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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Tag Archives: Copyright

Data for the Taking: Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Combat Web Scraping

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

“Web scraping” or “web harvesting”—the practice of extracting large amounts of data from publicly available websites using automated “bots” or “spiders”—accounted for 18% of site visitors and 23% of all Internet traffic in 2013. Websites targeted by scrapers may incur damages resulting from, among other things, increased bandwidth usage, network crashes, the need to employ… Continue Reading

Copyright: Europe Explores its Boundaries Part 3: “Meltwater” – EU rules that browsing does not need a licence – a victory for common sense (or for pirates)?

Posted in Copyright, UK High Court

On 5 June 2014 the European Court of Justice (CJEU) published its decision in the “Meltwater” Case C-360/13, (Public Relations Consultations Association Ltd (PRCA) v Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd (NLA) and Others). In a ruling that some have hailed as a victory for common sense, the CJEU declared that browsing freely accessible copyrighted material on… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Stifles Aereo, but Tries to Keep the Cloud Away

Posted in Copyright, IP, Litigation, Supreme Court

In a closely watched case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in a 6-3 decision that Aereo’s Internet streaming service engages in unauthorized public performances of broadcast television programs in violation of the Copyright Act, reversing the Second Circuit’s decision in American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. (No. 13-461). In ruling against Aereo, the… Continue Reading

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

In the top news story of the day, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Aereo in a closely watched copyright dispute with broadcasters; the Court found that Aereo engages in unauthorized public performances in violation of U.S. copyright law. Will cloud storage models survive this decision? What remains, if anything, of the Second Circuit’s landmark… Continue Reading

Court Holds That DMCA Safe Harbor Does Not Extend to Infringement Prior to Designation of Agent

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, Litigation

The safe harbor provisions in § 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provide a mechanism that insulates online service providers from monetary damages for infringing materials posted or stored by their users.  To receive this protection, service providers must designate an agent to receive notice of claims of infringement with the Copyright Office… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Finds Laches Does Not Bar Copyright Infringement Claim: Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

Posted in Copyright, IP, Litigation, Supreme Court

The doctrine of laches cannot be invoked as a bar to a plaintiff’s claim for damages brought within the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations period, according to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. The Court, in a 6-3 decision, held that Congress prescribed a specified period in which a… Continue Reading

Hot Off the Press: The May Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter Is Now Available

Posted in Copyright, FTC, Internet of Things, IP, Litigation, Privacy, SEC, Supreme Court, Terms of Use

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we analyze a groundbreaking FTC complaint alleging deceptive practices online that could turn website Terms of Use into federal law; we summarize a U.S. Supreme… Continue Reading

Which Way is Aereo Pointing? The Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Public Performance Copyright Case

Posted in Copyright, IP, Litigation, Supreme Court

In a case that could have a broad impact on how companies deliver content to consumers, the Supreme Court heard oral argument on April 22 in American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. (No. 13-461).  At issue is whether Aereo’s service engages in public performances under the Copyright Act in transmitting broadcast television content to its subscribers’… Continue Reading

Hot Off the Press: The April Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter Is Now Available

Posted in Copyright, Discovery, DMCA, E-Discovery, Employment Law, First Amendment, Litigation, Privacy, Wearable Computers

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we summarize the current status of various state laws restricting employer access to the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees; we explore how… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things Part 2: The Old Problem Squared

Posted in Ethics, FTC, Internet of Things, IP, Privacy

Cisco estimates that 25 billion devices will be connected in the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2015, and 50 billion by 2020. Analyst firm IDC makes an even bolder prediction: 212 billion connected devices by 2020. This massive increase in connectedness will drive a wave of innovation and could generate up to $19 trillion in… Continue Reading

The Umpire Strikes Back: European Court Rules That ISPs Can Be Forced to Block Pirate Websites

Posted in Copyright, IP, Litigation

On March 27, 2014, the highest court in the European Union—the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU)—decided that copyright owners have the right to seek injunctions against Internet service providers (ISPs) requiring the ISPs to block access to pirate websites illegally streaming or making copyright material available for download. The case arose out… Continue Reading

Copyright: Europe Explores its Boundaries: Part 1: Link Hubs

Posted in Copyright, IP

INTRODUCTION This year, as the world celebrates the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, the Web’s founder, Tim Berners-Lee, has called for a fundamental reappraisal of copyright law.  By coincidence, this year we also anticipate a rash of UK and European legislative developments and court decisions centring on copyright and its application to the… Continue Reading

Google Ordered to Remove All Copies of Anti-Islamic Film From YouTube After Actress With Bit Part Threatened by Outraged Muslims; Decision Puzzles Copyright Attorneys

Posted in Copyright, IP, Litigation

An aspiring actress moves to California and finds her life threatened. While standard fare for pulp fiction, the case of Garcia v. Google involves a twist on this well-worn plot line that not even the most imaginative Hollywood scriptwriter could invent. Cindy Lee Garcia answered a casting call for a low-budget amateur movie with the… Continue Reading

Keeping Privates Private: The Legal Landscape of Revenge Porn

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, First Amendment, Privacy

Mark Zuckerberg famously stated that the purpose of Facebook is “to make the world more open and connected,” and indeed Facebook, other social media outlets and the Internet in general have brought worldwide openness and connection-through-sharing to levels unparalleled at any point in history. With this new universe of limitless dissemination often comes the stripping… Continue Reading

The Second Circuit’s Aereo Math: One Copy + One Subscriber ≠ Public Performance

Posted in Copyright, Litigation

Last week­—the week of May 12, 2013­—proved to be an eventful week for Aereo. On May 14, 2013, the controversial broadcast television streaming service filed a motion for summary judgment in the Southern District of New York on copyright claims brought by broadcast television networks (including ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox) that Aereo’s service directly… Continue Reading

Southern District of New York Examines Whether News Clipping Service Qualifies as Fair Use Under Copyright Act

Posted in Copyright, Litigation

It is well settled that Internet search engines’ reproduction of limited portions of copyrighted materials in order to direct Internet users to locations of original content constitutes “fair use” under the Copyright Act. (See, for example, Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. and Kelly v. Arriba Soft.) But where is the line between, on the one… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds That “First Sale” Doctrine Applies to Copies of a Copyrighted Work Lawfully Made Abroad

Posted in Copyright, Litigation

The Supreme Court of the United States issued its much-anticipated decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., holding that the “first sale” doctrine protects a buyer or other lawful owner of a copy of a copyrighted work that was lawfully made abroad, following a lawful first sale. The 6-3 decision resolves a contested… Continue Reading

Thinking About Using Pictures Pulled From Twitter? Think Again, New York Court Warns

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, IP, Litigation, Terms of Use

If you want to use those pictures you found on Twitter, beware. A federal judge in New York recently held that taking photos from Twitter to use for a commercial purpose infringes the photographer’s copyrights. On January 14, 2013, Judge Alison Nathan ruled that Agence France Presse (AFP), which provides subscribers with access to photos… Continue Reading

Be Wary of Sharing: Anonymous P2P User’s Motion to Quash Subpoena Denied

Posted in Copyright, IP, Litigation, Privacy, Trademark

BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing system that enables the quick downloading of large files, has sparked another novel controversy stemming from copyright-infringement claims brought against its users. Users take advantage of the BitTorrent sharing system to anonymously access popular media such as books and movies. That anonymity is unlikely to last long for users who… Continue Reading

Born to Mock: Trademark Holder’s Fight to Remove Mark on Kitsch Merchandise May Have Broad Legal Implications

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, IP, Litigation, Trademark

Popular online marketplace CafePress.com suffered a legal setback recently when a U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York denied CafePress’s motion for summary judgment against claims of trademark infringement. CafePress operates an online “print on demand” service that allows users to upload designs which CafePress then prints on a variety of items…. Continue Reading

Judge Posner Kicks that Flava in Ya Ear: New Guidance on Contributory Infringement from the Seventh Circuit

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, Litigation

Over the past year, a number of courts across the country have decided cases involving contributory infringement and the application of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s § 512(c) safe harbor in the social media context. Unfortunately for those who favor a uniform approach to the law, the precedent being developed is in many ways inconsistent. On… Continue Reading

The Potential Perils of Posting Pictures (on Social Media)

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, IP, Litigation

In today’s information economy, content owners are faced with a challenging decision regarding digital content. On the one hand, the viral nature of social media can mean unprecedented exposure as digital content is shared. On the other, that opportunity can come with significant legal risk if companies take an insufficiently careful approach to intellectual property… Continue Reading

What, What (In the Court): South Park Studios Shielded by Fair Use for Viral Video Parody

Posted in Copyright, Discovery, Litigation

The Seventh Circuit held recently in Brownmark Films, LLC v. Comedy Partners that, under certain circumstances, a trial court may dismiss a copyright infringement case based on a fair use defense prior to discovery. Over the years, the satiric Comedy Central cartoon program South Park and its creators have developed a reputation for biting social… Continue Reading