QuoteToyota Claims Ownership of Fan Wallpapers
Toyota, one of the biggest car companies in the world, is often a name synonymous with quality. There is even a philosophy of doing business, called “The Toyota Way", which emphasizes that the right result will come from the right process, and that solving the root problems brings the organization the greatest benefit.
This ‘Way’ is probably not communicated to its lawyers in great detail, which is why Desktopnexus, a site that provides desktop backgrounds, has been contacted by them. In perhaps one of the most wildly arrogant demands in DMCA history, Toyota’s lawyers are demanding the withdrawal of all wallpapers that feature a Toyota, Scion, or Lexus. The site’s owner, Harry Maugans contacted Toyota to clarify. He was told that all images featuring Toyota vehicles should be removed, even images with copyright belonging to others.
Speaking to TorrentFreak, Maugans said: "Their lawyer, Garrett Biggs, told us that if we wanted them to specifically identify their images, we would have to pay for them to do so." Maugans also said he was afraid it would come to a lawsuit, fearing the attrition effect that is so common now in copyright disputes. Toyota, with cash assets of over $23Billion can surely afford to spin out the legal costs in an attempt to bankrupt the site, the same strategy that is often used to ‘encourage‘ a settlement in RIAA cases.
QuoteIt was already known that Nintendo was on the hook for $21 million in a patent suit over the company's controllers. A Texas judge last week denied the game maker's request for a new trial, and Bloomberg is reporting that the judge will issue a ban to halt sales of the controllers tomorrow.
However, if the ban were to be issued, it would not take effect until after a Nintendo appeal on the original ruling was resolved. Nintendo could also avoid the ban by posting a bond or putting royalties into an escrow account, according to Bloomberg.
The original suit sought to have Nintendo's Wii Classic Controller, Wii Nunchuk, GameCube controller, and GameCube WaveBird all deemed in violation of an Anascape patent for a "six degrees of freedom" interface device. A jury found that all of those products, with the exception of the Wii Nunchuk, infringed on Anascape's patent.
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.
QuoteI'm currently engaged in a legal disagreement with the Associated Press, which claims that Drudge Retort users linking to its stories are violating its copyright and committing "'hot news' misappropriation under New York state law." An AP attorney filed six Digital Millenium Copyright Act takedown requests this week demanding the removal of blog entries and another for a user comment.
The Retort is a community site comparable in function to Digg, Reddit and Mixx. The 8,500 users of the site contribute blog entries of their own authorship and links to interesting news articles on the web, which appear immediately on the site. None of the six entries challenged by AP, which include two that I posted myself, contains the full text of an AP story or anything close to it. They reproduce short excerpts of the articles -- ranging in length from 33 to 79 words -- and five of the six have a user-created headline.
QuoteIn short, the Court invalidated the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act as unconstitutional, thus ruling that a State, employee of a State (acting within his or her official capacity) or instrumentality of a State cannot be held liable for copyright infringement.
Minow: Do all state employees have immunity for copyright infringement?
Pink: No. The Court's ruling only applies to state employees acting within their "official capcity." This gets a little tricky because a state official who has acted in violation of federal law will be stripped of his or her "official" character and will not be immune to suit under the 11th Amendment. Thus, for example, in the Marketing case, plaintiff may not seek damages against the professor in his official capacity as that it would violate the state’s sovereign immunity under the 11th Amendment, but the professor likely would be "stripped of his official or representative character" and would be "subjected in his person to the consequences of his individual conduct" if plaintiff can show that the professor violated plaintiff’s federally protected copyright. In other words, a state employee will be subjected to suit in his or her individual capacity even though he or she had been acting as an agent of the State if it is shown that the employee's conduct was ultra vires his or her delegated authority, e.g. by violating a federal law.
QuoteThe DoJ also says that Thomas' motion ignores the fact that statutory damages are given in place of actual damages. "Statutory damages compensate those wronged in areas in which actual damages are hard to quantify in addition to providing deterrence to those inclined to commit a public wrong," argues the DoJ. It's also impossible for the true damages to be calculated, according to the brief, because it's unknown how many other users accessed the files in the KaZaA share in question and committed further acts of copyright infringement. That's significant, because it shows that the DoJ is siding with the RIAA when it comes to the issue of whether making a file available for download on a P2P network constitutes distribution. It was a contentious issue during the Thomas trial, with the jury instructions originally stating that making songs available is not the same as distribution. The RIAA objected to that instruction, and in its final form, all the jury had to do was find that Thomas made the files available.
QuoteAccording to Billboard, the complaint filed in the District Court in New York states that Usenet.com provides access to millions of copyright infringing files and, with a nod towards the Grokster Decision, apparently "touts its service as a haven for those seeking pirated content." During the Grokster court case, it was ruled that even if a service or tool has substantial non-infringing uses, its owners would be liable for the infringing activities of its customers, should it be deemed that they encouraged their customers to commit copyright infringement. The complaint says that Usenet.com encourages its customers to commit copyright infringement and furthermore, facilitates such actions with its infrastructure.
QuoteUnder a pledge issued by the company Wednesday, IBM is granting universal and perpetual access to intellectual property that might be necessary to implement standards designed to make software interoperable. IBM will not assert any patent rights to its technologies featured in these standards. The company believes its move in this space is the largest of its kind. "These are what I could call the core infrastructure standards that people now use around such things as SOA," said Bob Sutor, IBM vice president of open source and standards. Web 2.0 applications also could be developed, for example. The company seeks to spur development of software that leverages these standards.
QuoteNational Public Radio spearheaded the appeal, arguing that the CRB's decision was an "abuse of discretion" and saying that the judges did not consider the ramifications of a new royalty structure. Under the new royalty schedule, NPR will see its costs skyrocket. The judges were unmoved by the webcasters' arguments. "None of the moving parties have made a sufficient showing of new evidence or clear error or manifest injustice that would warrant rehearing," wrote the CRB in its decision. "To the contrary... most of the parties' arguments in support of a rehearing or reconsideration merely restate arguments that were made or evidence that was presented during the proceeding."
QuoteMany years ago, when this project was first started, it was called "GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger." AOL naturally complained, and Mark Spencer changed the name to "Gaim." AOL was appeased, and no one really ever heard of it because there were very few users back then.
A few years passed, AOL trademarked "AIM," and started refering to their IM services under that name. They complained. The issue was brought up on Slashdot, and the developers at the time got some legal support. That legal support advised that the ongoing discussions with AOL be kept confidential until fully settled, and so it remained. Everyone thought the issue went away then. It sorta did, in that AOL stopped responding to the legal support for a while.
Our legal support has changed several times, and each group of lawyers have recommended silence & secrecy. Around the time of the first 2.0.0 beta, AOL came back into our lives in a very strong way, this time threatening to sue Sean.
This represents a clear pattern. AOL received more pushback than they expected, and would sort of let things stand for a while. They they woudl threaten a different Gaim developer. Each time a new Gaim developer was threatened, we had to look at new legal support.
QuoteDubbed "Genuine Fact Files," the campaign is now launching in the U.S. It went online last month in Italy, France, the U.K., Indonesia, Brazil, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. Microsoft plans to draw attention to it through banner ads on its Web sites and promotional material that it will hand out through partners. By using comics, the company aims to make the message more accessible to a broader audience. They are black and white, in a style similar to newspaper comics.
QuoteThe record industry alleged in a civil suit filed in May that XM allows subscribers to listen to, store and replay songs as MP3 files. Devices marketed as "XM + MP3" players help people trap the music from XM's broadcasts and then turn them into MP3s. The music labels argue that this infringes on their copyrights. XM's stance is that listeners are legally allowed to record music off the radio for personal use under the Home Recording Act of 1992. The judge, however, disagreed. While listeners have for years been allowed to record songs off of standard over-the-air stations, satellite radio is different because the transmission is digital. Music labels assert that a listener of satellite radio can scan through the music library and rapidly record hundreds of songs.
QuoteThe Gowers Report was commissioned by the government to look at modernising UK copyright laws for the digital age. While it proposes new powers against copyright infringement, it also says private users should be allowed to copy music from a CD to their MP3 player. It also recommends the 50-year copyright protection for recorded music should not be extended. Former newspaper editor Andrew Gowers said piracy and counterfeiting was probably the biggest challenge the intellectual property (IP) system faced.
QuoteIt also means the earliest official recordings from The Beatles, from 1963, will be out of copyright in 2013. Music journalist Neil McCormack told BBC Radio Five Live it was a blow to the industry. "This was set before the advent, the big boom of rock and roll. The boom in popular culture which has led to a whole vast number of people making their living from these royalties. "You can make a record in 1955 and have been getting royalties... been living on that and suddenly they're gone."
QuoteA Spanish intellectual property law has finally banned unauthorized peer-to-peer file-sharing in Spain, making it a civil offense even to download content for personal use. The legislation, approved by Congress on Thursday, toughens previous provisions. An early May circular from Spain's fiscal general del estado, or chief prosecutor, allowed downloads for purely personal use.
QuoteIs this an example of what is to come in the United States or other parts of Europe? People have long discussed this concept, known as "compulsory licensing." Meaning that basically the government assumes people are going to be putting copyrighted material on this blank media, Other ideas in the same vein include licensing fees imposed on DSL or cable customers, again assuming they are going to be making unauthorized copies of copyrighted material.