Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

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An Australian record label sent a take down notice to YouTube because one of its users supposedly violated their copyright. Unfortunately for them, the video they were targeting was one of Lawrence Lessig, a world-renowned copyright lawyer, and now Lessig is suing back.

Lessig posted his lecture on YouTube, which uses a technology that scans videos to find copyrighted songs.

Many labels and artists have agreed to let songs stay up in return for a cut of the money that YouTube gets from ads it runs with the videos — but some labels, like Melbourne-based Liberation Music, which owns the rights to “Lisztomania,” just want them taken down.

One day, “the computer bots finally got around to noticing that I had used a clip from this song,” he says. “Liberation Music then fired off threats of a lawsuit to me if I didn’t take it down.”

At first, YouTube took it down. But being a copyright attorney, Lessig knew his rights. He was entitled to use these clips in a lecture under a legal doctrine known as fair use.

“If I’m using it for purposes of critique, then I can use if even if I don’t have permission of the original copyright owner,” he says.
Liberation Music eventually backed down. But Lessig decided to invoke another part of the copyright law, “which basically polices bad-faith lawsuits,” he says — threats made fraudulently or without proper basis.

Lessig is suing Liberation Music because he wants labels to stop relying on automated systems to send out takedown notices, he says.

Record companies have taken their bullying tactics too far. They will sue people over anything, including the sound of the wind. They act like children and threaten anyone who doesn’t agree with them, even if they are in the wrong, particularly when it comes to fair use. The entire notion of copyright needs to be revisited, with more realistic, practical rules emerging. In the mean time, the government should step in to stop these automated systems as they can not, by their very nature, understand the difference between purposeful infringement and fair use.

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If you don’t like swear words, skip the video. The creator’s heart is in the right place, but his presentation needs some help if people are going to pay any serious attention to him.

Source.

More at Techdirt and the Washington Post.

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is being negotiated in secret between more than 12 countries around the Pacific region. Find out why it’s the biggest threat to the Internet you’ve probably never heard of.

For more information and to find out how you can take action, visit the EFF.

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a multi-national trade agreement that has some digital rights activists very concerned. The TPP negotiations have stayed under wraps, but involve issue such as freedom of speech and intellectual property laws. RT’s Margaret Howell explains how TPP regulations could change the Internet as we know it.

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Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), talked about the state of the motion picture industry and the challenges presented by new and changing technologies. He was introduced by Angela Greiling Keane, President of the National Press Club. He warned about the regulation of content in movies and talked about mental health and its relation to gun violence. Other topics included the industry’s movie ratings system, intellectual property and copyright infringement, and the growth of the industry both in the U.S. and abroad.



Watch the entire video
, if you can. I saw portions of it live on C-SPAN. Techdirt has a great analysis of how Dodd continues to be an industry mouthpiece, spewing forth the same tired arguments we’ve heard time and again.

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