by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jan 30th 2015 9:25am
by Tim Cushing
Wed, Jan 7th 2015 4:00am
from the putting-lipstick-on-a-scraper dept
Canipre, one of Canada's foremost anti-piracy enforcers, has a bit of a problem on its hands. Like others that zealously guard against piracy, the company expects everyone else to fully respect the IP rights of the entities it acts for. And like others in the same field, it seemingly can't be bothered to make sure it properly respects other entities' IP rights. (See also: BREIN, the BSA, the City of New York, the list goes on and on…)
Michael Geist points to Canipre's latest press release, touting the use of its evidence in a Voltage Pictures lawsuit, as well as its intent to fully take advantage of Canada's new infringement notification system. Then he points to this:
Yet what Canipre does not say is that a blog associated with the company may have been engaged in copyright infringement for many months. The blog – copyrightenforcement.ca – is run by Barry Logan, the company’s Managing Director, Operations (I received an email from Mr. Logan last year that listed the site as his blog address). In addition to posting releases from Canipre and information about the TekSavvy case, the site has posted dozens of full-text articles from media organizations around the world.Hey, fair dealing and all that, some might say. Sure, but let's not get carried away. Posting up plain text versions of paywalled articles -- in full, without additional commentary or criticism -- isn't exactly fair dealing. And it's not as if Canipre has any respect for the fair dealing of others. It's an anti-piracy firm and its vision of the world's use of IP is solidly black and white. Either you've paid for it, or you're an infringer.
For example, last week it posted the full text of a 1200 word article on TV piracy from the Wire Report, an Ottawa-based telecom publication. The article resides behind a paywall limited to subscribers and is listed as “exclusive content.” In fact, reposting full-text articles from other sources is a regular occurrence on the site. Posts in December feature articles from the Huffington Post Canada, Business Insider, and CNET. Earlier posts include full-text articles from the Hollywood Reporter, StreamDaily, Reuters, the Canadian Press, Global News, Vancouver Sun, and the National Post. Some of the posts include articles that strip out reference to the author (Chronicle Herald, CBC) and others include no attribution whatsoever. The site also uses photos from the articles, often without attribution.
And, as Geist notes, there's plenty of stuff in there that goes further than what could even be the outer reaches of fair dealing. The blog has stripped attribution/authorial references -- maybe out of cluelessness, maybe in a desire to obscure its origins -- which is no one's idea of fair dealing.
This isn't Canipre's first hypocritical dance with the IP devil. Back in 2013, it was caught tarting up its dark and dramatic website with photos belonging to other people, all without even making the slightest attempt to credit the actual creators. Barry Logan was the man behind that debacle as well, who contributed nothing to the discussion of the company's hypocrisy other than some buck-passing to the third party site designer.
Even if some of this could be considered fair dealing, the company using the creations of others without permission frowns deeply and legally on those who would do the same to its protected content. Michael Geist's headline puts it beautifully: Canipre certainly has a beautiful glass house. Shame it can't seem to kick its rock-throwing habit.
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jul 25th 2011 7:06pm
Oracle Deletes Jonathan Schwartz's Old Blog; Which Excitedly Celebrated Google's Use Of Java In Android
from the rewriting-history dept
I imagine that Oracle also wanted to erase other former Schwartz blog posts, like the one we spoke about years ago, in which he pointed out that suing over patents is a sign of desperation and that real companies innovate, rather than litigate.
Now, many of you who will be quick to point out that none of that matters. Oracle holds the patents now and so it gets to decide. And that's true -- though I do wonder if such promises not to litigate over patents and to celebrate such usages might be seen as a form of a license... But, the larger point I wanted to raise is that this shows the dangers even of defensive patents. Sun held a ton of patents, almost all of which were for defensive reasons (or to just show what a joke the patent system is). And yet... now that Oracle has them, it can and is using them to try to shake down other companies.
by Tim Cushing
Tue, Jul 19th 2011 7:08am
from the afterparty-to-be-held-at-the-'tomb-of-the-unknown-writer' dept
With that in mind, I bring you another blogging faux pas, courtesy of the Copyright Alliance blog. In a post titled "Setting the Record Straight on PROTECT IP," Sandra Aistars takes aim at an article posted elsewhere on the web:
Since the introduction of the PROTECT IP Act we frequently see articles and blog posts that severely mischaracterize and make false assertions about the legislation. For example, today we noticed a piece that claimed that the PROTECT IP bill would be a detriment to entrepreneurship. As an organization that represents individual artists and creators, who are themselves entrepreneurs and small businesses, we share the author's concern for entrepreneurship and economic growth. The creative sector in the United States, which is comprised largely of people you would consider the copyright owner next door, accounts for 11.1 million jobs across the country. Unfortunately his portrayal of the PROTECT IP bill is factually inaccurate in virtually every respect.
This is quoted verbatim. If you haven't noticed by now, there are no links to the original article or any mention of who wrote it. Considering this lack of information, Aistars could be talking about something her neighbor wrote and shoved under her door for all we know. In this day and age, I don't see how you can expect to tackle someone else's arguments without at least mentioning their last name.
It's a shame, too. Aistar's post does a fairly good job laying out her disagreements (even if I don't agree with all of her disagreements) in a very easy-to-follow point-by-point argument. (Although, she does spend more time than is needed pounding home the point about the bill addressing only sites dedicated to infringement, which according to the beneficiaries of this law include archive.org, Vimeo, Soundcloud and 50 Cent's personal website.) The problem is, no one knows who she's arguing with and even worse, nobody can verify whether this mystery person made the claims she's attributing to them.
It would seem that linking to the original article would be second nature... unless you're trying to avoid people actually reading what you're arguing with.
If you're confident in your argument, why wouldn't you link to the article? Techdirt disagrees with pretty much everything and yet, every post links to the source of disagreement. But the more Aistar calls out "the author" as a nameless, linkless being, the less inclined most people are to believe that her piece is even-handed.
If you haven't Googled up the solution to this "mystery writer," I'll go ahead and provide you with the link that the Copyright Alliance apparently couldn't get coded in by presstime:
"Blacklisting Entrepreneurs: PROTECT IP Could Harm Web Startups" by Paul Kedrosky
Of course, it's no use rushing to the Copyright Alliance blog to ask why this was handled this way. The comments are closed and pingbacks have been politely asked to leave. Ironically enough, Copyright Alliance did take the opportunity to exercise their one-way rights and leave a comment on Kedrosky's post, which takes this whole situation past "obtuse" and into "egregious." Since I told myself that I'd be very even-handed in dealing with this bizarre breach of internet etiquette, I'm ending this post now and opening it up for discussion. Have at it.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Apr 27th 2011 12:23pm
from the feeling-safer? dept
Cowing's use isn't deceptive either. The seal is plainly used in conjunction with the news article and the advertisement is no closer on this blog than ads are on news websites and in most newspapers and magazines for that matter. In fact, the seal of the Executive Office of the President of the United States is used extensively all over the internet, sometimes even in promixity to advertising. Threatening phone calls from the White House only serve to chill free speech. Indeed, Cowing has replaced the image of the seal with a pixelated version and the words “OSTP Logo Pixelated Due to a Phone Call Complaint from the White House.”Finally, we agree with the EFF in noting: "surely the White House has better things to do than to threaten bloggers engaged in legitimate free speech."
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 8th 2011 2:39pm
from the blog-is-down-for-an-hour! dept
"I have received many appeals in connection with the ... attacks on LiveJournal. As an active user of (LiveJournal) I consider these actions revolting and illegal.... What has occurred should be examined by LiveJournal's administration and law enforcement agencies."Of course, it does seem a bit strange that he's only concerned about denial of service attacks when they impact him personally. Also, LiveJournal? Isn't that kinda like if President Obama had a blog on Blogspot? It's not that hard these days to have a blog on your own domain...
from the this-is-defamation? dept
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Sep 23rd 2010 10:06pm
from the they-don't-teach-section-230? dept
from the have-fun-with-this-one dept
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Mar 31st 2009 11:18am
from the sorta-missing-the-point... dept
It had everything that a typical investigative report should include. It involved a six-month investigation, and the amount of background and detail is quite impressive. It's exactly what an investigative report should be, even if it was published only online and there were no subscribers who had to "pay" to make it happen. It seems to pretty clearly disprove the idea that the only way to fund investigative journalism is to have it paid for by subscribers. That's never actually been true in the past, but it's even clearer with this story.
Still, perhaps the most ridiculous part of the story, as pointed out by one of our readers, Dave, is that the basketball coach who was implicated for recruiting violations in the story, Jim Calhoun, decided that, rather than respond to the allegations, he could dismiss them entirely because they appeared online only:
It was a newspaper story that ... it wasn't a newspaper, I'm sorry. It was a blog story that appeared, I guess, in something I probably can't get a hold of, which is Yahoo! And very simply my comments are what I said.So, this guy thinks that since the publishing of an in-depth investigative report happened in an online only source (a) it's obviously "a blog story" (even though it wasn't) and (b) it can be waved off. Of course, now that the story isn't just appearing on "a blog" -- it's appearing in the NY Times and the NY Daily News and the Boston Globe, among many other print newspapers -- maybe he'll admit that perhaps it's an issue?
Investigative reporting is investigative reporting, whether it happens online or in a newspaper. Journalists (and investigation subjects) who ignore that do so at their own peril.