The Monkey Selfie Case Continues, But The Dancing Baby One Does Not

from the never-ending-copyright-litigation dept

Thankfully this is not a post about the Monkey Selfie case, which should have ended by now but has not. Instead it's about Lenz v. Universal, the Dancing Baby case, which shouldn't have come to an end yet, but has. This week the EFF announced that the case has been settled.

The problem though isn't that it the case has been settled. It had been remanded for trial, which would have been a long, expensive slog to not accomplish what the case really needed to accomplish: put teeth back into the Section 512(f) remedy that the DMCA is supposed to afford to deter illegitimate takedown demands. The problem is that the opportunity to provide that benefit was extinguished when the US Supreme Court denied cert and refused to review the Ninth Circuit's interpretation of that provision. So we'll be stuck with this precedent until another case can prompt another look by the court and the serious issue of censorship-via-takedown notice can finally get the judicial attention it deserves.

Maybe it will even be a case where a monkey has taken a video of himself dancing along to music, because the rights of monkeys have so far been a lot more successful in attracting en banc attention from the Ninth Circuit than the speech rights of people. And maybe it won't even take 10 years of litigation (that's 32 in monkey years) to find out.


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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Jun 2018 @ 4:16pm

    Just the beginning, There are no greater rights than copyright

    No surprise, though I will be worried when the monkey starts to send out take down notices. Not PETA or David Slater, but Naruto him/her self. They will work, of course.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Jun 2018 @ 5:27pm

      Re: Just the beginning, There are no greater rights than copyright

      Nah, I suspect the monkey is far more rational than the others involved in the case.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2018 @ 5:10pm

    EFF wasted much court time, yet got worse than status quo ante.

    You baboons thought had a sure-fire tear-jerker poster boy, dancing his heart out with such innocent glee that even judges would melt and overturn much established law besides common sense.

    Gave Techdirt a hook for endless attacks on copyright too.

    Only lasting result, though, is that copyright owners must "consider fair use", but in practice they only have to say did, won't actually affect whether to proceed. Sheesh.

    You clowns at EFF wouldn't be able to make trouble if Google didn't fund you, which is best argument I know of for over high corporate tax rates and no deductions for "charity", as when the country was growing both prosperous and freer instead of infested by parasites.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2018 @ 5:10pm

      Re: EFF wasted much court time, yet got worse than status quo ante.

      Now watch all the ankle-biters come out to yap some ad hom, despite writing nothing on topic prior hour.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 28 Jun 2018 @ 5:51pm

      Re: EFF wasted much court time, yet got worse than status quo ante.

      You clowns at EFF wouldn't be able to make trouble if Google didn't fund you

      1. Google doesn't fund EFF. EFF did get a cy pres award from Google once years ago, but that was a court ordering Google to pay EFF over privacy violations that Google had made. Hardly voluntary support.

      2. EFF has filed an FTC complaint against Google.

      3. Just yesterday EFF posted something about rethinking antitrust law to take away Google's dominance.

      Why do idiots still continue to insist that people who fight for internet freedom are supported by Google when they're often the most active critics of Google's practices? I'm assuming it's because they have nothing real to point at.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 29 Jun 2018 @ 1:43am

        Re: Re: EFF wasted much court time, yet got worse than status quo ante.

        "Why do idiots still continue to insist that people who fight for internet freedom are supported by Google"

        Because Google is the big boogeyman and they have to pretend that the massive corporations they're shilling for have an even bigger corporation trying to attack them. If they admit the truth, they have to admit they're in the wrong.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 29 Jun 2018 @ 6:12am

        Re: Re: EFF wasted much court time, yet got worse than status quo ante.

        Because you can't reason with insanity?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ShadowNinja (profile), 29 Jun 2018 @ 9:03am

        Re: Re: EFF wasted much court time, yet got worse than status quo ante.

        Just yesterday EFF posted something about rethinking antitrust law to take away Google's dominance.

        That will never work.

        Search engines are an area where natural monopolies tend to form no matter what the government does.

        If I want to find something online I want the best search engine at it. And that's Google, not even Bing can come close to it (believe me, I've tested it).

        And because me and everyone else keep using Google, Google will collect more data to help them improve their search results even farther, thus giving me even less of a reason to use another search engine.

        The only real reason to use a non-google search engine is if you want one that brags about not collecting data, because you don't want them having a record of what you look up. And that's too small and niche a group of people to make a serious Google competitor. (believe me, I've tried DuckDuckGo that brags about this, it fails miserably at finding stuff compared to Google).

        We COULD break up Google for anti-trust reasons, but one of the new smaller Googles will end up assuming dominance over the search engine market all over again and render the others into obscurity. Probably whichever gets the Google.com domain would be the winner I bet.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 2 Jul 2018 @ 1:17am

          Re: Re: Re: EFF wasted much court time, yet got worse than status quo ante.

          "Search engines are an area where natural monopolies tend to form no matter what the government does."

          I tend to disagree here for several reasons. First off, the problem with monopolies is generally because competition is made scarce, and/or the monopoly makes it difficult for people to easily switch to using the competition. This is not true of Google. The reason Google started to dominate, and continue to do so it that they still offer the best product. They became big because the sleek, lightweight, reliable product they offered both looked better and worked better than the bloated portals of the time.

          You yourself admit this - Google are dominant because the offer the best product for peoples' needs. You have been free to try out as many competitors as you wished, but decided to go back because they had the best product for your needs. That really isn't a problem, so long as the reason why better products don't exist is because Google is hampering their competition, which I don't think is the case.

          "The only real reason to use a non-google search engine is if you want one that brags about not collecting data, because you don't want them having a record of what you look up"

          There's a great many reasons. Some are better at finding certain types of content that Google. Some are better at privacy issues, some you may wish to use due to ethical or moral reasons, some you might think just look nicer. Microsoft try to bribe people with reward points for using Bing, while other sites like Ecosia and GoodSearch donate their profits to environmental causes and charities.

          There's a lot of competition out there, and you can even use Google to find them. But, while the biggest player also offers the best product, I'm not sure what the solution is - or even if there needs to be one.

          "We COULD break up Google for anti-trust reasons"

          But, what antitrust activities are they committing? "They're big" is not enough, they need to also be doing something anti-consumer or ant-competitive using that size. Microsoft got on the wrong end of antitrust law not simply because they dominated the desktop OS market, but because they used their leverage in the market to start locking out competition in that market and in other areas. I'm unconvinced that Google are doing this, and indeed they have effective competition in most areas in which they operate.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Jul 2018 @ 2:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: EFF wasted much court time, yet got worse than status quo ante.

            I'm unconvinced that Google are doing this, and indeed they have effective competition in most areas in which they operate.

            And it is possible for a new competitor to start up using Google cloud.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            The Wanderer (profile), 2 Jul 2018 @ 4:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: EFF wasted much court time, yet got worse than status quo ante.

            I think the argument basically boils down to "they make it hard to avoid using them" - not in search services et cetera, but in their ad business, and the tracking which underlies it, and in the free services they offer which many Websites choose to embed or otherwise rely on.

            I'd certainly prefer to avoid Google's tracking across the Web, and I probably succeed at it to a larger extent than many people probably do, via use of NoScript and so forth - but there are so many otherwise-unrelated Websites out there which rely on running scripts loaded from under a Google domain, and won't function properly without those scripts, that blocking Google via NoScript as a means to avoid being tracked is not really a practical option.

            (I can't be entirely sure that this isn't a holdover from having allowed it from some other site, but looking at NoScript's domains-with-scripts-on-this-page list for the page I'm currently on, I notice that one of the only three domains I've marked as "allowed" is ajax.googleapis.com - so Techdirt itself may be one of those Websites.)

            Thus, even if you choose not to use any of the services Google provides, you can't really escape them if you're going to meaningfully participate in large swaths of the modern WWW-centric society.

            That may well indeed not qualify as a monopoly, but if not, we need a separate term for it - because it seems problematic enough to be worth discussing, and possibly trying to address, in its own right. (Possibly in something analogous to the way we also have the term "monopsony" for a single-buyer situation, vs. monopoly's single-seller.)

            (Google may not be the only company doing this, but they're certainly the most prominent, to the point where the only other possible candidates I can think of for companies that might be sufficiently ubiquitous in script-origin lists to be doing it are cloud and/or CDN providers.)

            Your point about "what are they doing that's abusing this market position?" is a good one, however; I can't actually think of any specific things to point to off the top of my head, except to the extent that some people may think of the tracking behavior itself as an abuse.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2018 @ 6:29pm

      Re:

      Common sense would indicate that fining a mother hundreds of thousands of dollars for all of 20 seconds of glitchy, low-quality playback is fucking stupid.

      How's that Malibu Media defense fund coming along, bro?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Jun 2018 @ 6:55pm

      Re:

      LOL

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 29 Jun 2018 @ 1:42am

      Re:

      "such innocent glee that even judges would melt and overturn much established law besides common sense"

      No, we were looking that common sense be applied in the first place - i.e. that you don't send legal takedown notices over home videos because someone had something playing in the background!

      Nobody in their right mind would think this was anything but fair use, let alone something that people would choose to watch instead of listening to the song through other means. But, you and your heroes and not known for being in their right minds, are they?

      "You clowns at EFF wouldn't be able to make trouble if Google didn't fund you"

      Yes, I know, you want to allow the corporation *you* prefer to rip off the public without defence against their actions. Sorry to disappoint you, but the EFF continues (with or without Google, by the way, you ignorant tool).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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