If your birthday cake doesn't feature a strawberry pentagram with upside down cross, and chocolate hearts, what are you even doing? (not my birthday)
Source: Christopher Dombres via Flickr
The U.S. Copyright Office has launched a new Fair Use Index:
Fair use is a longstanding and vital aspect of American copyright law. The goal of the Index is to make the principles and application of fair use more accessible and understandable to the public by presenting a searchable database of court opinions, including by category and type of use (e.g., music, internet/digitization, parody).
The Fair Use Index is designed to be user-friendly. For each decision, we have provided a brief summary of the facts, the relevant question(s) presented, and the court’s determination as to whether the contested use was fair.
The Index itself is a series of summaries of key legal decisions regarding copyright and fair use, largely from the last sixty years.
It’s super interesting to me! Wondermark is, of course, created using images from the public domain. Which is not the same as fair use; public domain works have no copyright, whereas fair use is made of works that are copyrighted.
But copyright in all its gleaming facets is still a topic near and dear to my heart as an artist, author, and attentive internet citizen: I’ve written a fair amount about copyright and intellectual property.
The Fair Use Index includes some watershed copyright cases, such as 1978′s Walt Disney Productions v. Air Pirates, the precedent that defines the infringement threshold for copying copyrighted characters for “parody” purposes.
It might be said that under the Air Pirates test, the entire product line of the t-shirt website TeeFury is illegal, and I notice that very conveniently, most of their designs are only available in strictly limited, before-they-can-send-us-a-cease-and-desist editions.
Also included is the “Betamax” case, 1984′s Sony Corporation v. Universal City Studios, which ruled that recording a free broadcast of live television onto videotape for later home viewing — referred to as “time-shifting” — was, indeed, legal. “Home taping” (of both television and radio) was the big I.P. boogieman threat before “piracy”, and this court decision was what enabled the VCR, as a consumer device, to exist at all.
In browsing, I also came across some interesting cases I hadn’t heard about before, such as:
• 1985′s MGM v. Honda Motor Corp., in which MGM sued — and won — claiming that a spy-themed Honda commercial was too reminiscent of their copyrighted character, James Bond (and that it damaged the James Bond brand to show him in a Honda);
• 2004′s MasterCard v. Nader 2000, in which MasterCard sued — and lost — a copyright infringement suit against Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign commercials which copied/parodied its “priceless” slogan;
• 2006′s CleanFlicks v. Soderbergh, in which the company CleanFlicks, which edited objectionable content out of Hollywood movies and re-sold them to customers who preferred them that way, sought a declaratory judgment that doing so was legal — and lost. They thought they’d be OK because they’d buy a copy of the actual DVD, add in the edited version, and re-sell that precise physical DVD — not unlike buying a book, blacking out various passages, and then re-selling that physical book. Anyway, they lost;
• And of course, 2011′s CCA and B v. F+W Media, which ruled that the parody book Elf Off the Shelf (featuring a drunken, naughty elf), was, indeed, legal. Thank God for that.
The Fair Use Index: really great browsing, if you’re interested in copyright!
Best non-linux OS I've tried lately, when I wiped my laptop a few months back. Had some troubles that made me move on (tried 5.6), but had more severe troubles with alternatives like FreeBSD (no support for my wifi chip the most important), so ended up on gentoo again, but I ever wipe my laptop again, I'll definitely try OpenBSD again.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The article goes on to discuss an interesting journalism project that used a very brief clip of copyrighted music in a way that almost certainly was fair use. SoundCloud took it down. When pressed on this, the company eventually admitted that it refuses to take fair use into account, in part because fair use is only in the US:
Here’s a wakeup call to audio creators everywhere: SoundCloud does not recognize your fair use rights under U.S. copyright law. If your content contains any copyrighted material to which you haven’t secured the rights — even if you have a valid fair use claim — SoundCloud may take it down at any time.
That’s exactly what happened to a former student of mine, and his experience should serve as a warning to the growing number of news organizations (including several that I work with) that use SoundCloud to host podcasts and other audio content.
Journalism as we know it could not exist without fair use, so it’s possible SoundCloud may not be a viable tool for the field. Imagine trying to do a story about the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit without playing copyrighted clips from the songs involved.
We understand that US copyright law includes a doctrine of fair use. However, these rules are limited, difficult to apply outside of a court of law, and in any event do not necessarily apply outside of the United States. As SoundCloud is a global platform, we expect all of our creators to respect copyright law, and the rights of copyright owners, on a global basis.As the writer of the article, Adam Ragusea, points out, this should be a major concern for any journalists using Soundcloud. And that includes us at Techdirt -- as we use SoundCloud to host our podcast. But the fact that the company might not even allow us to make use of our fair use rights -- the same rights that the Supreme Court has said are essential for protecting the First Amendment -- is a major concern, and one that has me thinking we should be looking for other platforms.
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on marriage equality this week! I wonder if they discuss the issue amongst themselves? I imagine it would go a little something… like this.
It’s almost that time of the month again — Patreon time! Please consider chipping in a buck to help keep the comics coming. You fine people are the reason I get to do this, and I thank you deeply for the opportunity.
For those that listened to the Serial podcast and wants to dig deeper. http://undisclosed-podcast.com/
Heh, last 10 seconds of this video is hilarious.
Star Wars: Battlefront is still a ways off, but the modding scene has stepped up to bring us something to tide us over.
The video below shows an unfinished Arma 3 mod by YouTuber McRuppertle.
The footage was taken during the first in-game test, and, sadly, the project has since been abandoned.
“This Walker was never finished and was just a test. The walk animations are very poor, done with O2, but it does the job,” McRuppertle wrote in the video’s description.
“I don’t think I will ever finish.”
Alas! But Battlefront is coming. Just hold out a little longer.
Look at his happy face!
How to modern.
Now that is how you brutal.
Oh damn, another classic band having a non-embarassing reunion? New song doesn't sound terrible.
The truth about people.
Opposite mirrors, people, they're deceiving as all that!
Four months later, still celebrating yule? Hardcore...
During an outbreak of common sense in a Hamburg, Germany, court it was ruled that.. no, advertisers don't get their own way every time.
Zeit Online GmbH and Handelsblatt GmbH as representatives of the advertising world filed suit against Eyeo GmbH (the owners of AdBlock Plus) claiming that the latter should not be allowed to distribute software (a browser plugin that blocks ads) that disrupts their income stream.
The court did not look favourably on the advertisers' case.
From an article in The Register :
Ben Williams, a director of Eyeo, wrote in a blog: "The Hamburg court decision is an important one, because it sets a precedent that may help us avoid additional lawsuits and expenses defending what we feel is an obvious consumer right: giving people the ability to control their own screens by letting them block annoying ads and protect their privacy."
This has ramifications for another simmering case in neighboring France.
Read more of this story at SoylentNews.
Tree is moving into spring-modus. The green is coming!
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Met this little girl on my way to work this morning. In the time it took me to snap a picture, her man had almost snuck up on me, the sneaky guy.