Archive for: May, 2013

Kim Dotcom might sue Twitter, Google and Facebook over copyright infringement

Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom. File photo via AFP.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said Thursday he was considering taking legal action against tech giants such as Twitter, Google and Facebook for infringing copyright on a security measure he invented.

Dotcom, who is on bail in New Zealand as US authorities seek his extradition in the world’s biggest copyright case, said he invented “two-factor authentication”, which many major sites have adopted as a security feature.

Twitter became the latest major player to introduce the measure on Wednesday following a series of cyber-attacks which saw hackers take over the accounts of high-profile targets such as media organizations and send out fake tweets.

“Twitter introduces Two-Step-Authentication. Using my invention. But they won’t even verify my Twitter account?!,” Dotcom tweeted.

“Google, Facebook, Twitter, Citibank, etc. offer Two-Step-Authentication. Massive IP (intellectual property) infringement by U.S. companies. My innovation. My patent,” he added.

To back his claim, the 39-year-old posted a US patent describing the authentication process filed in 1998 by Kim Schmitz — Dotcom’s name before he legally changed it — and published in 2000.

Dotcom said he had never sought to enforce copyright on his invention but was now reconsidering in light of the US case accusing him of masterminding massive online piracy through his now-defunct Megaupload file-sharing site.

“I never sued them. I believe in sharing knowledge & ideas for the good of society. But I might sue them now cause of what the U.S. did to me,” he said.

However, he said a more productive approach would be if the tech giants helped cover his legal bills to fight prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), which he estimated would exceed US$50 million.

“Google, Facebook, Twitter, I ask you for help. We are all in the same DMCA boat. Use my patent for free. But please help fund my defense,” he tweeted.

“All of our assets are still frozen without trial. Defending our case will cost US$50M+. I want to fight to the end because we are innocent.”

The authentication process works by sending a text message containing a verification code to the user’s mobile phone when they login, which must be entered to gain access to the account.

The US Justice Department and FBI want Dotcom to face charges of racketeering, fraud, money-laundering and copyright theft in a US court, which could see him jailed for up to 20 years.

He denies US allegations the Megaupload sites netted more than US$175 million in criminal proceeds and cost copyright owners more than US$500 million by offering pirated copies of movies, TV shows and other content.

The German national is free on bail ahead of an extradition hearing scheduled for August and launched a successor to Megaupload called Mega in January this year.


Kim Dotcom might sue Twitter, Google and Facebook over copyright infringement – Raw Story

copyright infringement news – Google News… Read the rest

Orphan Works, Droit D’Auteur, Where to Sue in Copyright Cases

Snippets from issue 1, 2013 volume of The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter:

Publishing and distributing content in today’s environment means working within a variety of models. An article or a series of articles published in a newsletter or website may become a mini e-book, the basis for a webinar or online course, or part of an online subscription-based database. These various models of monetizing content presume one thing—that ownership of the original content is clearly established when that original or first version of the content is written.

– Editorial by Lesley Ellen Harris

Orphan Works:

Because museums operate as stewards of collections with a mission and responsibility—on the one hand to educate and communicate with their public and, on the other hand, to care for their collections—museums hold a unique perspective on rights issues. One of the most significant legal issues facing the contemporary museum is the orphaned works issue.  The issue of orphaned works, that is, works determined to likely still be in copyright where the copyright owner cannot be identified or found, is not new.  Historically museums have been involved in determining provenance or attribution of works of art.

– Orphan Works from the Museum Perspective by Rina Elster Pantalony

French Copyright Law:

The French Intellectual Property Code not only expressly provides for the possibility to transfer moral rights on the death of the author (moral rights can be transferred only because of death), but also provides for the perpetuity of moral rights. The combination of this perpetual nature with the possibility of transferring a moral right only in case of death, offers a crucial tool to maintain control over the use of a work beyond the duration of patrimonial rights. As an example, the French courts (Paris Court of First Instance, September 12 2001) found that the moral rights over the works of famous author Victor Hugo had been transferred to his heirs up until today even thought the famous writer died in 1885.

– Copyright in France: The French System of “Droit D’Auteur” by by Jean-François Bretonnière and Thomas Defaux

Where to Sue for Copyright Infringement:

Personal jurisdiction is the court’s power over the parties in a case and is generally limited to a geographical area, such as a state.  More broadly, jurisdiction is the right or authority of a court to hear and decide a case.  Not every court has the right or authority to decide a particular legal dispute.  For example, a small claims court does not have the authority to decide a copyright case.  Only federal courts have that authority.  Personal jurisdiction is therefore the right or authority of the court to make a ruling that is enforceable against a specific party.  There are two kinds of personal jurisdiction: specific jurisdiction and general jurisdiction.

– Where to Sue in Copyright Infringement Cases by Tonya Gisselberg

Previous contents of The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter.

If you subscribe to the Copyright Community in 2013 you will have access to this issue and all issues of the Newsletter from 2009-2013. Choose the electronic subscription for $199 for 2013.

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Copyright for Publishers

Copyright for Publishers

Publishing in today’s environment means working within a variety of models. These models may entail the use of original content and may use republished, repurposed, adapted and recycled content. What does this mean in terms of copyright law? Since content is a key common denominator across models, publishers need to understand how copyright law protects that content. Key copyright issues include the nature of protected content; ownership of content; how that content is legally protected and what rights protect it; how to license and assignment content in order to monetize it and monitoring unauthorized uses of content. Proper copyright knowledge will ensure that you have maximum protection in the one constant in your various publishing models.

Three important copyright issues for publishers are:

  • ownership of content
  • using third party content
  • protecting publications

The issues affect both print and electronic publishers of all sorts of content.

Copyright Ownership

In copyright, the ownership rule seems straightforward: an author is the first owner of copyright in her work. However, in an employment situation, the employer owns the copyright in her employee’s work. A consultant on the other hand owns the copyright in her writings unless there is a written agreement stating otherwise. Written agreements can change the ownership of copyright materials; licenses can provide permission to use materials that you do not own.

Third Party Content

Third party content is content in which you do not own the rights. Some typical examples of third party works included in publications are: images, diagrams, tables, charts, and photographs. When using third party content, it is always best to begin with the presumption that the content is protected by copyright. Online content and images found through search engines like Google Images are often protected by copyright.

Protecting Publications

Using a copyright symbol and including copyright information (plus a link to obtain permission to use your online publications) is one of the simplest ways to start protecting your content. Watermarking, digital rights management, and license agreements may all be helpful as well.

More info at Member profile: Harris has the answers on copyright laws

See Copyright for Publishers session at SIPA on 5 June 2013

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