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The Secret Behind SOPA Defense: Insist That It Doesn’t Say What It Actually Says

I’m beginning to notice a disturbing pattern in those who defend SOPA (formerly the E-PARASITE Act, until someone realized just how bad that looked). The text of the law makes massive changes to the regulatory framework of the internet, to the point that it raises some serious constitutional questions (should it ever actually pass). However, [...]

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RIAA Admits It Wants DMCA Overhaul; Blames Judges For ‘Wrong’ Interpretation

We’ve discussed how E-PARASITE/SOPA is really an attempt by the entertainment industry to rewrite the DMCA, even though they pretend otherwise. However, it appears that the RIAA is now comfortable with admitting that’s the real goal of its legislative agenda these days. The RIAA’s litigation boss, Jennifer Pariser, famous for making highly questionable statements under [...]

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Viacom, ‘Decimated By Piracy,’ But Its CEO Got The Biggest Raise Of Any Exec Anywhere

We keep hearing about how “piracy” and the internet are somehow “destroying” the old legacy content players, but the evidence for that seems lacking…. especially in Hollywood. We already saw how Warner Bros. was cheering on its record-setting quarter, while complaining about how it just can’t compete with piracy. And now we’ve got reader Don, [...]

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Study Shows How SOPA/PIPA Will Harm Investment In Key Innovations

Harvard Business School professor Josh Lerner (who has done fantastic research in the past on problems with the patent system) appears to have turned his attention to copyright law as well. A new report he has put out shows how the Second Circuit appeals court ruling that said Cablevision’s cloud-based DVR was legal provided some [...]

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Are There Any Legal Issues If Amazon Accidentally Gives Away Thousands Of Your Ebooks For Free?

Here’s an interesting story of a self-published Amazon ebook author, James Crawford, who discovered that Amazon “accidentally” gave away his ebook for free over 6,000 times, and then refused to pay him any royalties. The “mistake” was really a bad algorithm. Apparently when you sign up for Amazon’s platform, the company makes you promise to [...]

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Entertainment Industry Gets Another Usenet Provider To Shut Down: Is Usenet Illegal?

I first got online in the days before the web existed, and spent much of my time on Usenet, that group of message boards that was useful for discussions of all types. While obviously much of those conversations moved to the web or email over the years, it’s still pretty ridiculous to see the entertainment [...]

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Canadian Actor Claims Mashups Are Morally Wrong And Should Be Illegal

It’s kind of amazing how frequently those who argue and advocate for more draconian copyright laws show themselves to be totally out of touch with actual culture. In fact, it frequently seems like they want these laws to prevent new forms of culture simply because they don’t like (and don’t understand) the culture. For example, [...]

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DailyDirt: Getting A Crowd Together…

There have been a few interesting crowdfunding and crowdsourcing projects in recent years — solving some really difficult problems or just creating cool stuff (out of stuff that didn’t seem so cool). Here are just a few more examples of crowd projects that are out there (and are possibly a bit “out there” too). By [...]

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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

I believe the entertainment industry is trapped in a destructive and unfortunately common psychological feedback loop. For example: A man worries his girlfriend is going to leave him. He begins to interpret more and more of her actions as evidence that she is going to leave him. He becomes angry and so distances himself from [...]

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RIAA Explains Its Interpretation Of SOPA; Which Doesn’t Seem To Be Found In The Bill Itself

Rafe Needleman put together a fascinating roundtable discussion over SOPA and PIPA involving Larry Downes and Mitch Glazier. Downes, you may recall, wrote an excellent article highlighting the myriad problems with SOPA. Glazier on the flip side, once (while he worked for Congress) sneakily changed copyright law without anyone noticing, to screw over musicians. Thankfully, [...]

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