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  • Nov 6th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    Windfall!

    I hope Eckert gets a legal team who starts suing EVERYONE involved in this. Malpractice suits against the doctors. A suit against the hospital. Suits against the officers. A suit against the county. And I can believe that he's afraid to leave the house. I had a colonoscopy and I had anxiety attacks for six months afterwards.

  • Oct 21st, 2013 @ 10:31am

    Amazon is US company

    The lawyer may be using the theory that the ebook was published through Amazon, which is a US company, and so is quoting US law. But it's difficult to tell. A lot of lawyers will do anything their client asks them to do, even when they know there's no legal precedent for it, such as all the takedown notices some companies send out.

  • Aug 20th, 2013 @ 7:08am

    Only 1 Person Called

    A local radio commentator Jon Keller did some research and found only ONE person called 911 and a couple of other people called some of the town's other lines. Both the cops and the media overreacted!

  • Aug 12th, 2013 @ 6:50am

    It's obvious

    Well, it's obvious why the cops don't want to be photographed, especially in LA. There are a lot of bad cops doing bad things and they rely upon other cops to "back up" their stories, no matter how insane that story may sound. After all, it would be the perps word against several fine officers. Photographic evidence of them doing bad things would make it hard to lie.

    But cops routinely think of reasons to detain people, just to harass them. It shows their authority and creates fear in the population.

  • Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:08pm

    Re: RIAA

    I would suggest the RIAA ISN'T looking out for artists. It directs the royalties to the record labels that keep 90%-95% of what's collected. ASCAP and BMI do a slightly better job, but as discussed on TechDirt before, their surveys only cover big-name acts. Indie and low-grossing artists get left out!

  • May 29th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    Copyright

    I wrote my name on my forehead. Can I patent that?

  • May 24th, 2013 @ 9:32am

    Music Industry earning more money than ever!

    What's funny in this entire argument is that the ARTISTSs are actually making MORE money than EVER. It's only the record companies that are making less.

    Fans now have access to everything an artist has ever done, including demos and concert recordings, and they become even bigger fans, and are willing to plunk down up to $1200 to see Lady GaGa IN CONCERT. I'm sure Lady GaGa would rather you buy a ticket to see her than buy all her albums where she might get a few dollars in royalties.

  • May 23rd, 2013 @ 8:14am

    It's all blackmail

    I think Kim Dotcom is just being honest about something that takes place every day, namely corporate lawyers using legal blackmail to make other companies and individuals do what they want. Here, Dotcom will give Amazon, etc., a license to use his patent in return for joining him on his lawsuit and loaning him money until he can unfreeze his assets. Companies make these sorts of arrangements all the time. Kim's just being more upfront about it.

  • May 23rd, 2013 @ 7:07am

    35% Commission

    Some people have noted the 35% cut (20% cut under 10,000 words) seems unfair. I'm guessing Amazon is probably kicking back a third to the copyright holder as well. But keep in mind writers who are published by major publishing companies sign deals where they get as little as $1 per hardcover sale and 25 cents per paperback sale, after all other expenses and advances are paid. That's about a 5% commission, so it's important to put things into perspective.

    As people have criticized, I agree that I don't like the fact that Amazon is taking over ownership of the work, but in the old days publishers use to file the copyright on published works and tie up novels for 28 years. It's not too much different.

  • May 22nd, 2013 @ 1:16pm

    Use Your Own Content

    Well, Tech Dirt has written many times about companies using copyrighted artwork in their ads. Last week, there was a story about a copyright organization using a copyrighted piece of art they didn't ask permission to use. But now Tech Dirt says it's all right to steal something off the Times' Website and use it to sell a product? Eh, it seems a bit hypocritical.

  • May 15th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    I Agree

    I agree. Even the old system where you renewed a copyright after 27 years worked. 70% of works were never renewed because they held no value for their creators. Other people should be allowed to come along and use them as they want.

  • Apr 26th, 2013 @ 9:34am

    Australia = Piracy

    As I understand it, Australia is so use to being left behind media-wise that the country has become quite adept at using the Internet to download shows that will not be available for some time, or shows that will never make it to their shores. For example, the country embraced the Chinese VCD format so Australians could watch bootleg movies from Asia. This is just an evolution from those days. If anyone knows how to get US TV shows, Australians and New Zealanders certainly do.

    The bottom line is HBO is only interested in getting people to sign up for HBO, so the only place you can watch it is HBO. Although HBO could probably make a lot of money charging for access to the show, it makes a whole lot MORE money by signing up subscribers. So that creates a scarcity condition that makes it ripe for "sharing." But whether HBO is actually losing money from piracy is another issue. I'm sure most of the people watching the show for free either don't have enough money to subscribe to HBO, would watch it at a friend's house, or wouldn't subscribe anyway for various reasons. HBO will still make plenty of money on BluRay and DVD sales and eventual syndication sales.

    But the ultimate issue is control. It's "our" show and you have to watch the way "we" tell you to. I think there has to be some kind of balance there. But some entities don't see it that way.

  • Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 1:57pm

    Royalties

    The recording industry has always played fast and loose with royalties collection. In the old days, it simply estimated the number of plays to compute the copyright royalties, which meant indie artists received nothing since they weren't being included in the surveys. Then recently it was revealed that US PROs couldn't be bothered computing anything but the largest concerts, therefore giving big artists royalties that should have gone to small artists. The entire system is against the hard working artist.

  • Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Trademark not Copyright

    I think the argument about copyright here is moot. Warner Bros. owns a trademark on the Harry Potter name, regardless of whether the Troll movie had a character named Harry Potter first. To quote the government's USPTO's website: a trademark grants the "exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration." So I would think the problem would boil down to how Warner Bros. described the use of the name in its paperwork. Does it cover all fictional characters? All fantasy fictional characters? All fictional wizards? Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to rename the character to avoid a lawsuit. But the article says that Warner Bros. only warned the producers to be "careful" not to infringe on its rights, meaning the trademark. I would think Warner would be angry if the character picked up a wand and started reciting magical spells. It's also interesting that Warner preemptively warned the producers while it was in the early development phase. Is someone at Warner Bros. a fan of the movie? As for why anyone would remake it, people have heard of the title even though they haven't seen it, and it's a cool-sounding title regardless of the quality of the film..

  • Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

    Control

    It's always been about record industry control and not making money. Ask the musicians who get $5 royalty checks from having their songs played on Pandora while their record labels rake in millions.

  • Mar 22nd, 2013 @ 8:07am

    Lawyers

    I think it's amazing that you can find lawyers who will issue copyright infringement letters knowing that what they are writing has nothing to do with actual laws.

  • Mar 20th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Advertiser publications have always been proven business model

    Advertisers, as they're called, have always been a proven business model. Other industries need to adapt and find a way to integrate the "free" business approach into their profit-making activities.

    Someone in another forum commented that you can't have "free" movies, but you can. Cable movie channels need to fill airtime and will buy the rights to movies for airplay for decades to come. A lot of direct-to-video movies don't really sell many copies on DVD, but make their money selling off broadcasting rights. You could give away the movie on the Internet and still make money.

    Other industries just need to think outside the box a little more.

  • Mar 13th, 2013 @ 7:54am

    Just make the games!

    It's amazing that the video game industry is still fighting the piracy wars. How many times has it been shown that games without DRM make more money than games with DRM? Remember how DOOM! became an overnight sensation and ID made a ton of money by allowing people to share the game? Everyone was playing it, and even though only 1 in 10 people bought the game, that 1 in 10 represented MILLIONS of purchasers!

    The problem the video game industry has to come to grips with is that people are playing more and more on their smartphones and have less and less time to play on PCs. (Game consoles are holding their own but are starting to slip.) Every game should have the ability to be played in single player mode so you can play them on the go and not be tied to WiFi! I think EA shot themselves in the foot with this one.

  • Mar 5th, 2013 @ 7:02am

    Industry Worker

    "the 47-year-old is a music industry worker"

    Is that like being a sex worker?

  • Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

    The Usual

    In the Wall Street Journal today an industry group claimed the movie-tv industry was losing $58 billion a year from piracy. That's 5x the entire theatrical gross of North America and 2.5x the theatrical gross of the ENTIRE WORLD! I don't think the movie-tv industry can prove any losses at all. The music industry is another thing, but Adele, Taylor Swift and One Direction seem to have singlehandedly boosted music sales in 2012. Good music sells, bad music don't.

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