And more on alleged trolling - this tme its all about a Australian wine maker called Stephen Moignard who has designed an algorithm called Plfer to hunt down "substantially similar" text across multiple websites and serve demand letters to alleged copyright infringers. TechDirt is of the opinion that Plfer's detection algorithm bears many similarities to commercial plagiarism detection software, albeit with a few tweaks that allow it to bypass web formatting and other obstacles that might throw off comparisons. TechDirt also have some queries about Mr Moignard's maths and interpretation of the law - and all in all its a very interesting read, even for luddites like the CopyKat. The beta site for Plfer is here and the value of copyright infringements currently 'detected' is a whopping $1,413,463,665.
And finally on this: Two people targeted by one of Rightscorp's anti-piracy programmes in the U.S. say that the somewhat controversial company has violated America's Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending them automated calls and text messages without permission. In a lawsuit filed with the federal court in Georgia, Melissa Brown and Ben Jenkins deny downloading any copyright infringing content, but say Rightscorp broke communication laws by following up an initial letter with calls and texts attempting to gain a settlement for alleged infringements.
The Daily Mail reports that a German historical society is set to publish an annotated edition of Hitler's controversial tome Mein Kampf after the book's copyright expires later this year. The Munich Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ) says it will publish a two-volume edition of the book in which the Nazi leader outlines his anti-Semitic beliefs and plans for world domination. The new volume will consist of a total of 2,000 pages. However just 780 of these will contain Hitler's original text - the rest will be comments from contributors and the work will also contain a new introduction and index. Copyright in the book is held by the State of Bavaria. In January 2012 the 1709 blog reported that the District Court of Munich I (LG München I) had issued a preliminary injunction on behalf of the Bavarian state government, prohibiting the planned publication of commented excerpts of Mein Kampf by British publisher Peter McGee because of the copyright. The injuction was subsequently upheld. Bavaria also indicated that Germany's anti-Nazi laws might be a bar publication - now more pertinent as copyright expires 70 years after Hitlers death in 1945. In Decmnber 2013, reversing a pervious postion, The Bavarian governor's chief of staff, Christine Haderthauer, said the book amounted to incitement to hatred and the government would file criminal complaints if anyone tried to publish the book when the copyright expired. In 2012 the then President of Germany's Central Council of Jews said he hoped that the reprints would ‘demystify" the book. "I'm an Internet junkie myself" he said. "Everyone can already find the book on the Web." However, an American Jewish group countered saying the publication plans could be morally offensive and last year Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said that he was strongly opposed to the book going on sale.
|Vivian Maier - self portrait|
The Oscars are out so a couple of film updates to finish: Director Dan Gilroy, Bold Films, Open Road Films and NBC Universal Media have been accused of copyright infringement amid allegations that the plot of the Oscar-nominated movie 'Nightcrawler' was lifted from a film by a Utah filmmaker Richard Dutcher. Dutcher has filed a lawsuit in Salt Lake City's US District Court, claiming Nightcrawler bears striking similarities to his 2007 movie 'Falling', about a freelance news videographer who scans police radio channels and captures footage of a murder in progress (which on paper sounds remarkably similar to the excellent Nighcrawler). Dutcher's film, which was written in 1999, only received a limited release in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, but he is convinced it gave Gilroy the idea for his 2014 crime thriller, which stars the creepy but magnifcent Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role. We shall see.
And a woman who filed a lawsuit against Disney’s ‘Frozen’ in late 2014 over alleged copyright infringement of her life memoirs (no, seriously!) has perhaps unsurprisingly had her case thrown out by a Judge. Isabella Tanikumi decided to take legal action against Disney because, in her view, the film’s story ripped off her real-life memoirs, titled ‘Yearnings of the Heart’, which revolved around her family’s lives in the mountainous areas of Peru. U.S. District Judge William Martini disagreed stated that the themes appearing in Frozen and Yearnings of the Heart are expressed differently. All the themes that Tanikumi listed are general plot ideas and themes that are not protected by copyright law and the judge noted no substantial similarities between the two works. More here.
At the Oscars, Birdman picked up best picture, best cinematography, best original screenplay and best dirrector (Alejandro González Iñárritu);
Eddie Redmayne picked up best actor for his role as Dr Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and Julianne Moore collected best actress for Still Alice. J K Simmons won best supporting actor (in Whiplash) and Patricia Arquette won best supporting actress (in Boyhood). Whiplash also picked up Ocsars for best editing and best sound mix and The Grand Budapest Hotel won Oscars for best production design, best costume design, best make up and best original music score by Alexandre Desplat . The Imitation Game won best adapted screenplay and Interstellar the award for achievement in visual effects .Best Song gong went to John Legend and Common for 'Glory', the theme song from 'Selma' More here.