Category Archives: Law: Copyright and DMCA

Great Opening

Even if for some reason you don’t buy the merits, you must admit that this motion to dismiss starts with a bang:

A monkey, an animal-rights organization and a primatologist walk into federal court to sue for infringement of the monkey’s claimed copyright. What seems like the setup for a punchline is really happening. It should not be happening. Under Cetacean Community v. Bush, 386 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. 2004), dismissal of this action is required for lack of standing and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Monkey see, monkey sue is not good law – at least not in the Ninth Circuit.

For background, and a reproduction of what might be the world’s most famous selfie, see David Post.

Posted in Law: Copyright and DMCA, Law: Practice | 2 Comments

Link to Firefox 38 Without DRM

no-drmKeep DRM off your computer. Firefox updated to version 38 today, and it comes with DRM built in (without which, I’m told, you can’t watch Neflix).

The link above is to the US-English version of Firefox. Here’s the multi-lingual index to other language DRM-free versions of Firefox.

You can install this instead of the ver 38 update, or on top of it. In my experience it remembers all your customizations, such as plugins.

(Image from L[P]SI Blog)

Posted in Law: Copyright and DMCA, Software | 1 Comment

DRM Comes to the Office Coffeemaker

Not only is DRM is the root of all evil but it’s coming to the coffeepot. Keurig Will Use DRM In New Coffee Maker To Lock Out Refill Market:

In a lawsuit (pdf) filed against Keurig by TreeHouse Foods, they claim Keurig has been busy striking exclusionary agreements with suppliers and distributors to lock competing products out of the market. What’s more, TreeHouse points out that Keurig is now developing a new version of their coffee maker that will incorporate the java-bean equivalent of DRM — so that only Keurig’s own coffee pods can be used in it

Spotted via techdirt, More Evidence People Don’t Learn from the Past

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How to Respond to an Unreasonable Copyright Cease and Desist Letter

Vermont attorney Andrew B. Delaney teaches a master class in responding to a really excessive copyright cease and desist letter. (URL fixed)

(Via ATL of all places.)


Posted in Law: Copyright and DMCA, Law: Practice | 2 Comments

DRM, HTML5, and You

EFF just took its first act as a full member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): it filed an objection to the W3C’s plans to put Digital Rights Management (DRM) into HTML5, the next version of the HTML standard. In a statement EFF said,

DRM standards look like normal technical standards but turn out to have quite different qualities. They fail to implement their stated intention – protecting media – while dragging in legal mandates that chill the speech of technologists, lock down technology, and violate property rights by seizing control of personal computers from their owners.

You can learn more at EFF’s Why the HTML5 Standard Fight Matters.

I am particularly concerned about this issue because I see a link between DRM and the undermining of anonymity — the heart of most DRM is identifying who is accessing content, and that creates systems which either directly make anonymity more difficult, or map the way for others to implement those systems.

OBDisclosure: I’m a proud member of the EFF Advisory Board.

Posted in Internet, Law: Copyright and DMCA | Leave a comment

Sanctions Order in Prenda Law Case

Judge Otis Wright issued a doozy of a sanctions order against Prenda Law, the notorious copyright trolls.

I could have done without the Star Trek references, but given the overall context of the case, footnote five did make me laugh long and loud.

Normally, I worry that when Judges try to write creative orders they are reversal bait. In this case, the conduct appears to be so bad, and the punitive sanctions mild in context, so I don’t think that’s a major risk.

Ars Technica has been all over this story if you need background. The transcripts of the hearings are amazing reading.

Update: JT points me to the font of all things Prenda, Popehat.

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Legal Proceedings So Weird We Need Hunter Thompson to Cover Them

The first story, about proceedings in District Court in Tampa, FL was pretty weird and blackly funny, as lawyers scrambled to disassociate themselves with the proceedings in Porn trolling case thrown out for “attempted fraud on the court”.

Now Ars Technica ups the ante with the Minnesota sequel, Man charges porn trolling firm Prenda Law with identity theft: Says firm listed him as the CEO of a shell corporation without permission.

Hunter Thompson could really have done something with this material.

Posted in Law: Copyright and DMCA, Law: Ethics | Leave a comment