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Fair Use Must Be Considered In DMCA Notices 189

Posted by timothy
from the seems-only-fair dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "US District Judge Jeremy Fogel has ruled that an 'allegation that a copyright owner acted in bad faith by issuing a takedown notice without proper consideration of the fair use doctrine thus is sufficient to state a misrepresentation claim,' which paves the way for a lawsuit against Universal Music over a ridiculous DMCA Takedown notice they filed. One can only hope that this ruling will some day be used against those who file misguided copyright complaints against computer printers. Those lawyers who rely upon buggy infringement detection programs to do their thinking for them — programs which are incapable of making subjective considerations like fair use — might want to think again before rubber stamping computer-generated DMCA Takedown notices."
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Fair Use Must Be Considered In DMCA Notices

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  • A Bit Tilted? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:06PM (#24692611) Journal

    "U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel has ruled that 'allegation that a copyright owner acted in bad faith by issuing a takedown notice without proper consideration of the fair use doctrine thus is sufficient to state a misrepresentation claim,' which paves the way for a lawsuit against Universal Music over a ridiculous DMCA Takedown notice they filed. One can only hope that this ruling will some day be used against those who file misguided copyright complaints against computer printers. Those lawyers who rely upon buggy infringement detection programs to do their thinking for them -- programs which are incapable of making subjective considerations like fair use -- might want to think again before rubber stamping computer-generated DMCA Takedown notices."

    Speaking of subjectivity, this summary is rife with it. Even though I agree 100% with it, I would prefer my news fed to me in the form of low grade homogeneous neutral gruel. I know it's more boring to read that way but it allows me, the reader, to form my own opinions. More importantly, it maintains that news source's credibility and will actually make the other side listen instead of instant dismissal. You're also needlessly jeopardizing those who are undecided on this issue. I think I'd rather read:

    "U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel has ruled that 'allegation that a copyright owner acted in bad faith by issuing a takedown notice without proper consideration of the fair use doctrine thus is sufficient to state a misrepresentation claim,' which now puts Universal Music at risk over a DMCA Takedown notice they filed. This ruling may also one day be used against those who attempt to file copyright complaints against computer printers & automated DMCA Takedown notices.

    I know Slashdot is not a true news site and is more so a news aggregater of whatever CmdrTaco feels is relevant but does anyone else get a sinking suspicion that we might look a bit biased to outsiders?

    There's no objectivity in this summary, it just assumes the reader needs to be told how to think (which is usually taken as an insult to intelligence). I just don't want Slashdot to turn into the "Fox News for Geeks, Stuffed into Your Gullet Our Way."

    • Re:A Bit Tilted? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:09PM (#24692675)
      I just don't want Slashdot to turn into the "Fox News for Geeks, Stuffed into Your Gullet Our Way."

      I think you're about 11 years too late for that.
      • Re:A Bit Tilted? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:37PM (#24693099)
        Slashdot's stories almost always come about because some guy found something on the internet he feels strongly about, and submitted it to the firehose. I mean, we wouldn't have half as many stories on IP law if I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property wasn't a complete fanatic on the subject, and Slashdot be the worse for it. The way the summaries are presented makes it pretty clear that they're the editorialised version of the original, interpreted the opinions of the submitter, and I think honestly we all have the critical thinking skills required to handle that, right? It's not like the summary is downright misleading or yet another dupe.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I doubt we all have enough critical thinking skills to grant us immunity form this kind of thing or the tactic would not be so popular. It is fun to think of Slashdot as a community of exclusively high end thinkers, but that is quite a ways from the truth.

          Despite that I much prefer this kind of bias to the paid-for-but-not-admitted-to stories. At least we can assume overly dramatic write ups get through because the editors don't really want to take the time to edit them. With the paid stories the editors ar

          • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:56PM (#24693425) Journal

            Interesting side note, 'high' is a synonym for 'stoned,' while 'end' is a synonym for 'asshole.' And 'thinker' just means 'someone who doesn't do shit, but talks a lot.' I definitely think Slashdot is a community of high end thinkers.

            • Interesting side note, 'high' is a synonym for 'stoned,' while 'end' is a synonym for 'asshole.' And 'thinker' just means 'someone who doesn't do shit, but talks a lot.' I definitely think Slashdot is a community of high end thinkers.

              Well, when you put it like that, I don't think anyone can disagree....
          • by Sockatume (732728)
            Yeah, perhaps I'm being too optimistic. My bias is towards open editorialisation, because it makes for more interesting material. Looking back on my adolescence that sort of material did lead me into a lot of really stupid offline and online arguments about the merits of the Commodore 64 or yetis or whatever. Impressionable minds and all that. I wonder what the demographics are for Slashdot?
        • The way the summaries are presented makes it pretty clear that they're the editorialised version of the original, interpreted the opinions of the submitter, and I think honestly we all have the critical thinking skills required to handle that, right?

          I can't tell whether the irony in striving for the lowest common denominator escapes you, or you actually believe that a "It sucks but it's OK" argument can ever be valid.

          Sorry, but I think the OP was entirely correct. Slashdot readers are invited to "submit" a

          • Re:A Bit Tilted? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:11PM (#24694751)
            I'm not saying that the editorialision of news, as a general phenomenon, is acceptable. To elaborate my reasoning:

            1) Slashdot will inevitably receive summaries written by people who engage strongly with the subject matter. Those people are unlikely to write neutrally.

            2) It is immediately obvious that in the summary we are receiving the submitter's editorialised version of the events. There is no facade of neutrality or objectivity in an IP law post that starts "I Don't Believe In Imaginary Property writes:"

            3) There is an expectation of factual accuracy in a Slashdot summary. Outright lying with regards to the content of the article is not acceptable in any case. Fortunately that is not true here.

            4) A non-editorialised, neutral version of events is usually provided by the story itself, a mere mouse click away, assuming it is not a blog or some other editorial article. Given that said story contains the news we're actually after, it seems to me inevitable that even the most credulous reader would be dissolusioned of any false assumptions they made on the basis of an editorialised summary.

            To get down to brass tacks: I never read a Slashdot summary an expect it to be neutral and free of editorialisation, any more than I would expect a blog post to be. Everything from the way stories are gathered at the back end to the way they're written on the front page makes it obvious that this is not the case. Even if you argue that all news sources (even Slashdot summaries) should come with an expectation of neutrality and objectivity it seems obvious to me that it's in an entirely different kingdom of bias than the likes of Fox News.
      • Re:A Bit Tilted? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fm6 (162816) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:40PM (#24693155) Homepage Journal

        I don't agree. Slashdot has never pretended to be objective. But there's a difference between the slanted newsgathering the editors have always done and the outright rants that they've been doing lately.

        One difference is the blogosphere. Slashdot stories used to be mostly summaries of (and links to) stories on serious news site. Now there are thousands of angry, self-righteous blogs out there, and they all have have "Submit to Slashdot" buttons. The editors often pass these submissions on with little or no editing (in particular, they rarely double check the blogger's assertions) and end up posting a lot of very subjective opinions as if they're established fact.

        Plus, many editors seem to have been infected by the Howard Beale [youtube.com] attitude of the blogosphere, and feel compelled to add their own ill-informed little rants.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Q. How does Slashdot earn money?

          Advertising.

          Q. How does advertising make money?

          A. People.

          Q. How do we get people?

          A. Discussion.

          Q. What makes discussion?

          A. Conflict. Arguements.

          That is not to say Slashdot doesn't post good stories. I read them - as do you. The world has changed since these beautiful early days you speak of though. You don't have to be a professional to find a good story. You don't even have to be a writer. Slashdot has evolved with the times, in some ways for the good, and in some ways

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)
      You must be new here.

      but seriously, just because you disagree with someone doesn't make them a troll. slashdot "troll" and "flamebait" are just mod-point sensoring. I'll call it a /. takedown.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      There's no objectivity in this summary

      You must be new here! :P

      Seriously this is slashdot. If you want objectivity go to news.google.com or the like.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by sm62704 (957197)

        You must be new here! :P

        Ewe muss bee knew hear! ;)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by HiThere (15173)

        If you think the "official news" is objective, then you've never been on site at a news happening and then later seen it reported ... TV, newspaper, they slant equally, though they prefer different techniques.

        Slashdot is, at least, blatant about presenting slanted news. I've been on site where NBC (this was prior to MSNBC) was recording for rebroadcast. When I later saw the report it took a significant amount of time (about half the footage) before I finally realized what they were "reporting" on. It was

    • by blcamp (211756)

      It may be a bit tilted, but in this case, it's tilted the way most of the readers here are in agreement with.

      Put another way: the opinions had already been formed.

      I'm just glad to see that the momentum is finally building with respect to copyright and fair use.

      It took a while for common sense to prevail in the SCO case; it's taken awhile here as well, but it good to see cracks in the Media Cartel's armor.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by geobeck (924637)

        ...it's tilted the way most of the readers here are in agreement with.

        A bit off-topic, but just for an academic exercise...

        In a startling setback for the advancement of intellectual property rights, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel has ruled that 'allegation that a copyright owner acted in bad faith by issuing a takedown notice without proper consideration of the fair use doctrine thus is sufficient to state a misrepresentation claim,' which paves the way for a ridiculous lawsuit against Universal Music ove

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I know Slashdot is not a true news site and is more so a news aggregater of whatever CmdrTaco feels is relevant but does anyone else get a sinking suspicion that we might look a bit biased to outsiders?

      Suspicion??

      I know for a fact that an outsider to Slashdot is going to mostly view us as a bunch of bickering, squabling wankers who divide into camps defined by who makes out favorite operating system, music player, or role playing game.

      It's a little late to be worried that someone else might notice. Slashdo

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by iminplaya (723125)

      ...Stuffed into Your Gullet Our Way

      Aaah, Slashdot...Gavage for nerds...Foie gras that tastes great

    • by Clovis42 (1229086) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:31PM (#24693023)

      US District Judge Jeremy Fogel has ruled that an 'allegation that a copyright owner acted in bad faith by issuing a takedown notice without proper consideration of the fair use doctrine...

      One can only hope that this ruling will some day be used against those who file misguided copyright complaints against computer printers.

      Hmm... I thought that the takedown notices sent to printers was ridiculous because it showed that the method the RIAA used to determine who was pirating music was b0rken.

      Apparently, the printers really were downloading music, but they had a fair use! I totally misread that story before. I, for one, will not stand for fair use rights being taken away from our electronic friends!

    • does anyone else get a sinking suspicion that we might look a bit biased to outsiders?

      I am new here, and this site is terribly biased.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lpevey (115393)

        You weren't clued in to this by the "News for Nerds... Stuff That Matters" tagline? Of course a site purporting to know what "matters" to you is biased. For the most part, no one here pretends otherwise, which is neutral enough for me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ahabswhale (1189519)

      What do you expect on a story about DMCA takedown notices submitted by a guy named "I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property"?

    • I agree, that is not the way for a slashdot article to behave. But I do enjoy tilted news.

      Our break room used to have a TV playing fox news - about as unfair and mentally imbalanced as it gets, but funny as all heck. Especially when they get torn to shreds by some well-informed liberal or spout angry, laughable nonsense.

      It was fun watching other people respond to it too. I actually missed fox when the company decided to change the channel to CNN.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chyeld (713439)

      Speaking of subjectivity, this summary is rife with it. Even though I agree 100% with it, I would prefer my news fed to me in the form of low grade homogeneous neutral gruel. I know it's more boring to read that way but it allows me, the reader, to form my own opinions

      Let me highlight something in the summary I believe you missed.

      I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes
      "US District Judge Jeremy Fogel has ruled that an 'allegation that a copyright owner acted in bad faith by issuing a takedown notice

    • Speaking of subjectivity, this summary is rife with it. Even though I agree 100% with it, I would prefer my news fed to me in the form of low grade homogeneous neutral gruel.

      Good, if you ever find such a thing, let us know.

    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      You lived in a bunker since Fox News and "fair and balanced" journalism became the norm?

  • but... (Score:3, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:07PM (#24692631)
    Those lawyers who rely upon buggy infringement detection programs to do their thinking for them...might want to think again...

    But you've just shown that they don't even think the first time around...

    I can't wait to see where the countersuit goes from here.
  • by boaz112358 (947978) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:11PM (#24692715)
    FTFA: 'Still, Judge Fogel said he had "considerable doubt that Lenz will be able to prove that Universal acted with subjective bad faith" when it sent YouTube the takedown notice.' If I were a betting man (and I am), I'd bet Universal wins this one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      If "subjective bad faith" as the cause of Universal's behavior is eliminated, they're left with only "stupidity" or "ignorance of the law" as their excuses. Since neither of those is likely to make their lawyers look good, I'm guessing they'll go with with some variation on the general theme of "ignorance".

      Sample: "Sadly, your honor, in spite of the many requirements we placed in their contract, we were not informed by a third-party subcontractor of a computer or software error for which they were entirely

    • by Zordak (123132)

      Agreed. I read the opinion, and it's not that big a deal. It just says that when a big corporation wants to send nasty take-down notices, they have to pause for a about half a second and think, "Is this absolutely, positively fair use?" After they've done that, and determined that it may be, but it's not a slam dunk fair use, they can send their takedown notice.

      The standard of proof on the misrepresentation claim is subjective bad faith. That means that even with this decision, Lenz will have to prove t

  • by HitoGuy (1324613) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:13PM (#24692749)
    Maybe it isn't so much reliance on a mindless infringement detection program as groups like the MPAA and RIAA seem to absolutely loathe the concept of fair use. Maybe the lawyers are actually looking for a scapegoat.
    • by sm62704 (957197) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:38PM (#24693119) Journal

      They don't just loathe the concept, MPAA honcho Jack Valenti said "there's no such thing as fair use". It's like the music industry in the 1980s, when LPs would say on their covers that any copying was a federal felony, despite the fact that the Audio Home Recording Act of 1978 specifically said that recording those LPs to tape was LEGAL.

      These bozos don't give a rat's ass about the law. As far as they're concerned, what they say is the law is the law. Considering their army of lawyers, lobbyists, and campaign bribes; er, 'scuse me, "campaign contributions", they may well be right.

      • These bozos don't give a rat's ass about the law.

        Sure they do, they spend so much on changing it to their liking!
        Lawmakers and lobbyists aren't cheap, you know. You should see their food budget, they cost hundreds of dollars per meal! And only in restaurants free or rats asses, or any other rat parts.

        They care about the law as much as a slave owner cares about the whip.

  • by Xelios (822510) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:16PM (#24692787)
    "Universal also raised the question of whether a particular use of copyrighted material constitutes fair use is a "fact-intensive inquiry," arguing that it is difficult for copyright owners to predict whether a court eventually may rule in their favor."

    Well isn't that a crying shame, they can't shotgun automated DMCA notices without the threat of consequence anymore. Boohoo.
  • Perjury (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:20PM (#24692843) Journal

    To date, has anyone anywhere gone on trial for perjuring themselves in a false DMCA notice? If not, why not?

    • Re:Perjury (Score:4, Insightful)

      by HitoGuy (1324613) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:23PM (#24692887)
      Because laws such as the DMCA are biased toward Big Business, like everything else in the US.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      Perjury is a criminal offence. You would have to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that they knowingly lied about the notice rather than simply made a mistake. Nobody will bring charges without a reasonable chance of conviction. Essentially you'd need a smoking gun here; something like a memo saying "I don't care that it's not infringement!"
  • that someone in the justice system has noticed that the rabid dog has no right to go around just randomly biting people

    but a lot of us are still waiting for someone in the justice system to notice that we need to put the rabid dog out of its misery

    there is no more life in copyright for products that can be consumed electronically (music, text, movies, etc.) because there is no way to enforce the legal concept of copyright in an environment where there is zero distribution cost for infinite distribution abilities

    the internet killed copyright. the internet lets everyone be a publisher with greater reach than all the most powerful media companies combined. i can share a file with someone in buenos aires, wellington, seoul, and vancouver. my distribution costs are zero. my reach is infinite. there is no such thing as copyright in this environment

    there are no checkpoints where a rogue printing press, pirate cd presser, or renegade vcr duplicator can be located by the authorities and shut down. who are you going to shutdown on the internet? traffic can be obscured in such a way that you can't monitor it, and these methods can be encapsulated in code so the clueless end user need not know any special technical abilities to trrde files discreetly, and find anything they want

    game over dude

    a lot of time now must be spent waiting for everyone else to wake up to this realization

    the internet killed copyright

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      Right. Payment for creativity, unless it is shrouded by something else, is gone. People will take whatever they want, however they can. And the lack of international enforcement and differing laws ensures that there can be no prosecution of any copyright, patent, or trademark laws.

      As a software publisher, what this really means is that without some physical embodiment, anybody can take our software and republish it, free of cost or not, and there isn't anything that can be done about it. It means that i

      • television and radio has been beaming free media content on the airwaves for decades, and they are very profitable. why? how?

        because charging someone to buy your book/ software/ cd/ dvd is not, and never has been, the only way money is made in media. the advertising that radio and tv sell is but one of dozens of other ways you can make $ with free software

        free software represets an upside to: zero resistance to widespread implementation. if you sold your package for $100, you might have 100 customers. if yo

    • the internet lets everyone be a publisher with greater reach than all the most powerful media companies combined.

      No. The media conglomerates can do everything you can do on the internet, but you are limited to viewers who know on what adress to reach your data.
      The corporations can spend millions to not only host their data on a robust server capable of whithstanding the harshest slashdotting, but they can also pay for tv and radio and print distribution to inform anyone in contact with their targeted demographics of the location of their content.

      It lets anyone be a publisher, and it allows greater than ever before, bu

      • i'm not trying to defeat media companies

        they can, and will, continue to be gatekeepers to the likes of britney spears' popularity. they can pay to get exposure, and continue to exist in this way, profiting from acne cream commercials and teeny bopper concerts in stadiums. they are not my enemy, they have every right to continue doing this

        what they CAN'T do is sue me because i downloaded a britney spears mp3 for free. they have no moral rationale to do this. in this narrow regard on this small topic, yes, th

    • by Zordak (123132)

      there is no more life in copyright for products that can be consumed electronically (music, text, movies, etc.) because there is no way to enforce the legal concept of copyright in an environment where there is zero distribution cost for infinite distribution abilities

      I wonder how many Slashdotters would be singing this tune if Microsoft downloaded a copy of the Linux kernel and appropriated it for use in Windos 7 like Apple (legally) did with OSX. Without strong copyright laws (and without strong freed

      • copyleft is not copyright. copyleft says you can distribute anyway you want, but you should properly attribute. this is still enforceable

        in other words, a copyright for electronic media is dead not because i say so, but simply because i am making the observation that it is unenforceable

        copyleft, meanwhile, is still enforceable

        thus, copyleft is still valid

        not because i say so, but because of what is ENFORCEABLE and what is not. get it?

        you can go sue microsoft under the terms of the gpl. you can't sue everyon

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Zordak (123132)
          Your entire post is astoundingly circular and misinformed.

          copyleft is not copyright.

          Wrong. Copyleft is a cute term somebody made up to describe a certain type of copyright license. It's still entirely dependent upon copyright law. Like any non-exclusive copyright license, the GPL conveys less than the entire interest in the copyright, meaning that the owner of the copyright can impose restrictions on use of the copyrighted work. It has nothing to do with any inherent right of attribution. In fact, th

          • for the patronizing and condescending discussion on copyright and copyleft

            for the sake of an abbreviated discussion on slashdot, you could have safely assumed that my shorthand terms indicated i was talking about the substantive differences between copyleft and traditional unmodified copyright. and that would have sufficed to be adequately useful for you to make your points or lack thereof, but no. therefore, a lack of points on your part must be assumed

            "'copyleft says you can distribute anyway you want, bu

  • Prince song? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ilovesymbian (1341639)

    All this snowballed because of Prince's song? Gee, even that toddler doesn't really like Prince. And no, his mother wasn't making any $$ from that song. Nothing to see, lets move on.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Well Prince is a bit of a nutjob. He wants things done his way, exactly. Check out Kevin Smith's story [prince.org] about working with Prince for an idea of what I'm talking about.

      She's like, "Prince doesn't comprehend things the way you and I do."
      I was like, "What do you mean?" She was like, "Well . . .

      . . .Prince has been living in Prince World for quite some time now."
      She's like, "So Prince will come to us periodically and say things like:

      'It's 3 in the morning in Minnesota. I really need a camel .
      Go get it.'

      And th

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Also, IIRC Prince personally went on Youtube looking for his music and initiated this lawsuit.

  • by fermion (181285) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:30PM (#24692993) Homepage Journal
    What concerns me about these endless suits is the amount of money they represent. Surely not all of the costs are paid for by the participants. Surely there would significant cost savings to the taxpayer if these frivolous suits, which are primarily issued by corporate entities looking to minimize competitions, were severely punished. I can't imagine what a judge would do if I went to a judge and sued, for instance, Exxon Mobil because a IP linked to their firm showed up on my log during an attack. i would hope the judge would dismiss and force me to pay additional fines.

    It is certainly the government;s responsibility to help maintain the laws, but what has happened to the normal fiscal responsibility we apply to these things. We don't stop everyone who is speeding. We don't staff police departments so that every person who steals a CD from a car is prosecuted. Yet our court system is being overwhelmed by companies who stand to lose a $20 cd sale due to copyright infringement.

    This situation is getting worse. The FBI wants to open a case with no probable cause. Each case represents a finite amount of expenditure of taxpayer money. In times past, we had some assurance that money spent was used to investigate a legitimate crime with legitimate suspects. Now we could have massive amount of waste due to an agent not liking his new neighbor.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:33PM (#24693049)

    A brief recap for those who haven't been following the case:

    Around Feb. 2007, Stephanie Lenz posted a Youtube video of her toddler laughing and dancing to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy". The song is heard somewhat indistinctly in the background of the low resolution, low fidelity 29 second video. Four months later, Universal sent a takedown notice to Youtube to remove the video. Mrs. Lenz with the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a counter-notice and sued under a provision of the DMCA.

    Universal wanted the case dismissed with their brief arguing [eff.org]:

    • Fair Use is not a defense for copyright infringement
    • The DMCA does not require copyright holders to check for Fair Use before sending a notice
    • There is no such thing as "self-evident" Fair Use
    • There was no way Universal could have know it was Fair Use

    In court, Universal also tried to argue that their takedown notice wasn't a DMCA takedown notice because the notice had a disclaimer saying it wasn't. The notice however followed the same procedure as a DMCA takedown and was sent to the DMCA takedown email address at Youtube. This point is important as the DMCA has a provision that allows for lawsuits if copyright holder abuses the DMCA. The Judge didn't address this point in particular but apparently disagreed given his ruling.

    Universal however seemingly admitted to ABC News that it doesn't really check material for Fair Use before sending out takedown notices and doesn't care:

    Prince believes it is wrong for YouTube, or any other user-generated site, to appropriate his music without his consent. That position has nothing to do with any particular video that uses his songs. It's simply a matter of principle. And legally, he has the right to have his music removed. We support him and this important principle. That's why, over the last few months, we have asked YouTube to remove thousands of different videos that use Prince music without his permission.

    This is another important point because copyright law requires copyright holders should be diligent when pursuing legal actions. From what we know of the RIAA lawsuits, Universal doesn't seem to think this applies to them.

  • Printers (Score:3, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:35PM (#24693071)

    One can only hope that this ruling will some day be used against those who file misguided copyright complaints against computer printers.

    I wonder for whom I should root when a lawyer ends up suing the RIAA on behalf of a slandered printer...

  • What is fair use? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thogard (43403) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:36PM (#24693091) Homepage

    I run a web site for local bands where I give away their MP3 and a few bands have ended up with international gigs because of it. Some of their older songs may have names that new RIAA approved songs happen to have which results in nasty letters from lawyers. I know of at least US$20,000 worth of losses due cancelled gigs due to to RIAA paranoia so far. The RIAA isn't about music, they are after moving small plastic things.
    If you don't think the RIAA is out of hand, how much should the senators who sung God Bless America on the steps of the Capital pay the Boy Scouts? The law is the law isn't it?

    • I know of at least US$20,000 worth of losses due cancelled gigs due to to RIAA paranoia so far.

      How'd that happen?

    • The bands should pay the fee (~$20 or so I think) to get an official notarized filing receipt with the United States Copyright office stating the name of the song(s) and the date and time of the filing. That way, when the RIAA causes damages (i.e. a canceled gig and legal hassles) you can shove a copy of the letter in their face and demand a settlement for damages out of them for using your already copyrighted song name(s) to promote their crap and loss of business.
  • by Legion_SB (1300215) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:44PM (#24693201) Homepage

    I am fully prepared to begin holding up my end of the bargain on the copyright equation.

    As soon as you are willing to hold up yours.

    This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Complete respect of the Fair Use Doctrine, and no further attempts to legally narrow it's scope
    • An immediate end and repeal of all laws extending the length of copyright ad infinitum

    Copyright is a two-way street, and failure to maintain your responsibilities means a complete forfeiture of any right to try and enforce compliance with my responsibilities. Continued attempts to pass laws in order to shirk your responsibilities will be responded to with unchecked, tube-clogging mass downloading.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      This includes, but is not limited to:

      • Complete respect of the Fair Use Doctrine, and no further attempts to legally and/or technologically narrow it's scope
      • An immediate end and repeal of all laws extending the length of copyright ad infinitum

      Fixed that for you

  • I have a book published in 1994 that has the following copyright notice... here it is verbatim.

    "This book sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser."

    So if I sell or give the book away then how do I guarantee that

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nsayer (86181) *

      This is less sinister than it sounds.

      It is a common practice that when a book store buys way too many copies of a book from a publisher, that they can "return" the overstock to the publisher by ripping the covers of the book off and sending just those back, and tossing the rest of the book into the trash.

      Some unscrupulous book stores will turn around and sell the coverless books, thus screwing the publisher.

      Often times, the wording is less legalistic and states something to the effect of, "if you bought thi

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @02:27PM (#24693967) Homepage

    Oh, I hope this is a harbinger for the future. I used to use AudioGalaxy regularly, mostly rare 78s and cylinder recordings from 1900 to 1940 which a number of generous collectors were sharing.

    One day, virtually all of the shared material was unavailable. If I recall correctly, all of the items were still visible, but now contained individual notices that they were no longer available due to copyright restrictions.

    I made a few weak attempts to contact AudioGalaxy and ask them to restore material that was obviously not under copyright, to ask them what checking they had done, and how they could possibly even think that a 1907 recording of Vesta Victoria singing "There Was I Waiting At The Church" was copyrighted.

    Of course, they wouldn't even give me the courtesy of a reply.

  • Perhaps this case can lead to a determination that such bogus suits constitute "copyright misuse", leading to the loss of copyright protection on any song involved in such a suit.

    Such a precedent would put RIAA in the following position:
    - Bring a solid case, win some bux.
    - Bring a bogus case and get caught, the songs involved lose copyright protection.

    Perhaps that sort of risk would get them to evaluate the cases more carefully before firing the scattergun.

    Then again, perhaps they still woul

  • by Mike_K (138858) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:01PM (#24694593)

    If an entity sues for copyright infringement on some work they claim copyright to and loses with prejudice, they are stripped of any copyright to the work they sued for.

    Simple. In litigation, there needs to a concept of jeopardy. Both sides can lose. Not just the case, but something substantial. The defendant here is being sued for monetary compensation. In criminal cases the prosecution jeopardizes their ability to prosecute in the future using better evidence. We clearly need the same principle to apply to copyright litigation.

    If you don't want to take away the copyright, at least make the plaintiff pay the amount they were asking for in damages to the defendant. Jeopardy would restore balance to the system.

    m

  • Huh. I was bitching about irresponsible takedown notices [slashdot.org] just a few days ago, when the Olympics people used a DMCA notice to chill political speech.

    It's really a good thing that Fair Use will have to at least be superficially evaluated from now on, because that means that a human will get involved. A DMCA-notice-bot can do a lot of damage to its victims, and holding someone accountable for that, means that the days of DMCA-notice-bots are numbered (unless there's an AI breakthrough).

    We already have a lo

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