QuoteStephanie Lenz's YouTube video of her tot dancing to an old Prince song was pulled down at the request of Universal last year after the music label said that the clip infringed on its copyright. Not content with simply having Universal retract its claim, Lenz and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are out to put the squeeze on Universal for issuing a bad-faith DMCA takedown. But Universal told a judge this week that, even though the clip may in fact be "fair use," it was still "infringement" and therefore the initial takedown notice was made in good faith.
QuoteA federal judge today issued an injunction that would bar Internet phone company Vonage from signing up additional customers as punishment for infringing on patents held by Verizon Communications.
Vonage, of Holmdel, planned an immediate appeal.
QuoteThis is an important case. While it may appear to many as just one woman defending herself against several large corporate copyright plaintiffs, as the court is undoubtedly aware, this lawsuit is but one battle in the broader war the RIAA is waging against unauthorized internet copying. As a result of this war, the RIAA has wrought havoc on the lives of many innocent Americans who, like Deborah Foster, have been wrongfully prosecuted for illegal acts they did not commit for over a year despite their clear innocence and persistent denials. Using questionable methods and suspect evidence, the RIAA has targeted thousands of ordinary people around the country, including grandmothers, grandfathers, single mothers, and teenagers. In its broad dragnet of litigation, the RIAA has knowingly entangled the innocent along with the guilty, dragging them through an expensive and emotionally draining process of trying to clear their names. In deciding whether or not to grant defendant Deborah Foster's Motion For Attorneys Fees, the court should consider the broader context of the RIAA lawsuit campaign - especially the positive effect that a fee award would have on encouraging the RIAA to be more diligent in conducting its pre-suit investigations, more prompt in dismissing suits when a defendant asserts substantial claims of innocence or mistaken identity, and more responsible in asserting its legal theories. Moreover, a fee award would encourage innocent accused infringers to stand up and fight back against bogus RIAA claims, deter the RIAA from continuing to prosecute meritless suits that harass defendants it knows or reasonably should know are innocent, and further the purposes of the Copyright Act by reaffirming the appropriate limits of a copyright owner's exclusive rights.
QuoteFrance's main opposition party, the Parti Socialiste, has promised that, should it be elected in 2007, it will revise the law, after consulting with artists, consumers, businesses and Internet service providers. "The law is unworkable, and its problems are growing," said Anne Hidalgo, the party's national secretary for culture and the media.
QuoteThat voluntary warning may not be enough if a bill backed by the Bush administration becomes law. Under the Stop Adults' Facilitation of the Exploitation of Youth Act--or Internet Safety Act--introduced last week in the U.S. Senate, all "commercial" Web site operators who fail to flag each page containing "sexually explicit material" could risk fines, up to 15 years in prison, or both.