This ruling seems pretty far out on the pro-internet side of the copyright spectrum. As reported by Ars:
Judge Posner’s reasoning is interesting. He argues that when you view an infringing video on a site such as YouTube, no one—not you, not YouTube, and not the guy who uploaded the infringing video—is violating copyright’s reproduction or distribution rights. And since simply viewing an infringing copy of a video isn’t copyright infringement, he says, myVidster can’t be secondarily liable for that infringement.
So to extend this a bit further- does this mean it is now legal for me to create a website that consisted solely of posts of framed, embedded videos of NBC’s (or the BBC’s, or YouTube’s) Olympics broadcasts and paid advertising? As long as someone else is responsible for posting the original, hosted videos (like, say, the BBC’s own website) Posner’s logic seems to say I can’t be held liable for embedding that hosted video on a . . . → Read More: Judge Posner Rules That Embedding Streaming Video Is Not Copying
Google rolls out fiber to Kansas City, will offer TV and gigabit download speeds to residential customers:
The high speed means Google can compete directly with cable and satellite TV companies. For $120 per month for both TV and internet, residents will get a set-top box that Google says will deliver hundreds of HD channels and tens of thousands of on-demand movies and shows. The service even comes with Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, which will serve as the set-top box’s remote.
However, this “analysis” strikes me as either deliberately wrong or totally confused about Google’s approach to business: Continue reading Google Fiber: Sign Me Up.
Torrentfreak runs an article about the video streaming sites set up for the Olympics:
Interestingly enough, free and legal online streams are available in pretty much all parts of the world except the United States. YouTube, for example, is streaming all events in 64 countries across Asia and Africa including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Angola, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Zambia.
In the UK the BBC is offering a free online stream, and many other countries have their own alternatives.
The lack of free live streams in the U.S. is going to be one of the main reasons why people will pirate the . . . → Read More: Aaaand here it is.
First, the 2012 Summer Olympics posts a TOU on its website that purports to place content and viewpoint restrictions on linking. Sorry guys, that ain’t how the internet works.
Now, CNET reports that it is against Olympics policy for people to use their smartphones as wifi hotspots. The article gets right to the heart of the matter:
It’s unclear how Olympic officials plan to enforce the ban.
Yeah, about that. What are they going to do? Continue reading London Olympics Policy as Farce
Wired reports that Aereo got sued yesterday. Nobody should be surprised by this.
The broadcasters added that “no amount of technological gimmickry by Aereo — or claims that it is simply providing a set of sophisticated ‘rabbit ears’ — changes the fundamental principle of copyright law that those who wish to retransmit plaintiffs’ broadcasts may do so only with plaintiffs’ authority.”
I’m sure that James Grimmelmann will have the authoritative word on this shortly, but without reading too deeply into the technology, I have to think that the broadcasters are on the right side of the law here. [update on 3/4/12 at 4:45 EST: Prof Grimmelmann says "In any sane world, Aereo would not exist" and that Aereo is just one more example of "how badly the wheels are coming off the bus of copyright law’s conceptual framework." ]
Copyright includes the distribution right and the right to make copies, and I can’t see how Aereo gets around the fact that Aereo equipment is receiving the broadcast, Aereo equipment is amplifying the broadcast, Aereo equipment is making an unauthorized copy of the broadcast in order to convert it to whatever compressed streaming format they are using, and then actually converting it . . . → Read More: Antennas in The Cloud Are Lawsuit Bait
I am amused by the juxtaposition of this article about the Feds taking down domains for video streaming websites with this article about how one of those sites is up and running at a new domain less than 24 hours later.
The site operators point out that what they are doing is PERFECTLY LEGAL in the place where they are doing it, and that in the future, the US government agencies behind the takedowns might want to find a more useful and effective way to spend taxpayer dollars.
This exact scenario is going to keep happening until the government comes to terms with the fact that the battle is already lost. I don’t expect the content producers to ever admit defeat, but at some point, government policy people will decide to stop tilting at windmills (because it just makes them look silly and ineffective, if for no . . . → Read More: Firstrowsports back online at new domain
I wrote a long paper about Viacom v. Youtube my 2L year in law school. I concluded that the suit was a huge waste of money for Viacom, because it was impossible for Google to lose.
I wonder if anybody is still paying this guy. And if . . . → Read More: Nostalgia
Boing Boing reports: Man faces 75 years for recording police.
As all the commenters there have noted, these charges are in clear conflict with the Glik ruling just issued by the 1st Circuit, in a very similar case involving police from the City of Boston. Wonder if the Illinois prosecutor is up for making a . . . → Read More: First Amendment Apparently Does Not Apply In Illinois
The Consumerist has a very short article announcing a decision from the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled on the application of a Massachusetts wiretap law. In this situation, the police officers were attempting to use the law to punish a private citizen who had recorded activities of on-the-job police. The court found that officers did not have immunity for their violation of the recorder’s First Amendment civil rights.
Full decision is a PDF, download here.
Notably, the court held that the police officers in question, and the City and the police department in general, did not have immunity for officers’ decision to arrest and charge a man who had used his cell phone to record video of the officers using excessive force to arrest a suspect in a public park. The court cited City of Houston v. Hill, 482 US 451, 462 to remind the Boston police that “[t]he freedom of individuals verbally to oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state.”
This opinion is good news for citizen journalists in Boston, and opponents of police brutality everywhere.
If I were . . . → Read More: First Circuit Gives First Amendment Support To Recording On-Duty Police