Ted Cruz’s Presidential Campaign Apparently Committed Copyright Infringement. Oops.

I know it may be my own idiosyncratic and romanticized view of governance, but I hold politicians to a higher standard when it comes to knowing, and complying with, the law. After all, if the people in charge of making…

Vimeo’s Second Circuit DMCA Safe Harbor Win Over Capitol Records

This is an important DMCA safe harbor opinion. It’s from the Second Circuit, an influential court, and it extends the Second Circuit’s 2012 key Viacom v. YouTube ruling in important ways. Still, the DMCA safe harbors remain defectively designed, and…

Web Host Defeats Copyright Liability Despite Mishandled Takedown Notice–Hydrenta v. Luchian

The plaintiff produces pornography and distributes it through paid membership sites. The defendants run ad-supported websites that allow users to upload videos, a total of 475,000 user-submitted videos. Moderators screen user submissions to confirm they do not contain “child pornography,…

A Dozen Organizations File Comments Opposing Copyright Office’s Plan to Undermine Section 512

I recently posted about the Copyright Office’s proposed new prices for designating 17 USC 512 agents for notice. While the proposed price reduction sounded good, the announcement obscured the real news: the Copyright Office still wants to nix valid designations…

Supreme Court Revisits Copyright’s Attorney Fee Shifts–Kirtsaeng v. Wiley

The Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 505, has a discretionary “loser-pays” attorneys’ fee shift. We’ve blogged repeatedly about abusive copyright enforcements where that fee shift provides a modicum of fairness to defendants (e.g., Inglewood v. Teixeira; Katz v. Chevaldina; Righthaven v….

Scraping Lawsuit Survives Dismissal Motion–CouponCabin v. Savings.com

We blog pretty much every scraping case we see; we just don’t see many of them. As I’ve told you before, scraping is ubiquitous but of dubious legality. Today’s case reiterates just how hard it is for scrapers to win…

De Minimis Music Sampling Isn’t Infringement–Salsoul v. Madonna

There are several alternative tests for gauging “substantial similarity” in copyright cases. The flagship test is the “ordinary observer” test, but variations include the (baffling) extrinsic/intrinsic test and the abstraction-filtration-comparison test. With respect to sampling sound recordings, the Sixth Circuit’s…

WARNING: Copyright Office Resurrects Troubling Plan To Strip Websites Of 512 Safe Harbor

The Copyright Office has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding a new electronic submission process for websites and online services to designate agents to receive 512(c)(3) copyright takedown notices. The agent designation process is crucial to the 17…

512 Safe Harbor Applies to Content Submitted By Independent Contractors--BWP v. Examiner

512 Safe Harbor Applies to Content Submitted By Independent Contractors–BWP v. Examiner

BWP owns the rights to various celebrity photos. Examiner.com is a “entertainment, news and lifestyle network” that relies on content submitted by independent contractors confusingly called “examiners.” The Examiner’s written agreement specifies that “the examiners” are contractors, not employees. The…