MPAA Points Viewers to Legal Sources for Movies, TV Shows

The MPAA has launched an ad-free search engine that helps viewers easily locate movies and TV shows available from authorized sources. WhereToWatch.com — essentially a refresh of the WhereToWatch.org site launched last spring — is the latest effort by the trade group to combat piracy and provide consumers with legal options for accessing their media content. The site offers links and related info for titles available via Amazon, Apple’s iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, SnagFilms and WolfeOnDemand. Continue reading MPAA Points Viewers to Legal Sources for Movies, TV Shows

Leading Scientists Urge Supreme Court to Ban API Copyrights

Dozens of computer scientists are calling on the Supreme Court to reverse its ruling that made application programming interfaces eligible for copyright protections. That decision came as part of a federal appeals court case in May over whether Google had copied Oracle’s Java API. The scientists believe that API copyrights would threaten the technology sector and stifle innovation, while Oracle contends that the decision was “a win for the entire software industry.” Continue reading Leading Scientists Urge Supreme Court to Ban API Copyrights

Disney Creates a Search Engine That Filters Pirated Results

Disney has secured a patent for a new search engine that will not highlight sites featuring pirated content in the search results. The search engine filters the results based on “authenticity,” so that illicit content will be more difficult to find. Disney and other companies have been unsatisfied with Google’s efforts to hide pirated sites. Disney’s new search technology also goes a step further by making the authentic trademark holder’s page rank higher than product reviews or Wikipedia entries. Continue reading Disney Creates a Search Engine That Filters Pirated Results

Judge Rules Against Aereo, Can No Longer Retransmit Live TV

A New York federal judge has ruled against TV-over-the-Internet startup Aereo and in favor of a group of major broadcasters including Disney’s ABC, CBS Corp., Twenty-First Century Fox, Comcast’s NBC, and PBS. Judge Alison Nathan ordered that Aereo’s “Watch Now” system be shut down. “The Supreme Court has concluded that Aereo performs publicly when it retransmits Plaintiffs’ content live over the Internet and thus infringes Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works,” wrote Judge Nathan in her 17-page opinion yesterday. Continue reading Judge Rules Against Aereo, Can No Longer Retransmit Live TV

Google Report Explains Enhancement of Anti-Piracy Efforts

Google claims that it has taken additional measures to make search results more resistant to piracy. According to a new white paper, Google has changed its search-engine algorithms so the sites with a large number of takedown notices appear lower in search results rankings. The company has also enhanced autocomplete and related search, preventing the inclusion of terms associated with piracy. New advertising products will also promote copyright-friendliness.  Continue reading Google Report Explains Enhancement of Anti-Piracy Efforts

Music Industry: Rulings Could Have Long-Term Consequences

In a 57-page decision issued this week, a New York federal judge ruled against music streaming service Grooveshark in a copyright infringement case. The judge ruled that the service’s parent company, Escape Media Group, and co-founders Samuel Tarantino and Josh Greenberg, had uploaded almost 6,000 songs without licenses, and urged their employees to do the same. Meanwhile, a California judge ruled in favor of musicians Flo & Eddie in a suit against SiriusXM, and now the duo is taking on Pandora. Continue reading Music Industry: Rulings Could Have Long-Term Consequences

Shapeways, Hasbro Allow Artists to Sell 3D Fan Art and More

3D printing and shipping company Shapeways is allowing any user to upload and sell content that features Hasbro characters. As part of the new agreement, Shapeways, Hasbro and the artist are all compensated. Many copyright holders see 3D printing as a modern version of pirating, as it takes little effort to download and print an object. With this new model, however, if an item costs $30, then Shapeways receives $20 for material and manufacturing, while Hasbro receives $3.50 and the artist receives $6.50.  Continue reading Shapeways, Hasbro Allow Artists to Sell 3D Fan Art and More

Simple.tv Users Can Now Share Recorded Content with Friends

Connected DVR maker Simple.tv now provides users with the ability to offer friends and family members access to their recorded television shows and movies. Simple.tv’s DVR for cord cutters now enables guest passes so that others can access DVR recordings over the Internet via Simple.tv’s Web interface, the company’s mobile apps, as well as its Roku app. Guests are restricted to streaming content already recorded; they cannot tune into live TV or schedule additional recordings. Continue reading Simple.tv Users Can Now Share Recorded Content with Friends

UK Police Fight Piracy by Replacing Online Ads with Warnings

The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) of London has partnered with Project Sunblock, a content verification company, to help take down copyright infringing websites by replacing ads with warnings. The warning, which notifies site visitors that the site is under criminal investigation, serves as an alternative to when an advertisement from a Project Sunblock client is about to be placed on a piracy site. This solution helps keep respected brands off illegal sites. Continue reading UK Police Fight Piracy by Replacing Online Ads with Warnings

Bar Association Pushes for Change in Online Piracy Legislation

Attorneys with the American Bar Association are advising the government on dealing with online piracy through a 113-page white paper titled “A Call for Action for Online Piracy and Counterfeiting Legislation.” While they suggest many measures similar to SOPA and PIPA, the lawyers also advise against suing the file-sharers because it is usually counterproductive, costing more money than they recover, and it can also be bad PR for the copyright holders.  Continue reading Bar Association Pushes for Change in Online Piracy Legislation

U.S. Copyright Office Suggests Aereo is Not a Cable Company

In a 6-3 decision last month, the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo was in violation of copyright law by using tiny antennas to stream broadcast TV online to subscribers. Since the court said that Aereo acted too much like a cable company to broadcast without paying fees, the startup attempted to embrace the ruling by offering to pay retransmission fees. Whether or not the new approach will work with the networks (or in court), the U.S. Copyright Office is now siding with the content owners. Continue reading U.S. Copyright Office Suggests Aereo is Not a Cable Company

Aereo Competitors Moving In Following Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled against Aereo in a case brought by TV networks, citing violation of copyright laws. Aereo, which provided an Internet-based alternative to cable by capturing broadcast signals on tiny antennas and transmitting them to subscribers, has since suspended its operations. Meanwhile, rivals such as Simple.TV and Mohu are moving in, and hope to avoid the ruling by selling over-the-air antennas to their subscribers along with hardware to access streaming services. Continue reading Aereo Competitors Moving In Following Supreme Court Ruling

Livestream App Lets Google Glass Users Share Live Video

On Tuesday, Google officially released the Livestream app that allows people to share live video captured with their Google Glass headsets. Glass users simply tell their devices to start broadcasting and the video that the headset records can be shared with other Livestream users for free. To broadcast to non-Livestream viewers, users can pay up to $399 per month to stream video to the Web. Google vetted Livestream’s policy to ensure the app addresses privacy concerns. Continue reading Livestream App Lets Google Glass Users Share Live Video

Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo in Favor of Broadcasters

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of broadcasters in a decision that could have far-reaching implications for the media industry. The court found that online video startup Aereo violated copyright law by allowing its subscribers to watch and record over-the-air broadcasts from electronic devices via a system of miniature antennas. Broadcasters including ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC have been battling Aereo, arguing that the startup was accessing their programming without authorization. Continue reading Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo in Favor of Broadcasters

Congress: Should the First Sale Rule Include Digital Goods?

This week, publishing executives, technology leaders, and public interest groups gave testimony regarding ownership of purchased digital goods. The “first sale” rule currently allows people to resell or lend out physical goods like music and books, while this law does not cover digital goods, such as those sold by Amazon and Apple. Post-testimony, the House Judiciary Committee remained skeptical that property rights of physical goods should extend to the digital world. Continue reading Congress: Should the First Sale Rule Include Digital Goods?

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