielding patent trolls that send baseless demand letters

December 23, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Vera Ranieri  

"Getting a patent demand letter from a troll can be a scary experience. The letters often include a lot of legal jargon, not to mention a patent that is often impenetrable (at least, not without hiring an expensive lawyer to translate it for you). But suppose you are concerned that the patent may impact your business. After trying to reach an agreement with the patent owner and failing, you may be told by your lawyer that the next step is to go to court. Unfortunately, thanks to a 1998 court case, you often can't go to your local courthouse and get things figured out. Instead, you may be forced to go to a courthouse across the country, in a small corner of a state that you have little to no connection to." (12/22/15)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/12/eff-court-stop-shielding-patent-trolls-send-baseless-demand-letters  

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Form 18 is dead. What’s next for patent trolls?

December 3, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Elliot Harmon  

"It's easy to file a patent complaint. All a patent owner has to do is say that they own a patent and that the defendant infringed it. The patent holder doesn't even need to identify which product of the defendant's they believe infringe the patent, or specify which claims of the patent they're asserting. It's an absurdly simple process, and unscrupulous patent tolls routinely take advantage of that fact. That might have changed this week -- the Judicial Conference of the United States has instituted a rule change that includes eliminating the form that's been used for patent complaints for decades. We hope that the change makes it harder for patent trolls to hit defendants with information-free complaints, but we're not breaking out the Champagne yet." (12/03/15)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/12/form-18-dead-whats-next-patent-trolls  

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Rethinking intellectual property: A Reformed-Libertarian perspective

November 23, 2015
posted by

Reformed Libertarian
by Brian Jacobson  

"A consistently applied natural rights theory of intellectual property is impossible and contradicts property rights of real and tangible goods, and thus all IP advocates adopt spurious distinctions, arbitrary terms, limits, and restrictions. It is not so much that I think Reformed Libertarians should be against intellectual property rights but that intellectual property is not a thing. To whatever degree intellectual property rights are embraced it will always mean that actual property rights are diminished." (11/23/15)

http://reformedlibertarian.com/articles/philosophy/rethinking-intellectual-property-a-reformed-libertarian-perspective/  

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Once again, DMCA abused to target political ads

November 19, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Elliot Harmon  

"If you live in San Francisco (or spend much time on social media) you probably saw a lot of discussion last month about Proposition F, a controversial proposal to regulate short-term property rental services like Airbnb. You may also know that Airbnb spent millions opposing the measure, many times the budget of the proposition's supporters. Here's what you might not know: the bill’s opposition also got a little unexpected assistance from the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown process. Just a week before the vote, the only television ad supporting the measure disappeared from TV, YouTube, and the website of the organization that created it. Watch the ad yourself and see if you can guess why ..." [editor's note: On the one hand, the ad is a disgusting piece of authoritarian crap; on the other hand, so was the takedown procedure ... - TLK] (11/17/15)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/11/once-again-dmca-abused-target-political-ads  

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Casualty of YouTube’s “contractual obligations”: Users’ free speech

November 16, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Amul Kalia  

"Internet users generally think of YouTube as a platform where, if you play by the copyright rules, the content you post is safe from takedown and, if it's taken down improperly, you have some recourse. But that's not the case, thanks to an additional barrier to lawful sharing: meet YouTube's 'contractual obligations.' YouTube has made special deals with certain rightsholders that allows them to dictate where and how their content can be used on the site. If your video uses content controlled by these rightsholders, and they object to that use, YouTube will take your video offline and won't restore it unless you can get the rightsholder's permission. Because the takedown isn't subject to the DMCA, the rightsholder has no legal obligations to consider whether your use is a lawful fair use." (11/13/15)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/11/casualty-youtubes-contractual-obligations-users-free-speech  

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Polaroid camera files frivolous patent lawsuit vs. GoPro

November 5, 2015
posted by

New Jersey Law Journal    

"GoPro Inc., a maker of cameras used in surfing and other sports, has been accused in a patent infringement suit in federal court in Newark of copying the design of a small, cube-shaped Polaroid camera. C&A Marketing of Ridgefield Park seeks damages and injunctive relief from GoPro over its Hero4 Session, unveiled in July 2015, claiming it infringes on a design patent for the plaintiff's Polaroid Cube, introduced in January 2014." [editor's note: So far as I can tell, C&A is claiming an exclusive right to make a camera in a particular shape. Even if you buy into the "intellectual property" scam, that seems to be taking things way too far - TLK] (11/04/15)

http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202741590207/Patent-Suit-Claims-GoPro-Copied-Polaroid-Cameras-Look  

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The TPP: An attack on the Internet

October 27, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Alfredo Lopez  

"The TPP internationalizes some of the worst inequities and abuses specific signing governments are currently committing and nowhere is that more true than with surveillance and communications repression. Its measures deepen the illegality of whistle-blowing and broaden who can be held responsible for it. They use copyright law to make online dissent and online scholarship and research much more difficult. And they chop away at the rights to online privacy. The deal would fundamentally repress the Internet and, while proponents insist that the agreement would not over-ride the specific laws of each country, it allows and even encourages countries to pass more repressive laws. It is, in short, a nightmare." (10/27/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/27/the-tpp-an-attack-on-the-internet/  

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Monopoly patent protections endanger middle class jobs

October 27, 2015
posted by

OpEdNews
by Dean Baker  

"This point should be straightforward. Technology is simply knowledge. No one inherently owns knowledge. The government gives ownership of technology through patent or copyright monopolies or other forms of intellectual property. These monopolies allow individuals or corporations to sue anyone who uses technology without their permission. Patent infringers can pay large fines and even face jail if they persist. It is this protection -- not the technology itself -- that allows those with sophisticated skills to get rich from technology." (10/26/15)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Monopoly-patent-protection-by-Dean-Baker-Jobs_Middle-Class_Productivity_Robots-151026-261.html  

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How trade agreements harm open access and open source

October 22, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jeremy Malcolm  

"If copyright is to be dealt with in trade agreements at all, then including a mandate for the parties to require publicly funded research to be released under open access licenses seems like an obvious inclusion. Yet neither the TPP nor (as far as we know) TTIP or TISA have included such a provision. In fact, they do almost the exact opposite. Although relating to open source rather than open access, Article 6 of the leaked text of the e-commerce chapter of TISA would actually prohibit any party to the agreement from requiring the source code of mass-market software to be released openly by service providers of another party." (10/21/15)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/10/how-trade-agreements-harm-open-access-and-open-source  

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