Prof Lessing on the Op-Ed page of the NY Times: “Copyright and Politics Don’t Mix“:
After all, a 95-year copyright on “Wall-E” may encourage Pixar to make innovative movies, but we can be confident our presidential candidates don’t require any first-to-the-market advantages before they agree to debate, nor is there a need to protect their answers as though they were record albums or new technologies.
McCain campaign letter to YouTube re Copyright Fair Use and DMCA.
Prof Lessig commentary.
UPDATE: NewTeeVee commentary.
if the campaign is really serious about its First Amendment rights to use footage and other people’s songs, then it should do what the EFF and Stanford’s Fair Use Project have been doing and sue the people sending the notices for abuse of the DMCA. They’re the ones causing the problem, right?
Somewhat related: Fox sends C & D to McCain website.
As IP Czar, I pledge to address the issue of the DMCA being used to chill political speech.
I’m also concerned by the amount of libel, slander and false advertising in political advertising, and the lack of effective remedies. The public has greater protection against lies about floor cleaners than lies about who their leaders will be.
In an important ruling handed down yesterday, a federal district court threw out a copyright infringement suit brought by adult video producer Io Group against Veoh, concluding that the video hosting site qualifies for the DMCA safe harbor. The ruling should be required reading for the executives of every “Web 2.0″ business that relies on “user-generated content.”
Veoh, like YouTube, is a streaming video site that hosts videos uploaded by users. Io Group sued Veoh in 2006 after finding clips from 10 of its copyrighted adult films on the Veoh site. So far, this is a familiar story — user-generated content site gets sued by copyright owner for naughty uploading habits of users (see, e.g., lawsuits against MySpace, iMeem, YouTube, Redlasso, Hi5, Multiply, Stage6, MP3tunes, Scribd, Usenet.com, Bolt, and Grouper). But this is the first case to get to a final ruling, and it’s a total victory for Veoh.
Unfortunately for Hasbro, players are not universally flocking to Hasbro’s official Scrabble game. Instead thousands are downloading Wordscraper, which has been available on Facebook since January but attracted little attention until Scrabulous shut down, and heading to their old favorite, Scrabulous, on the game’s independent Web site at www.scrabulous.com. Wordscraper had about 80,000 daily users on Facebook as of Sunday night and the Web site Scrabulous.com had thousands of players online on Sunday.
AlleyInsider: MediaSet, Silvio Berlusconi, Sue YouTube For $800 Million:
MediaSet, the dominant TV provider in Italy controlled by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, sued Google (GOOG) and YouTube in a Rome court, seeking “at least” $779 million in damages.
The Milan-based company found 4,643 videos from MediaSet companies on YouTube on June 10, representing 325 hours of broadcasting, the company said
The NY Times reports today that (1) the authorized version of SCRABBLE on Facebook was the victim of ‘a malicious attack’ by hackers and (2) Hasbro acknowledged that it had waited until the authorized version was up before moving to enjoin Scrabulous. Meanwhile, Hasbro has been subject to criticism and boycott threats.
The Scrabulous situation is a recurring one for IP owners. There is always a new platform (Facebook, the iPhone, the Web itself) presenting itself as an opportunity for a new version of a popular property (I had to tear myself away from Tap Tap Revenge to post this).
Solo developers will always have a speed advantage in getting to those new platforms first (and, if those developers have expertise native to those platforms, they may have other advantages as well, It is reported, for example,. that Scrabulous is superior to the authorized FB version of Scrabble, as it loads much quicker).
If the Agarwalla Brothers had approached Hasbro two years ago with a proposal for a FB version of Scrabble, what likely result?
If Hasbro were to pay the Agarwalla Brothers millions, what likely result?
If Hasbro had brought this action in January, 7 months prior to having its own version up and running, what likely result?
Facebook Takes Down SCRABULOUS (or, perhaps SCRABULOUS Asks Facebook To Take Down SCRABULOUS Thus Removing Uncomfortable Situation For Facebook)
Techcrunch: Scrabulous Gets Wiped Off Facebook:
Long outplayed by two Indian brothers, Hasbro finally delivers a massive counter blow to Scrabulous, one of the most loved games on Facebook. Scrabulous fans in North America will see the following message when they try to play the game:
Scrabulous is disabled for U.S. and Canadian users until further notice. If you would like to stay informed about developments in this matter, please click here.
Coverage from Alley Insider here.
UPDATE: NY Times reports that Scrabulous requested that Facebook disable Scrabulous for US and Canada