LAB’s Techdirt Profile


About LAB

LAB’s Comments comment rss

  • Sep 21st, 2016 @ 6:40pm

    (untitled comment)

    Studies aren't really needed, access is key. However, the argument that it's all about stifling competition rings hollow. The infringement statutory penalties are commercial in nature. To stop businesses from using another business's product to profit. They have been misapplied to individuals for years. It is hard to compete with a business that takes your product and profits from it or undercuts your ability to sell your product by offering it at a discounted rate before you have a chance to bring it to market by breaking the law. That is the purpose of statutory damages for infringement. Not to punish the teenager or college ripping games or music in his room.
  • Sep 21st, 2016 @ 6:21pm

    (untitled comment)

    The copyright issue is clear. The image is copyright protected. The use of it without permission or a license is infringement. An argument can be made for fair use but is putting words over the picture truly transformative? Is it commentary? I'd argue neither. It also can be argued the market for this photo has been damaged by the political use of it. I am seeing infringement and fair use failing in this instance.
  • Sep 21st, 2016 @ 6:00pm


    The law and photographers do not agree with you.
  • Sep 16th, 2016 @ 8:31am


    A magazine takes photos they are going to publish. Someone leaks the photos to a site before publication. The magazine paid the photographer, the model, the set staff, location costs, etc. The magazine notifies the site they are linking to infringing material. The site ignores the notification, actually mocking the magazine. The magazine gets the photos taken down from one of the places the photos are hosted. The site knowingly and purposely links to the photos again and again from other hosts. The magazine sues the site for infringement and you don't think this is copyright infringement? Because it's a link? The site is making money by linking to the known infringing material over and over and you don't think that should be a factor for liability? Viewing this ruling in the context of the case,I don't understand your logic.
  • Jun 26th, 2016 @ 6:42am

    (untitled comment)

    4.the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    I think the creation of a derivative work, using a budget inferior to a major motion picture studio, using lessor know actors and sub par special effects could easily dilute and or turn off a new fan of this multi million dollar franchise. Selling unlicensed merchandise, I'm sure, did not sway CBS/Paramount into viewing this remotely as fair use.
  • Nov 12th, 2015 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You don't seem to be grasping the fundumental fact that the US didn't actually sign on to the Berne Convention until over hundred years after it existed."

    No, I grasp it quite well. The concept of automatic protection is almost 150 years old and has been accepted in the U.S. and around the world. I think a writer writing a book, someone read it like it, copy it and sell it, without compensating the author, with no recourse because he/she didn't register it, is unjust. A songwriter needing to register a song every time they write and record one or else someone can copy it verbatim and sell it is what our system, as implemented today, is supposed to protect. I think you are failing to see the benefit to the creator from automatic protection. Having a simple system to use orphaned works such as a waiver stating they tried to find the copyright holder, couldn't, but if they surfaced could get a statutory amount for use is a possible solution. If you are claiming the only way to remedy orphaned works is by eliminating automatic copyright protection upon creation, it's not that I'm "more worried about the inconvenience," I just don't agree.
  • Nov 12th, 2015 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You are actually quite correct that the Constitution in no way mandated that Congress must do either of those things. It simply granted them the option of doing so."

    Yes, the Constitution is a limiting document meant, by construction,to remove any ambiguity as to the powers of government. It seems strange to argue the powers granted to Congress were done without the belief and surety of their use. You make it seem as though the power to lay and collect taxes, to regulate commerce with foreign nations, to coin money, and to raise and support armies was granted without the expectation that Congress would do so. Yes, Congress could abolish the Post Office. However, there is little doubt, there was an expectation they would create one.
  • Nov 11th, 2015 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I should have been more clear. The concept of automatic copyright protection was codified by the Berne Convention in 1868.(147 years) In the U.S., The 1909 Act required no formal registration requirement for protection. Protection was given upon legal publishing and the affixation of a copyright mark to the work.(116 years).

    I have stated before and also believe copyright terms are too long. However, I do believe copyright protection should be automatic, without registration.
  • Nov 11th, 2015 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The Constitution grants Congress the power to enact copyright laws. It does not obligate them to do so, and aside from a few broad prerequisites, doesn't require Congress to adhere to any particular formula, or to exercise the full scope of its authority."

    I will, again, ignore reference to reading comprehension and address your argument.

    "It does not obligate them to do so, and aside from a few broad prerequisites, doesn't require Congress to adhere to any particular formula.."

    No, it states why Congress should "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" and the mechanism to do so "by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the 'exclusive right' to their respective Writings and Discoveries." In the same section, directly preceding, Congress is granted the power "to establish post offices and post roads" Directly following,congress is granted the power "To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court," By your rationale, Congress was not obligated to establish the post office nor tribunals inferior to the supreme court. I do not agree and trust, after much debate, items in the Constitution were placed there purposely.

    "First, it's been longer than that. Your math skills are bad too. Second, there have been no fundamental changes requiring a reassessment of copyright policy."

    First:Copyright under the Berne Convention must be automatic; it is prohibited to require formal registration 1886.(139 years, forgive me)
    Second: The Copyright Act saw major revisions in 1909,1976, and 1998. Congress do not agree with your assessment.

    Your statutory damages argument has been addressed by another reader.
  • Nov 10th, 2015 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re:

    "Leverage" is hardly a good reason for statutory damages -- especially when no such thing exists in most other torts.

    Perhaps, but deterrence is the main purpose of statutory damages. The statutory damages are a civil equivalent to minimum/maximum penalties found in criminal law with the assumption the entity knew what it was doing when it decided to infringe. In addition, they are only available to registered works.

    "I believe you have misread the Constitution. The Constitution does not "afford protections" to you."

    "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the 'exclusive right' to their respective Writings and Discoveries"

    This "exclusive right" has been enumerated in 17 USCA section 106 by congress to include, among others, the right to reproduce copies and prepare derivative works. This exclusive right granted by the Constitution, as defined by congress, affords protection against others attempting to exercise these enumerated rights. Registration is necessary for statutory damages, However, upon creation, congress has deemed a copyright protection automatic and no registration necessary. To allow statutory damages only to registered works would seem an acknowledgement of your position. However, to suggest going back to copyright methodology from the eighteen hundreds would seem to ignorant of the changes in society that have occurred in the last century and a half.
  • Nov 10th, 2015 @ 3:44pm

    (untitled comment)

    All who deal with copyright on a daily basis feel changes are necessary, but it is always"how" that's the sticking point.

    1) Statutory damages are not inherently bad, just mis applied. They do provide leverage in negotiations between parties and are a deterrent to commercial exploitation of a work but generally should not be applied to small entities and private citizens. The small entities and individuals are may not be acting maliciously and generally are not aware of the infringement. i.e. "I didn't know I couldn't do that."or" I thought it was fair use.
    2) Fair use is a foundation of our system and should not be stifled. The use really needs to be analysed and The Fair use factors provide for it. Perhaps a tiered system of use and licensing would make the process a lot less maddening and provide for a more streamlined system as opposed to the case by case basis where Fair use is an affirmative defense.
    3) Where are the teeth to 512f? It is written into the statute but never enforced and as a result abuse runs rampant.
    4) In theory there would be no deterrent to circumventing if there were no penalties but in some applications (You can't use other coffee pods in our coffe maker) it is clear the anti-competitive effect of the provision is detrimental.
    5) Orphaned works are a problem and using them should be easier. I am against having to jump through hoops and spend money to be afforded protections written in the Constitution. They are currently and should be automatic. It could also set up a situation where copyright protection is lost because a company is waiting to exploit works' of others by having the resources to monitor the failure of others to re-register.
    6) At a recent panel, the office acknowledged the need to modernize. It would better serve creators and right's holders to have the office more efficient, with less gray area. But more importantly, it would better serve the public. That is the Constitutional purpose of copyright and this should never be forgotten.
  • Nov 6th, 2015 @ 7:52am

    Re: It's not about the money

    "It's not about the money."
    "It's never been about the money."
    "It's about the competition and control."

    No, it's about money. To even suggest the MPAA's actions in any regard are motivated by anything other than Movie studios' ability and attempts to maximize profits is nonsensical. Movies are cost intensive undertakings at the major studio level. Regardless if one agrees with the accounting process or not actors, directors,writers and all associated with producing a film get paid. Many involved in motion picture work are unionized and must be paid a set per hour rate. It has always been about the money.
  • Oct 22nd, 2015 @ 5:20pm


    Those cases generally lack a license. A license was used here.
  • Oct 17th, 2015 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Inducement?

    The whole design and purpose of the Aurous is an interface and distribute copyright infringing material. By the Grokster logic, if that is the sole purpose then they are inducing copyright infringement.
  • Sep 27th, 2015 @ 6:57am

    (untitled comment)

    Hasbro balked on a fighting game based on a show targeted to kids 2-11? How is this bad or surprising? You can paint this as some kind of travesty but it isn't. Hasbro wasn't approached about licensing and the developers could have saved some scratch by doing what they did in the end, change the characters a little.
  • Aug 29th, 2015 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re:

    I suppose this is a bummer but TCPI is well within their rights. I think a cease and desist letter would have been a tad more charitable way to stop the use of the copyrighted character's images. There was no licensing involved and you have to pay to play I guess is the message here. Or They just didn't want their children's brand associated with a party at a bar with drinks named after it's characters. Definitely not a fan friendly move.
  • Aug 29th, 2015 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: "What are you going to do, stop buying? Don't make us laugh."

    "They broke the law."
    "Actually, no they didn't"

    Actually they did.This suit was filed under a copyright claim and not trademark. The use of copyrighted images (Pokemon characters) in advertisements without licensing is copyright infringement.
  • Aug 23rd, 2015 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: It's bad enough

    There are many purposes for the permissions asked. However, because a company states a beneficial reason for a certain permission does not mean there can not be another use. You are indeed giving them permission for exactly what is stated. How they will use the information is strictly their "word." This is the same stink that occurred with Facebook messenger's permissions and Facebook said they would not use the permissions granted in a nefarious way and there were many legitimate reasons for them. Why the about face now? and why for Spotify? -using-phone-microphones-cameras-to-gather-data.shtml
  • Aug 5th, 2015 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re: Not Bittorrent's job

    Speeding, hit and runs, armed robbery, murder... that's just a few examples of cases where a crime is 'facilitated' by the product of a business, yet when someone speeds, do we blame the car manufacturer?

    I think a more apt analogy would be you are the bartender/owner of a bar where people meet then plan and carryout hit and runs, armed robbery and murder. You as the bartender/owner hear them planning these crimes. There are some legitimate patrons, but word on the street is if you wanna find some people to do these crimes, then your bar is the place to go. You as the bartender are against illegality,so you say, but you don't do anything besides say you're against these crimes.... wink wink. Obviously copyright infringement is not on the same level as the crimes mentioned but I think you get my meaning.
  • Aug 5th, 2015 @ 12:38pm

    Not Bittorrent's job

    There are plenty of legit uses for bit torrent. In addition,the law provides finding infringing content is definitely not their job. I am more struck as to what would you have the RIAA do? There is nothing inherently wrong with a business based on selling music, or film etc. I have not agreed with many of the tactics used by many copyright holders in the past. However, if a certain behavior is illegal, and said illegal behavior frequently facilitated using another business, that claims they don't condone illegal activity, to take their statement at face value would suggest they might do something.....

More comments from LAB >>

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it