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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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Four broadcasters file lawsuit against Aereo over copyright infringement

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – Aereo, backed by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp charges users a low monthly fee to watch live or recorded broadcast TV channels on computers or mobile devices – and does not pay any of the broadcasters.Aereo has urged the high court to hear the case even though it won in the lower court, as it would like a definitive and final answer in regards to the issue.Help end world hunger by going here.

Justice Samuel Alito will not participate in it, according to The Supreme Court, which generally does not disclose why justices are excused. A ruling is expected by the end of this June.

Aereo subscribers can stream live broadcasts of TV channels on mobile devices using miniature antennas. Launched in March 2012 in the New York area, Aereo has since expanded to about 10 cities and plans to enter several more.

The four broadcasters claim that Aereo violates their copyrights on the television programs. The service, they say, represents a threat to their ability to control subscription fees and generate advertising.

The National Football League, Major League Baseball and various media companies, including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. have all filed court papers in support of the broadcasters.

Aereo’s business model is “built on stealing the creative content of others,” CBS said in a statement last week.

In its defense, Aereo counters that its service does nothing more than provide users what they could obtain with a personal television antenna. “We believe that consumers have a right to use an antenna to access over-the-air television and to make personal recordings of those broadcasts,” Aereo chief executive officer Chet Kanojia said in a statement.
Persuasive grounds

The lawsuit is being watched closely with the utmost seriousness. Cablevision Systems Corporation says that the legal theory advanced by broadcasters to the high court would spell trouble for cloud-based content services and threaten Cablevision’s ability to offer DVR recording to its customers.

“Cablevision remains confident that while the Aereo service violates copyright, the Supreme Court will find persuasive grounds for invalidating Aereo without relying on the broadcasters’ overreaching – and wrong – copyright arguments that challenge the legal underpinning of all cloud-based services,” the company said in a statement.
2014, Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM.

Four broadcasters file lawsuit against Aereo over copyright infringement – Catholic Online
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US court finds file-hosting service Hotfile paid users to commit copyright infringement

A U.S. federal court has found file-hosting website Hotfile liable for copyright infringement, according to movie industry body Motion Picture Association of America.The US District Court for the Southern District of Florida also held that Hotfile’s principal, Anton Titov, was personally liable for Hotfile’s infringement, MPAA said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

“This case marked the first time that a US court has ruled on whether so-called cyberlockers like Hotfile can be held liable for their infringing business practices,” it added.

The order was marked on online court records as “restricted/sealed until further notice.” The opinion will be made public by the court in about two weeks, after confidential and proprietary information has been redacted, MPAA said.

hotfile
The court agreed with the movie studios’ complaint that Hotfile gave incentives to post copyrighted content.

Five U.S. movie studios filed a copyright infringement suit against Hotfile in 2011, alleging that the company paid incentives to those who uploaded popular files to the system, that were widely shared. Its affiliate program still offers payment “calculated based on a percentage of the total value of premium accounts purchased by users who download the affiliate’s uploaded files.”

The scheme gave incentives to users to upload popular copyright infringing content to lure users who would pay for premium accounts to access and download the files, according to the complaint by the studios. Hotfile offers downloads on a high-speed connection to holders of paid premium accounts, in contrast to slower download speeds and fewer downloads offered to free users.

“The more frequently the content is downloaded illegally, the more defendants pay the uploading user,” the complaint said. Hotfile was also charged with paying websites that hosted and promoted links to infringing content on its servers.

Outsoursed search

The file-sharing site did not provide a searchable index of the files available for download from its website, and instead relied on “third-party pirate link sites” to host, organize and promote URL links to Hotfile-hosted infringing content, according to the complaint.

In a filing to the court in the civil suit, Hotfile said it is in full compliance with the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. “Hotfile and Mr. Titov run a legitimate business that fully complies with (and, indeed, embraces) the United States’ copyright laws and the DMCA,” it said. The terms of service and an intellectual property and rights policy published on its website explicitly prohibited copyright infringement, it added.

The website said it removes access when notified about files that allegedly infringe copyright, and has provided copyright holders, including the five studios, the “unfettered ability to remove access to files by directly commanding Hotfile’s servers through special rightsholder accounts.”

Hotfile in Panama could not be immediately reached for comment.

US court finds file-hosting service Hotfile incentivized users to upload … – PCWorld
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2047704/us-court-finds-filehosting-service-hotfile-infringed-copyright-says-mpaa.html
copyright infringement news – Google News… Read the rest

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Guards Against Copyright Infringement

In recent years, though, a decidedly unsexy brand — derided for decades, with little sign of an image improvement — has become one of the city’s most imitated: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Powered in part by the rise of online shopping, which has helped small-time entrepreneurs market their subway-inspired creations widely, the transit agency now issues up to 600 notices a year for copyright infringements to protect trademarks on train line logos, subway maps and other system imagery. That represents a more than twentyfold increase since 2005.

But the authority’s focus has not been limited to New York’s starving artists. It has flagged Massimo Vignelli, the designer of the beloved if confounding 1972 subway map, whose 2008 update for Men’s Vogue used trademark route symbols without permission. There have been illicit pastries resembling MetroCards, and earrings made of surviving subway tokens.

A stern letter was sent regarding an amateur, all-female roller derby team called the Grand Central Terminators, whose request for a photo shoot inside Grand Central Terminal was rebuffed after a determination that, as the authority wrote to the league’s commissioner, “aligning our G.C.T. brand with your organization” would perhaps be ill advised.

Then there was the Midtown trade reception whose invitation recreated subway line logos. The perpetrators: the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association.

“It has almost become a game of Whac-a-Mole,” said Mark R. Heavey, who is the transportation authority’s chief of marketing and advertising.

Almost always, the authority has legal standing, even if notices are issued inconsistently. Subway, rail and bus maps are copyright protected, and each subway line symbol is a federally registered trademark. Even in borderline cases — where a business uses a subway logo, for example, but alters the color scheme slightly — the authority often has wide latitude in issuing infringement notices “if there’s reason for confusion,” Mr. Heavey said.

It is under this premise that the authority would not allow the roller derby shoot, reasoning that any images inside the terminal would imply the authority’s endorsement.

But a business like Grand Central OB-GYN, on East 43rd Street, does not run afoul of the authority because, a spokesman said, “there is no potential that anyone might think the M.T.A. is in the OB-GYN business.”

The authority has gone to court only once, officials said, to challenge a deli called F Line Bagels in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, in 2005. The sign out front now reads just Line Bagels.

Other major transit agencies have also kept an eye on possible emulators. A section of the London Transport Museum’s Web site reminds visitors to “mind the copyright.” The band Chicago, originally called Chicago Transit Authority, shortened its name after receiving a “quiet suggestion” from the office of Mayor Richard J. Daley, according to a 2007 Chicago Tribune interview with the group’s former manager.

But New York’s creative class has at times shown itself to be particularly persistent.

Some artists have run afoul of the rules repeatedly, Mr. Heavey said, offering products on sites like Etsy without the authority’s approval. Others said they were simply unaware that the symbols of their daily commutes were not considered public domain.

Even larger operations have slipped up. In 2010, Nordstrom received a letter from the authority after a dress emblazoned with a subway map was found in its online catalog. Transit officials were “pleased” that Nordstrom recognized the map as “a clever, colorful design that is fit for a silk dress,” the letter said, but less pleased about the copyright breach. A spokeswoman for Nordstrom said the dress was no longer available.

The authority reviews scripts for films, television shows and commercials that seek use of the system or its trademarks, Mr. Heavey said, then decides if it wants to associate with the show or product. But sometimes crews do not seek advance permission, forcing the authority to flex its muscle.

The authority, which receives $500,000 a year in licensing revenue, said it could not estimate how much had been lost to copyright offenses, but any amount is of consequence, particularly given the agency’s quest for income that does not come from fares.

Occasionally, those who infringe later strike licensing deals with the authority, which typically takes in about 10 percent of the wholesale price.

In one instance, the authority decided to commission Mr. Vignelli to create its “Weekender” map, an interactive guide on its Web site.

At times, a copyright tiff with the authority can prove helpful.

Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

MTA Guards Against Copyright Infringement – New York Times

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Linking to Content, Does it Infringe Copyright?

A recent federal court decision confirms that, without more, merely linking to content of copyrighted content is not direct infringement of the copyright in that content.Plaintiff sued defendants for copyright infringement based on defendants’ alleged unauthorized sale of educational materials online. A paralegal in plaintiffs’ law firm sought to buy some of the infringing materials, and one of the defendants sent her a link to material that had been uploaded to a file locker. Plaintiff moved for summary judgment, arguing in part that the link constituted infringement.The court denied plaintiffs’ summary judgment motion, but not because of the linking. It found that there was a triable fact as to whether defendant had uploaded the infringing content to the file locker. The court held that “as a matter of law, sending an email containing a hyperlink to a site facilitating the sale of a copyrighted work does not itself constitute copyright infringement.” It elaborated:

A hyperlink (or HTML instructions directing an internet user to a particular website) is the digital equivalent of giving the recipient driving directions to another website on the Internet. A hyperlink does not itself contain any substantive content; in that important sense, a hyperlink differs from a zip file. Because hyperlinks do not themselves contain the copyrighted or protected derivative works, forwarding them does not infringe on any of a copyright owner’s five exclusive rights under [Section 106 of the Copyright Act].

But the decision shows where caution is in order — the court noted that although liking to the content would not be direct infringement, uploading the content to the server to which the link pointed could be an infringement. And that linking could also constitute contributory infringement.

Pearson Educ., Inc. v. Ishayev
, 2013 WL 3948505 (S.D.N.Y. August 1, 2013)

Does Linking to Content Infringe Copyright? – Information Law Group
http://www.infolawgroup.com/2013/08/articles/copyright/copyright-linking-infringement/
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Fox News Sues TVEyes for Copyright Infringement

Fox News Channel sued TVEyes, a $500-per-month TV and radio broadcast search service, for copyright infringement on Tuesday. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, alleges that TV Eyes makes versions of the cable news network’s “award winning programming” available on its site for paid users without Fox News’ permission.

The lawsuit accuses TVEyes of misappropriating “the entirety of the works that Fox News has developed at great expense and to reproduce, to distribute, to publicly perform and/or to publicly display verbatim copies of the works” without authorization.

Also read: Fox News’ Shepard Smith Stumping For ‘True Blood’ Cameo

According to the suit, Robert Bruder, director of client relations for TVEyes, admitted that the site was already using Fox News’ content when he approached the channel seeking a license to use that work.

“Mr. Bruder notified Fox News that TVEyes had been using Fox News’s content without authorization and that TVEyes now sought a license from Fox News in exchange for which it would compensate Fox News,” the filing states. “In response, Fox News demanded that TVEyes cease its use of Fox News’s content. TVEyes, however, refused to take down the infringing content.”

Oh, and then TVEyes created a mobile application, promising subscribers they could “take the power of TVEyes with you everywhere you go.”

Also read: Fox May Appeal Aereo Case to Supreme Court

It states that, “in addition to high-quality news reporting, Fox News produces creative and expressive programming — including myriad videos, sounds and images — that is original to Fox News.”

Fox News is seeking an injunction preventing TVEyes from using its content and unspecified statutory and punitive damages. As the suit alleges that TVEyes’ annual revenue is in the “millions of dollars,” that’ll probably be a pretty penny.

Asked for comment, Fox News’ lead outside counsel Dale Cendali told TheWrap: “Fox News had no choice but to file the lawsuit after its many attempts to resolve this amicably failed. Fox News works hard to produce its programming and is committed to protecting it from free rider copiers”

TVEyes did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report

Fox News Sues TVEyes for Copyright Infringement – TheWrap
http://www.thewrap.com/media/column-post/fox-news-sues-tveyes-copyright-infringement-107486
copyright infringement news – Google News… Read the rest

Bang With Friends app sued for copyright infringement by Zynga

Zynga claim that the app’s name abuses the ‘With Friends’ moniker they use for their family-friendly games. Bloomberg reports that Zynga are accusing the app’s developers of selecting “the name Bang With Friends for its casual sex matchmaking app with Zynga’s game trademarks fully in mind.”

Launched in January, Bang With Friends works by signing into Facebook. Users select the friends they’re “interested” in and if those lucky individuals have also installed the app and already selected them, then both parties are sent an email.

Forbes writer Kashmir Hill has already pointed out that the app doesn’t live up to its own promises of anonymity, as users who go to add the app on Facebook will be told if any friends of theirs have.

Until recently the founders of the app had chosen to be anonymous, though in June this year, CEO Colin Hodge was interviewed by Business Insider. Hodge revealed that the app currently has more than 1.1 million users and has created more than 200,000 “successful matches.”

Hodge says he simply wants to “make dating more honest and a lot more simple.”

Casual sex app ‘Bang With Friends’ sued for copyright infringement by Zynga – The Independent
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/casual-sex-app-bang-with-friends-sued-for-copyright-infringement-by-zynga-8740070.html
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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

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DMCA Rights

Know your rights! Read about the DMCA Act

DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT OF 1998.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a form of legal protection automatically provided to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works.

U.S. copyright law generally gives the author/creator or owner of an original creative work an exclusive right to:

  • Reproduce (copy) or distribute the original work to the public (e.g., create and sell copies of a film)
  • Create new works based upon the original work (e.g., make a movie based on a book)
  • Perform or display the work publicly (e.g., perform a play)

Violation of one of these rights is called copyright infringement. However, the use may be authorized by copyright limitations (such as fair use) described below.

What types of works are protected by copyright?

  • Literary works
  • Music and lyrics
  • Dramatic works and music
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Photographs, graphics, paintings and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • Video games and computer software
  • Audio recordings
  • Architectural works

What is not protected by copyright?

  • Unfixed works that have not been recorded in a tangible, fixed form (e.g., a song you made up and sang in the shower)
  • Work in the public domain (see below)
  • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; numbers
  • Ideas and facts
  • Processes and systems (e.g., the Dewey decimal system)
  • Federal government works (e.g., the tax code)

If I have an idea in my head, is it automatically copyrighted?

No, ideas are not copyrightable. Only tangible forms of expression (e.g., a book, play, drawing, film, or photo, etc.) are copyrightable. Once you express your idea in a fixed form — as a digital painting, recorded song, or even scribbled on a napkin — it is automatically copyrighted if it is an original work of authorship.

Who owns the copyright?

  • Author/Creator
  • Author/Creator’s heirs if the creator is dead (living family)
  • Creators of a joint work automatically share copyright ownership unless there is a contrary agreement. (e.g., If two students write an original story together, they share the copyright.)
  • Anyone to whom the author/creator has given or assigned his or her copyright (e.g., an employer if the copyrighted work is created under a “work made for hire” agreement, a publisher or record company if the copyrighted work is given in exchange for a publishing or recording contract). Usually this means that the author/creator has given up his or her own copyright in the work.

Who owns the copyright in recorded music?

It depends. If a person writes a song and records it, that person is the creator and owns the copyright. But professionally produced music can have many copyright owners. For example, the copyright to a particular sound recording may be owned by the songwriter, the performer, the producer, a record label, a publisher, or a combination thereof.

When I buy music, either online or offline, do I get copyright in the work?

No, when you buy music, you own that copy of the music. If you bought a CD, you are allowed to sell that particular copy or make fair uses of it, but you don’t own a copyright in the music itself. If you bought a song on iTunes or other service, your ownership of it may be subject to certain restrictions.

When does copyright start? Do I have to register the work with the government?

Copyright status is automatic upon creation of your original creative work in a fixed, tangible form. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is not necessary for copyright status and protection, though registration is needed in order to pursue an infringement claim in court.

How do I formally register my original, creative work?

You can fill out the form and submit a filing fee at the U.S. Copyright Office website.

How long does copyright last?

  • For original works created after 1977, copyright lasts for the life of author/creator + 70 years from the author’s death for his/her heirs.
  • For “works made for hire” corporate works and anonymous works created after 1977, copyright can last from 95-120 years from publication.

Are there any copyright limitations?

There are several limits on copyrights. For example:

Fair Use allows the public to use portions of copyrighted work without permission from the copyright owner. To decide whether a use is a fair use, courts look at four factors:

  1. The purpose and character of the second use: Is it just a copy, or are you doing something different from the original work? Is your use commercial?
  2. The nature of the original: Was the original work creative or primarily factual?
  3. Amount used: How much of the original work was used, and was that amount necessary?
  4. Effect: Did the use harm the market for the original work? For example, would people buy this work instead of the original?

First Sale allows a consumer to resell a product containing copyrighted material, such as a book or CD that the consumer bought or was given, without the copyright owner’s permission.

Public Domain works can be freely used by anyone, for commercial or noncommercial purposes, without permission from an original copyright owner/author. Public domain status allows the user unrestricted access and unlimited creativity! These works may be designated for free and unlimited public access, or they may be no longer covered by copyright law because the copyright status has expired or been forfeited by the owner.

What is licensing?

Licensing is when a copyright owner gives permission for someone else to do something normally restricted by copyright law. For example, the creator of a song may license a song to an advertising agency, allowing the ad company to use parts of her song in a television commercial in exchange for compensation.

Sometimes a creator may want to give everybody the permission to make copies of his or her work. For example, some musicians want fans to make copies and share their songs, so they license their songs in a way that gives others explicit permission to copy and share them.… Read the rest