Report links Google, Yahoo to Internet piracy sites — Leading off the new year is a new report from the USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab which finds that Google and Yahoo run the top ad networks which finance commercial piracy sites. This article from the LA Times notes that jeans maker Levi’s was quick to respond when it discovered its brand was discovered on pirate sites, taking steps with its global ad agency to prevent future ads from showing up on such sites. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Google has reached out to Jon Taplin, director of the Lab, in the wake of the report, and has expressed interest in solving the problem of funding the unauthorized exploitation of creators. Also be sure to check out commentary from the Trichordist, Chris Castle, and Ellen Seidler on this subject.
Most Popular Intellectual Property and Technology Law Blogs — Canadian attorney and blogger Barry Sookman has compiled a comprehensive list of popular blogs for those interested in IP and technology. The list breaks down the blogs by geographic focus and includes sites that concentrate on IP areas beyond copyright, like patents and trademarks. An incredibly useful list for active readers and practitioners of this area.
Warner Bros. Vs. Custom-Built Batmobiles: The Legal Battle Continues — Na na na na na na na na lawsuit. Eriq Gardner reports on an ongoing action by Warner Bros, who, through their subsidiary DC Comics, own the rights to Batman, and a maker of a replica Batmobile. Last year, the court denied a motion to dismiss copyright claims, saying it was possible that certain aspects of the auto could be protected under copyright law. Now, both parties have moved for summary judgment on the copyright issues, as well as trademark and other claims.
Oral Argument in the Second Circuit in Aereo Suggests that a Reversal Is in the Offing — Andrew Berger examines last month’s oral arguments in front of the Second Circuit (with a link to the transcript) in WNET v Aereo, involving internet broadcast retransmitter Aereo. The company argues that copyright liability should be dependent on what technology one uses to reproduce and transmit television programs. Berger concludes that the Second Circuit “is likely to find a way to reverse” the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction against Aereo.
The ‘Digital Economy’ in 2012: A big noisy hole where money should be — Andrew Orlowski reflects on the past year and developments in technology and communications. “The most interesting development of the year was how the value of the individual is being rediscovered. In Nick Harkaway’s book, he points out that individual privacy rights – the ability to own your own data, or ‘habeas data’ as it’s been called – and individual property rights are one and the same. We need ‘an internet that forgets’ and an internet where value is returned to the creator. Both require the same thing: individual ownership to be defended and asserted.”
What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web? — The Smithsonian has a great profile/interview with Jaron Lanier this month. Highly recommended; for readers unfamiliar with Lanier, check out the article, and follow it up with a read of his 2010 book You Are Not a Gadget, a nuanced critique of the technological determinism that influences many strands of copyright skepticism today.