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Category Archives: Digital Rights

Robots, Pirates, and the Rise of the Automated Takedown Regime

Carpou, Zoe, Robots, Pirates, and the Rise of the Automated Takedown Regime (April 6, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2591187

“The notice-and-takedown provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has become increasingly controversial, particularly with the ever-increasing use of “robo-takedown” requests — an automated procedure by which a copyright holder locates allegedly infringing content online and then sends a takedown notice to an ISP. The rise of the robo-takedown request has been met with considerable backlash, with critics pointing to the high volume of content removal and instances of overbroad takedown requests as evidence of “abuse” of the notice-and-takedown procedure. With automated processes, there can appear to be little stopping copyright holders from regularly sending illegitimate takedown requests to ISPs, sometimes in massive numbers. Users are able to counter-notify under the DMCA to contest removal of their content, but use of the counter-notification procedure is difficult to track and seemingly rare. But, does the high rate of takedown and the seemingly low instance of counter-notification reflect “abuse” of the notice-and-takedown procedure, or does it simply mean that the DMCA is effective at combating digital piracy? This Note takes an empirical approach to exploring the issue of notice-and-takedown “abuse” with a focus on instances of robo-takedown. To do so, it identifies and analyzes all known instances of litigation arising from the notice-and-takedown procedure, isolating those instances that arise from section 512(c) user counter-notification as well as those that are predicated on section 512(f) misrepresentation claims. After presenting the empirical findings, this Note argues that robo-takedown procedures aren’t actually doing as much harm as believed, and that they, coupled with methods of strengthening user pushback procedures and lessening the risk of overbroad takedown requests, are actually an efficient means of combating the high volume of infringing content in the digital world.”

Boing Boing’s Doctorow leads campaign to ban digital locks on ebooks, music

James Bridle – UK Guardian: “In my last column I wrote about Tesco’s graceful exit from the ebook business, offloading its customers – and their precious libraries – to Kobo. While applauding the commitment to preserving customers’ purchases, it remains a shame that this sort of transfer is even necessary. Storing books – or anythingContinue Reading

EFF – Automakers Say You Don’t Really Own Your Car

News release: “EFF is fighting for vehicle owners’ rights to inspect the code that runs their vehicles and to repair and modify their vehicles, or have a mechanic of their choice do the work. At the moment, the anti-circumvention prohibition in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act arguably restricts vehicle inspection, repair, and modification. If EFFContinue Reading

UN Report – Copyright policy and the right to science and culture

“Science and culture are not only of great importance to the knowledge economy; they are also fundamental to human dignity and autonomy [this is the link to the report, Word doc.] In that area, two influential paradigms of international law — intellectual property and human rights — have evolved largely separately. Recent developments, however, haveContinue Reading

Over 310,000 free photos, vectors and art illustrations

“Finding free images of high quality is a tedious task – due to copyright issues, attribution requirements, or simply the lack of quality. This inspired us to create Pixabay – a repository for stunning public domain pictures. Your source for free vectors, free drawings and free photos. You can use any Pixabay image without attributionContinue Reading

Houston, We Have A Public Domain Problem – Commentary

Parker Higgins is an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation: “I received a bogus copyright takedown notice for using public domain audio on SoundCloud yesterday. The sound in question—the famous “Houston, we have a problem” snippet of the Apollo 13 mission—is incontrovertibly available to all, for any use, without copyright restrictions. The fact that it’sContinue Reading

Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books

Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books, Jean-Baptiste Michel, et al. Science 331, 176 (2011); DOI: 10.1126/science.1199644 “We constructed a corpus of digitized texts containing about 4% of all books ever printed. Analysis of this corpus enables us to investigate cultural trends quantitatively. We survey the vast terrain of ‘culturomics,’ focusing on linguistic and cultural phenomena that wereContinue Reading

British Library releases over 1 million images using Flickr Commons

British Library Digital scholarship blog: “We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselvesContinue Reading

Pew – Tablet and E-reader Ownership Update

Lee Rainie, Aaron Smith -Oct 18, 2013 “The number of Americans ages 16 and older who own tablet computers has grown to 35%, and the share who have e-reading devices like Kindles and Nooks has grown to 24%. Overall, the number of people who have a tablet or an e-book reader among those 16 andContinue Reading

Contentious Google Book Scanning Case Approaches Fall Trial Date

Publishers Week news in following Google Book Scanning project postings: “After a round of key filings, two Authors Guild cases challenging Google’s ambitious library book-scanning program are on schedule for early fall trial dates. Final reply briefs were filed July 27 for the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, with that case now fully briefed and allContinue Reading

EU Commission sets out "blueprint" for Intellectual Property Rights to boost creativity and innovation

EUROPA press release: “Intellectual property rights (IPR), which comprise patents, trademarks, designs and geographical indications, as well as copyright (authors’ rights) and rights related to copyright (for performers, producers and broadcasters), have been around for centuries. Often, without our even realising, they affect our daily lives: they protect the technology we use (cars, mobile phones,Continue Reading

Comment: Why Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses Should Be Protected as Personally Identifiable Information

McIntyre, Joshua J., The Number is Me: Why Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses Should Be Protected as Personally Identifiable Information (August 15, 2010). DePaul Law Review, Vol. 60, No. 3, 2011. “Although computer logs typically correlate online activity only to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, those addresses can be used to expose the individuals behind the computers.Continue Reading