I have been following the story of Progress Illinois, a group that has posted a number of videos that criticize FoxNews and, under the well-accepted legal concept of fair-use, include clips of the FoxNews programs in question.
The YouTube account had been taken down following multiple DMCA takedown notices from Fox, leading YouTube to institute its usual policy of shutting such accounts down. Progress Illinois sent a counternotice, and after Fox failed to sue the activist group, the account was turned back on. Paul Alan Levy points us to some more troubling details about the discussions between Progress Illinois and Fox. Apparently, Fox sought to have Progress Illinois waive its fair use rights on all future Fox material and demanded that it be allowed to run ads on the Progress Illinois site in exchange for allowing the content to be placed on YouTube. On top of this, Levy notes that Fox is apparently preparing a deal with another video site (that will include its desired ads), which Fox will apparently demand sites use in reporting on Fox News reports.
In support of Progress Illinois, embedded below is one of their videos including a FoxNews clip. Hey Fox, why don’t you come after me, too? I’m just itching to counter-sue someone…
Someday we will look back on the actions of RIAA and the rest of the music industry and laugh, or maybe cry. For now, however, we will have to continue hearing stories like this:
The woman, Mavis Roy of Hudson, has called on legal clinics at the state’s only law school to represent her as she fights the charges in federal court this year.
The lawsuit brought by UMG Recordings, Interscope Records, Motown Record Co., and BMG Music alleges that Roy violated copyright infringement laws by downloading and distributing 218 audio files on April 24, 2007.
Roy’s defense team questions how that could be when she did not have a computer in her house at the time in question.
Why RIAA is allowed to behave in this manner is confounding. Nearly every suit they bring reeks of intimidation and weak evidence. Not only that, but going after grown women for allegedly downloads a few songs from a pirated source is simply not going to help save an industry that is built on a collection of obsolete business models.
I have been an Apple/Mac user since I upgraded from my Atari 800 back in the ’80’s, I love the interface, the design and even the vague sense of superiority over my Windows brethren.
However, every now and then (and it feels like it is more and more often) Apple does something that is really a screw you to their faithful customers.
The lastest example is their incorporation of bullshit copyright “protection” built into the latest MacBooks:
“Buying an Apple computer? Get ready to throw away your monitor, over and over again. New Apple hardware is shipping with “HDCP” anti-copying technology that prevents showing some video on “non-compliant” monitors. Best part: the list of “compliant” monitors will change over time: the monitor you buy today can be “revoked” tomorrow and stop working.” (via BoingBoing)
Sweet, eh? The worst part of this is that it is a completely bogus protection since there is nothing in copyright law that makes it illegal for me to watch a movie I bought on a screen other than my built-in monitor. It’s just insane.
And it’s evil.
RIAA’s CEO – Ew!
A couple months into the new acedemic year and one thing is clear – RIAA wants to sue the crap out of college kids for listening to music.
Every day it seems there is some new story about how RIAA is trying to force colleges and universities to share info about what their students are downloading and sharing so that RIAA can then assault their students with criminal charges, court dates and mammouth lawyer fees that can often result in students being forced to drop out of school altogether.
Considering that there is no real proof that music piracy has a direct impact on the profits of labels and that there are real problems facing America perhaps it is time to reign in RIAA and stop them from screwing up the lives of people who have done little more than click on a link.
Please, Presendent-elect Obama, call these people in and tell them to stop the unnecessary abuse.
In the ongoing “war” on internet pirates, the MPAA has submitted a court brief claiming that they don’t need evidence to prove guilt of piracy! (via Wired)
“Mandating such proof could thus have the pernicious effect of depriving copyright owners of a practical remedy against massive copyright infringement in many instances,” MPAA attorney Marie L. van Uitert wrote Friday to the federal judge overseeing the Jammie Thomas trial.
“It is often very difficult, and in some cases, impossible, to provide such direct proof when confronting modern forms of copyright infringement, whether over P2P networks or otherwise; understandably, copyright infringers typically do not keep records of infringement,” van Uitert wrote on behalf of the movie studios, a position shared with the Recording Industry Association of America, which sued Thomas, the single mother of two.
As TorrentFreak puts it:
“So, the MPAA is basically saying that is is too hard to come up with solid evidence, and because of this, they should not have to proove anything. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it”
Once the MPAA can convince the courts it doesn’t need evidence they will be one step closer to their supreme goal – imprisoning all of their customers thus making them the perfect captive audience.
According to the NYT a group of music labels are suing the website Project Playlist:
“The website compiles a vast index of songs on the Internet and users can “quickly and easily search the index for recordings by their favorite artists. At the click of a mouse, Project Playlist instantly streams a digital performance of the selected recording to the user, who can listen to it on his or her computer or mobile device,” the lawsuit said.
So, to be clear, they are suing this one particular site because they are doing a really good job pointing people to where music (copywritten or otherwise) is already being stored for public access somewhere on the internet.
Isn’t that basically what Google does?
There is an article over on TechDirt that just makes me shake my head sadly:
“Scorpio Music sent a letter to Yahoo (presumably a DMCA notice) that stated that a video created by Loren Feldman infringed on copyrighted material they control. The alleged infringement is over the use of the YMCA song by the Villiage People.
The video doesn’t play the song. At one point, for a couple of seconds, the puppets sang one line of it (around the 1:30 mark). Yahoo removed the video immediately (it’s still up at YouTube and is embedded above), and sent an email to Feldman threatening to terminate his account.”
The issues surrounding copyright and fair use are probably THE key issue as the internet becomes fully ingrained into society. I don’t see how the artists on either side of the debate benefit from this sort of behavior.
Lawyers win again.