Posts Tagged ‘MPAA’
Megaupload’s still immersed in hot water, but there are signs the legal temperature could be cooling… slightly. Don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet though, as a significant portion of that confiscated cache of cloud-stored files remains somewhat indefinitely under lock and key. A minor reprieve may be on the way, however, owing to a much more “sympathetic” MPAA which has asked the court to consider releasing non-illegally obtained content to previous users. And lest your evil eye be trained too heavily upon the Hollywood group behind the shutdown, the association’s made it quite clear that, under the site’s TOS, users were never guaranteed continued access to uploaded content anyway.
The change of heart comes in response to a motion filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, on behalf of a member of the U.S. military, petitioning the return of personal, non-IP infringing files. According to the now-defunct site’s founder Kim Dotcom, that group of “legitimate” users comprised nearly 16,000 accounts utilized primarily to share photos and video with far away family and friends. Of course, should this retrieval request be granted, a requisite procedure will need to be put in place to filter out copyrighted media — a system that’s sure to pose countless headaches for those involved. Nothing’s yet been decided so, for now, the fate of your lost files rests firmly in the court’s hands. Such are the perils of the cloud.
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There goes Zediva. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the video streaming start-up by ruling that the company violates copyright infringement. The injunction will effectively shut down Zediva, but due to a legal technicality, it won’t officially be issued for another week.
Zediva should have seen this coming. The company billed its streaming service as a DVD rental over the Internet and proudly proclaimed “New Movies before Netflix and Redbox.” They were essentially working (or so they thought) around several IP and copyright laws by streaming DVDs purchased at retail and then allowing customers to rent the physical DVD and DVD player. They said, this practice was essentially the same method of transmission used by video rental stores. The MPAA disagreed. (so did the judge)
The judge rejected Zediva’s claim that the service was akin to having a DVD player with a really long cable attached. The MPAA’s hounds argued that Zediva was serving up a public performance and did not have the proper pay-per-performance license. Judge John F. Walter agreed and stated, “Defendants are violating Plaintiffs’ exclusive right to publicly perform their Copyrighted Works.” and later, “Plaintiff’s argument that On Command’s system involves not “transmissions” but “electronic rentals” similar to patrons’ physical borrowing of videotapes is without merit.”
The MPAA praised the victory in a statement, “Judge Walter’s decision is a great victory for the more than two million American men and women whose livelihoods depend on a thriving film and television industry.”
Zediva isn’t going to roll over, though. The company vowed to keep fighting for those “looking for an alternative to Hollywood-controlled online movie services.”
Protecting intellectual property sounds like such a noble cause that you’d have to be a anarchistic free-market extremist to be against the idea, right? Actually, we don’t think Google CEO Eric Schmidt is particularly extreme in any definable way, yet this past week he spoke with gusto, railing against the proposed Protect IP Act, which is was designed to “prevent online threats to economic creativity and theft of intellectual property.” If passed into law, it would give the government the right to shut down any “Internet site dedicated to infringing activities” — “infringing activities” largely being of the sort that allows dude A to download copyrighted item B from dude C when it’s unclear whether dude C has legal rights to be distributing B in the first place.
So, you know, it’s targeting the Pirate Bay and its ilk, giving government officials greater power to sweep in and snag the domains of such sites. Schmidt calls this approach a set of “arbitrarily simple solutions to complex problems” that “sets a very bad precedent.” The precedent? That it’s okay for democratic governments to go and kill any site they doesn’t like, something Schmidt says would only encourage restrictive policies in countries like China. While we don’t think China really needs any sort of encouragement at all to keep on building up its Great Firewall, we tend to agree that this is a much more complicated problem than the Act makes it out to be. That said, one must admit that Schmidt’s opinions are necessarily somewhat swayed by the knowledge that any such law would also have a negative impact on the business of search engines in general.
But of course no such volley of words could go unanswered from the two shining knights of copyright protection, the MPAA and RIAA, which mounted up their corporate blogs, rode down from twin castles full of lawyers, and collectively told Schmidt he’s full of it. The MPAA spun Schmidt’s comments into some sort of act of civil disobedience, saying that “Google seems to think it’s above America’s laws.” Meanwhile, the RIAA called the statement “a confusing step backwards by one of the most influential internet companies.” Obviously it’s only going to get nastier from here, so buckle your seatbelts, place your bets, and hang on to your BitTorrent clients.
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We told you to get through that 10 pack of rentals quickly didn’t we? As pretty much anyone could have predicted, the Motion Picture Association of America (in case you’ve forgotten, that’s these guys) doesn’t think Zediva has the right to rent access to DVDs for streaming across the internet. Specifically, the MPAA calls Zediva for not being the traditional rental service it claims to be, and claims streaming the output of a DVD player across the internet even to one user amounts to public performance of the movie. There’s no response yet from Zediva, but in the meantime armchair lawyers can check out the MPAA’s statement in PDF form at the source link.
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The Motion Picture Association of America has been trying to get a waiver for the FCC Selectable Output Control (SoC) ban since it went into effect — the ability to only allow content to flow from a HDCP protected HDMI port. Up until now there has been lots of debate and no action. The bad news is that the MPAA can now use SoC to protect high value content, the good news is the FCC really locked down exactly when it can be used. Basically any movie that’s never been released on disc (DVD or Blu-ray) can be protected with SoC for 90 days. The reason the FCC granted this partial waiver was because the content effected isn’t currently available to cable and satellite anyways — in other words consumers who own older HDTVs, without HDMI ports, don’t currently expect access to these movies. So for those with older hardware nothing changes, and for those with the latest and greatest, you’ll be able to rent newer movies from home. And for everyone else there’s the HDfury2 — no, they’ll never learn that DRM is a big waste of time and money. Full waiver after the jump.
FCC will let the MPAA disable analog outputs, kind of originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 07 May 2010 16:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
I don’t get it either, mister
There really isn’t any particular point to the following story other than to get you riled up as your begin your weekend. The U.S. government is actively trying to figure out how best to handle intellectual property rights, so it has asked the concerned parties to submit all sorts of information in order to better understand what’s going no. The person in charge of this is the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, and what the RIAA and MPAA have submitted borders on the insane. Well, it would border on the insane if it weren’t totally their modus operandi. The most glaring “suggestion”? That computer users install software that would scan the contents of their hard drives, looking for examples of “infringement.” If the software discovers what it thinks it infringement, bam! Deleted! I’d be surprised if this were the year 2001, but after so many years of insane RIAA/MPAA stories it’s hard to be shocked anymore.
The exact verbiage of the suggestion reads:
There are several technologies and methods that can be used by network administrators and providers…these include [consumer] tools for managing copyright infringement from the home (based on tools used to protect consumers from viruses and malware).
So, the same technology that protects you from Internet nonsense—”hey, knucklehead, that 1MB DVD rip of “Avatar” you’ve got there is a trojan, delete it—would instead be used to spy on you. A sort of, “Well, look at that, the new LCD Soundsystem album before its official release date? Where did you get that from? No worries, we’ll just delete it right now… OK, as you were.”
That’s not a world I want to live in.
Then again, this is a world where volcanoes are exploding left, right, and center; meteorites are falling from the sky; and Manchester City might actually get fourth place, so who knows what’s going on anymore.
The funniest is that the RIAA/MPAA expects federal agencies, like the FBI, to keep an eye out for pirates on opening weekend.
Yes, because our nation’s law enforcement officials have nothing better to do than make sure people aren’t recording Kick Ass for later CAM distribution…
Again, it would be funny if weren’t utterly predictable.
via Tom’s Guide
Props to CrunchGear