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Submission + - ESA Rebukes EFF's Request to Exempt Abandoned Games from Some DMCA Rules (

eldavojohn writes: It's 2015 and the EFF is still submitting requests to alter or exempt certain applications of the draconian DMCA. One such request concerns abandoned games that utilized or required online servers for matchmaking or play (PDF warning) and the attempts taken to archive those games. A given examples is Madden '09 that had its servers shut down a mere one and a half years after release. Another is Gamespy and the EA & Nintendo titles that were not migrated to other servers. I'm sure everyone can come up with a once cherished game that required online play that is now abandoned and lost to the ages. While the EFF is asking for exemptions for museums and archivists, the ESA appears to take the stance that it's hacking and all hacking is bad. In prior comments (PDF warning), the ESA has called reverse engineering a proprietary game protocol "a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing" as if allowing this evil hacking will loose Sodom & Gomorrah upon the industry. Fellow gamers, these years now that feel like the golden age of online gaming will be the dark ages of games as historians of the future try to recreate what online play was like now for many titles.

Submission + - Illegal Downloading Now a Crime in Japan with Increased Penalties (

eldavojohn writes: Although downloading songs without paying for them in Japan used to be a civil offense starting in 2010, it is now a crime with new penalties of up to two years in prison or fines of up to two million yen ($25,700). The lobbying group behind this push for more extreme penalties is none other than the RIAJ (the Japanese RIAA). The BBC notes this applies to both music and video downloads which may put anime studios in a particularly uncomfortable position.

Submission + - Jury Rules Google Violated Java Copyright, Google Moves for Mistrial ( 1

eldavojohn writes: Details are thin but the long covered Oracle Vs Google trial has at least partially been decided in favor of Oracle against Google violating copyrights in Android when when it used Java APIs to design the system. Google moved for a mistrial after hearing the incomplete decision. The patent infringement accusations have yet to be ruled upon.

Submission + - Are Flickr Images Abused by Foreign Businesses? (

eldavojohn writes: My friend Drew was notified via Twitter that one of his Flickr images had been selected as poster child for freeloaders who abuse the benefits system in an Elsevier news story in the Netherlands. The original image clearly gives an CC BY-NC 2.0 license to the image which doesn't appear in the story — a story which generates revenue for Elsevier. My friend doesn't speak Dutch so he's a little confused about what, if anything, he can do in this situation. I'm reminded of a family's Christmas photo showing up on a billboard in Prague and I wonder if photo sharing sites are treated as free to abuse regardless of copyright by foreign businesses? Has anyone else heard of this sort of thing happening with images from social photo sharing sites?
The Courts

Submission + - New Mass P2P Lawsuit Over Paris Hilton Sex Tape (

eldavojohn writes: TechDirt and TorrentFreak are reporting on Paris Hilton's sex tape and how a company called Xpays is suing everyone who they found to download and distribute it. It took a while to figure out who had the rights to said sex tape (turns out it was the former boyfriend who now is an executive at Xpays) but it appears that 843 people who allegedly illegally downloaded "1 Night in Paris" between 2010 and 2011 might also be looking forward to 1 extortion letter from Xpays.

Submission + - The Global Repertoire Database of Music Rights (

eldavojohn writes: A major issue with modern music and its world distribution boils down to a really simple question: who do you pay? The BBC is reporting on a new initiative to database the rights of which songwriters and publishers own which rights to songs so that appropriate royalties can be paid to the appropriate people. The Global Repertoire Database has some documentation on what the end result will do. This new service is expected to save hundreds of millions of dollars yearly that would normally be lost to copyright bureaucracy and administration. This new database would empower small new services to start up whether it be streaming or distributing music.

Submission + - Japanese Supreme Court Rules TV Forwarding Illegal (

eldavojohn writes: If you use anything like a Slingbox in Japan, you may be dismayed to find out that a Japanese maker of a similar service has been successfully sued by Japan Broadcasting Corp. and five Tokyo-based local TV broadcasting firms under copyright violations for empowering users to do similar things. TV forwarding or place shifting is recording and/or moving your normal TV signal from its intended living room box to your home computer or anywhere on the internet. Turns out that Japan's Supreme Court overruled lower court decisions confirming fears that to even facilitate this functionality is a copyright infringement on the work that is being transferred.

Submission + - Righthaven Adds Forum Posters to Copyright Suit (

eldavojohn writes: The last time we discussed the Las Vegas Review-Journal and their litigating attorneys at Righthaven LLC, they were suing all the websites that had violated their news copyrights. Well, they've now added seven individual message board posters that they've managed to identify bringing the number of DMCA related lawsuits they have launched since March to 203. In one case, LVRJ is upset that a Google Groups user named Jim_Higgins posted a column that cited the columnist but failed to cite the original LVRJ article. But Google Groups is protected from these suits as the article explains: 'Both the madjacksports and Google sites are somewhat protected from copyright lawsuits because they have posted "DMCA" notices as required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. These notices, which must be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, inform copyright holders who to contact if they would like infringing material removed.' Let's hope Slashdot has similar "DMCA" notices protecting them from the likes of Righthaven as comments sometimes have article quotations. The first decision of this cluster of lawsuits was against Righthaven yet the onslaught continues. Righthaven has publicly dismissed fair use as well.
Social Networks

Submission + - Judge Ends Massive Porn Lawsuit (

eldavojohn writes: A recent offensive of porn producers using copyright law against many anonymous P2P users has been terminated by a West Virginian judge. Initially Ken Ford, of Adult Copyright Company, to plan out nine lawsuits against some 22,000 file sharers, starting with 7,000 person and 9,000 person suit in the first wave. Unimpressed, the judge reduced everything down to one lawsuit against one file sharer telling the Adult Copyright Company that they are to prosecute each individual separately as they neither participated in the same transaction nor collaborated in these offenses. So if you're looking to hit 22,000 people with such a lawsuit, the $350 court filing fee will require an investment of $7.7 million ($1.8 million for the individuals listed so far). Ars points us to the hilarious fact that 'Ford has sued enough people that lawyers are taking out ads on his company name' and provides an image of an advertisement to a search. Note this is separate from a similar showdown in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Apple Sues Steve Jobs Figurine Maker Over Likeness (

eldavojohn writes: Techdirt brings word that China-based MIC Gadget, the maker of a a four inch "SJ figurine," is being sued by Apple to stop making the product. The fairly well detailed figurine went for $80 and the manufacturer offered updates as it quickly sold out of the first 300 and was subsequently sued before starting a second batch. The glasses, the black turtle neck, the salt and pepper beard, the blue jeans and the new balance sneakers — that is Steve Jobs' look and you don't even have to consider the smug look or the iPhone 4 in his hand while standing in a classic press event spotlight pose. So far, this notice for copyright infringement only exists for the "SJ figurine" (no mention of Apple or Jobs in the store listing) but it appears other companies are allowing MIC Gadget some leeway with trademarks or perhaps they just haven't noticed yet. Could it be that Apple is just concerned that their followers are purchasing lead painted false idols?

Submission + - Fox Sues Woman for $15M for Hosting Leaked Scripts (

eldavojohn writes: A number of sites are reporting that PJ McIlvaine is being sued by Fox for $15 million dollars. McIlvaine, a screenwriter herself, appeared to be collecting scripts available online and hosting them in a Media Fire repository for other screenwriters to learn from. Fox doesn't see it the same way and alleges that some of the scripts were for movies not yet out saying in the suit that McIlvaine did "interfere and trade off of the costly and carefully designed creative processes that produce finished works ready for public consumption. They harm the fans who do not want their enjoyment of a movie or television show to be spoiled by knowing the story ahead of actually being able to watch it." The Long Island woman did apparently host a script of Deadpool, an unreleased Fox comic book movie. According to the hefty amount, it appears that even sharing copyrighted scripts hurts movies in Fox's mind. Will lady justice agree?

Submission + - Anonymous Takes Down US Copyright, Hadopi Tomorrow (

eldavojohn writes: According to several sites, yesterday the group known as Anonymous successfully took down, the main page of the United States' Copyright Office. This follows attacks on the Ministry of Sound website, the RIAA this last weekend and for tomorrow (the fifth of November) word is that yet another DDOS attack will occur — probably against the French site Hadopi. It would appear that Operation Payback is in full swing and even Gene Simmons will tell you resistence is futile.

Submission + - AP Proposes ASCAP-Like Fees for the News (

eldavojohn writes: Techdirt directed my attention to an article where the AP discussed pressure from new devices and mediums today giving them cause to create a clearinghouse for news — much like the music industry's ASCAP — to 'establish an enforcement and payment system.' You'll notice that the story I am linking to and quoting is an AP story ... would Slashdot then be required to pay these fees? We have seen DMCA take down notices and fee discussions before from the AP.

Submission + - Brazilian Court Orders Worldwide Ban on GTA Game (

eldavojohn writes: Right now details are thin but the AP is reporting that a Brazilian court is demanding that Rockstar and the local distributor halt sales of Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes From Liberty City worldwide or pay $3,000 per day. From the article, 'A court statement says the game makers do not have the rights to "Bota o Dedinho pro Alto," which is sung by an 8-year-old Brazilian boy and was composed by his father.' The Escapist provides video of the disputed scenes and songs that, according to Kotaku Brazil, Rockstar alleges are legally licensed. No news sources are reporting any damage amounts being sought by the 8 year old DJ and his father aside from the court's decision to pull the game out of stores around the world or fine Rockstar daily.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.