Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Real Reason People Keep Plagiarizing Tom Petty; Slate, 1/27/15

Adam Ragusea, Slate; The Real Reason People Keep Plagiarizing Tom Petty:
"Tom Petty’s copyright settlement with Sam Smith, announced Monday, marks at least the third time that Petty has heard similarities between his own songs and more recent hits by other artists. I think there’s a reason this keeps happening to Petty in particular: His music is so simple that a song can hardly play with the building blocks of rock ‘n’ roll without evoking a Petty hit.
To be clear, I am a lifelong Petty fan, and I think the virtues of simplicity in any art form far outweigh the downsides. My dispute is with artists who claim ownership over the very paints that everyone else has on their own palettes."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sam Smith on Tom Petty Settlement: 'Similarities' But 'Complete Coincidence'; Rolling Stone, 1/26/15

Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone; Sam Smith on Tom Petty Settlement: 'Similarities' But 'Complete Coincidence' :
"Over the weekend, The Sun reported that Sam Smith had quietly and amicably settled a copyright dispute with Tom Petty over the likeness between Smith's three-time Grammy-nominated "Stay With Me" and Petty's Full Moon Fever hit "I Won't Back Down," co-written with ELO's Jeff Lynne. In a statement to Rolling Stone, Smith's reps have confirmed that "Stay With Me" is now co-credited to Petty and Lynne, adding that while there are undeniable "similarities" between the two singles, it was a "complete coincidence.""

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dish found not to infringe Fox's copyright by letting users stream programs; PC World, 1/21/15

John Ribeiro, PC World; Dish found not to infringe Fox's copyright by letting users stream programs:
"A federal court in California has ruled that Dish Network did not infringe the copyright of Fox Broadcasting by offering users services for skipping ads and streaming live or recorded programming over the Internet to their computers and mobile devices."

Fair Use Is Not An Exception to Copyright, It’s Essential to Copyright; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), 1/21/15

Corynne McSherry, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); Fair Use Is Not An Exception to Copyright, It’s Essential to Copyright:
"Over the past two years, as talk of copyright reform has escalated, we’ve also heard complaints about the supposed expansion of fair use, or "fair use creep.” That kind of talk woefully misunderstands how fair use works.
Fair use provides breathing space in copyright law, making sure that control of the right to copy and distribute doesn’t become control of the right to create and innovate. New technologies and services depend on the creation of multiple copies as a matter of course. At the same time, copyright terms cover works many decades old and copyrighted software appears in more and more devices. Taken together, these developments mean the potential reach of copyright may extend ever further. Fair use makes sure that the rights of the public expand at the same time, so add-on creativity and innovation can continue to thrive. In other words, “fair use creep” is an essential corollary to “copyright creep.”"

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mein Kampf: The world’s most dangerous book?; BBC News, 1/13/15

Fiona Macdonald, BBC News; Mein Kampf: The world’s most dangerous book? :
"Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf falls out of copyright in Germany at the end of 2015. What will happen when authorities can no longer control its publication and distribution? A new BBC programme examines the issues."

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ford Tries to Shut Down Independent Repair Tool with Copyright; Electronic Frontier Foundation, 1/6/15

Kit Walsh, Electronic Frontier Foundation; Ford Tries to Shut Down Independent Repair Tool with Copyright:
"At EFF, we think people ought to be able to understand how their devices work and repair them without asking permission of the manufacturer. We also think independent repair companies should to be able to compete with manufacturers in the aftermarket. Simply put, you should be able to fix your stuff or choose someone you trust to do it for you.
The Ford Motor Company, however, takes a different view. It recently sued Autel, a manufacturer of third-party diagnostics for automobiles, for creating a diagnostic tool that includes a list of Ford car parts and their specifications. Ford claims that it owns a copyright on this list of parts, the "FFData file," and thus can keep competitors from including it in their diagnostic tools. It also claims that Autel violated the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by writing a program to defeat the "encryption technology and obfuscation" that Ford used to make the file difficult to read."

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Facebook ‘copyright notice’ hoax; Washington Post, 1/6/15

Alexandra Petri, Washington Post; The Facebook ‘copyright notice’ hoax:
"If you see friends on Facebook posting this — “In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!” — well, these words are as dust blown on the wind. They do not signify anything, legally speaking. For all the good that it will do you in terms of dealing with/weaseling out of/shaking off the uncomfortable coil of your contract with Facebook, you might as well type something like “DEAR FACEBOOK, I HEREBY CLAIM THIS LAND FOR SPAIN.”
As Andrew Noyes (a Facebook spokesman) said in a statement, according to ABC News, that “Under our terms (, you grant Facebook permission to use, distribute, and share the things you post, subject to the terms and applicable privacy settings.”
You cannot simply announce that you do not want to abide by the permission you already granted. This is one case where you cannot revoke consent. As Snopes notes, “Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their accounts, nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook, simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls.”"