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Music Site Settles Beatles Suit for $1 Million

BlueBeat, a site that sells streaming music by a range of artists, just settled a federal lawsuit that a bunch of pissed-off record labels had brought against it for selling and streaming Beatles songs. The songs were posted about a year before Apple released them on iTunes and were sold for just $0.25 each. By the time BlueBeat was forced to pull them, more than 67,000 songs had been sold. The...

Judge Ruling on Copyright Law Used to Be a Lobbyist for RIAA

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell issued a ruling that would make it easier for copyright holders to obtain personal information on anyone suspected of illegally downloading copyrighted files. The verdict was met with complaints from ISPs and consumer rights groups, with many arguing that it would allow copyright holders to pursue frivolous lawsuits in the hopes of striking...

N.Y. Court Rejects Settlement in Lawsuit Against Google Books

A New York court has rejected a settlement in a class action lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild against Google Books. Under the settlement, reached in 2009, Google would be able to digitize and display excerpts from books that are out of print, even if they're still under copyright, or not authorized to be included in Google Books. The agreement quickly raised the ire of many organizations,...

Supreme Court to Determine Congress' Authority to Copyright Public Domain Works

Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could determine whether or not Congress can remove works from the public domain and place them under copyright. At issue is a ruling from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in July against a group of orchestra conductors, educators, publishers, and film archivists, whose professional lives rely on public domain works. The...

Rebroadcasting TV Online for Profit Is Illegal, Says Judge

The Internet streaming video service ivi just received a vicious rebuke from U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Buchwald of the Southern District of New York. Since its inception, the service has offered live TV streams from major broadcasters like Fox, NBC and PBS by simply snatching broadcasts out of the air and retransmitting them over the Web to paying customers. The problem is that the company...

White House to Propose New Digital Copyright Laws to Congress

The Obama administration has put together a new set of digital copyright laws aimed at cracking down on illegal downloads and other forms of online piracy. Yesterday, intellectual property enforcement coordinator Victoria Espinel released a 92-page report (PDF), outlining the White House's copyright proposals, which will be submitted to Congress "in the very near future." Although the report...

YouTube Extends Video Time Limits for Obedient Users

Less than five months after extending video time limits to 15 minutes, YouTube has decided to lengthen them again. YouTube product manager Joshua Siegel wrote in a blog post that the streaming giant chose to drop its time limit thanks to "advances in Content ID," the system that scans every video uploaded to YouTube, and compares its data with data provided by copyright holders. As of right now,...

FBI Investigating 4chan and Anonymous Over DDoS Attacks

According to sources in contact with CNET, the FBI is pushing forward with an investigation of 4chan and the Internet vigilante collective known as Anonymous, which has loose ties to the controversial message board. Anonymous and its members, who frequent the 4chan boards, have unleashed a flurry of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks over the past few months on individuals and...

New 'Sesame Street' App Tune May Provoke Apple's Inner Grouch

Given Apple's staunch trademark policies and litigious history, there may be a new Muppet appearing on 'Sesame Street' soon. The show aired an original song recently, but the little ditty's catchy refrain could invite the arrival of a dreaded new puppet: Larry the Litigant. The cute, entertaining and incredibly inopportune 'There's an App for That' song alerts kids to the fact that,...

Library of Congress Says U.S. Copyright Law Threatens Sound Archiving

Copyright law doesn't just pose a threat to file sharers and pirates. According to the Library of Congress, it may very well kill audio archiving, as well. In a recently published study, the Library of Congress concluded that current copyright law poses a formidable threat to music archivers, who must now work around strict regulations that the Library deems "restrictive and anachronistic" in...

Apple Trademarks Extremely Valuable 'There's an App for That' Slogan

Score one for intellectual property and the closing of linguistic expression! Apple has been awarded a trademark for the phrase "there's an app for that" to the chagrin of unimaginative competitors and poor parodists. (Yes, we did it, too.) Just as Facebook has been trying to protect its brand from any company using either "face" or "book" in its name, Apple seems to think that anyone employing...

Intel Says High-Def HDCP Key Crack Is Real, Blu-ray No Longer Copy-Proof

On Tuesday, a so-called "master key" crack required to unlock the high-definition, copy-protection (HDCP) codes encrypted on Blu-ray discs began worming its way around the Internet. While many initially doubted the legitimacy of the key, Intel has now confirmed that it is indeed real, effectively declaring open season on Blu-ray copying. "We have tested this published material that was on the...

Godard Says Intellectual Copyright Doesn't Exist, Donates to Accused Pirate

Jean-Luc Godard, master of nouvelle vague cinema, has spoken! But not, however, to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has been waiting for Godard to decide whether or not he will show up to receive his honorary Oscar next year. Instead, the elusive French director has come to the aid of a man fined €20,000 (about $25,000) for illegally downloading music. French...

'Old Spice Guy' Grabs an Emmy, Microsoft Combats 'Halo Reach' Breach

Highlights from this morning's other big tech headlines.... The "Old Spice Guy" just valiantly strode off with an Emmy award, and Urlesque is honoring the viral phenomenon's accomplishment with a variety of LOLcat-themed captions. [From: Urlesque] The appearance of 'Halo Reach' on filesharing sites has prompted Microsoft to ominously, in the words of a 12-year-old messageboard flamer, warn...

YouTube Extends Time Limit for Videos, Gives Users a Full 15 Minutes of Fame

The days of YouTube's 10-minute upload limit are officially over, as the site has decided to give users a chance at a real 15 minutes of fame. In a recent blog post, YouTube explained that the move to extend the time limit of non-partner videos came as a response to overwhelming user demand. It was only after the site was able to better refine its ContentID copyright protection system, though,...