Posts Tagged copyright law

White House Seeks to Make Audio and Video Streaming a Felony.

There has been a long discussion on Oneutah about wiretapping terrorists. Now the Obama administration has released a white paper recommending laws to authorize the government to wiretap anyone suspected of copyright infringement. They also want to give copyright owners heads up on all investigations and seizures prior to any government action.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ip_white_paper.pdf

Recommendation: The Administration recommends that Congress amend 18 U.S.C. § 2516 to give law enforcement authority to seek a wiretap for criminal copyright and trademark offenses.

The administration also wants to make streaming video or music a felony with up to 20 years in prison. So playing that Youtube video could get you put away for a long time if Obama gets his way. Senate bill S. 978 is running through Congress right now that will criminalize streaming of video or audio files. More and more we are seeing copyright laws used to squelch free speech and now they can use these proposed laws if enacted to remove sites deemed “Infringers” and put not only the website operators in prison but individual users as well.

Ensure Felony Penalties for Infringement By Streaming and by Means of Other New Technology: It is imperative that our laws account for changes in technology used by infringers. One recent technological change is the illegal streaming of content. Existing law provides felony penalties for willful copyright infringement, but felony penalties are predicated on the defendant either illegally reproducing or distributing the copyrighted work.2 Questions have arisen about whether streaming constitutes the
distribution of copyrighted works (and thereby is a felony) .

Soon even linking or accessing a site could become illegal in Obama’s IP Maximilist world.

Read more on this subject:

http://www.mosesavalon.com/mosesblog/946/music-business/obama-issues-illegal-streaming-crackdown-signals-end-of-internet-piracy/

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New Federal Judge and Former RIAA Lobbyist Becomes Darling of Copyright Trolls Everywhere

Newly minted Federal Judge Beryl Howell, of the Federal District Court of Washington DC, who’s resume includes being a lobbyist for the RIAA, Helped Draft the DMCA, and was a lawyer for a company that specializes in tracking down and suing alleged copyright violators, in one of her first rulings has opened the floodgates to mass lawsuits by copyright trolls. With her long history of being on one side of the copyright law it would have behooved her to recuse herself as to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest but instead issued a ruling that essentially overturned other judges in other districts who had thrown out so called John Doe or reverse class-action lawsuits as being an unconstitutional violation of due process and the rights of the accused.

She also denied Time Warners request to limit the number of subpoenas to 28 a month so they and other ISPs would not be unduly burdened and in doing so handed the plaintiffs a zero – infinity number of defendants they can find and opening the flood-gates to a deluge of paperwork that will take years to process. She also denied the motion to limit all subpoenas to potential defendants that reside in her district. Taking a huge overstepping of her authority she granted nationwide supeana power to the plaintifs. Only after a defendant has been named during discovery could the defendant then make a motion challenging the jurisdiction but there is no limit to where they can pursue them.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/51383490/COTW-doc-no-40

When the defendants are named, they will have the opportunity to file appropriate motionschallenging the Court’s jurisdiction and that will be the appropriate time to consider this issue.The Court and parties are in no position yet to evaluate each putative defendant’s specificconnection with this jurisdiction. Quashing the subpoenas would effectively bar the plaintiffs’from obtaining discovery pertinent to that evaluation, and this Court declines to cut off jurisdictional discovery prematurely when the defendants are named, they will have the opportunity to file appropriate motions challenging the Court’s jurisdiction and that will be the appropriate time to consider this issue. The Court and parties are in no position yet to evaluate each putative defendant’s specific connection with this jurisdiction. Quashing the subpoenas would effectively bar the plaintiffs’from obtaining discovery pertinent to that evaluation, and this Court declines to cut off jurisdictional discovery prematurely.

The defendants that are identified may have to wait till the discovery period is over, which could be years if ever, before they could even attempt to defend themselves. Meanwhile they will be hounded relentlessly by lawyers seeking settlements. In many cases the cost of litigation will be too high and many will not be able to afford lawyers and be forced to settle regardless of the merits of their individual case.

Judge Beryl Howell has become the darling of copyright trolls everywhere. Hopefully this ruling will be overturned on appeal but one thing is curtain Judge Beryl Howell has taken her life’s work to the bench and has way overstepped her authority. If this is not a conflict of interest nothing is.

“Unquestionably, there are online crooks who are getting away with impunity. Victims are fending for themselves.” – Beryl Howell.

I have created a Facebook group “Impeach Judge Beryl Howell for Conflict of Interest” to bring awareness of this judge and track, discuss, and document her rulings. Anyone with a Facebook account can join.

http://houstonlawyer.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/judge-beryl-howell-how-her-decision-affects-copyright-infringement-defendants-cases/

http://www.switched.com/2011/03/29/judge-beryl-howell-used-to-be-riaa-lobbysit/

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/03/riaa-lobbyist-becomes-federal-judge-rules-on-file-sharing-cases.ars

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Criticize or Review A Business Could lead to Copyright Lawsuit

Business such as doctors offices are starting to add anti-free speech clauses in their contracts and terms of service. They are adding language that will forbid patients from criticizing them publicly on the internet or any other medium.

What is even worse is that some contracts stipulate that anything the customer writes concerning the business such as a review or criticism is automatically assigned the copyright of the article to the doctor or business and such can either have the criticism removed or worse yet sue the author for copyright infringement.

So in doing business with someone you could be unknowingly signing away your right to criticize them if you are unsatisfied with their service and it could open you up to lawsuits.

Copyrights are quickly becoming the weapon of choice for attacking free speech.

http://www.ericgoldman.org/Speeches/houstonmedicaljustice.pdf

http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2011/02/

It may be a good idea to start reading every service agreement before doing business with anyone.

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