Posts Tagged 'copyright'

Canada getting tough on copyright

So the party may be over for Canadian downloaders. Companies now have the right to go after infringers to the tune of $100 to $5,000 for breaking digital locks for the purpose of copying. The penalty goes up to $500 to $20,000 per offense for commercial activities. So much for Bill C-61. Some specific incidents that are mentioned are: PVRs are ok, legally purchased CDs to pcs and ipods are ok, cell phone unlocking is ok. The new bill also requires ISPs to keep tabs on what their customers are downloading. Ruh roh.

Torrent sites are also in danger for legal action. Backups are legal. It would appear on the surface it attempts to balance the rights of the content developer vs the consumer. The bill is still open to ongoing amendments and could possibly change as technology becomes available. In the meantime, start using private torrent sites.

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Piracy is ok, if you work for the government

Last week, a US Court of Appeals upheld a ruling on software piracy. The organization doing the piracy, however, happened to be a branch of the US government, and the decision highlights the significant limits to the application of copyright law to the government charged with enforcing it. Most significantly, perhaps, the court found that because the DMCA is written in a way that targets individual infringers, the government cannot be liable for claims made under the statute.

The backstory on the case involved, Blueport v. United States, borders on the absurd. It started when Sergeant Mark Davenport went to work in the group within the US Air Force that ran its manpower database. Finding the existing system inefficient, Davenport requested training in computer programming so that he could improve it; the request was denied. Showing the sort of personal initiative that only gets people into trouble, Davenport then taught himself the needed skills and went to work redesigning the system. (link)

Yahoo: DRM is dead, here’s a coupon

Yahoo Inc. is offering coupons or refunds to users who find songs they bought inaccessible after Sept. 30, when the company shuts its music-download service.

The decision to close the Yahoo Music Store had added fuel to criticisms over copy-protection measures known as digital rights management, but Yahoo promised it won’t entirely abandon loyal customers.

The company said Wednesday it is offering coupons on request for people to buy songs again through Yahoo’s new partner, RealNetworks Inc.’s Rhapsody. Those songs will be in the MP3 format, free of copy protection. Refunds are available for users who “have serious problems with this arrangement,” Yahoo said.

Spokeswoman Carrie Davis said a “small number” of users are affected by the change. Yahoo wouldn’t disclose the actual number. (link)

Canadian Government starts wiki war

A skirmish has been raging for days over the online Wikipedia biography of Industry Minister Jim Prentice, with anonymous government workers airbrushing out controversial details or buffing Prentice’s image, while others just as quickly revised the revisions.

So intense was the battle that Prentice’s biography was locked Thursday by Wikipedia administrators “due to vandalism.”

Literally hundreds of changes had been made to Prentice’s biography over the past week, with many originating from IP addresses that were traced to Industry Canada computers at the department’s Queen Street address in downtown Ottawa.

“Even though someone from within Industry Canada thought they were making these changes anonymously – and they are, in the sense of not knowing the precise individual – it was not very difficult to trace back the fact these changes were coming from within the department,” Michael Geist, a professor at the University of Ottawa, said Thursday in an interview. (link)

ACTA may make your iPod illegal

ACTA could make the information on Canadian iPods, laptop computers or other personal electronic devices illegal and greatly increase the difficulty of travelling with such devices.
On October 23, 2007, the Canadian Federal Government announced that Canada will participate in preliminary discussions with the United States, Mexico, the European Union, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and other countries toward an anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA).

The main objective of ACTA would be to develop international standards to better combat the trade in counterfeit trademarked and pirated copyright goods. Provisions would focus on international cooperation, enforcement practices and legal frameworks, including enforcement systems. (DigitalJournal)

Viacom attempts to shutdown YouTube

Viacom’s $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube “threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information” over the Web, YouTube parent Google said in a legal response to the suit.

The response, reported by the Associated Press, was filed late Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Google says the threat comes from Viacom’s attempt to make “carriers and hosting providers” liable for what people post. Google, by the way, has said this suit will only be resolved in court

Viacom originally filed its lawsuit last year and filed an amended version last month. In the more recent version, the AP reported, Viacom said video-sharing site YouTube consistently allows popular, copyrighted material to be posted to its site, including from Viacom-owned MTV and Comedy Central. Viacom said that it has identified more than 150,000 unauthorized clips on YouTube and that the site has done “little or nothing” to stop the copyright infringement, the AP reported. (CNet)

A new use for copyright infringement

A student who allegedly spread a computer virus has been convicted of copyright infringement in a case that has highlighted the lack of laws in Japan to police cyberspace.

Masato Nakatsuji, 24, a graduate student at Osaka Electro-Communication University, was charged with maliciously spreading a virus by embedding it in an image from a Japanese animation film he illegally copied and distributed.

The virus he allegedly used, the “Harada virus,” is one of Japan’s top viruses, and Nakatsuji’s arrest in January was the first in Japan involving the making or spreading of viruses.

Downloading the Harada virus and the image destroyed data on victims’ computers and moved information stored on their computers onto the Internet, according to police. (link)


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