During 2019, TorrentFreak has regularly reported on the controversial DMCA-related takedown efforts of entertainment companies and their anti-piracy partners. This year several were targeted at our own site, having been filed against us with Google. We can proudly (but sadly) report that every single one of them was completely bogus.
A YouTuber who used a royalty-free track supplied by YouTube itself has had all of his videos copyright claimed by companies including SonyATV and Warner Chappell. According to the music outfits, Matt Lownes’ use the use of the track ‘Dreams’ by Joakim Karud means that they are now entitled to all of his revenue.
Yet another war of words on Twitter over Article 13 has delivered one of the great ironies of recent times. After Pirate MEP Julia Reda called on kids to ‘lobby’ their parents over the controversial legislation, she got a “shame on you” from IFPI for “manipulating minors”. Trouble is, the entertainment industries have been doing the same for well over a decade.
Here’s one you don’t see everyday. The RIAA is telling a court that it needs to be careful about too much copyright protection. Really. This is in the lawsuit over “Stairway to Heaven” that we’ve been covering for a while now. As we noted, the 9th Circuit brought the case back to life after what had appeared to be a good result, saying that Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway” did not infringe on the copyright in the Spirit song “Taurus.” While we were a bit nervous about the case being reopened after a good result, as copyright lawyer Rick Sanders explained in a pair of excellent guest posts, there were good reasons to revisit the case — in part to fix the 9th Circuit’s weird framework for determining if a song has infringed, and in part to fix some bad jury instructions.
I can’t see any mention of them securing the rights to use the Monty Python trademark for their commercial products. The previous calendars were based on themes that were in public domain, but Monty Python is both copyrighted and trademarked.
Disney has now been put in the possibly awkward position of complaining about “overzealous copyright holders,” and talking about the importance of user rights and fair use to protect free speech and the First Amendment. No, really.Disney, of course, owns ABC. Back in May (though the complaint appears to incorrectly state March), ABC aired a two-hour program entitled The Last Days of Michael Jackson. The Michael Jackson Estate was not pleased and sued for copyright infringement. The complaint itself is quite a read.
If you’ve ever done design work or art work or nearly any creative work for hire, at some point you’ve most likely encountered some asshole who wants to use your work for free in exchange for “exposure.” It now appears that Elon Musk is one of those assholes, stealing an image of a farting unicorn from an artist.
We can conclude from this overview that the studies published so far contain no empirical evidence in support of the substitution hypothesis and thus no evidence that online aggregators have a negative impact on original newspaper publishers’ revenue. On the contrary, the evidence shows that aggregators may actually be complements to newspaper websites and may help consumer discover more news and boost the number of visits.