George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Supreme Court Paves Way for Revoking State Sovereign Immunity for Copyright Infringement

U.S. Supreme Court buildingLast week, the Supreme Court handed down its unanimous judgment in Allen v. Cooper, a copyright case involving both actual and metaphorical pirates. The actual pirate was Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, who captured a French ship in the Indies, renamed it Queen Anne’s Revenge, used it for piracy, and then later ran it aground near the North Carolina coast in 1718. Read more

Publishers v. Audible: An Army of Red Herrings

a gavel lying on a desk in front of booksAudible has now filed its response to the publishers’ request for a preliminary injunction—twice. It filed the exact same brief to argue that it shouldn’t be preliminarily enjoined (Dkt. 34) and to argue that the complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim (Dkt. Read more

Publishers v. Audible: VCRs and DVRs to the Rescue?

a remote pointed at a TV screen showing a sports gameOn August 23, a group of publishers, including Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, sued Audible for copyright infringement. Audible, which is a subsidiary of Amazon, sells and produces audiobooks, and it planned to launch a new speech-to-text feature on September 10. Read more

Stream Ripping Emerges as the New Face of Music Piracy

Cross-posted from the Mister Copyright blog.

chrome 3D copyright symbolAs formats change and advances in technology continue to transform the way we listen to music, new methods of pirating content are never far behind. What started with the analog dubbing and bootlegging of cassettes forty years ago evolved with the digital age into CD burning and MP3 sharing, eventually leading to a chaotic illegal downloading landscape at the turn of the century that would force the music industry to develop novel anti-piracy efforts and distribution models. Read more

Mayweather v. McGregor Warrants Preemptive Anti-Piracy Efforts

hand holding remote pointed towards a TV screen showing a sports gameThis Saturday, the world will be treated to one of the most hyped events in the history of sports when “The Notorious “ Conor McGregor and Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. meet in Las Vegas to become (even more) rich while ostensibly also participating in a boxing match. Read more

Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) Unites to Fight Online Piracy

hand holding remote pointed towards a TV screen showing a sports gameAs digital piracy shifts away from torrent downloads and towards unauthorized streaming and theft-based extortion, stakeholders from all parts of the creativity community are reassessing their efforts to fight online infringement. This week, a global coalition of creators and leading on-demand entertainment services joined forces to better address the ever-evolving threat that piracy poses not only to artists and copyright owners, but to consumers and end users. Read more

Kodi Software Enabling Widespread Copyright Infringement

hand holding remote pointing at television showing a sports gameAwards season always seems to arrive with new stories about how piracy is affecting the film industry and the way we watch movies. Whether it’s a promotional screener that was stolen and uploaded to a torrent site, or the latest software that allows users to download or stream pirated content, the tales are reminders of the enduring problem of online copyright infringement. Read more

Trusted Notifier Program Defended Against Misleading Rhetoric

a laptop screenOne year ago, domain name registry Donuts, Inc. and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) entered into an agreement termed the Trusted Notifier Program in a joint effort to combat piracy. The voluntary initiative “introduced a new way to work towards mitigation of clear and pervasive cases of copyright infringement,” and according to Donuts’ one-year summary, has been a success for “rights owners, registrants and the public at large.” Read more

What Would Judge Gorsuch Mean for Fair Use?

U.S. Supreme Court buildingOn February 1st, President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. The announcement opened the floodgates of prognostication as to how the appellate court judge from Colorado might sway the Court in the coming terms, with forecasters pouring over his past decisions in an attempt to get into the head of the potentially game-changing jurist.  Read more

Librarians’ Contradictory Letter Reveals an Alarming Ignorance of the Copyright System

U.S. Capitol buidlingOn December 14th, a group of librarians sent a letter to Congress explaining why they believe the Copyright Office should remain under the control of the Library of Congress. Written by University of Virginia Library’s Brandon Butler, the letter is a self-contradicting and uninformed response to recent recommendations on reform of the Copyright Office offered by leading members of the House Judiciary Committee. Read more