Posts tagged copyright
Secret TPP Negotiations Resume in Salt Lake City (Resistance grows)
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is bad news folks. Progressives and small government people should come together to fight this massive vehicle for crony capitalism.
The newest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations begin today in Salt Lake City, Utah, where trade representatives will work towards finalizing the text of this sprawling secret agreement. Last week’s publication of the controversial “Intellectual Property“ chapter by Wikileaks confirmed our worst fears: the TPP carries draconian copyright enforcement provisions that threaten users’ rights and could stifle innovation well into the 21st Century. Public opposition to the TPP continues to grow as a result of the leaked document; an opaque policymaking process that seems geared towards appeasing Big Content does not provide much in the way of legitimacy.
Movie industry wants to indoctrinate 1st graders on copyright
The business of content has been in flux for the last 15 years. The old business models are dead or close to dead, but that isn’t stopping the movie studios from trying to hold back progress while they still have the resources to deploy in government.
The MPAA, headed by the former senator Chris Dodd, suffered a sound and brutal defeat last year when the entire online world rose up against the “Stop Online Priracy Act” (SOPA). It was a huge win for Internet freedom, and a crushing blow for a decaying movie industry.
But the studios aren’t dead yet and they still have lots of friends in government. So they are trying different avenues, like this effort to propagandize our children in school.
(From The Verge)
The copyright lobby hasn’t been shy about pressing the anti-piracy case, but a new LA Times report suggests they’re taking the battle to a place it’s never been before: schools. A group called the Center for Copyright Information — backed by copyright groups like the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, among others — is currently developing a curriculum in California to teach elementary schoolers the value of copyright and the dangers of piracy.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Forbidden fruit: German cafe wins legal battle against Apple Inc.
A family-run café in Germany has won a dispute with corporate superpower Apple Inc. The multinational took legal action against the café, Apfelkind, for copyright infringement, claiming the logo was too similar to the company’s trademark apple graphic.
Apple Inc. withdrew their appeal from the German Patent and Trademark Office after a 2-year-long legal battle. Apple gave no explanation for its decision for dropping the case against the family café.
The multinational claimed that the Apfelkind café’s owner had committed an infringement of copyright with their logo – a red apple with the silhouette of a girl’s face in the center.
Apfelkind’s owner, Christin Romer, filed a patent application for the logo after opening the café in May 2011. Four months later she received a letter from Apple, alleging that Romer had committed copyright infringement.
“It was just 4 months after I opened the cafe when I got the letter from Apple informing me that they [had] lodged a complaint against my brand,” Romer told RT’s video agency Ruptly.
When Romer refused to withdraw the patent application, Apple began drawing up a settlement agreement whereby Romer would not use the logo on any electronic items nor would she talk about it.
“It’s great that so many people provided me with their support, saying that the logos are not similar to each other. They were all saying – “keep up, Christine, Apple only wants to make you small,” Romer told Ruptly. Now Romer is free to use the design where she pleases, but given that the case is not formally closed, Apple could file charges against the café again.
Image credit: http://rt.com
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Gary Franchi interviews James Corbett connecting from Japan on Next News Network on various topics including the future of 3D printing, intellectual property, free speech, upcoming government regulations, local drone surveillance and much more.
An anti-piracy company has found itself in the middle of a huge controversy. CIAPC, the company that had The Pirate Bay blocked by ISPs in Finland, tracked an alleged file-sharer and demanded a cash settlement. However, the Internet account holder refused to pay which escalated things to an unprecedented level. In response, this week police raided the home of the 9-year-old suspect and confiscated her Winnie the Pooh laptop.
Very soon in the United States, letters will be sent out to Internet account holders informing them that they should stop sharing copyrighted material on BitTorrent.
The message in the US from mainstream rightsholders is designed to be educational, but more aggressive companies carry out the same process but with a sting in the tail – a request for cash-settlement to make potential lawsuits go away.
One such request for cash landed on the doorstep of an Internet account holder in Finland during the spring. Known locally as TTVK, Finnish anti-piracy group CIAPC sent the man a letter informing him that his account had been traced back to an incidence of online file-sharing.
To stop matters progressing further the man was advised to pay a settlement of 600 euros, sign a non-disclosure document, and move on with his life. He chose not to give in to the demands of CIAPC and this week things escalated as promised.
Tuesday morning the doorbell of the family home rang around 8am and the man, who works in the hospitality sector, had quite a shock. Police were at his door with a search warrant authorizing the hunt for evidence connected to illicit file-sharing.
Surprisingly, the man isn’t a previously unknown Kim Dotcom-related “co-conspirator”, nor does he run a warez site or BitTorrent tracker. He is, however, guilty of having a 9-year-old daughter with a taste for pop music.
Having failed in her quest to put enough money in her piggy bank to buy the latest album from local multi-platinum-selling songstress Chisu, in 2011 she turned to the Internet, first via Google and then The Pirate Bay.
The girl’s father said the resulting downloads didn’t work so the following day they went to the store to buy music. Nevertheless, this week’s police visit shows that CIAPC mean business, no matter how young the targets or whether or not they also buy music.
In concluding their search, the police confiscated the girl’s file-sharing weapon of choice – her Winnie The Pooh laptop – and according to her father offered some final words.
“It would have been easier for all concerned if you had paid the compensation,” the police advised
“I got the feeling that there had been people from the MAFIA demanding money at the door,” the girl’s father explained.
Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, co-founder of the popular ‘Pirate Bay’ file-sharing website, has been arrested in Cambodia. Warg was wanted by Sweden on copyright infringement charges after failing to report for a yearlong prison sentence.
Authorities arrested Warg in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in an apartment above The Cadillac Bar and Grill, a popular expat hangout, TorrentFreak.com reported. The Swedish government issued an international arrest warrant for Warg in January, after he failed to appear for the start of his jail term.
“His arrest was made at the request of the Swedish government for a crime related to information technology,” Cambodian police spokesperson Kirth Chantharith told AFP “We don’t have an extradition treaty with Sweden but we’ll look into our laws and see how we can handle this case.”
Warg was one of four co-founders of BitTorrent website The Pirate Bay, which was temporarily taken offline by Swedish authorities after a court ruled in 2009 that all four individuals were guilty of encouraging copyright violations, and sentenced them to one year in Swedish prison and millions of dollars in fines.
In a 2010 appeal against the verdict, the four maintained that no pirated material was actually distributed through their site. Three of the co-founders had their jail time reduced to sentences ranging from four to ten months, but their fines increased as a result of the appeal.
Warg – who was living in Phnom Penh at the time – claimed that his health was too poor for him to attend his sentencing, prompting the judge to uphold his prison sentence and $1.1 million in fines.
According to TorrentFreak, health issues have been a concern for Warg since 2010. He moved to Cambodia several years ago.
By James Corbett
29 January, 2012
When legislators in the US abandoned their support of SOPA and PIPA in the wake of mass popular protest earlier this month, many of those who had been mobilized by the legislation–which would have granted the US government almost total power to block access to foreign websites accused of so much as linking to copyrighted material–did not have long to enjoy their “victory.” The very next day the New Zealand police swooped in to the million-dollar estate of MegaUpload.com founder Kim Dotcom, arresting him and three others at the US government’s request for alleged racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering. The Department of Justice is now seeking the MegaUpload CEO’s extradition to the US.
Some amongst those who had been campaigning against SOPA and PIPA did not know that the US government already had the authority to shut down entire websites and in fact has exercised that authority on numerous occasions. What many are now learning is that, far from some potential future threat, internet censorship already exists in a variety of legislation that is already on the books in the United States and in nations around the world.
Although most commonly associated with China, which has implemented strict internet filters that prevent its citizens from finding politically sensitive material, various internet censorship programs have already been implemented by countries around the globe.
In 2010, Japan passed amendments to its copyright law making it illegal to download copyrighted material. The move has yet to curtail file-sharing in the country, so the Japanese government recently announced that they are going to begin putting fake copies of popular tv dramas on file-sharing websites that, when opened, remind users that it is illegal to download such material.
In July of 2010, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized the domains of 8 websites that it accused of hosting illegal copies of copyrighted material as part of an investigation dubbed Operation In Our Sites. The seizures came before any trial took place, and six of the websites did not actually host any of the copyrighted material in question, only linking to it. That November, ICE acted once again, this time seizing 82 domains. In December of 2011, over one year later, the agency returned one of the domains, Dajaz1.com, to its owner, after admitting that it had not in fact breached any laws.
In May of last year, the US Justice Department began seeking the extradition of one of the website’s operators, Richard O’Dwyer, from the UK. O’Dwyer is a British citizen who established TVShack.net in December of 2007. The DOJ is hoping to bring O’Dwyer to the US under the Extradition Act of 2003 to face charges of copyright infringement in the Southern District of New York.
Late last year, a number of nations signed a new global copyright agreement known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement or ACTA. Signatories include the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and, as of this past week, 22 member states of the European Union.
Purported to be a treaty against counterfeit goods, generic drugs and copyright, it threatens to fundamentally alter the internet as it has so far existed.
When the Polish government announced its intention to sign earlier this month, protests sprang up around the country.
By Kurt Nimmo
SOPA/PIPA Battle Rages: Tell Congress We Will Not Accept Censorship
The underhanded effort to fundamentally alter the internet under the guise of protecting the copyrights of Hollywood and its transnational “entertainment” corporations was delivered a distinct set-back a few days ago when Congress retreatedon its full-steam ahead effort to ram SOPA down our throats.
Faced with massive outrage and a political backlash, the Obama administration threatened a veto of the SOPA legislation and in response Congress shelved it.
Equally important is the battle to defeat PIPA, the Protect IP Act, which will soon be up for a vote. Congress needs to be told it must reject this legislation as well.
Even though the shelving of SOPA appears to be a victory, we cannot trust the government to not reintroduce the bill after sprucing it up as a kinder and gentler effort to rob of us our ability to freely disseminate information and speak our minds on the internet without fear of the censor’s truncheon crashing down. After all, in 2010 the government shut down 73,000 web sites under the cover of fighting copyright infringement.
We must continue to let our “representatives” in Congress know that in no uncertain terms will we accept any modification of the internet at the behest of large corporations and the globalists who intend by hook or by crook to neuter the only free communication medium left to the people.
Use the links below to contact Congress now and speak your mind:
STOP AMERICAN CENSORSHIP:
Read the bills in full here:
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act):
PIPA (Protect IP Act):
YOU are the resistance.