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Jay Leno uses indie YouTube video; NBC gets it taken down

Obviously The System Works:

NBC/Universal used a YouTube video by an indie comedy duo (without permission) on The Jay Leno Show – then had the video taken down with a copyright claim.

NBC’s position seems to be that they own any content played on any of their programs? I guess it’s nice to see their position put so bluntly.

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Smug ignorance

John August:

When you stir stupid and lazy together, they form a toxic compound called Smug Ignorance. It’s non-partisan and always fatal. The symptoms are phrases like, “I don’t know much about computers, but…” or “Look, no one knows if climate change is real.”

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Supreme Court Says Congress May Re-Copyright Public Domain Works

This is just more bad news from a Supreme Court who doesn’t understand the importance of the public domain, which is ironic considering that much of the legal history they have used in their entire careers is in fact public domain.

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A Letter From Lois Lane

Joanne Siegel, widow of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, passed away on February 12th of this year. She’d been working on writing a letter to Time Warner’s CEO, Jeffrey L. Bewkes.

Joanne is widely known to be the inspiration for Lois Lane, and even at 93 she fit the part. Time Warner’s action in all of this has been gross.

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The Case Against COICA

The Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) is bad mojo that will not only limit creativity but stifle business. It will unconstitutionally restrict freedom of speech, raise the cost of doing business on the internet in a time when the economy is already in the toilet, and create an internet blacklist in America.

The EFF has a larger look at the bill, and none of it is good.

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“Copyright Infringement and Me”

The Editor of the magazine Cooks Source prints the entirety of an author’s article without clearing it with her. The author asks why this happened, and the editor tells her that she should be glad it got printed at all. The editor’s response is batshit, and actually contains this sentence:

But honestly Monica, the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it!

Cooks Source, predictably, has a Facebook page. Let them know how you feel about this.

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US Library of Congress: Copyright Is Destroying Historic Audio

From the you’re-telling-us dept.

The report also highlights the problems posed by the rather complicated history of US copyright law. “All U.S. recordings, both commercially released and unpublished, created before February 15, 1972, are protected by a complex network of disparate state civil, criminal, and common laws,” the study explains. The consequence is that all sounds recordings made before 1972 will have their copyright expire in 2067 – 95 years after the placement of these recordings under federal protection in 1972. This means that the oldest sound recordings in the US dating from 1890, will only enter the public domain after 177 years.

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U.S. Copyright Office Declares Some Forms of DRM Circumvention Legal

This is good news, and a big step in getting consumers rights back over the things they own. Here is the full ruling (via Gruber). Ars Technica has a more non-lawyer-friendly rundown of the changes.

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Turning down Netflix

Netflix refuses copyright holder’s request to stream her film without DRM. Nina Paley (the filmmaker) owns the film outright. There are no rights issues whatsoever. I believe the issue here is related to this culture we have where we assume everyone is a criminal. It’s actually more work for Netflix to let people watch a movie without digitally encrypting it than it is to just encrypt everything. I doubt Netflix’s service was designed to even support sending a movie in the clear, without DRM. It’d probably cost them tens of thousands of dollars to modify it.

Either that, or Netflix thinks their job is protecting copyright holders from themselves. Must be hard, knowing what’s best for everyone.

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European Parliament Demands Transparency For ACTA

The European Parliament today voted on a resolution that demands transparency in the ACTA negotiations, and that the Commission puts all papers on the table.

The resolution was carried by 633 votes in favour, 13 against, and 16 abstentions.

Way to go, EU. See also: Christian Engström’s talk on ACTA from the European Parliament floor.

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The Public Domain Manifesto

Seems sensible enough to me.

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Mininova Goes Legit, Removes All (Possibly) Copyright-infringing Torrents

As a result of the recent court case against the site, they’ve removed all torrents not registered on the site by the copyright holder.

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The ACTA Internet Chapter OR “Goodbye, Internet”

Leaked from the secret meetings in Seoul. It’s hard to view this as anything but an attempt by big business to employ government in propping up their busted-ass business models around the world.

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Jack Kirby’s Heirs File To Regain Copyrights

The author assumes that Kirby’s heirs will probably just end up with rights to royalties, which I can’t say I give a shit about it. Jack’s long gone.

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Court Jails Pirate Bay Founders

I’m sure the appeals process will be long:

Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde were found guilty of breaking copyright law and were sentenced to a year in jail.

They were also ordered to pay $4.5m (£3m) in damages.

I feel that their attitude didn’t help them with the judge. Google still indexes millions more torrent files than TPB ever could. Why no attack against them? See also: Wired’s coverage.