* Posts by Dr.S

36 posts • joined 7 Jan 2010

Blind justice: Google lawsuit silences elected state prosecutor

Dr.S

Re: Who pays the piper?

That's not a mistake; it is one of the most effective basic arguments available to a man of Hood's agenda. When constructing a successful legal case you have to play a persuasive tune and make the relevant people dance to it. As to who pays the Piper, well that would be the tax payers.

Spanish scraper scrapped: Google axes Google News

Dr.S

Re: Predictable

Ayn Rand called and wants her dystopian visions back.

Dr.S

Re: How silly

That's what I do, but maybe we shouldn't force people to do it our way, no?

Dr.S

To encourage trade?

"... copyright exists to encourage trade."

That's interesting. In my days spent frolicking in the fields of copyright, the common motivations for copyright have been quite varied, changing with jurisdictions as well as with the times: from encouraging the creation of works, encouraging investments in creative enterprises, safeguarding cultural expressions, protecting artistic integrity or even to just give creators "their due". But "encouraging trade" is not a justification I have seen raised as its raison d'être before. In trademark law, for sure, but that is quite another beast.

NATO declares WAR on Google Glass, mounts attack alongside MPAA

Dr.S

Re: Great steaming hairy...

As this situation concerns someone else's place of business, this would not primarily be a point of copyright law, but instead of contract law - the theater owner can set whatever rules of behavior they like for their establishment and evict those that do not follow them. The fair use exemptions that you find in some copyright laws are just that: exemptions from the exclusivity of copyright, not a positive right to behave in a certain way.

So the Theater owners can very well do this. But seriously, like people pointed out above, there are many reasons why this is just damn ridiculous and makes them look very silly.

You gotta fight for your copyright ... Beastie Boys sue toymaker over TV ad

Dr.S

In Sweden, our copyright case-law has for a long, long time included a dynamic doctrine for allowing exemptions for parody and satire. In parallell with the fair-use doctrine of the US, it allows quite far-ranging liberties when it comes to artistic and political criticism of the works of others, but commercial actors that want to use others' works to sell a product will not be able to avail themselves to such exemptions. I sincerely doubt the proposed UK exemption will stray very far from this mold.

Whodathunkit? Media barons slit own throats in flawed piracy crackdowns

Dr.S

Whoa. Déjà vu.

A black cat went past us, and then another that looked just like it.

Streaming TV Aereo's enemies lob sueball into Supreme Court

Dr.S

Supreme Court shift

The US Supreme Court has shown a tendency to take an increased heed of the needs of the new media landscape at the cost of more traditional interests, so from that perspective it is a rational thing for Aero's enemies to try to get this case heard now rather than later. Though with even rightwing justices such as Alito joining up with the copyright reformists in the Wiley case (the one about global parallel import rights), this may already be too late.

Apple declares WAR on Spotify: iRadio bags streaming rights

Dr.S

Re: Artist or label?

The payment to an artist from Spotify is split into two different parts:

1. 10% roughly goes to the collecting agency that represents the composers of lyrics and music. This is then paid to the artist by the collecting agency at regular intervals.

2. The rest goes to the record label, who in turn pays a portion of it to the artist, but this is of course entirely dependent on what the contract between the artist and their label looks like. Some artists get close to 90% of the Spotify revenue, some get less than 10%.

Spotify does not go public with how much they pay to each label per "listen" or "hit", nor do the labels. It is known that the payment is not consistent between labels though. Each label has their own deal with Spotify and they are quite secretive about its contents, making research into the field a bit challenging.

In Sweden 2012 the rate was unofficially reported to have been between four and six "öre" each time a tune was listened to. (An "öre" is roughly 0,001 Euro, provided I get my commas right). In small country like Sweden, a popular song could have around 300.000 hits per day back in 2012. Over all, Spotify has become the number one revenue post for artists in Sweden.

The rate varies from year to year depending on Spotify's success, and back in 2009 it was pretty abysmal compared to 2012. The payment to lady Gaga is an oft-quoted figure that represent one of the payments from the swedish collecting agency, STIM, during 2009 and is hardly representable of what Spotify revenue in total means to an artist today.

If you've bought DRM'd film files from Acetrax, here's the bad news

Dr.S

Not from a copyright perspective though. The fact that you bought a copy of it from somewhere gives you zero rights to download it from another source. At least as far as EU and US copyright legislation is concerned.

Personally I don't think it is particularly fair, but that's the way the law currently works.

Nintendo throws flaming legal barrel at YouTubing fans

Dr.S

Re: unique business process humiliation experience?

I'm curious, do you think everything that is put into a license becomes legally binding?

UK.Gov passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now

Dr.S

Re: @ "Dr S"

Your last comments are disappointingly snide. I may not agree with your overly-simplified vision of intellectual property, but I always try to read your pieces with an open mind. You could do better to be a little more respectful.

I'm a doctor of laws, teaching patent-, trademark, copyright- and design-law at a law school for more than 10 years now. I consult and am a part of the regional IPR association, where my colleagues and friends are both from academia and commercial law. We have discussed this issue and agreed that if we had a professional photographer client then any Google-like company that tried to use his or her work commercially would have near-impossible task proving that they did their due diligence; thus a nice little account.

Contrary to what you may believe, I see the various forms of IP as fundamental to the whole of the knowledge economy and am not out to destroy it.

Dr.S

Some clarifications on the 'diligent search' requirement ...

... and other useful links for those who are still curious about this subject.

http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/may/stripping-of-metadata-from-digital-files-will-not-automatically-mean-creative-works-become-orphans-says-ipo/

Dr.S

Re: How about protecting metadata...?

It is your right already. Removing such data is an infringement in itself, just as removing various forms of DRM is.

Dr.S

Re: Say I'm a photographer who works in advertising (I'm not, btw)

The celeb has no copyright to their face, so just because the image is used outside of what was agreed the celeb has no grounds for a lawsuit. Your company (or you, depending in your employment contract) does however have grounds.

But if the image is used to sell a product or in such a way as to constitute defamation, then there are various legal instruments the celeb can use.

In both cases the target to be sued would be whoever publishes the image illicitly.

Dr.S

Re: @Dr.S

"... you're working for Google."

How does pulling false statement of of thin air help you in any way?

I'm certainly more wary of Google than most, especially from a EU competition-law perspective. Reading these comments however, I get the impression that too many fall into a herd-mentality and are starting to make up frightening stories rather than actually studying copyright and the realistic effects of this law.

Dr.S

Re: Completely blown out of proportion

You're not missing much, except that falling skies are always exciting.

Dr.S

As a copyright lawyer I don't see this legislation as being worth all this alarmism in any way. I certainly can't see any indications that the UK is violating its obligations vis à vis either the Berne Convention or the WTO treaties on intellectual property.

Why are scribes crying just 'cos Google copied their books? asks judge

Dr.S

It is the act of making a book publicly available that is economically relevant to the author. And Google is never making any book available online without first having the author's permission. After these many years it seems this basic point is still poorly understood.

Spotify spews 'unencrypted' FREE MP3s all over creation

Dr.S

Re: OMG - a way to get free MP3s online

Yes, it is indeed terrible. Spotify was only successful because there was no alternative way of getting access to music. Now they will completely lose all their customers.

Brit musos now trouser more crumpled fivers from online music than radio

Dr.S

Re: Why is it

It is due to how copyright is constructed. The radio company pays for the right to stream/broadcast the content, while you as a listener need pay nothing at all since the act of listening is not relevant to copyright (only copying the content and various forms of making it available to the public are).

However, when you put the content on loudspeakers in a pub or such place, then you are the one making the content available to the public, and thus the one needing some form of license from the copyright owner.

Each new act of copying or making the content available to the public needs to be licensed.

Not saying that I personally think this is ideal, or that it must necessary be like this. In fact, copyright has historically solved this situation in different ways. But currently, this is the way it works.

Scottish SF master Iain M Banks reveals he has less than a year to live

Dr.S

Crap news. He is not only a great writer, he is an interesting thinker as well. Such a shame.

Music resale service ReDigi loses copyright fight with Capitol Records

Dr.S

Re: Is Backup Restore now a Copyright infringement?

Yes. That is the primary rule. Though most jurisdictions have a exemption to the rule to provide for this kind of use to be legal. Here in Sweden the exemption is called Private Use Copying, in the US it's a part of their Fair Use doctrine. I believe the UK still lacks either of those exemptions though.

Dr.S

Except that there is no license agreement attached to the purchase of a DVD. All I do is buy the plastic disc, and copyright law with its limitations provides me with the rights I need in order to watch the movie or resell the disc.

In some European countries I will also have the right to make copies of the movie for personal use. But none of these rights hinges on any contractual relationship (license) between me and the copyright owner.

Dr.S

Re: ok - I'll bite

The judge should have looked up the Usedsoft ruling from the European Court of Justice, where they allow for copyright in a digital download to be exhausted by the first sale, paving the way for a legal second-hand market for digital copies. The requisite is that the original copy is erased, which is exactly what ReDigi was good for.

Take that, freetards: First music sales uptick in over a decade

Dr.S

Modernizing rarely comes willingly though. Up here in Scandinavia we are currently talking about a second golden age of music sales, with record revenues. Spotify is the main thing of course, but there will hopefully be equally attractive services to rival it soon. The CEO of Universal Music was recently quoted from a seminar as having said "I probably shouldn't say this out loud, but we'd never gotten to here if it wasn't for the pirate bay." Hearing things like that make me regain my faith in rationality.

British games company says it owns the idea of space marines

Dr.S

Unlikely valid

A trademark. registered or not, must possess distinctiveness in order to be valid. As many of these comments have given proof of, this is not the case with "space marine" - a generic description that does not distinguish GW's creations from their many other types of space marines in movies, books and games.

If they sued anyone that had deep pockets or a legal team of their own they would run the risk of a counter-suit that would most most likely see their registration declared invalid. Hence they sue someone who doesn't have the means to do just that.

As a lawyer and an old GW fan, I'm feeling a little ashamed right now.

EU-wide mega-Leveson 'needed' to silence Press, bloggers

Dr.S

Reading this, I feel like we are living in Ayn Rand's nightmare. Maybe we are.

Kim Dotcom's locker may be full, but the cupboard is bare

Dr.S

Re: KIM DOTCOM'S LOCKER MAY BE FULL, BUT THE CUPBOARD IS BARE

Similes are dangerous, distortive things. Think carefully before using them in an argument.

China strikes blow for property rights, British move to collectivism

Dr.S

As soon as I read the word collectivism, I was certain this had to be another Orlowski piece. In the Nordic countries, we have a long tradition of using various forms of collective licensing and it has worked out well for the creators. This constant stream of angry opinionated pieces about how the sacrosanct rights are being violated is really making me doubt the Reg's status as a place of serious analysis.

In all legislation regarding Intellectual Property there is always that important balance between different societal interests to remember and take into consideration. It would be really nice if this could be a place where that could be done seriously instead of having extreme over-simplifications and flame-wars.

Patent flame storm: Reg hack biteback in reader-pack sack attack

Dr.S

The real question comes at the very end

The question is how to fix it though. When I started studying the patent system many years ago, I thought that this was an exceedingly hard but achievable goal, but I'm no longer so sure about the achievable part. During this time, the relevant point of influence seems to have drifted from the WIPO to the WTO and onward to multilateral trade agreements where outside influence seems very hard to achieve. I am about to give up on the whole idea of patent reform. Amusingly enough, it seems that big moneyed outfits such as Google are one of the few new actors to have a chance of making an impact, and even they are struggling.

Saying that the patent system is sound in theory, but bad in practice is not necessarily an argument for it conferring more good than bad currently. It is rather an expression of either wishful thinking or ideology.

Ofcom: The Office of Screwing Over Murdoch?

Dr.S
Thumb Down

This article is interesting but speculative.

'Don't break the internet': How an idiot's slogan stole your privacy...

Dr.S
Headmaster

Can't tell if serious

You can feel how the idea that copyright law and data protection law are somehow set in stone permeates this whole piece. Usually you can identify these articles and authors by the abundant use of words such as 'property' and 'ownership'; a not too subtle rhetorical technique that seems to be increasingly common.

But when trying to come up with sensible laws regarding creative works and personal data, using the concept of 'property' is a deceitful crutch that leads our minds astray. It just carries way too much intellectual ballast that is not relevant.

Both copyright and data protection laws are intimately tied to the current state of Information Technology. They always have been, and always will be. This means that they must be evaluated and possibly changed as the technology shifts.

But they are ultimately very different beasts and just like property law has very little in the way of usefulness to offer to either, they will not benefit from being confused or compared with each other.

UK kids' art project is 'biggest copyright blag ever' – photographer

Dr.S
Meh

How Old School

This kind of feels like going back to the roots of copyright really. Back in the mid 1500s, booksellers and printers could own “copies”, as they were eligible for membership in the Stationer's Company. Copyright was purely a concern for those who owned the distribution and reproduction facilities back then.

Labour targets Tories' Google problem

Dr.S
Meh

Did this piece just imply that copyright law is dictated by democracy? Because to my knowledge it has been the domain of experts and international conventions for a long while now, far away from the power of democracy.

France floats Google music-and-movie tax

Dr.S

Hmm

And how exactly does such a blanket tax tie in with measures to prevent illegal filesharing? Isn't it a solution that acknowledges it?

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