Chilling Effects Weather Reports
Chilling Effects Team, December 06, 2013
Abstract: Rightsholders sending notices to infringers and demanding payment, or offering a settlement in lieu of a lawsuit is nothing new. In fact, it's a well-established business model. But what if the alleged infringers never received the demands?
Chilling Effects Team, November 22, 2013
Abstract: WordPress, the blogging platform, joins two if its users in filing lawsuits under Section 512(f) of the DMCA, the section addressing those who "knowingly materially misrepresent" a case of copyright infringement.
Chilling Effects Team, November 21, 2013
Abstract: As regular visitors may recall, we spent some time this summer investigating notices in our database that referenced trademark claims, but also defamation, or that seemed to be defamation claims cloaked as trademark claims.
Ongoing research in that vein turned up this notice that we have in our database courtesy of the folks at Stack Overflow, who received it from a company called CipherCloud, regarding this material on Stack Exchange.
The Stack Exchange community discussed the notice here, the Hacker News community had a fascinating discussion about it here, and WIRED covered the controversy.
All well worth a look, especially if you're interested in ways in which the DMCA and other takedown request paradigms are affecting online discourse.
Chilling Effects Team, November 06, 2013
Abstract: Apple has released its first Transparency Report.
So far it consists solely of Government requests, which is no surprise in the current climate.
Chilling Effects will be following Apple's transparency progress with great interest, and hope they'll move toward submitting all of their requests and take-down notices to Chilling Effects.
Chilling Effects Team, October 30, 2013
Abstract: Hello Chilling Effects fans and supporters.
We're updating here with some exciting news.
We are getting very close to launching our new site and database, and are currently testing our new API-based submission of take-down notices.
If your organization would like to join Google, Twitter, YouTube, Kickstarter, Wordpress and others in submitting all of the take-down notices it receives to Chilling Effects, or has been thinking about doing so, this is a great time to get involved!
To get started, please contact us at email@example.com and we will provide you with an authentication token.
We look forward to hearing from you.
The Chilling Effects Team
Chilling Effects Team, October 28, 2013
Abstract: As a brief follow-up to our earlier stories about Greg Thatcher and his website with bank routing numbers, we've heard from Greg and his lawyers with good news.
UPDATE: The ABA finally did respond, with what can only be described as a "sour grapes" letter.
Adam Holland, September 12, 2013
Abstract: In which we discuss notices that may be in some way questionable, and take a closer look at two recent stories in which the NSA and its interests are invoked as the reason for taking material down.
Chilling Effects Team, August 28, 2013
Abstract: Facebook has offered up its first Transparency Report dealing with government requests for data.
Adam Holland, August 27, 2013
Abstract: In early July, we wrote about Greg Thatcher, who received a DMCA notice from the American Bankers Association, demanding the takedown of his website offering a searchable database of U.S. bank routing numbers.
There have been new developments in the situation, most notably an amazing letter from Thatcher's new lawyers.
Matt Schruers, http://www.project-disco.org, August 14, 2013
Abstract: [cross-posted from project-disco.org]
Years ago, when the "Hampsterdance" was still the rage and the blink tag was still socially acceptable HTML, I briefly advised a business on their options for responding to a [trademark]sucks.com problem, about which I had done some writing. The client was being tarred by a vocal critic residing at a domain name in the nature of [client's brand]sucks.com, and wanted to know what options were available to respond.
There are a number of lawful, generally IP-based avenues for responding to online-criticism. One such - which no lawyer should ever recommend to a client - is to submit a fraudulent DMCA takedown notice, falsely claiming copyright in the critical content.
I was wary of the client pursuing the available legitimate avenues, however, due to a then-recent incident with Barbra Streisand.
Given that DMCA abuse often fails spectacularly, why does it still occur? There are two possibilities.
Kristin Bergman, Digital Media Law Project, August 13, 2013
Abstract: Whether we consider the purpose of copyright to be to protect economic rights or moral rights, copyright is a powerful yet dangerous instrument. Abuse of copyright, particularly using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's takedown notice system, is hardly new; the Chilling Effects database contains ample evidence of efforts to silence legitimate speech.
But this summer, we saw a trend of abusers using copyright to save face and reduce criticism from an unexpected type of copyright holder: news organizations.
[Cross-posted from the DMLP blog -- http://www.dmlp.org/blog]
Maura Youngman, August 12, 2013
Abstract: Like many organizations, Google occasionally receives requests from governments around the world to take down various pieces of content. This is a visualization of the Google Transparency Report's court ordered removal request data by country from July-December 2012. Google made their own map, but it seemed worthwhile to visualize the data in a more compelling way to potentially notice patterns. The map indicates the number of court ordered removal requests by country, as well as the percentage of requests with which Google complied, indicated by country shade.
Liz Woolery, August 02, 2013
Abstract: On Wednesday, Twitter released an updated version of its Transparency Report with information about the information requests, content-removal requests, and copyright notices the social network received in the first two quarters of 2013. The bi-annual report, which Twitter first published in July 2012, details worldwide requests regarding both U.S. and international accounts and users
Andy, TorentFreak, July 31, 2013
Abstract: Following the introduction of a new anti-piracy law yesterday, Russian rightsholders were quick off the mark. A movie company immediately filed a lawsuit against social networking giant vKontakte but it was deemed a failure when the court deciding the company had failed to prove it owned the content.
Liz Woolery, July 26, 2013
Abstract: Twitter's recent decision to disclose account information for the individuals behind a series of anti-Semitic tweets made headlines around the world. But the move also raises questions about how the social network deals with government requests for information and content removal.
Sanna Kulevska, July 22, 2013
Abstract: If you were Google, Microsoft, AOL, or another giant Ad Network and you wanted to place your customers' ads everywhere on the Internet, would the nature of the content on the sites where your ads were running matter - or would you close your eyes and keep things strictly business? This is the big question that the online giants in collaboration with the White House strive try to solve in a newly signed best practices agreement to combat online piracy.
Liz Woolery, July 18, 2013
Abstract: Last week the First Amendment Center released the results of its annual "State of the First Amendment" survey. The Center has conducted the survey each year since 1997 with the goal of determining "public knowledge and opinion about the First Amendment and related issues."
Liz Woolery, July 16, 2013
Abstract: Following a long and increasingly expensive legal battle, on Friday Twitter agreed to turn over the account names behind a series of anti-Semitic tweets. The tweets at issue used the hashtag #UnBonJuif ("A Good Jew") alongside anti-Semitic and anti-Israel tweets from multiple account holders last fall.
Maria Serena Ciaburri, July 15, 2013
Abstract: On January 26, 2012, Twitter announced on its blog the "country withheld content" function: the possibility to withhold a single tweet in a specific country.
Maria Serena Ciaburri, Sanna Kulevska, Liz Woolery, July 09, 2013
Abstract: One of the things we at Chilling Effects are interested in exploring is using our huge database of DMCA take-down notices and cease-and-desist letters for research. With over a million notices in the databases, we have a wealth of information about chilled internet speech over the past 12 years. Both academics and lawyers have used the database for research purposes in the past, and we are hoping to find more uses for the data.
Sanna Kulevska, July 08, 2013
Abstract: As a newly born and fast expanded pay-to-delete industry grows, the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse database has recently received an increasing number of take-down notices from various individuals who want mugshots of them taken down from the Internet.
What are the legal challenges complainants face when trying to delete pictures from a time in their lives they would prefer to forget, especially when these pictures have become the currency in a morally obnoxious, but currently legal extortion business?
Liz Woolery, July 05, 2013
Abstract: Two timelines depict the growth of the NSA's PRISM program, as well as other notable events in which law enforcement officials have requested telephone and internet users' data from 2000 to 2013. Also shown are milestones in the Chilling Effects project's history.
Maria Serena Ciaburri, July 03, 2013
Abstract: With the aim of observing the climate online we already presented the PRISM case in a previous blogpost . Now that are passed more than two weeks after the revelation about PRISM and now that Obama has all eyes on his nation, we want to collect foreign thoughts and European opinions to go deepen and provide a wider perspective of this case.
Adam Holland, July 01, 2013
Abstract: An individual whose website is offering a searchable list of American banks' routing numbers receives a DMCA notice from the American Bankers' Association, claiming copyright in those numbers.
Liz Woolery, June 25, 2013
Abstract: A secret government memo reveals that use of encryption or anonymity services may permit the NSA to retain user communications.
Sanna Kulevska, June 24, 2013
Abstract: Since the beginning of time, for us humans, forgetting has been the norm and remembering the exception. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, professor of Internet governance at the Oxford Internet Institute, discusses in his book Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, the fact that the rapid development of the Internet and new technology has reversed this thinking, and we are now facing the opposite: Our pasts are becoming etched like a tattoo into our digital skins. Who owns your personal data in cyberspace? And which are the greatest challenges we are facing when discussing the globalization of the rules on the Internet, with different approaches to a right to be forgotten in the EU and the USA?
Chilling Effects Team, June 19, 2013
Abstract: The Church of Scientology gets GoDaddy to take down an obvious parody site, but the EFF is on the case.
Maria Serena Ciaburri, June 17, 2013
Abstract: On June 6, 2013 The Guardian and The Washington Post published some top secret documents belonging to the NSA (National Security Agency) about the relationship between the US government and some of the most famous tech companies like Facebook, Google, AOL, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo.
Sanna Kulevska, June 17, 2013
Abstract: A big test of the limits of international cooperation is reaching a climax as the global community tries to combat the emerging war against counterfeit pharmaceuticals. What are the greatest challenges and dangers the consumers and the businesses are facing in the fast growing and potentially lethal fake trade of poison pills?
The Chilling Effects Team, June 14, 2013
Abstract: The Chilling Effects Team is excited to announce that we will have three interns working on the Chilling Effects Team this summer. In addition to a great deal of energy and talent, each of them brings something unique to the project, and we look forward to their contributions.
Liz Woolery, June 14, 2013
Abstract: An investigation by the Associated Press has uncovered the practice of secret government email accounts. As more details emerge, the APs findings raise important questions regarding transparency and the Freedom of Information Act.
Adam Holland, May 13, 2013
Abstract: A Massachusetts court is hearing a case triggered by a DMCA takedown notice in which the sender admitted that they new the recipient had a fair use claim.
Woodrow Hartzog, The Atlantic, May 10, 2013
Abstract: Chilling Effects regularly receives notices wherein people are seeking the removal, either from search engines or from hosting sites, of pornographic images of themselves that have "escaped" to the larger Internet. From time to time the images are even being disseminated by others on purpose, with malicious intent.
Given the ease with which digital technology and the Internet allow material to be copied, shared and stored, this is a challenging problem, to say the least.
This article from The Atlantic takes a look at one way in which to do it.
http://www.withoutmyconsent.org/ takes another approach.
Chilling Effects, May 06, 2013
Abstract: Here at Chilling Effects, we try to stay abreast of whats going on in the world of takedown notices, copyright law, and related technology. So much is changing, and so rapidly, that it can sometimes be a real challenge. Well link to news stories we found especially interesting in our News Feed which you can find to the right of the home page.
That being said, there have been so many recently, on so m any important issues, that we wanted to call your attention to them en masse. Please consider this the cream off the top of what were reading on the web recently.
EFF.org, Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 01, 2013
Abstract: [Chilling Effects is especially interested in Criteria #2]
The Electronic Frontier Foundations Second Annual Report on
Online Service Providers Privacy and Transparency Practices Regarding Government Access to User Data
"When you use the Internet, you entrust your online conversations, thoughts, experiences,locations, photos, and more to companies like Google, AT&T and Facebook. But what happens when the government demands that these companies to hand over your private information? Will the company stand with you? Will it tell you that the government is looking for your data so that you can take steps to protect yourself?
The Electronic Frontier Foundation examined the policies of 18 major Internet companies"
Adam Holland, April 25, 2013
Abstract: Or is it at least wearing out? We think so.
We look at some recent events that suggest copyright law is so far behind reality that it's time for a new one. Some fairly highly placed people agree.
Tim Cushing, TechDirt, April 18, 2013
Abstract: We'd like to call your attention to a great article by Tim Cushing at TechDirt that both illustrates the importance and usefulness of Chilling Effects and also demonstrates the consequences of the increasingly automated and streamlined DMCA takedown process.
When it's easy, it's also easy to abuse.
Please click through and read, and consider what research you might be able to do with our database.
Ernesto, TorrentFreak, April 16, 2013
Abstract: A fascinating article from TorrentFreak, examining why content rightsholders spend all their efforts going after Google, rather than the actual host of allegedly infringing content.
"Over the past month Google removed more than 125,000 kat.ph URLs from its search index. KickassTorrents on the other hand received only 2,536 DMCA requests in the same period. In total Google received 1,344,885 takedown requests for KickassTorrents URLs while the site itself was asked to take down only 278,864."
Adam Holland, April 15, 2013
Abstract: Conflicting reports on the current state and activities of the copyright-dependent industry call certain assumptions in to question.
Adam Holland, April 11, 2013
Abstract: In which requests to Google to remove links include a link to a takedown notice already sent, possibly triggering an infinitely recursive series.
Adam Holland, February 27, 2013
Abstract: A Canadian reporter posted an unflattering audio clip of a big company's conference call onto a US website. The company filed a DMCA notice with the host to get it removed, asserting copyright in the recording. So far, the host, Chirbit has left the clip up, asserting that it is a fair use.
Adam Holland, February 25, 2013
Abstract: As regular Chilling Effects visitors and reader know, the controversial Six strikes copyright enforcement regime likely rolls out in the U.S. today. Prepare to be educated and maybe throttled, but never disconnected.
Not that youd know about the roll-out from ISPs, of course, who have been playing this very close to the vest. And not that anyone knows for sure what the penalties will be.
Adam Holland, February 22, 2013
Abstract: Retraction Watch's Anil Potti posts are back up, but the situation remains very strange.
Adam Holland, February 20, 2013
Abstract: Did you see the videos of the Russian meteor explosion?
The videos breaking YouTube's view records?
If you live in Germany, maybe you couldn't.
It turns out that most, if not all, of the videos of the meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk recently, all of which were captured on the ubiquitous Russian dashboard cameras, are blocked in Germany.
Adam Holland, February 07, 2013
Abstract: It has been a wild week or so in the DMCA takedown world.
Chilling Effects discusses a variety of recent stories.
Adam Holland, January 25, 2013
Abstract: Google has updated their Transparency Report yet again, this time to include a wealth of new data on requests from law enforcement, broken down by the type of request
Adam Holland, January 24, 2013
Abstract: In the latest installment of an on-going controversy, a French court orders Twitter to disclose the names of the users responsible for anti-Semitic tweets.
Adam Holland, January 10, 2013
Abstract: Jonathan McIntoshs celebrated remix, Buffy vs. Edward has been a classic example of a fair use for years. Nevertheless, at the end of 2012, it was blocked from YouTube due to a copyright claim from Lionsgate Films. Despite McIntoshs best efforts to make the parties aware of the facts, and of the videos clearly fair use of the material in question, the video remains down.
Adam Holland, January 07, 2013
Abstract: We examine Jason Farago's recent paean to government censorship of certain types of speech, as well as his suggestion that Twitter get on board with censorship too; along with Glenn Greenwald's reply.
Adam Holland, December 19, 2012
Abstract: Victoria's Secret responds to culture-jamming activists and critics with a DMCA-based shutdown of their entire web presence.
Were trying something new here at Chilling Effects today. We are going to take an in-depth look at a particular take-down notice, one that is especially interesting or newsworthy, or both, and try to tease out and examine all of its implications, policy, cultural and otherwise. We plan to do this on a regular basis, and hope it will become a regular feature of the site. So without further ado, "The Takedown Of The Week".
Adam Holland, December 13, 2012
Abstract: Google updates their Transparency Report, and reveals that the volume of notices they receive has increased exponentially.
Not only is there a lot more data, there is new granular information about it, and it's now possible to download it.
David Kravets, WIRED Online, December 12, 2012
Abstract: Individuals whose mugshots have been published on mugshot aggregation websites are trying a new way of getting those images taken down, one rooted in the right of publicity.
Chilling Effects actually sees quite a lot of takedown requests that have to do with these mugshot sites. Most often they are requests having to do with removing content from them, or to stop linking to them, but occasionally they are transparent attempts to draw even greater scrutiny to the mugshots in question.
Adam Holland, Jalopnik, December 12, 2012
Abstract: Ferrari, seeking to control its designs and how they are publicized, takes down not just an unauthorized image of a modded Ferrari, but the entire website on which the image was hosted.
Adam Holland, December 04, 2012
Abstract: Hello, Chilling Effects visitors, and a special welcome to those of you coming here, perhaps for the first time, from this article at TorrentFreak.
If you've been trying to use the site today and have noticed that it is a bit slow, please note that we received a surge in traffic after the above mentioned article, which contains various links to Chilling Effects, was published, and our servers are doing their best to cope with the load.
That being said, if we have to have a problem, this is the kind we want to have, because this is what Chilling Effects is all about, bringing DMCA requests like this out into the public eye where they can be scrutinized.
Adam Holland, November 28, 2012
Abstract: In what has been described as a "landmark" ruling, an Australian court has found Google, Inc. liable for defamation, specifically libel, for not removing links from its search engine when asked to.
Adam Holland, November 21, 2012
Abstract: American sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen (now deceased) have issued a DMCA takedown notice to Wikipedia, concerning 59 photographs of examples of their work.
Adam Holland, November 05, 2012
Abstract: On Friday November 2, in a Tweet, Twitter announced a new policy regarding how it would handle tweets regarding which it received a copyright complaint.
October 26, 2012
Abstract: Following close on the heels of its first ever geo-specific blockage in Germany last week, Twitter has recently received a request from the French Jewish Students Union-- LUnion des Etudiants Juifs de France (UEJF)-- as well as from Jaccuse !... - action internationale pour la justice (AIPJ), to suppress any content tagged with the hashtag "#unjuifmort" and to render access to Twitter impossible for those responsible including both the creator of the tag and the founder of the movement.
To wit: "Mes clientes vous demandent en conséquence officiellement par la présente, et au besoin vous mettent en demeure d'agir promptement pour supprimer ces contenus manifestement illicites ou d'en rendre promptement l'accès impossible."
This request from France comes only a week after Twitter had removed a large quantity of tweets with a different anti-Semitic hashtag, also at the request of the UEJF.
More details on the most recent takedown request can be found in the notice itself.
Chilling Effects will post more information as it becomes available.
Adam Holland, Chilling Effects, October 26, 2012
Abstract: UPDATED 11/02/12
Following close on the heels of its first ever geo-specific blockage in Germany last week, Twitter has recently received a request from the French Jewish Students Union- LUnion des Etudiants Juifs de France (UEJF), as well as from Jaccuse !... - action internationale pour la justice (AIPJ) to suppress any content tagged with the hashtag "#unjuifmort" and to render access to Twitter impossible for those responsible including both the creator of the tag and the founder of the movement.
To wit: "Mes clientes vous demandent en conséquence officiellement par la présente, et au besoin vous mettent en demeure d'agir promptement pour supprimer ces contenus manifestement illicites ou d'en rendre promptement l'accès impossible."
More details can be found in the notice itself.
Chilling Effects will post more information as it becomes available.
Chilling Effects Team, October 22, 2012
Abstract: Chilling Effects is pleased to be able to announce a new partnership with Behance.
Adam Holland, October 19, 2012
Abstract: For the first time since they announced their ability to do so in January of 2012, Twitter has blocked access to a Twitter user's tweets on a country-specific basis.
As of Thursday October 18, 2012, Twitter users in Germany will not be able to view the tweets from the far right-wing organization "Besseres Hannover".
Twitter's move to block Besseres Hannover comes at the request of the German government, who forced the group to disband, and sought, among other goals, the complete closure of all of the group's social media accounts.
Melissa Harris, Chicago Tribune, October 19, 2012
Abstract: Brian Fitzpatrick is a veteran Google Chicago engineer who majored in Latin but has become an expert in government censorship of the Internet.
Two years ago his team of five engineers, all working in Chicago, began tallying and helping publish the number and types of government requests Google receives to remove content from its products or turn over information about users.
Thanks to this team, we now know that online censorship comes from dictatorships and democracies alike.
Adi Kamdar, EFF, EFF Press release, October 11, 2012
Abstract: San Jose, CA - On Tuesday, October 16, at 3 p.m., the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will urge a federal judge in San Jose, California to rule that Universal Music Corp. violated the law when it sent YouTube a takedown demand over a home movie of a toddler dancing to a Prince song.
Adam Holland, Chilling Effects, October 04, 2012
Abstract: Until quite recently, ContentID, YouTubes internal monitoring software to detect material that (theoretically) infringed copyrights, had little or no appeals process. This was frustrating for many YouTube users, leading some to stop using YouTube altogether and others to write long and thoughtful "Dear YouTube" letters, in hopes of creating positive change.
But yesterday, YouTube users everywhere were given at least some reason to celebrate. Whether it was the gradual accumulation of user complaints, or the egg on the face of the recent takedown of the Democratic National Conventions livestream, and the takedown of public domain NASA footage, YouTube announced fairly substantial revisions to their Content ID policy, specifically with respect to posters challenging takedown of material.
Adam Holland, September 18, 2012
Abstract: There has been a recent flurry of incidents where automatic software monitors have blocked access to live streaming video feeds on the grounds of copyright infringement. We take a closer look, and discuss the implications.
"enigmax", TorrentFreak, June 24, 2012
Abstract: Several music rights groups including the Recording Industry Association of Japan say they have developed a system capable of automatically detecting unauthorized music uploads before they even hit the Internet. In order to do that though, Internet service providers are being asked to integrate the system into their networks. . . .
The system is being promoted as a benefit to ISPs, in the sense that once installed (and licensed at a cost of around $600 per month) they can potentially avoid being held liable for copyright infringements carried out by their customers.
Wendy Seltzer, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 03, 2011
Abstract: Earlier this year, Google began sending to Chilling Effects the requests it received for takedown from the Android Marketplace. Since this represents a new source of data, we take a look at the first month's input, February 2011.
Wendy Seltzer, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, December 15, 2010
Abstract: In the last year, Chilling Effects saw more than 12,000 cease-and-desist notices reported. Over the next few weeks and into 2011, we will be doing preliminary analysis of patterns in those notices. We are also preparing the data to be more easily usable by other researchers.
In this post, I look at repeat senders -- individuals and entities who send frequent DMCA takedown notices.
Sinny Thai, University of San Francisco Internet + Intellectual Property Justice Clinic, December 15, 2010
Abstract: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was originally enacted to prohibit circumvention of digital rights management and other technical protection measures used to protect and control access to copyrighted works. The DMCA has since cast a wide net to protect copyrighted material even when the use of the copyright materials arguably may be permissible under fair use guidelines.
University of San Francisco Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Clinic, December 15, 2010
Abstract: On August 18, 2010 Facebook, Inc., better known as Facebook.com, one of the worlds most popular Internet websites, filed a federal lawsuit against Teachbook.com LLC alleging trademark infringement due to the use of Teachbook.coms -book suffix in its registered domain name. This will be a case of first impression in the Northern District of California, and will test the ability of wholly online services to trademark otherwise generic portions of their domain name.
David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, September 03, 2010
Abstract: The New York Times today (page B1) is reporting that "more than one-third of the two billion views of YouTube videos with ads each week are ... uploaded without the copyright owner's permission but left up by the owner's choice." The content owners are choosing to not request that the posted material be taken down because YouTube splits the ad revenue with them. The Times notes that "[h]undreds of these [content] partners make more than $100,000 per year."
Blake Ellis Reid, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, August 06, 2010
Abstract: By now, most readers have probably heard about the six newly minted exemptions to the anti-circumvention measures of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), announced last week by the Librarian of Congress. For the uninitiated, Ars Technica and David Abrams of Chilling Effects have excellent overviews of the exemptions, which provide much-needed legal cover for a variety of activities including jailbreaking and unlocking cell phones, decrypting DVDs for non-commercial remixes, and several others.
Of particular interest to folks in the security community is the exemption granted for security research on video game digital rights management (DRM) systems, stemming from both realized and potential security holes in systems like Safedisc and SecuROM.
David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, July 27, 2010
Abstract: The Library of Congress has released a list of six circumstances in which circumvention of copyright access controls will not be a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In addition to limited exceptions for security testing of video games and dealing with obsolete hardware dongles, these include "jailbreaking" an iPhone to run user software, circumventing restrictions on connecting a used mobile phone to an alternate wireless network, removing CSS protection from a DVD to extract small portions for the purpose of criticism or comment and enabling read-aloud access to electronic books where there is no other way to get similar functionality.
ThinkGeek, June 21, 2010
Abstract: ThinkGeek describes its "best-ever cease and desist letter" recently received for its April Fools' product Canned Unicorn Meat:
"The very special but also very real letter is from the National Pork Board, who claims we're infringing on the slogan "The Other White Meat," a slogan they're apparently thinking about phasing out anyways."
The New York Times blogs it as Unicorns. Theyre Not the Other White Meat.
What a meaty issue!
David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, May 21, 2010
Abstract: A recent ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, applicable to residents of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont, appears to recognize the "innocent infringer" defense for copyright infringement of sound recordings. This runs counter to decisions of two other circuit courts which effectively read this defense out of the law for music infringement. In addition, the decision defines a record album as a single "work" to which only a single statutory penalty applies, rather than holding that each song on the album is a separate work, thus reducing the risk of ruinous penalties for innocent infringement.
Blake Ellis Reid, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, May 16, 2010
Abstract: In the time it takes you to read this article, at least one URL may have disappeared from Blogger as a result of a takedown notice from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. While the IFPI's takedown of several high-profile music blogs has raised eyebrows over the past several months, an analysis of the Chilling Effects notice archive reveals that IFPI's campaign is much larger in scope than previously understood, likely facilitated by automated infringement detection tools.
David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, April 27, 2010
Abstract: Google has clarified the procedure for disputing automated YouTube takedowns. By checking a box in the dispute form to indicate you believe your use of the copyrighted material is protected by fair use or is allowed for some other reason, YouTube will reinstate the video and the copyright holder will have to follow the formal DMCA takedown procedure if he or she believes you are mistaken.
David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 17, 2010
Abstract: A federal statute, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), allows copyright holders to have material they allege infringes their copyright removed by a poster's Internet Service Provider or web host without a court order or benefit of the adversarial process. Nevertheless, the DMCA takedown procedure is governed by federal law and it gives the poster at least some protection against abusive takedown notices. YouTube has installed automated software that allows copyright holders to choose to block any video uploaded by a user that contains their copyrighted content, even when the use of that content would be legal under current law. This has resulted in videos being blocked that contain music by bands playing their own songs and presentations by legal scholars discussing copyright law. The problem with this type of extra-legal automated copyright blocking is that the poster has no legal rights to get his or her content reinstated. YouTube is a private company and can choose what it wants to allow and what it wants to block on its site with no recourse available to the poster other than relying on the good graces of the company to do the right thing.
David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 12, 2010
Abstract: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) describes multiple instances in which the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have been used to stifle legitimate speech rather than stop pirates.
David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 11, 2010
Abstract: Last month, MySpace sent a DMCA takedown notice to Scribd to remove a document summarizing recommendations on rebuilding a portion of the MySpace website, alleging a copyright violation. Although originally intended to stop Internet piracy of creative works such as music and video, this is another example of the takedown provisions of the DMCA being used to avoid the time and expense of obtaining a court order to remove documents that, while possibly sensitive or embarrassing, do not themselves have commercial value.
David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 09, 2010
Abstract: Assemblage 23 (A23) frontman Tom Shear reports that YouTube removed the first video in his bands planned video diary of their American tour at the request of Warner Music Group. The irony in the takedown is that the video included only A23s own song and its purpose was to promote the bands US tour and its new album. YouTube has since reinstated the video.
David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 05, 2010
Abstract: A second federal appeals court has now eviscerated the innocent infringer defense for copyright infringement, this time for residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The court concluded that, as long as a copyright notice appears on a physical CD somewhere, anyone who illegally downloads that music from the Internet is subject to the higher $750 statutory minimum damages; even if that person believed he or she had permission to download the material. In 2005, a different appeals court made a similar ruling affecting residents of Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, February 25, 2010
Abstract: Network Solutions has taken the Cryptome website down after receiving a DMCA takedown notice from Microsoft claiming copyright infringement. Microsoft objects to the publication of a handbook provided to law enforcement describing what information the service keeps on its users and what legal steps are required to obtain that information. However, its takedown of the well-known web site may have effect of increasing the number of people who read the document.
David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, February 17, 2010
Abstract: Music bloggers are up in arms over Google's removal of six popular music blogs. Google claims it deleted the blogs after receiving multiple Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices alleging that the blogs allowed readers to download copyrighted works without the owner's permission. The dispute appears to arise partially from an aggressive stance taken by Google in response to industry takedown notices and partially from a lack of understanding of DMCA takedown procedures by the blog owners.
Blake Reid, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, February 03, 2010
Abstract: It's sunny and warm in south Florida as the New Orleans Saints head to the Super Bowl for the first time in the team's 42-year history. Back in New Orleans, though, a cold front is blowing through as the National Football League tries to use intellectual property claims to lock down "Who Dat," a seminal New Orleans slogan adapted by Saints fans to cheer on the team.
Rebecca Schoff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, December 03, 2009
Abstract: Legal reporter Eriq Gardner over at THR, Esq. has brought our attention to a lawsuit filed by Global Findability, Inc. against Summit Entertainment, makers of the sci-fi thriller Knowing, for patent infringement, apparently because the characters in the film are depicted using a string of numbers (including date, latitude, and longitude) to indicate the time and location of an event.
Research Staff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, November 23, 2009
Abstract: Getty Images has been sued by Car-Freshner Corp. for trademark infringement, dilution, and unfair competition over stock photographs of cars that include images of tree-shaped air fresheners hanging from the rear-view mirror.
Research Staff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, November 19, 2009
Abstract: Another hat tip to Techdirt for bringing our attention to Intel Corp.'s recently filed suit against the publishers of Mexico Watch, a digital newsletter whose URL is latinintel.com, and whose parent company does business as Americas News Intel Publishing.
Intel Corp. has alleged both confusion-based infringement and trademark dilution against the company, although its website is clearly branded in ways that would easily distinguish it from the computer chip maker and its use of the word "intel" to mean "intelligence" is in common use.
Rebecca Schoff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, November 13, 2009
Abstract: A convicted murderer is attempting to have his name removed from the English-language version of Wikipedia and all other media coverage of his crime under a German law that protects private citizens from having their names and likenesses published against their will.
Rebecca Schoff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, November 13, 2009
Abstract: The chilling effect in Coshocton County, Ohio, was in obvious evidence last week when a single complaint from Sony Pictures Entertainment caused the county to shut down its free Wi-Fi service.
Rebecca Schoff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, November 06, 2009
Abstract: John Timmer over at Ars Technica has reported that a bill introduced in Congress last month would make Internet service providers liable if a particular kind of financial fraud is perpetrated on their networks.
Rebecca Schoff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, November 05, 2009
Abstract: The Electronic Frontier Foundation has inaugurated a new venue for exposing bogus copyright and trademark claims that stifle free speech on the Internet.
Research Staff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, October 09, 2009
Abstract: After announcing that Philadelphia radio station WDAS would not be able to sponsor the Unity Day festival for the first time in 30 years, Clear Channel has used an allegation of trademark rights in the name "Unity Day" to prevent citizens from raising funds and obtaining city permits to keep the tradition going.
Wendy Seltzer, Chilling Effects, October 08, 2009
Abstract: For several years, the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse has cataloging the effects of legal threats on online expression and helping people to understand their rights. Amid all the chilling we continue to see, it's welcome to see rays of sunshine when bloggers stand up to threats, helping to stop the cycle of threat-and-takedown.
The BoingBoing team did this the other day when they got a legal threat from Ralph Lauren's lawyers over an advertisement they mocked on the BoingBoing blog for featuring a stick-thin model. The lawyers claimed copyright infringement, saying "PRL owns all right, title, and interest in the original images that appear in the Advertisements." Other hosts pull content "expeditiously" when they receive these notices (as Google did when notified of the post on Photoshop Disasters), and most bloggers and posters don't counter-notify, even though Chilling Effects offers a handy counter-notification form.
Not BoingBoing, they posted the letter (and the image again) along with copious mockery, including an offer to feed the obviously starved models, and other sources picked up on the fun. The image has now been seen by many more people than would have discovered it in BoingBoing's archives, in a pattern the press has nicknamed the "Streisand Effect."
Rebecca Schoff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, October 02, 2009
Abstract: News this week of a cease and desist letter sent to Cyanogen, the popular amateur developer of Android software, had members of the Android community hoping for a Jedi mind trick to make the legal threat go away: "Google, this is not the Droid you are looking for...."
But as the situation unfolds, participants hope that Google and Cyanogen will find a solution that protects Google's closed-source applications without chilling the innovation of the open-source Android community.
Rebecca Schoff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, September 29, 2009
Abstract: We know what the safe harbor provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act mean ... dont we?
A number of cases in California have confirmed what a straight-forward reading of the law would suggest: that the DMCA safe harbor provisions apply to hosting sites when those sites meet the requirements set out in section 512 of the law. (Perhaps most recently, a federal judge ruled in California that the safe harbor provisions applied to video-sharing site Veoh, see Veoh Survives Universal Music Group Copyright Infringement Suit.) Plaintiffs in a case just filed in Texas against document sharing site Scribd, however, would like to challenge that understanding.
As you read on, bear in mind that a complaint is just one party's allegations -- not proof of facts or accepted legal theories. Plaintiffs can ask for anything, even one hundred billion dollars, but that doesn't mean they'll get it.
Rebecca Schoff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, September 18, 2009
Abstract: In July 2009, blogger Robert Delsman, representing himself in court, won a rousing victory against Sedgwick, a large claims management company that had sued him, among other things, for copyright infringement over his use of modified corporate promotional photos in mailings that were critical of the company. The judge ruled that Delsmans use of the promotional photographs, which had been transformed to look like wanted posters out of the Wild West, qualified as fair use and threw out Sedgwicks remaining claims under Californias Anti-SLAPP statute. Now Sedgwick has appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit, setting the stage for a major review of the application of fair use analysis and Anti-SLAPP legislation in similar contextsand raising questions about whether the Streisand Effect really discourages litigiousness.
Rebecca Schoff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, September 17, 2009
Abstract: U.S. District Court Judge A. Howard Matz has granted summary judgment in favor of Veoh, an online video hosting site, ruling that Veohs procedures to protect against copyright infringement are adequate to qualify Veoh for safe harbor protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Research Staff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, September 11, 2009
Abstract: The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that Apple has stepped back from threats of legal action against BluWiki, a host of public wiki pages that discussed the use of software other than iTunes to download media onto Apple products--but the withdrawal of threats was based on the pages having been rendered obsolete by new code.
Research Staff, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, September 11, 2009
Abstract: Apple has once again objected to the use of the suffix "pod" in the names of two products: Pivotal's "Podium" and "FlyPod."
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