1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Saturday, 26 March 2016

The CopyKat

The animal right organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has filed an appeal against a lower court's decision in January this year that declined to give the macaque monkey Naruto the right to his famous selfie taken in Indonesia in 2011. The appeal brief was filed at the Northern District of California.

Malibu Media — the online erotic film producer and alleged copyright troll — has been told that when filing against anonymous “John Doe” defendants whose identities are just an IP addresses for their Internet service, they cannot use geolocation tools to more precisely identify these alleged infringers. Malibu had argued that it had used “proven IP address geolocation technology which has consistently worked in similar cases to ensure that the Defendant’s acts of copyright infringement occurred using an [IP address] traced to a physical address located within this District.” The District Court was having none of that writing that “The allegation that the IP address at issue likely resolves to a physical address in this District is not supported in any of the declarations filed in connection with the instant motion.” and a second District Court said “Plaintiff fails to offer any evidence to support its allegation that the infringing IP address was actually traced to a location within this judicial district" and “Nothing in the declarations Plaintiff submitted with its Ex Parte Motion explains what steps Plaintiff took to trace the IP address to a physical point of origin within this Court’s jurisdiction.”

Can the unauthorised reproduction and making available of clips of cricket matches lasting up to 8 seconds amount to an infringement of copyright in works lasting several days hours minutes about this exciting and fast-paced sport? As Elonora tell us over on the IPKat, the answer is unsurprisingly yes -  and the use is not protected by the doctrine of fair use nor by 'safe harbour' - confirmed by Arnold J in his 174-paragraph judgment in England And Wales Cricket Board Ltd & Another v Tixdaq Ltd & Another [2016] EWHC 575 (Ch).

The German head of digital-economy policy at the European Commission, Günther Oettinger, is considering rolling out  German and Spanish “Google tax” on the wider EU stage. Oettinger’s department published a consultation on Wednesday that covers this “neighboring rights” issue (more commonly referred to as “ancillary copyright”). The consultation will run until June 15. This, and a review of the "freedom of panorama" too! Eleonora explains all on the IPkat, and of course John tells us more on the 1709 Blog here and more on the World IP Review here

UK record label association the BPI has said that its members have now issued more than 200m takedown requests to Google for removal of copyright-infringing links. The trade association, which represents the three major recorded music labels, Universal, Sony and Warner as well as many independent labels, sent its first takedown request to Google in July 2011. In 2015 the BPI sent 65m takedown requests and they are now, perhaps understandably, calling for a more permanent solution – so when an offending link has been removed following a takedown request, it stays down, permanently. For a leading technology company, Google seem rather less than innovative in finding a way of achieving this.  In a press release, the BPI say: ‘This high-volume take-down helps to limit the amount of illegal content being promoted, giving legal music services such as Amazon, Apple, Spotify and Deezer a better chance of appearing at the top of search results when fans are looking for music online" but add “While this approach has contributed to some improved visibility of legal services, illegal results that are taken down by Google are frequently replaced by other illegal links, which means that legal services continue to be overshadowed by infringing sites in the very top search results" and “This damaging situation can only be remedied by Google themselves changing strategy and pro-actively pursuing a “notice and stay down” approach, so that once a piece of content has been notified for removal by the BPI, it isn’t indexed again for the same site and stays removed.” The BPI are also asking Google to hep promote websites with legal content, and ensure court decisions to block sites are respected. CEO Geoff Taylor said "“We are calling on Google and Bing to show their undiluted commitment to artists and the creative process by implementing a more pro-active solution to illegal sites appearing in search results. This will avoid the cost for both of us in dealing with hundreds of repeated notices for the same content on the same illegal sites”.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is being sued by award-winning wildlife photographers who say Trump is using their copyright-protected image of an American bald eagle without permission. Attorneys for Wendy Shattil and Robert Rozinski filed the civil complaint in federal court this week after watching a Trump presidential rally on television and noticing that an attendee was holding a campaign sign that incorporated one of their photographs of the national bird.

And finally, the software behind the epic Princess Mononoke,  Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle anime films, created by Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki and called Toonz, is about to be made available as an open-sourced edition which will be available for download starting March 26th. Those aiming to up its power can opt for a paid, premium version - helping Toonz cement a place as the world standard in animation. More on the Creators Project here.

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