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Viacom Says User Infringed His Own Copyright 404

Chris Knight writes "I ran for school board where I live this past fall and created some TV commercials including this one with a 'Star Wars' theme. A few months ago VH1 grabbed the commercial from YouTube and featured it in a segment of its show 'Web Junk 2.0.' Neither VH1 or its parent company Viacom told me they were doing this or asked my permission to use it, but I didn't mind it if they did. I thought that Aries Spears's commentary about it was pretty hilarious, so I posted a clip of VH1's segment on YouTube so that I could put it on my blog. I just got an e-mail from YouTube saying that the video has been pulled because Viacom is claiming that I'm violating its copyright. Viacom used my video without permission on their commercial television show, and now says that I am infringing on their copyright for showing the clip of the work that Viacom made in violation of my own copyright!"

Copyright Tool Scans Web For Violations 185

The Wall Street Journal is reporting on a tech start-up that proposes to offer the ultimate in assurance for content owners. Attributor Corporation is going to offer clients the ability to scan the web for their own intellectual property. The article touches on previous use of techniques like DRM and in-house staff searches, and the limited usefulness of both. They specifically cite the pending legal actions against companies like YouTube, and wonder about what their attitude will be towards initiatives like this. From the article: "Attributor analyzes the content of clients, who could range from individuals to big media companies, using a technique known as 'digital fingerprinting,' which determines unique and identifying characteristics of content. It uses these digital fingerprints to search its index of the Web for the content. The company claims to be able to spot a customer's content based on the appearance of as little as a few sentences of text or a few seconds of audio or video. It will provide customers with alerts and a dashboard of identified uses of their content on the Web and the context in which it is used. The content owners can then try to negotiate revenue from whoever is using it or request that it be taken down. In some cases, they may decide the content is being used fairly or to acceptable promotional ends. Attributor plans to help automate the interaction between content owners and those using their content on the Web, though it declines to specify how."

UK Copyright Under Fire Again 211

stupid_is writes "Following on from the story on the Gower Report in the UK, a host of musicians (over 4,500 of them, including poor, starving stars such as U2, Paul McCartney and Peter Gabriel) have taken out a big ad in the FT to back the call for an extension to copyright in the UK. Allegedly, that's what the British public wants — although the survey seems to be asking a different, rather biased, question." From the article: "A spokesman for the Open Rights Group, which campaigns for greater digital rights, said: 'The big music firms have done a good job of persuading some artists to sign up to this but anyone who reads the Gowers review will see it demolishes the arguments for extension. An awful lot of content creators are not represented by this and recognise an extension will do nothing for creativity and nothing for the public.'"

Cell Phone Owners Allowed To Break Software Locks 305

An anonymous reader writes "The library of congress approved many copyright exemptions today. Among the exemptions were new rules about cell phones, DVDs, and electronic books." From the article: "Cell phone owners will be allowed to break software locks on their handsets in order to use them with competing carriers under new copyright rules announced Wednesday. Other copyright exemptions approved by the Library of Congress will let film professors copy snippets from DVDs for educational compilations and let blind people use special software to read copy-protected electronic books. All told, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington approved six exemptions, the most his Copyright Office has ever granted. For the first time, the office exempted groups of users. The new rules will take effect Monday and expire in three years. In granting the exemption for cell phone users, the Copyright Office determined that consumers aren't able to enjoy full legal use of their handsets because of software locks that wireless providers have been placing to control access to phones' underlying programs."

Mark Cuban Declares War on GooTube 295

PreacherTom writes "Mark Cuban — the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, tech entrepreneur, and self-proclaimed 'blog maverick' — has always been outspoken in his ridicule of Google and YouTube. Now, it appears he's willing to put his money where his mouth is. Cuban is so convinced that GooTube will be a failure that he is in the process of acquiring the news agency owned by Robert Tur, currently involved in serious litigation with Google over copyright violations. With billions on both sides, this could be a real clash of the titans."

Second Life Businesses Close Due To Cloning 409

Warren Ellis is reporting that many Second Life vendors are closing up shop due to the recent explosion of a program called "Copybot," designed to clone other people's possessions. From the article: "The night before last, I was looking around a no-fire combat sandbox, where people design and test weapons and vehicles, when an argument broke out; a thing going by the name Nimrod Yaffle was cloning things out of other people's inventories, and claiming he could freely do it because he'd been playing with Copybot with employees of SL creator/operators Linden Lab. All hell broke loose, in the sort of drama you can only find on the internet. Linden Lab's first official response? If you feel your IP has been compromised by Copybot, we'll sort of help you lodge a DCMA complaint in the US. Businesses started shutting down moments later." Update 20:43 GMT by SM Several users have mentioned that the Second Life blog has a few thoughts on this issue and quite a few comments from users already.
Open Source

Copyright Protection Problems For OSS Project 390

An anonymous reader writes "There's a federal case in the Northern District of California where copyright for open source is being challenged. The free software project JMRI discovered that a commercial company was using some of their files in a product, in violation of the license. They added a copyright claim to an ongoing legal action about cybersquatting, software patent abuse, etc. The patent case was covered on Slashdot back in June but the copyright part is new. The other side came back with an argument that copyright law didn't apply, simply because they software was 'being given away for free.'"

Google Video Sued For Copyright Infringement 60

PadRacerExtreme writes to mention an Associated Press article about a lawsuit against Google Video over copyright infringement. The company provided no additional information about the case, which it disclosed in an SEC filing on Wednesday. Some analysts are viewing this as a preview of what may happen to the company after it completes its takeover of the YouTube site. From the article: "Because it indexes so much material owned by others, Google has become accustomed to fielding complaints about copyright infringement. Some of the disputes have triggered lawsuits for everything from Google's efforts to make digital copies of library books to its search engine's ability to display snippets of news stories and photos appearing on other Web sites. Those suits haven't become a big financial drain on Google yet, and investors so far appear confident the company's lawyers will minimize the damage from any claims brought on by the YouTube purchase."

BitTorrent Site Admin Sent To Prison 685

Marc wrote in with a Torrentfreak story which opens: "The 23 year old Grant Stanley has been sentenced to five months in prison, followed by five months of home detention, and a $3000 fine for his role in the private BitTorrent tracker Elitetorrents. This ruling is the first BitTorrent related conviction in the US. Stanley pleaded guilty earlier this year to 'conspiracy to commit copyright infringement' and 'criminal copyright infringement.' He is one of the three defendants in the Elitetorrents operation better known as 'Operation D-Elite.'"

All power corrupts, but we need electricity.