The Supreme Court will decide “Whether a company ‘publicly performs’ a copyrighted television program when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to paid subscribers over the Internet.”
The decision, expected this summer, will shape the future of television.
After the oral argument before the Court , a panel of counsel for amici and parties will address the issues in the case at American University, Washington College of Law. The discussion will be webcast live and archived at http://www.pijip.org/events/aereo, where links to briefs can also be found. The webcast is free, and no registration is required.
Additional background at:
The argument began seven years ago: Viacom alleged that YouTube/Google was permitting use of unlicensed clips from its shows. The dispute epitomized the evolving conflict between content producers and web sites that permit users to share content. Over the years, circumstances changed radically, and the two media giants settled out of court, predicting future collaboration.
At the end of March, Michael Robertson was found personally liable for $41 million in statutory and punitive damages for copyright infringement, closing one chapter of another complex, seven-year suit. The suit involved MP3tunes, which was an early “cloud locker” that let users back up digital files remotely on the Internet. The U.S. District Court in Manhattan had earlier ruled that the business was legal, but Mr. Robertson could be held personally liable for infringing use of some music.
Disagreement over the meaning of longstanding publishing contract terminology has embroiled the Social Science History Association and Duke University Press in a copyright infringement lawsuit and a trademark dispute. In The Chronicle, Jennifer Howard recounts the history and context of the conflict. Kevin Smith, analyzing the implications of the disagreement, comments that “regardless of which side wins, in my opinion, it will probably not be a good outcome for scholarship.”
Homer Simpson really wants to see a new release, Radioactive Man Re-Rises, but his family moviegoing experience is ruined by the horrors of seeing a flick in a movie theater. The usual long and involved story short, he deploys new skills learned from Bart to download a movie and charge admission to a neighborhood viewing in the back yard. Marge’s conscience leads her to denounce Homer to the FBI, and anti-piracy copyright police drag Homer off to a trial that highlights ludicrous excess on both sides of the great copyright divide.
The Simpsons, “Steal This Episode,” Season 25, Episode 9, broadcast January 5, 2014, available from Hulu Plus.
Getty Images (http://www.gettyimages.com/), a world-renowned photo service, is making millions of its dazzling photos free for noncommercial use. As a company official explained, it is a tactic intended to counter the rampant illegal photo sharing activities online. By making free licenses easily available, the company proposes to regain control over the distribution of their copyrighted images, with the added benefits of free marketing channels, profitable user statistics, and future advertising placement via the licensed photos.
Take a look at three articles published by The Verge, Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, and The Atlantic to learn why “free” really needs quotation marks on it: why being tracked, controlled and sold for ads may still be a good price to pay for sharing these images.
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