Items tagged with DMCA

The jailbreaking community is alive and well, and people frequently install "unauthorized" software on their smartphones and tablets once they’ve cracked the bootloader. This practice is often frowned upon by device OEMs (especially Apple), but it is legal to do so under an exemption in Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), however, wants to extend the exemption to include another hot segment in the consumer electronics market: smart AI speakers. That would means that owners of devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod would be free to hack into these devices to see what makes them tick without fear of retribution.... Read more...
HBO has in the past taken a rather nonchalant approach to piracy, even at times taking the surprisingly refreshing viewpoint that millions of illegal downloads can be viewed as a "compliment of sorts" and that it comes with the territory of "having a wildly successful show on a subscription network." The thing is, if you poke the bear too many times, it's going to react, so nobody should be shocked that HBO is sending out DMCA notices to Game of Thrones pirates. On the surface, it appears HBO is fed up with all the illegal downloads. Season 5 of Game of Thrones saw its first episode downloaded more than 100,000 times in just three hours, which ballooned to over a million within 18 hours.... Read more...
Woe is the gamer who suddenly can't play a particular title because a developer or publisher pulled the plug on an authentication server without releasing a patch to remove the requirement of checking in with the defunct mothership. About the only thing you can do at that point is pound sand or brave the shady side of the web for an illegal crack and hope it doesn't barf malware all over your system. Luckily, the good folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have your back and have filed a petition with the Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office to make modifying abandoned games considered fair use. The EFF's carefully worded petition exempts games like World of Warcraft and... Read more...
Hulu has already admitted to an evil plot to destroy the world when it ran commercials with Alec Baldwin (as an alien) saying that once our brains are reduced to a cottage cheese like mush, they'll scoop them out with a melon baler and gobble them right on up. Sound pretty insidious, and while Hulu was obviously joking (right? Right!?), Sony is accusing the company of something that it doesn't find funny at all. Revealed in a recent DMCA takedown notice, Sony Pictures Television claims Hulu is hosting a pirated TV show, Fox's "Almost Human," TorrentFreak reports. It was sent by the Spanish division of Sony Pictures Television and includes several links to the Fox Show, which they distribute locally.... Read more...
Yesterday, we covered comments from the RIAA on how it believes courts have weakened the DMCA to the point of uselessness and why the organization supports the highly controversial E-PARASITE Act. It's not the first time we've covered the controversial legislation, but the leader of the RIAA, Cary Sherman, has weighed in with his own personal views and rebuttal. It's unusual for the head of the RIAA to directly confront such criticism, and it's worth revisiting the topic to evaluate his response. Sherman's argument rests on two premises. First, it should be unacceptable to any of us involved in legitimate commerce online that a rogue Web site based outside of the United States -- but hawking... Read more...
It's no surprise that the RIAA is unhappy with the DMCA, given how fervently the organization supports the beautifully named E-PARASITE Act. However, a lawyer from the organization has shed new light on exactly why the recording industry (and presumably the MPAA as well) thinks the Digital Millenium Copyright Act is broken. "I think Congress got it right, but I think the courts are getting it wrong," Pariser said during a panel discussion at the NY Entertainment & Technology Law Conference. "I think the courts are interpreting Congress' statute in a manner that is entirely too restrictive of content owners' rights and too open to [Internet] service providers. "We might need to go to Congress... Read more...
Taxpayers in the United States could soon be stuck footing the bill for some very costly copyright infringement enforcement. For those that don't know, the PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or Senate Bill S.968) is a piece of controversial legislation introduced on May 12, 2011 intended to force private ISPs, search engines and other parties to censor websites accused of facilitating copyright infringement. The bill is supported by a large number of infamous IP-protective agencies, including the MPAA, Viacom, SAG, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and others. The legislation is a re-write of the Combating Online Infringement... Read more...
Britain's business secretary, Vince Cable, announced today that the government plans to pass legislation allowing citizens to make legal copies of CDs and DVDs they own. The new law will also allow UK citizens to engage in "form shifting;" the term refers to the right to burn legally downloaded materials to physical media. (This last right isn't something US citizens enjoy. Copyright.gov states: "You are not permitted under section 117 to make a backup copy of other material on a computer's hard drive, such as other copyrighted works that have been downloaded (e.g., music, films)." "This brings the law into line with, frankly, common sense," said Secretary Cable. "A lot of this has to do with... Read more...
A number of venture capital firms and individuals have sent an open letter to Congress, asking the legislative body not to support the PROTECT IP (aka Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011, aka PIPA) bill. PIPA is a re-write of an earier bill, COICA, and is designed to give the US DOJ the power to seize a non-US website that breaks US law concerning copyrights. It states: "The Protect IP Act says that an "information location tool shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible, to remove or disable access to the Internet site associated with the domain name set forth in the order". In addition,... Read more...
Do you own a PlayStation 3 console? If so, shut up, sit down, and do what you're told! Before you fire off an angry email, understand that directive's not coming from us -- we're just the messenger here, so please don't shoot -- but Sony, who admittedly didn't word things that way. What the company did do, however, was threaten PS3 hackers with a lifetime ban. "Violation of the System Software License Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that system. In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of International Copyright Laws. Consumers using circumvention devices or running unauthorized or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation... Read more...
A patent application doesn't necessarily mean such an idea will ever see the light of day, but iPhone jailbreakers should take note of this news, anyway. Apple has reportedly applied for patent for methodology of not just detecting jailbroken or unlocked iPhones, but also killing them, if necessary. It's true that if you read carefully through this patent application, it seems a lot of it is focused on security: detecting unauthorized users through various means, and sending an alert to a device or restricting its use. However, jailbreaking and unlocking are mentioned as part of the patent application which along with some of the measures Apple proposes, has to raise eyebrows. Now, it should... Read more...
Every three years, the U.S. Copyright Office convenes to consider exemptions to the DMCA's ban on circumvention of "technical protection measures." On Monday, the EFF, which had submitted three such exemptions for this go-round of the triennial process, announced that all three exemptions had been granted, meaning for one thing, that jailbreaking iPhones is now officially legal. Apple had said a long time ago that it considered jailbreaking iPhones illegal, but there was no legal basis in either direction. This exemption now means Apple can't take any legal action against jailbreakers, and it also would appear to free those rooting Android phones to do their work as well. The EFF also applied... Read more...
In the United States, discussions of copyright protection and infringement inevitably revolve around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. Since it passed twelve years ago, the DMCA has become the weapon of choice for US companies seeking to fairly protect their property as well as institutions attempting to unfairly silence criticism by alleging infringement. For several years now, a draft treaty that would regulate copyright internationally has been making the rounds. ACTA—the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement—is meant to take the most draconian provisions of the DMCA, "improve" them, and apply them worldwide. New documents that have leaked from the treaty negotiations have shed... Read more...
As you may know if you've been reading this site for a while, the U.S. Copyright Office is holding its triennial hearings on exemptions to the DMCA. One of the exemptions being sought would broaden one granted film and media professors in 2006 to rip DVDs (so they could use the clips in teaching) to other teachers as well. Naturally, there's no way to directly record a DVD using a VCR; that particular loophole was closed when DVDs first came out. So ripping to use clips would seem the only solution, right? No, of course, not. The MPAA feels a better way to do this is to record DVD being played on a TV with a camcorder. Of course! How simple (insert sarcasm here), and how lame. Of course, they... Read more...
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