By , August 05, 2011.

“[I]t is virtually axiomatic that the public interest can only be served by upholding copyright protections…” 1Order granting preliminary injunction against Zediva, quoting Apple Computer v. Franklin Computer Corp, 714 F.2d 1240, 1255 (3rd Cir. 1983).

Federal Judge Grants Injunction Against Zediva — A major setback for the unlicensed streaming service this week as the motion picture studios were granted the preliminary injunction they sought. In A Rose By Any Other Name, the 1709 Blog notes that this was thoroughly unsurprising. Zediva’s “loophole” wasn’t a novel interpretation; others have tried and failed as far back as 1984.

With Final Filings, Parties in GSU E-Reserve Case Await Verdict — Higher ed has been closely watching the copyright infringement suit between academic publishers and Georgia State University regarding its e-reserve practices. Publishers Weekly reports on the post-trial developments before the upcoming verdict.

Myths About Fair Use — Patricia Aufderheide, writing at Inside Higher Ed, discusses seven myths about fair use and the academic world. Good read for anyone in education. Especially good: “Myth #5: Sure, fair use is on the books, but it’s too risky — even if I’m right, I could get sued.”

Copyright Infringement IS Theft, You Filthy Pirates — The Humble Indie Bundle is a group of independently developed video games. It’s sold under a “pay-what-you-want” model (minimum price: one cent), with proceeds going to various charities. Yet, the games are still pirated. This eloquent rant is aimed at those who attempt to justify this kind of theft.

Pirate Economics — The Cynical Musician gives us an economic analysis of online piracy.

The Grammar of Copyright — Jonathan Bailey talks about the proper use and spelling of the word “copyright”. It’s an interesting topic, as the word can be either a noun or a verb. Anyone who has spent time reading or writing about the subject knows the word is frequently misused; and no wonder, even I sometimes have to pause to figure out if I’m using it correctly.

UK Proposals to Modernize UK Copyright Act — Sookman also takes a look at the UK government’s adoption of a number of recommendations from the Hargreaves Report. He also notes that the fact that the blocking of infringing sites was not adopted is not as big a deal as it has been made out to be.

UK Copyright caselaw update: the Lucasfilm, BT, ITV and Meltwater cases — Barry Sookman summarizes the four major cases that came out of the UK last week. Great article for getting caught up in one sitting.

On Location: Picture Shop Frames a Hollywood Future (via MPAA Blog) — The LA Times profiles a California business that provides picture frames and other items for TV and film productions. The story highlights the role small businesses play in the entertainment industry.  “Catering to Hollywood has become an increasingly vital source of income to small business owners like Cruz, who have been buffeted by a deep recession and an anemic recovery that has kept may consumers from buying discretionary items like picture frames. ‘If it wasn’t for the film and TV business, we would be in hot water,’’ said Cruz, who generates 75% of her annual sales — more than $500,000 a year -– by supplying frames to set decorators on such TV shows as ‘CSI’ and HBO’s ‘True Blood’ and movies including ‘Spider-Man 3,’ ‘Funny People’ and the upcoming December release ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.'”

Facebook’s Complete Guide to Building a Band Page — The social networking site has released a 40 page guide designed to helping musicians get the most out of Facebook pages and Facebook integration with their websites. Though it’s geared specifically toward musicians, most of the information is helpful to other creative professionals and small businesses.

MTV’s standard Real World contract — The Village Voice got their hands on a copy of a contract used for participants in MTV’s The Real World. Read it in all its glory. Be sure to check out paragraph 41 on page 17: Real World cast members are responsible for clearing permissions on all copyrighted music, photos, and video that they perform or use when on camera.



  1. The argument that fair use isn’t risky is thoroughly unconvincing.

    Also, I participated in a conversation on Amazon on the topic of whether copyright is theft just shortly before I found this blog. It’s good to see I’m not the only one who thinks the dictionary should be the first reference of choice when it comes to defining words. I have other, later responsive comments in the topic as well but from here I’ll leave you to find them yourself if interested.

    The Humble Indy Bundle being pirated, while rather sickening is nothing new though, even the first one had a staggering piracy rate of 10%: Wolfire, Lagaru HD and concept founder speculates as to why on their blog. I have a thought to add to that as well, in that if you’re only paying a penny to begin with it’d save the bundle money in transaction fees, albeit to do that really goes against what’s at the heart of the experiment and it’s not like 50 or so cents is too much to donate if you feel guilty about that.

    Despite the piracy and legitimate abuse potential (they let you buy it for others if you check a box down near the bottom, a feature I’ve used countless times for hording purposes), it’s still a relatively successful project, considering it reaps in millions of real world dollars every time its performed and gets word of mouth out rather quickly which is a valuable marketing asset. They do show that a nontraditional, less restrictive business model can be practically be successful to some degree, albeit I do wonder how it’d perform commercially if:

    1. There wasn’t a time limit and;
    2. There was no charity option or at least if the charity option is maintained, seeing the total average of where the donations actually go. (How much is allocated to the purveyors and how much goes to the children).
    3. If people who didn’t have a point to prove didn’t donate. (It might be hard to regulate this.)

  2. My dictionary (admittedly only the Pocket Oxford) defines ‘theft’ as ‘stealing; act or instance of this’.
    Turning to ‘steal’, it defines this (apart from more colloquial or metaphorical uses, such as ‘stealing a march’) as ‘take (another’s property) illegally or without permission, esp. secretly; obtain surreptitiously or by surprise; gain insidiously or artfully etc; move or come silently or gradually’.

    This – and especially the phrase ‘gain insidiously or artfully’ – seems quite broad enough to cover most cases of copyright infringement.

  3. I think we’re all on the same page that it’s definitely stealing, then though admittedly I’d almost forgotten something about the subject with the last post.

    There’s quite a bit of an interesting lingual magic trick to be had here, since surprisingly stealing and ‘theft’ aren’t 100% synonymous words. According to Merriam Webster theft is either specifically the felonious taking of something with the intent of depriving the rightful owner of it or archaically something stolen.

    There are also separate provisions in law for embezzelment and theft, stolen property and robbery and burglery. Certain acts of copyright infringement is currently covered under the stolen property provisions of law.

    Which brings us to defining rob and burglary since I doubt anybody would think those terms are synonymous.

    All of the other terms necessitate ‘taking away’ something which is something copyright infringement doesn’t technically do unless you wish to argue it takes away the holder’s rights. (However under law, infringement doesn’t mean the rights are taken away from the owner, just that they’d been violated.) Steal is the only one of these words which seems to have a broadened enough definition to fit in copyright infringement. Weird isn’t it?

    So long as we’re talking about the language, the other article on the grammarical usage mentions use of the word copyrighted as meaning ‘protected under law’ particularly probably seems to stem from times when you used to need to get your works registered to the copyright office before any protection would be granted. I’d conjure that somebody might be planning on selling his map or papers and might think “I’d better go get this protected under copyright,” would probably spring to mind and would simply be shortened to “I’d better go get this work copyrighted,” or something of the like.

    I’d also thought I deleted the opener about why I found the riskiness points nonpersuasive but it appears I hadn’t. In short just because one right might be risky to exercise, doesn’t mean another isn’t just as risky or riskier to exercise…

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