By , June 06, 2014.

Lessons from the ‘right to be forgotten’ — “I’m surprised at how many technology lawyers in the U.S. are alarmed at this decision. Many seem to believe that it represents a fundamental break in the EU from American models of free speech. But in fact, we in the U.S. have long had to try to balance privacy and free-speech concerns. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, for example, balances credit-reporting agencies’ right to speak about our pasts with our right to ensure that the report is accurate, and also to keep certain things off the report once a certain amount of time has elapsed. The Spanish case [that led to the European Court of Justice’s decision] involved a credit problem that persisted for over 10 years, which is the cut-off for a bankruptcy report to appear on a U.S. credit report.”

Let’s not turn the clock back on internet video — “Unlike with the physical ownership model, you don’t need to plan in advance, take all the content you might want to watch with you when you travel, or worry about forgetting to bring it. Moreover, if you lose or break physical copies of content you own, you will need to pay to replace them. You can’t lose or break Internet content, and if you lose or break your device, many services will reload the content for free.”

Online pirates thrive on legitimate ad dollars — “Content thieves attract visitors with the promise of free downloads and streams of the latest hit movies, TV shows and songs. Then they profit by pulling in advertising from around the Internet, often concealing their illicit activities so advertising brands remain unaware. Pirate websites run ads that are sometimes covered up by other graphics. They automatically launch legitimate-looking websites as pop-up windows that advertisers don’t realize are associated with piracy. At the end of the day, the pirate website operators still receive a check for serving up a number of views and clicks.”

T Bone Burnett’s plea: The piper must be paid — “Music is uniquely durable and, as a result, has for centuries been the medium through which knowledge and insights are passed from generation to generation. Fans can still hear the work of America’s musical pioneers, thanks to online and mobile services. Through downloads and streams and services such as Pandora and Sirius XM Radio, these giants’ recordings continue to captivate and influence young musicians, singers, songwriters and producers. Yet some of these same companies have made the decision to devalue the music of these artists for their own profit by not paying for it.”

Ginsburg on Fair Use & “Permitted but Paid” Use — The esteemed Jane Ginsburg has a new article proposing a middle ground between the currently binary outcomes of fair use. She suggests distinguishing between new distributions and new works, with the latter subject to the traditional fair use analysis and the former subject to “permitted-but-paid” statutory exceptions.

Negotiating Film and Video Content Distribution Agreements in the Digital Age — CDAS attorney Simon Pulman has a helpful guide for filmmakers seeking distribution deals for their works.

Doonesbury — “Don’t be Google.”


  1. In response to the MPAA’s (Chris Dodd kiss-like) article “Let’s not turn the clock back on internet video”, the contradiction to claiming that worthless digital files is better, and a money saver than physical objects is a quote from “The Shawshank Redemption” when the warden was using slave labor v. businesses right to win contracts:

    “That’s good for the papers, but I have a wife and kids to feed. Now, if I don’t get this contract, then I go under—and that’s a fact. Here, have some of my Mrs.’ fine pie.” And what was the warden’s response about that pie to Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) after the bribe?

    What’s the point? The point is the actors are still receiving residuals because of the past sale of physical objects and cable syndication. According to the MPAA’s logic, if you got a copy from MegaUpload a few years ago, you’re good to go not having to buy one now. Thanks.

  2. Four easy steps to fix copyright:
    1) Reduce duration of copyright to 40 years after publication.
    2) Reduce individual copyright liability to a maximum of $5000, or $2000 for individuals with income below the poverty line.
    3) Reduce corporate copyright liability to a maximum of $6,000,000 or 4.5% of annual revenue, whichever is lower.
    4) Expand fair use to include all non-commerical transformative use of a copyrighted work.

    • Only way corporate copyright liability can be increased if it can be shown that the company “solely exists to benefit from copyright infringing activity”.

    • What exactly would that “fix” ???

    • Six easy steps to fix copyright:
      1) Duration of copyright to 100 years after registered publication.
      2) US Copyright Office to reduce the cost of registration to $10.00 for physical, but raise to $175.00 for digital (currently $65 for physical, $35 for digital submissions)
      3) Increase individual copyright liability to a maximum of $25,000 for all. Google is fined $100 Billion USD.
      4) A law that demarcates Creative Commons as an illegal scheme.
      5) A retroactive demolishing of the DMCA Takedown Notice, from which 17 USC § 512(k)(1) are only for Telcos and Internet Access ISPs.
      6) Fair use is mutually exclusive from all digital files.


      • Sounds good, but there are some problems. Your (3) actually significantly reduces copyright liability. You probably didn’t mean to do that, because you said “increase”. To fix that, and since corporations are people anyway, increase the individual copyright liability to $100 billion USD. If this can not be paid, put the entire family of the infringer into some kind of debtor’s jail until it is paid.

        Also, I think you should also fine/destory Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and well any tech or Internet company. I think the athiest Wikipedia is covered with (4). But we should also figure out some way to put anyone who ever contributed anything to Wikipedia in jail too, as well as any athiests that may have not contributed to Wikipedia (which is unlikely, I know, but certainly possible). There might be loopholes with (4), so maybe make the law that a copyright holder license their work with licenses preapproved by the government, and be shown to enforce their copyright on anyone that violates them, or be liable themselves for criminal charges.

        But it is a good start. Thanks Ed.

        • To Sperty,

          LOL. I noticed the error, but I can’t edit the post, and just left it as if it were a joke. I’m sure Google would love to pay $25K for all of their copyright theft as one go. As for #4, Wikipedia, as the single URL, is solely responsible because they enable the “repeat infringer” violation through Willful Blindness (see Aimster Copyright Litigation). Viacom against YouTube were about to go with the willful blindness in the 2nd Circuit, but then everyone appeared to have been bribed, and the case was [not necessarily] “settled” [with everyone cuz the details are not public yet].

          Eventually, the physical registration of copyright in the copyright office will probably be mandatory for single URL websites that host unauthorized sub-directories. Pendulum swing left Creative Commons is not law, neither is pendulum swing right Canon Law; hence, an atheist like Jimmy Wales has no argument.

  3. That should read:
    1) Duration of copyright to 100 years after death of copyright holder with a registered publication.