Weblog Entries: Copyright

Federal Court Overrules Mod Chip Verdict

In a unanimous decision, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia yesterday overruled its previous verdict that video game console copy-protection schemes comprised a "technological protection measure" as defined in subs 10(1) of the Copyright Act. The result is to prevent the sale of so-called "mod chip" devices which circumvent said protection, and to draw uncertainty about the legality of similar software circumvention methods which are widespread in personal computing.  Read more »

Copright May Protect 'Functional Structure'

Justice Pumfrey of the British High Court yesterday granted leave to appeal in a copyright infringement case between two rival airline ticket-booking software devlopers. Though the competing products were programmed in entirely different languages (Cobol and Visual Basic [heh]), the Pumfrey J noted the similarities in 'functional structure', drawing an analogy to the plot of a book.  Read more »

Eiffel Tower Prohibits Nocturnal Photography

The Eiffel Tower’s likeness has long been part of the public domain. However, in 2003 it was abruptly repossessed by the city of Paris. That’s the year that the SNTE, the company charged with maintaining the tower, adorned it with a distinctive lighting display, copyrighted the design, and in one feel swoop, reclaimed the nighttime image and likeness of the most popular monument on earth.  Read more »

An Economic Analysis of of Copyright Term Extensions

The Financial Times is running an interesting editorial about the state of American (and, with the enactment of the United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act 2004 (Cth), Australian) copyright law. Professor Boyle argues (rightly, I think) that current intellectual property protections go beyond what is necessary to promote innovation:  Read more »

Pirates of the Potter-ian

J K Rowling comes under fire for inadvertently encouraging people to distribute her latest novel, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, over the internet. By Robert Andrews.

Originally by Wired News: DAT's Entertainment, 12:24 PM

A Critique of the Creative Commons Movement

'John C Dvorak thinks Creative Commons licenses are a solution looking for a problem. What is the point? he asks. Advocates of the scheme say he's ignored an important detail:  Read more »

<em>Grokster</em> Has Patent Bar Taking Notice

Grokster is obviously one of the most important copyright law decisions in recent memory. Less obviously, it has the potential to influence patent law significantly. In fact, the US Supreme Court's [27 June] decision may change the direction of inducement infringement law and spur an overall increase in harmonization between patent and copyright jurisprudence.

Originally by Law.com - Tech Law Practice Center, 4:28 PM  Read more »

Is it Copyright Infringement to Circumvent a Printer Ink System?

In an effort to counteract any refurbishing, printermaker Prile started placing a computer chip in its printers that would prevent ink cartridges from being used more than once. But refurbishing company Rockoe has found a way to circumvent the chip's software. President Ricky Rockoe says he's just doing some creative and legal reverse engineering. Is he correct? Can Prile stop Rockoe from refurbishing the ink cartridges? Legal experts weigh in on this hypothetical case.  Read more »

Steal This Book? Some Insights into ePublishing

Warren Adler, the author of The War of the Roses, talks about the impact of the Internet on traditional forms of print publishing:  Read more »

EFF: Digital Artists Deserve the Right to Copy Movies

'Colorado - Yesterday the Electronic Frontier Foundation asked the Colorado Federal District Court to rule that copying an entire movie to a computer to make a new, lawful work is fair use. The case, Huntsman v Soderbergh, involves the companies Family Flicks and Play It Clean Video, which make and distribute copies of movies with sexual and violent content removed.  Read more »

Google Sued Over Nude Picture Rights

The publisher of a US men's magazine has sued Google, alleging that the Internet search company is infringing on copyright by displaying thousands of pictures of nude women.

Originally by ABC News: Science and Technology, 8:54 PM

Computer Repair DMCA Verdict Overturned

Jason Schultz comments on a recent decision of the United States Federal Circuit Court of Appeals: 'Hurray!  Read more »

Taking Stock of <em>Grokster</em>

'The internet industry has had some time to sit back and examine the US Supreme Court's decision in MGM v Grokster, pondering its ... impact on technology and software developers as well as the entertainment field. In this virtual roundtable discussion, members of Internet Law & Strategy's Board of Editors and other Internet law experts chime in with their thoughts.'  Read more »

Architecture and Copyright

Wendy Seltzer reports on an interesting article in The New York Times on the legal implications of imitation in architecture:  Read more »

Garrett Urges Legislative Imposition of Royalty for Resale of Artistic Works

Opposition spokesman for the Arts Peter Garrett has called on the federal government to urgently introduce resale royalty legislation for visual artists.

Originally by CCH Australia, 11:14 PM

Commentator: Copyright Misuse Stifles Innovation

According to a columnist at The Age:

Publishers had a role in the old world. Their job was to aggregate information and sell it in a digestible form, for which they charged money. But the internet and other technologies made publishers' roles as information clearing-house irrelevant, outdated, anachronistic and obsolete. The world has changed, but they have not. ...  Read more »

Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd v Sharman Licence Holdings Ltd

After a four month wait, it’s here. Peruse the 526 paragraph behemoth for yourself. More comments to follow.

Executive summary:  Read more »

Tales from the <em>Kazaa</em> Court

Dan Warne has published a firsthand account of the Sharman Networks trial process. Particularly interesting are his observations when final judgment was handed down by Wilcox J:

Sharman’s PR squad was there too, with pink-jumpered, bright and bubbly PR flak Julie Fenwick providing some colour and flair among the morose black suited media around her. …  Read more »

Wired Coverage of <em>Sharman License Holdings</em> Decison

Wired chimes in on the decision. Whenever discussing an Australian news event, Wired always seem to somehow incorporate the phrase ‘Down Under’ into their titles. Cultural patronisation aside, their comments are much the same as everyone else’s:

 Read more »

Student Sues Commercial Plagiarist for Copyright Infringement

According to Natalie Gott from the Associated Press, ‘Blue Macellari wrote the term paper back in 1999 while studying abroad, so the Duke University graduate student didn’t understand why it was on the Internet — or why it was for sale.  Read more »

An American Perspective on <em>Sharman License Holdings</em>

Writes Wayne Arnold for the New York Times, ‘The Australian ruling was broadly consistent with a ruling by the United States Supreme Court in June that the makers of the file-sharing services Grokster and Morpheus could be held liable for contributing to the infringement of copyrights.  Read more »

The Arguments of the <em>Kazaa</em> Parties

Simon Hayes on Sharman License Holdings, summarising the positions of the parties:

The essence of the industry’s argument was that Sharman could stop illegal file trading on the network, but chose not to do so.

Indeed, the music giants argued, it encouraged piracy through advertising and promotion, and had ‘knowledge and awareness of rampant copyright infringement.’  Read more »

An Analysis of Google Print Copyright Implications

Jonathan Band has written an interesting analysis of Google’s Print Library Project, which would see Google scanning the full text of printed works contained in the libraries of several large universities. The results would be imported into its search database using optical character recognition and brief excerpts served up with keyword and affiliate advertising.

The programme was recently halted until November amidst copyright concerns following its announcement:  Read more »

Refiltering the <em>KaZaa</em> Ruling, CRIA Style

Michael Geist (University of Ottawa) has posted a conclusive response to the Canadian Recording Industry Association's ('CRIA') propaganda slash commentary on the recent KaZaa ruling:

First, CRIA seeks to link the Australian decision with Canadian copyright reform. In reality, the two have as much in common as Australian rules football does to ice hockey. ...  Read more »

Chinese Search Engine Liable for Indexing Infringing Copies

Baidu is, broadly speaking, the Chinese equivalent of Google. Last week, a Chinese district court found it liable for copyright violation. The act of infringement? Automatically constructing and maintaining an index of links, some of which were to infringing files.  Read more »