mfioretti: copyright madness*

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  1. The Authors Guild -- notorious for advancing extremely broad, censorious theories of copyright -- told Lee that the Guild "does not support extending the copyright term, especially since many of our members benefit from having access to a thriving and substantial public domain of older works,If anything, we would likely support a rollback to a term of life-plus-50 if it were politically feasible." It will be very difficult to sell term extension as a measure to benefit artists if prominent artists' groups are speaking out against it.

    The other factor is that Congress is a total shambles, its calendar dominated by shutdowns and chaotic attempts to ram through the extreme agenda of the GOP electoral majority that represents a numeric minority of Americans, and the chances of any laws getting passed are slim.

    But there's always the possibility that copyright term extension would be slipped into must-pass legislation, a budget or a key appropriation. That's a risky game, given the possibility that this would spark a public uprising to kill it (there's plenty of Conservative animus for the entertainment industry, after all, and the 1998 term extension was counted as a major achievement by Bill Clinton and his acolytes, so this could be painted as greedy, corporate-money-fattened Republicans helping to preserve the hated legacy of the Clintons).
    https://boingboing.net/2018/01/08/sonny-bono-is-dead.html
    Voting 0
  2. Armstrong Zoom, a northeastern US ISP with about a million subscribers, has sent its customers warnings that they have been accused of copyright infringement, and that subsequent accusations would lead to having their network connections slowed to the point of uselessness, which could impair their ability to control their internet-connected thermostats.

    In the regions in which Armstrong Zoom operates, a malfunctioning thermostat in winter could result in frozen pipes, floods, and death of pets and even people.

    Note that the punishments Armstrong Zoom is threatening have no due process, and the customers are considered guilty without even the chance to prove themselves innocent.

    “Please be advised that this may affect other services which you may have connected to your internet service, such as the ability to control your thermostat remotely or video monitoring services.”

    Accused pirates who want their full service restored, and regain control over their thermostats, have to answer some copyright questions and read an educational piece about copyright infringement.

    When they sign an agreement acknowledging that they have done so, full Internet access is restored. However, if more complaints come in later, the consequences will be more severe.

    Piracy Notices Can Mess With Your Thermostat, ISP Warns Ernesto/Torrentfreak »
    https://boingboing.net/2017/12/27/winter-is-coming.html
    Voting 0
  3. Last October, the Dr Seuss estate used legal threats to halt a wildly successful crowdfunded Seuss/Star Trek mashup called "Oh, The Places You'll Boldly Go," whose contributors included comics legend Ty Templeton and Tribbles creator David Gerrold.

    The Seuss estate argued that the book infringed its trademarks and copyrights. Now, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California court has ruled on the trademark question and found that there is no valid trademark claim thanks to "nominative fair use," and also indicated that it would be favorably disposed to fair use defenses on the copyright question.
    https://boingboing.net/2017/06/12/litigious-estates.html
    Voting 0
  4. The X-Men and the Avengers can appear in the same magazine but not the same film. Spiderman can only meet Captain America with Sony’s permission. After five decades, the world of special powers is fraught with personal issues
    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ent...engers-sharing-a-screen-a7023096.html
    Voting 0
  5. On September 13, owners of HP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X began contacting third-party ink vendors by the thousand, reporting that their HP printers no longer accepted third-party ink.

    The last HP printer firmware update was pushed in March 2016, and it appears that with that update (or possibly an earlier one), HP had set a time-bomb ticking in its customers' printers counting down to the date when they'd begin refusing to follow their owners' orders.

    HP says that the March update's purpose was "to protect HP's innovations and intellectual property."

    In 2003, Lexmark (then an IBM division) sued Static Controls, saying that the company had violated Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by reverse-engineering its toner cartridges and refilling old ones that could successfully pass Lexmark's checks for valid, full cartridges.

    Lexmark had an "I am empty" bit in their cartridges; when the cartridge ran out of toner, the bit flipped to "true." Even if you refilled your cartridge, your printer wouldn't use it, because it saw the cartridge as empty. Static Controls figured out how to flip that bit back to "false."

    Lexmark invoked Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it a criminal and civil offense to bypass an "effective means of access control" for a copyrighted work. The DC Circuit court asked Lexmark which copyrighted work was being protected by its access control, and it argued that the checking routine itself was copyrighted, as well as the "Empty" bit. The court found that the DMCA could only be invoked where there was a copyrighted work apart from the access control, and that a single bit didn't qualify as a copyrightable work. Lexmark lost.

    (Coda: Lexmark was eventually sold to Static Controls)

    HP will likely raise similar arguments when, inevitably, its competitors start making cartridges that trick your printer into obeying you, rather than HP. But there's a potential difference between HP and Lexmark: namely that HP cartridges now have lots of copyrighted software, not just "I am empty" bits and access control systems.

    This isn't just true of HP cartridges: software, and access controls that give manufacturers the legal right to reach into your home and boss you around via your gadgets, has proliferated into pacemakers, insulin pumps and implanted defibrillators; into thermostats, baby monitors, and home security systems; into cars and tractors; into voting machines and seismic dampers in skyscrapers.

    Worst of all is that security researchers who disclose defects in systems covered by Section 1201 of the DMCA face civil and criminal penalties, and so they routinely sit on these disclosures, putting us all at risk. Remember, HP printers have already been successfully targeted by attacks that let bad guys take over your whole network just by tricking you into printing a single page. Once HP can invoke the DMCA to shut down these disclosures, the bugs will continue to fester, but our ability to know about them in a timely fashion will end.
    http://boingboing.net/2016/09/19/hp-detonates-its-timebomb-pri.html
    Voting 0
  6. Start by understanding this: copyright lets you do a lot of stuff without permission (and even against the wishes) of rightsholders. For example, it let Apple launch the Ipod and Itunes, both of which were bitterly denounced by the record industry at their launch -- as far as they were concerned, "Rip, Mix, Burn" was an invitation to piracy, and Apple was wrong to encourage this behavior. But because copyright has limits -- fair use, and the limits on copyrightability itself -- Apple was able to revolutionize music.

    Enter the DMCA: in 1998, Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Section 1201 of which says that breaking DRM, even to accomplish those legal activities that lead to so much improvement and innovation in the entertainment industry (like Itunes and Ipods and Iphones) is illegal.

    This matters a lot. The Supreme Court told us that the only way copyright -- a government-issued monopoly over the utterance of certain words, sounds and images -- can square up with the First Amendment is through those limits on copyright, fair use and copyrightabaility's limitations. Then the Supreme Court repeated this.

    That's part of the basis of EFF's lawsuit to invalidate Section 1201 of the DMCA. Until we win that case, though, any digital interface with a thin scrim of DRM on it becomes a copyright no-go zone. Bypassing the DRM opens you up to felony prosecution and punishing civil penalties.

    That's why, if you have a CD you want to play on your Iphone, Apple provides software that automatically rips the music and seamlessly moves it to your device. But if you have a DVD -- the same kind of disc, but with a creaking DRM that was broken more than a decade ago -- Apple will invite you to buy that movie again on Itunes. The DRM on DVDs has kept them stuck in the 1990s, while the music on CDs has roared into the 21st century.

    Once all the audio coming out of an Iphone is digital -- once there's no analog output -- Apple gets a lot more options about how it can relate to its competitors, and they're all good for Apple and bad for Apple's customers. Just by wrapping that audio in DRM, Apple gets a veto over which of your devices can connect to your phone. They can arbitrarily withhold permission to headphone manufacturers, insist that mixers be designed with no analog outputs, or even demand that any company that makes an Apple-compatible device must not make that device compatible with Apple's competitors, so home theater components that receive Apple signals could be pressured to lock out Samsung's signals, or Amazon's.
    http://boingboing.net/2016/08/12/how-...A+boingboing%2FiBag+%28Boing+Boing%29
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2016-08-12)
    Voting 0
  7. Ron Paulk you have "invented" a workbench years ago, OK.
    And for years you are beating a dead horse!
    In every youtube video "Ron Paulk: Designer of the Paulk Workbench"
    "Ron Paulk: Designer of the Awsome rolling Wayntraintoolbox"
    "Ron Paulk: Designer of the Whaterver Station"
    For this reasons i had cancelled my subscription to your youtube channel.
    I always waitet for "as seen on TV". I cant hear it anymore, its so annoying!
    You
    act like Apple!
    You also copied parts from other workbenches an claim
    that you invented all alone.
    Benchdogholes an Clampingholes and all this
    things where inventetd long long before you lived.
    Do you have a patend on this workbench?
    Ok, mtilemans workbench is a simillar AND IMPROVED design.
    His workbenchsize is much better for the Homeworkshop, yours for the professional.
    He should mentioned your workbench in his instructable, OK.
    IMHO on this instructable (helping) site is no place to take money for plans.
    Takeing money for an explanation, an instructable, an plan is not helping, its selling!
    I hope he puts the Plans online again, i consider to build it for my small garage.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/MTI-workbench
    Voting 0
  8. Take, for example, the famous Eames walnut and leather armchair with matching ottoman. The officially licensed and copyrighted producer, Vitra, sells them for £6,814 in John Lewis. Yet copies made in Chinese factories sell over the internet and in some stores for as little as £399.
    Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair.
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    Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair.

    It is these low-cost knock-offs that will now be banned. A change in law which came into force on 28 July 2016 means that retailers will no longer be able to sell cheap replicas of iconic furniture designs and shoppers will instead be forced to pay thousands for original designs – ie those made brand new under licence with the agreement of the late designers’ estates. The six-month transition period will run out at the end of January.

    Companies can currently sell replica goods providing 25 years has passed from the date the designer died, but the EU ruling – speeded up by the British government – has extended that period to 70 years. Eames died in 1978, so the new protection extends the copyright of the many chairs, tables and clocks he designed until 2048. For items designed jointly with his wife, Ray, the copyright would extend for a further 10 years, as she died in 1988.

    The explosion in popularity of “mid-century modern” designs means the new law will have a huge impact on many people furnishing their homes.
    https://www.theguardian.com/money/201...bout-to-rocket-in-price-copyright-law
    Voting 0
  9. On a related note, this is a made-in-america problem. The EU has ruled in the last 10 years that not only does Microsoft need to document their API's for use by competitors for interoperability, but provide them for use. It is very disappointing that this sensible direction was not adopted in the USA, but goes to show you that most lawyers in the technology field have little knowledge regarding coding or how technology works.

    COMMENT: On a related note, this is a made-in-america problem. The EU has ruled in the last 10 years that not only does Microsoft need to document their API's for use by competitors for interoperability, but provide them for use. It is very disappointing that this sensible direction was not adopted in the USA, but goes to show you that most lawyers in the technology field have little knowledge regarding coding or how technology works.
    http://arstechnica.co.uk/tech-policy/...ory-might-kill-gpl-oracle/?comments=1
    Voting 0
  10. Much has already been written on the inherit problems with intellectual property, copyright, and patents, as well as the shrinking public domain and seemingly perpetual copyrights that undermine the benefits of sharing ideas. Below are some contemporary examples—by no means the most egregious incidents that have occurred—of flawed mindsets regarding copyrights, trademarks, and patents.
    https://medium.com/@hubbard/20-hollow...pyright-claims-1e850c7c2cf#.mwo9hv6wd
    Voting 0

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