Thursday, June 27, 2013

Joel Tenenbaum's $675,000 Music Downloading Fine Upheld; Associated Press via, 6/25/13

Associated Press via; Joel Tenenbaum's $675,000 Music Downloading Fine Upheld: "A $675,000 verdict against a former Boston University student who illegally downloaded and shared songs on the Internet has been upheld. A jury ordered Providence, R.I., resident Joel Tenenbaum to pay $22,500 for each of 30 songs after the Recording Industry Association of America sued him on behalf of four record labels."

Monday, June 17, 2013

Filmmaker picks a copyright fight with “Happy Birthday”;, 6/14/13

Joe Mullin,; Filmmaker picks a copyright fight with “Happy Birthday” : "Filmmakers and TV producers have long been harassed by Warner/Chappell Music, a subsidiary of Time Warner that enforces the copyright on "Happy Birthday," probably the most popular song in the world. If that song pops up in any TV show or movie, the creators are sure to get a hefty bill. The makers of the critically acclaimed 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams had to pay $5,000 for a scene of one of the protagonists' families singing the song. By 1996, Warner/Chappell was pulling in more than $2 million per year from licensing. Now there's a new documentary about the song, and of course, the filmmakers had to pay the fee for a "synchronization license"—it was $1,500. But it sure didn't sit well with them. Yesterday, Good Morning To You, the company that made the documentary, filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to prove once and for all that the copyright on "Happy Birthday" is long dead."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Game of Thrones Breaks Piracy Records (and That May Be Good);, 6/14/13

Anna Pinkert,; Game of Thrones Breaks Piracy Records (and That May Be Good) : "It turns out that in a single 24-hour period, 1 million people pirated the Season 3 finale of Game of Thrones using BitTorrent. So, it looks like the Red Wedding didn’t turn everyone off to the show. But what does it say about the new-media landscape that so many people are willing, able and eager to pirate episodes to get their Westeros fix? Game of Thrones is the second-most popular series that HBO has ever broadcast (after The Sopranos), but it is the most-pirated show on television today. The cable channel has worked to create zeitgeist-y, must-see content that commands a premium fee; HBO costs an additional $20 a month on top of regular cable in my area. It previously considered offering HBO Go, its online streaming service, without requiring a subscription to the cable service, but executives aren’t in a rush to make any changes. Of course, why would they be? Game of Thrones DVD sales are high, and the number of people watching the show on television is increasing (the third season was its high-rated yet, a rare feat for a serialized drama)."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

AAUP Sees MOOCs as Spawning New Threats to Professors' Intellectual Property; Chronicle of Higher Education, 6/12/13

Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education; AAUP Sees MOOCs as Spawning New Threats to Professors' Intellectual Property: "Colleges broadly threaten faculty members' copyrights and academic freedom in claiming ownership of the massive open online courses their instructors have developed, Cary Nelson, a former president of the American Association of University Professors, argued here on Wednesday at the group's annual conference. In the meeting's opening address, Mr. Nelson characterized the debate at colleges over who owns the rights to faculty members' MOOCs as part of a broader battle over intellectual property that's being waged on America's campuses. At stake, he said, is not just the ability of faculty members to profit from their own writings or inventions, but the future of their profession. "If we lose the battle over intellectual property, it's over," Mr. Nelson warned. "Being a professor will no longer be a professional career or a professional identity," and faculty members will instead essentially find themselves working in "a service industry," he said."

Monday, June 3, 2013

French Appear Ready to Soften Law on Media Piracy; New York Times, 6/2/13

Eric Pfanner, New York Times; French Appear Ready to Soften Law on Media Piracy: "Elsewhere, countries that have adopted systems involving warnings and penalties, also known as graduated response, have tended to opt for less draconian measures than France or South Korea, sometimes involving private-sector deals rather than legislation. In the United States, for example, five major Internet providers recently agreed to put in place a so-called copyright alert system, negotiated with the entertainment industry. Sanctions, which can include a temporary slowdown in Internet access speed, do not kick in until an account holder ignores at least five warnings. Analysts say that the backtracking by the French could lessen legislators’ enthusiasm for graduated response systems in other countries, at least if they involve the threat of disconnection."