Copyright News: Fair Use Must Be Considered

In the nation's first such ruling, a federal judge on Wednesday said copyright owners must consider "fair use" of their works before sending takedown notices to online video-sharing sites. From Wired's Threat Level. (tip) EFF is asking for legal fees. Read the 10-page ruling (pdf) To demonstrate just how inane some of these lawsuits are, ThreatLevel notes that Universal sent a takedown notice under the DMCA because of a "29-second garbled video of her toddler dancing to Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy'" -- can you believe it?continue reading →

Viacom (Sorta) Flip-Flops on YouTube; We’re All At Risk

Way back when (2005), Comedy Central's Jon Stewart gave fans a (pale) green light to share show content after it ran on the traditional tube:
Wired: The Daily Show really exemplifies that sort of new model. It's on a cable network, not broadcast. It's among the most popular shows traded online. People download and watch the whole thing, every day. Were you guys aware of that? Karlin: ... If people want to take the show in various forms, I'd say go. But when you're a part of something successful and meaningful, the rule book says don't try to analyze it too much or dissect it... Stewart: ... I look at systems like the Internet as a convenience. I look at it as the same as cable or anything else. Everything is geared toward more individualized consumption. Getting it off the Internet is no different than getting it off TV.
Maybe Stewart and Karlin weren't speaking for Viacom at the time. Or maybe muckety-mucks ignored it because Viacom was focused on how to spin off a large chuck of itself as CBS Corp. But the handlers at Viacom had to have known what they said. …continue reading →

RNC Lifts Flickr Photo?

Political Newsline has spotted a probable copyright violation on the Republican National Committee blog, in a post made by online communications manager James Richardson. (tip) The photo in question has a watermark (which is how PN was able to track it down) and is clearly marked "All rights reserved" on its Flickr home. Who's going to extract royalties for TinyFishy?continue reading →