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the shade rooms facebook page shut down for repeated copyright infringement

Facebook Shuts Down The Shade Room’s 4.4 Million-Strong Page for Copyright Violations

Owned by Nigerian-American Angie Nwandu, The Shade Room‘s Facebook page got shut down this week. Undoubtedly one of the fastest growing entertainment platforms, the page had 4.4 million followers in just two years since its launch.

The Shade Room is a gossip and entertainment platform, especially about African-American movie, TV, music and reality stars.

BuzzFeed News and Nieman Lab contacted both the founder and Facebook and this is what they had to say –

Facebook: “A Facebook spokesperson has confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the reason for The Shade Room’s removal was due to copyright violations.”

Angie Nwandu had said on Monday to Nieman Lab that although they had been reported for violations in the past, she felt they were being targeted. She was clueless to what brought the take down as she was the only one approving posts for the page.

“nothing was posted that violated any rules to my knowledge.”

“We have been targeted on [Facebook] and have been receiving numerous reports over things that don’t violate the terms,”

“The amount of reports have been excessive.”

As Facebook has not reinstated the page, the platform has popped up again, and at the time of publishing, now has over 1,000 followers. Here’s the video they posted on their new page –


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Bill Withers sues Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is being sued for copyright infringement over Bill Withers song

 

In what’s becoming an increasingly common occurrence, a popular musician is being sued for allegedly stealing another, older artist’s song. The Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar was sued Thursday for using a “direct and complete” copy of Bill Withers’ 1975 song “Don’t You Want to Stay” for his 2009 hit “I Do This.” The company that says it owns the 77-year-old singer’s 1975 song “Don’t You Want To Stay” claims that Kendrick Lamar ripped off the track for his own song, 2009’s “I Do This.” “I Do This” was distributed on a free mixtape by Lamar back in 2009. Can you be sued when you didn’t profit off of the music? The copyright infringement suit, filed in a federal court in Los Angeles, claims Lamar rapped over a “direct and complete copy” of Withers’ music. Mattie Music Group stated in the legal documents that Lamar’s track “consists of nothing more than new rap and hip hop lyrics set to the existing music of ‘Don’t You Want To Stay.’” They are pursuing damages and want Lamar to stop playing his song.

Filed by Golden Withers Music and Musidex Music, the complaint said Lamar sampled the music “with a thumb to the nose, catch me if you can attitude.”

Listen to the songs here and judge for yourself.

Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising considering in 2014, Lamar was also sued by Eric Woolfson and his group, The Alan Parsons Project, who believed he had improperly sampled their song “Old and Wise” without consent on the track “Keisha’s Song (Her Pain),” which appeared on Kendrick’s Section.80 project.

This time it looks more serious though. Golden Withers Music and Musidex Music are seeking unspecified damages, and the suit was filed in the same court that awarded Marvin Gaye’s family more than $7 million for the “Blurred Lines” trial in March 2015.

That same court will also decide if  Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” copied Spirit’s “Taurus.”

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More People Recognizing Copyright’s ‘Free Speech Problem’

 

For many years now, we’ve written about the fact that copyright law and the First Amendment are actually in quite a lot of conflict. After all, copyright is regularly used to stifle speech, and the First Amendment isn’t supposed to allow for the barring of speech. Over the years, legal experts have been increasingly starting to realize this. A few years back, we wrote about a paper wondering why copyright law doesn’t require a showing of harm, as should be required under the First Amendment. We’ve also pointed out that the more that you explore the fact that copyright and the First Amendment seem to be in conflict, the more you recognize how screwed up copyright law has been. I’m even aware of two whole books that both focus on this problem: Neil Netanel’s Copyright’s Paradox and David Lange & H. Jefferson Powell’s No Law (as in “Congress shall make no law…”).

But, for whatever reason, copyright system supporters always seem to wave off this issue as if it’s some kook theory, unwilling to confront the stark reality that copyright law has a serious First Amendment problem. And, no, the argument that “well the two coexisted for over 200 years” doesn’t cut it, because copyright was very, very different for the first 200 years of its existence in the US. Nor does the claim that copyright law is some sort of magic exception to the First Amendment because the Copyright Clause in the Constitution “came first.” That sounds good… until you remember that the First Amendment is called that because it’s an amendment and you remember that it’s the later part that should take precedent.

Hopefully, though, more people are beginning to recognize this issue. Law Professor John Tehranian (who has written a wonderful book on copyright excesses himself, called Infringement Nation) has an excellent article at legal trade publication The Recorder detailing the simple fact that Copyright Law Has a Free Speech Problem. It starts with a perfectly clear example of this, where two celebrities sought to punish a news tabloid for publishing proof that they had married by buying up the copyright to the photographic evidence of their wedding, and then suing for copyright infringement:


First, Monge and Reynoso purchased the copyright to the photographs. Then, they sued Maya for copyright infringement for its unauthorized use of the photographs—not to vindicate any real value in the copyrighted work but as a means of suppressing and punishing truthful speech. The gambit worked. Although a district court originally found Maya’s activities protected under the fair-use doctrine, the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit ultimately reversed and, in a 2012 published decision, deemed Maya liable for infringement.

We wrote about this case when it was ruled upon, noting the ridiculousness of the ruling at the time. As Tehranian notes, this is just one of many examples of copyright now being used to stifle First Amendment protected free expression:


By fetishizing property interests in copyright works at the expense of the public right of access to factual information, the decision effectively provided future plaintiffs with significant cover for disingenuous uses of copyright law to punish legitimate free speech on matters of public interest. And lest one think that the Maya decision only governs seemingly frivolous celebrity scandals, the precedent could just as easily be used to attach liability to the next publisher of the Pentagon Papers or other unpublished materials containing eminently newsworthy secrets.

And, no, he notes, this is not just one case. It’s happening all over.


In recent years, creationists have used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to force the takedown of critical materials put online by evolutionists. Abortion-rights activists have brought infringement litigation to enjoin speech by pro-life forces (Northland Family Planning Clinic v. Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, 2012). Military personnel have ginned up copyright claims to suppress photographs documenting human-rights abuses (Four Navy SEALs v. Associated Press, 2005). And a prominent political talk show host has sued to prevent unauthorized reproductions of his broadcasts in order to suppress criticism of his hate-filled rants (Savage v. CAIR, 2009).

Tehranian — rightly — slams the federal judiciary for allowing this to happen, and basically ignoring the First Amendment issues, usually with the wave of a hand about how fair use solves all the problems. But, as he notes, that leaves many in the unfortunate (and nearly impossible) situation of not being able to rely on the First Amendment to protect free speech, but to try to force it directly into copyright law itself.

Because of this issue, he offers a potential solution, saying that we need a NY Times v. Sullivan for copyright. We have, of course, discussed that case many times in the past — most recently in the context of Donald Trump’s apparent ignorance of its existence or meaning. But it’s the seminal case that made defamation law “okay” under the First Amendment, by strongly favoring free expression (around public figures) by limiting defamation to cases of “actual malice.”


Courts have had no problem with imposing carefully circumscribed First Amendment limitations on tort liability in a variety of scenarios. In New York Times v. Sullivan (1964), the Supreme Court famously held that defamation claims brought by public officials should be subject to a critical First Amendment check: a showing that the defendant acted with actual malice by either intentionally disregarding the truth or acting with reckless indifference towards it. The Supreme Court has subsequently extended the holding of New York Times to all manner of defamation, false light (Time v. Hill, 1967), intentional infliction of emotional distress (Hustler v. Falwell, 1988) and invasion of privacy (Cox v. Cohn, 1975) cases involving public figures or matters of public concern.

These doctrinal innovations have a common goal: preventing the courts themselves from being used by private individuals to effectively suppress speech on matters of public concern. However, the courts have left a gaping exception: copyright law. The adoption of a New York Times v.

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David Lowery Sues Spotify for Copyright Infringement, possible $150 Million

David Lowery is an advocate for musicians’ rights. He is suing over copyright violations.Spotify has been sued for copyright infringement in a case that accuses it of failing to properly license songwriting rights in the United States. The suit highlights an escalating fight over the complex system of royalties for online music.

David Lowery, the leader of the rock bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, and an outspoken advocate for musicians’ rights in the digital age, filed the suit on Monday in federal court in California. It contends that the company makes many songs available on its service without properly securing — or paying for — “mechanical rights,” which date back to the era of piano rolls but are still a major kind of music copyright.

Mechanical rights refer to a copyright holder’s control over the ability to reproduce a musical work. Mr. Lowery’s suit contends that Spotify copies and distributes versions of his songs on its service, which streams music to some 75 million people around the world, 20 million of whom pay for monthly subscriptions.

In his suit, filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles, Mr. Lowery applied for class-action status, arguing that Spotify has failed to handle the mechanical licensing for a huge but unspecified number of songs by many songwriters. Citing statutory damages for copyright infringement, which range from $750 to $30,000 — or $150,000 for each instance of willful infringement — Mr. Lowery’s suit says that Spotify could be liable for up to $150 million.

“We are committed to paying songwriters and publishers every penny,” Jonathan Prince, a spokesman for Spotify, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, especially in the United States, the data necessary to confirm the appropriate rights holders is often missing, wrong or incomplete.”

As streaming has grown, the songwriting rights — which are handled separately from those of recordings — have become more valuable and their licensing increasingly contested. Songwriters like Mr. Lowery often complain of low royalty rates or of not being paid at all, while online outlets and music publishers alike say that incomplete or conflicting data often hampers proper accounting.

In October, Spotify removed from its service thousands of songs from Victory Records, an independent punk and metal label, after the label’s publishing arm complained that Spotify was not paying for millions of streams. Spotify said it did not have enough data to resolve the issue, but Victory and Audiam, a company that administers its royalties, disputed this, saying they had provided data with years’ worth of information.

Victory’s songs were quietly restored to Spotify a few weeks later, but the issue has continued to simmer. The National Music Publishers’ Association estimates that 25 percent of the activity on interactive streaming services like Spotify is not properly “matched” to the right data to let songwriters and their publishers get paid.

Last week, Spotify announced that it would create a “comprehensive publishing administration system” to fix the problem of faulty royalty information.

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Razor Sues Hoverboard Maker Swagway Over Copyright Infringement – Tech Times


Tech Times

Razor Sues Hoverboard Maker Swagway Over Copyright Infringement
Tech Times
27 against Swagway, the distributor of hoverboards in the U.S., for copyright infringement. Razor signed an exclusive licensing agreement from the toy’s inventor, Shane Chen, last month, which holds the patent for “a two-wheel, self-balancing vehicle
Hoverboard maker Swagway sued by Razor over copyright infringementMashable

all 12 news articles »

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SoundCloud Sued For Copyright Infringement

Soundcloud sued for <a rel=

Streaming music service SoundCloud is being sued for copyright infringement. The Performing Rights Society for Music, a U.K. songwriters licensing group, has taken the company to court, charging that SoundCloud is not properly compensating its members for licensing fees owed for streaming their works on the service.

“After careful consideration, and following five years of unsuccessful negotiations, we now find ourselves in a situation where we have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings against the online music service SoundCloud,” Karen Buse, PRS executive director for membership and international, announced in an email to members. PRS represents more than 111,000 songwriters and publishers. Read the rest of the story…

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/80456/20150831/soundcloud-sued-for-copyright-infringement.htm

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NMPA Sues Wolfgangs Vault For Copyright Infringement – JamBase


Billboard
NMPA Sues Wolfgangs Vault For Copyright Infringement
JamBase
The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) today filed a lawsuit in U.S. Federal Court alleging copyright infringement against Wolfgang’s Vault. The NMPA claims the online live concert audio and video platform does not have proper licensing in
Music Publishers File Lawsuit Against Wolfgang’s Vault, Daytrotter For hypebot.com
Wolfgang’s Vault Sued By 26 Music CompaniesBillboard

all 4 news articles »

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Kanye West Asks Judge To Drop The Copyright Infringement Case

Kanye WestKanye West may not be looking for a “Gold Digger” but according to the family of the late singer David Pryor, he might be one. The family claims the rapper stole music from their father for 2005 hit single featuring Jamie Foxx.The Pryor family hit Ye with a lawsuit last year for the track that also features samples from the late Ray Charles’ song “I Got A Woman,” claiming the rapper took lyrics from their father’s song “Bumpin’ Bus Stop.”Kanye as well as his co-defendants have asked the judge that the case be dropped. Based on the documents obtained by Radar Online he is only alleged to have copied “snippets of a mere one to five words e.g. “step,” “get down,” “step up” and “it’s the hottest things.”Defending lawyers claim that a few words are not enough to prove copyright infringement despite the family’s claim that Yeezy used more.

While the lawsuit specifically calls out the newly married Kanye, it is also suing Jay Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records and The Island Def Jam Music Group, as well as other companies linked to Island Def Jam label when song was released. Warner Bros. Entertainment, UMG recordings and NBC Universal as well as two other record companies have also been named in the case.

Ye is being sued directly while the record companies are being sued for 18 other recordings by artists such as Tupac, Gang Starr, Q-Tip, Madlib, DJ JS-1, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Madvillian and Beanie Sigel that the family says sampled their father’s work.

 

Kanye West Asks Judge To Drop The Copyright Infringement Case By Singer
http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2014/06/kanye-west-asks-judge-drop-copyright-infringement-case/
copyright infringement news – Google News… Read the rest

Photographer Christopher Boffoli is suing Google over copyright infringement allegations

Photographer Christopher Boffoli is back, once again suing big names for copyright infringement performed by users. Back in 2012, Boffoli sued Twitter for its supposed refusal to remove infringing copies of his “little figurines with real-sized food” photos from users’ accounts despite being notified via DMCA takedown requests.

While he stated at the time that he was flattered by people reposting his photos and generally thought the internet provided a cheap and easy way to obtain notoriety, he still pursued a lawsuit against Twitter because… well, a bigger target is always a better target. (He has since sued Vingle, Hootsuite, WHI, Inc. and Network Data Center Host, Inc.) Boffoli’s lawsuit did have at least one solid point: if you want to avail yourself of DMCA safe harbors, you need to respond to takedown requests.

This case was settled for an undisclosed amount (if money changed hands at all) and Boffoli dropped his suit against Twitter. Now, it appears he wants to bag another tech leader.  Christopher Boffoli is suing Google over copyright infringement allegations.

He alleges that Google ignored takedown requests for two sites he claims the search engine giant owns. One it clearly does (Blogspot) but the other (bursuk.org) doesn’t seem to be among this long, long list of Google holdings. Boffoli filed DMCA notices last December and the content still hadn’t been removed (or the users “prevented from posting”) by Google 100 days later, leading to this lawsuit.

Once again, Boffoli makes claims that will be hard to prove.

Google induced, caused, or materially contributed to the Infringing Website’s publication.

This is the toughest claim to defend. Failing to take down content when notified is not the same as inducement or material contribution. As lawyer Evan Brown explained when Boffoli sued Twitter, simply providing hosting is not enough to lend material support to someone else’s infringement. It’s also highly unlikely Google did anything approaching the inducement of infringement. As is constantly reported, Google de-lists thousands of links every day, so it’s obviously making an effort.

That Boffoli could only track down two sites tied to Google (and one of those is open to debate) is an indication of the company’s responsiveness to takedown requests. Once again, it appears Boffoli is hoping for a settlement of some sort rather than the jury trial requested. It’s a whole lot easier to serve Google than it is to go after the actual infringers and Boffoli is taking the easier (and more familiar) route. As Mike opined during Boffoli’s initial infringement lawsuit, this has all the hallmarks of a “Steve Dallas lawsuit” — something pursued not because the named party is in the wrong, but because that party has deeper pockets.

Boffoli v Google (PDF)

Boffoli v Google (Text)

Boffoli v Google exhA (PDF)

Boffoli v Google exhA (Text)

Photographer Who Settled With Twitter Over Copyright Infringement Allegations … – Techdirt
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140507/09171627150/photographer-who-settled-with-twitter-over-copyright-infringement-allegations-now-targeting-google.shtml
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Appeals court skeptical over Oracle’s copyright infringement win over SAP

oracle

(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

A U.S. appeals court “appeared skeptical” on Tuesday about handing Oracle a $1.3 billion damages package previously served by a jury, which was later overturned.

According to the Reuters news agency, Judge William Fletcher called Oracle’s attorney’s figures that were used to drum up the damages figure as “pie in the sky dreaming,” which may lead to the software giant losing the damages it was first awarded.

But if Oracle doesn’t get its way, seven years after the allegations first came to light, the company is gunning for a new trial, reported Bloomberg.

Oracle is taking on German enterprise software powerhouse SAP in a legal ding-dong that led to it admitting massive infringement of Oracle’s copyright.

A jury awarded Oracle the billion-dollar-plus sum in 2010 after an SAP subsidiary, TomorrowNow, unlawfully downloaded millions of Oracle files. SAP bought the company to begin supporting Oracle customers at a lower cost than Oracle charged.

SAP came clean, but the dispute was how much the company should pay Oracle in damages.

But later, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton found that Oracle had only been able to prove it had suffered damages of $272 million.

However, two of the judges in Tuesday’s case suggested Oracle may in fact deserve a little over $300 million.

Oracle attorney Kathleen Sullivan said internal SAP documents showed the company had expected $900 million revenue by using its strategic acquisition in TomorrowNow to poach customers from Oracle. That figure was enough to convince the lower court that $1.3 billion would suffice for reasonable damages.

But one of the judges on the panel argued that those SAP revenue figures was an objective view of how much the copyrighted material was worth.

The judges did not say when they will issue a ruling on the case.

Appeals court ‘skeptical’ over Oracle’s copyright infringement win over SAP – ZDNet
http://www.zdnet.com/appeals-court-skeptical-over-oracles-copyright-infringement-win-over-sap-7000029411/

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