Who Will Be The First Person Sued For Copyright Infringement Over Lifecasting?

from the it's-a-series-of-tubes... dept

The Premier League, the UK based football (or soccer, for those of us on this side of the Atlantic) league has a long history of misunderstanding the internet, and often that seems to involve having its lawyers lash out at the wrong people. First, back in 2005, the league blamed broadband providers for allowing fans to stream games live online, rather than recognizing that fans streaming such games showed a real demand for such a service. Then, in 2007, the league sued YouTube for hosting some clips of Premier League matches. This was boneheaded for a variety of reasons. First, YouTube was not the guilty party if it was copyright infringement. The liable party would be whoever uploaded the clips. Second, given YouTube's limits, people could only post relative short clips of games, which, if anything might help attract more fans to the matches.

The latest is that the Premier League is suing Justin.tv, the popular online service that helps people "lifecast," allowing them to broadcast a live streaming video from their computer camera. The Premier League noted that some Justin.tv lifecasters happened to point their cameras at a Premier League game on television, which the league considers to be infringement. Of course, the lawsuit is (yet again) mistargeted. Even if this is infringement, it's not Justin.tv's liability, but whoever the lifecaster is who pointed his or her camera at the screen.

Either way, this raises some more interesting questions about lifecasting. Specifically, pretty much anyone lifecasting their regular day is probably guilty of many, many copyright violations based on current interpretation of copyright law. If you hear a song, that's infringement. If you walk past a TV, that's infringement. Hell, reading a book could be infringement too according to some. Just the fact that you're letting someone else see what you see is basically infringement, which, when you think about it, highlights just how ridiculous copyright laws are these days. So when will start to see lawsuits against lifecasters?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Evil Bastard, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 11:23am

    Justin.TV And Copyright Infringement

    There are tons of Justin.TV channels that rebroadcast PayPerView events(UFC Fights, WWE Matches, WBC Boxing Matches). This is definitely a violation of copyright law.

    It would be real easy for Justin.TV to stop the infringment. All they need to do is monitor which broadcasters have an enormous audience (In some cases, the Premier League games will have one channel with 10k viewers), check to see if that channel is in violation, and boot it. See Easy no lawsuits then.

     

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    Lost in NJ, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 11:33am

    Re: Justin.TV And Copyright Infringement

    That would be simple to do but it drops them from safe haror as they are proactivly monitering and removing streams without a takedown notice and that opens them to lawsuit city.

     

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  3.  
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    Lost in NJ, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 11:34am

    Safe Harbors, sorry keyboard getting a tad old

     

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  4.  
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    Hobbs, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 11:45am

    Ohhh the tasty irony

    LOL there is something ironic about being sued for infringement, because one broadcasts their own life. If we don’t own our own existence . . . LOL well John Locke must be rolling over in his British grave. Stick with this one Mike, it has the potential to provide lots of yummy sound bites for future arguments.

     

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  5.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 4th, 2008 @ 11:50am

    Re: Ohhh the tasty irony

    This is the logical extension of what the documentarians have been dealing with.

    It's a good gig to own Reality(tm).

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 12:43pm

    Nice example of the Streisand Effect there. I hadn't heard of justin.tv, so I go there and what do I see? The best quality football streaming I've seen.

    Thanks, Mike. Thanks, Premier League.

    On the topics in Mike's last paragraph: surely there's a difference between deliberately pointing a camera at broadcast TV programme, and the incidental recording of a part of a song or show? (IANAL, of course).

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2009 @ 10:00pm

    Re: Justin.TV And Copyright Infringement

    "It would be real easy for Justin.TV to stop the infringment."

    Or they can kinda do what youtube does, have a link that allows copyright holders to report copyright violations and when that link is clicked, it directs the attention of admins to that video. If it's a violation, the video goes down.

     

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