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Copyright Tag

On Friday night Donald Trump tweeted a really funny satirical video created by Twitter user @CarpeDonktum. The video (see below) used the REM song "Everybody Hurts" mixed with Trump's State of the Union speech audio to mock Democrats and Mitt Romney, with video clips of them in the audience at SOTU. The Trump tweet quickly gained almost 50,000 retweets and over 2,000,000 views.

I was going to write something profound and deep tonight about the takedown of Legal Insurrection's YouTube account after the Modern Language Association filed three (3) copyright claims with YouTube relating to my coverage of the arguments made at an MLA annual meeting town hall in favor and against the academic boycott of Israel. *Perhaps* it was total *coincidence* that three (3) claims were filed considering that YouTube has a well-known three strikes rule -- three claims and they may remove your channel and account. Which is what happened even before I knew there was a copyright claim by MLA (it never contacted us). *Eventually* we'll find out *why* three (3) claims were filed. I sure hope people are not deleting emails, that would look really bad.

UPDATE: As of approximately 7:30 p.m. on January 13, 2017, our YouTube Channel was restored, though there are still legal battles to come over the videos. ------------- YouTube took down Legal Insurrection's Channel without any prior notice based on "multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement," but we never received any claims of infringement. We have lost hundreds of videos, including a lot of original content on important news subjects. You now will see disabled videos in hundreds of our posts. I have no idea what the supposedly offending videos are. We are pretty careful when it comes to copyright, so I'm suspecting that someone about whom we posted a video made the claims. We've filed the appeal forms, but if anyone has a contact at YouTube, I'd appreciate the help. Please email me.

I know, I know. You just were being patriotic. You just were honoring the fallen and the surviving heroes of the World Trade Center. You had good intentions. You didn't profit from it. Country first! That's what Sarah Palin or whoever runs her Facebook page likely was thinking when, on September 11, 2013, the following image was posted:

No rimshot here. Not only is this a thing that happened, it's pulled straight from a motion filed with the Ninth Circuit this earlier week. The bizarre monkey selfie case outdid itself this week. According to PetaPixel:
In September, the animal rights group PETA filed a lawsuit against photographer David Slater, arguing that the monkey who took a series of viral selfies with Slater’s camera in 2011 should be the rightful copyright owner. If you thought that was strange, get this: the legal battle has now evolved into a dispute over the pictured monkey’s identity and gender.
But it gets better. The defense counsel then submitted a motion to dismiss the complaint. The motion began:
A monkey, an animal-rights organization and a primatologist walk into federal court to sue for infringement of the monkey’s claimed copyright. What seems like the setup for a punchline is really happening. It should not be happening…. [D]ismissal of this action is required for lack of standing and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Monkey see, monkey sue is not good law – at least not in the Ninth Circuit.

Remember the Vanilla Ice copyright infringement case? Queen and David Bowie sued Vanilla Ice after it became abundantly clear that "Ice Ice Baby" had sampled the baseline from Queen and Bowie's hit "Under Pressure." Listen: Hear the extra note in Vanilla Ice's version? The case may have settled out of court, but anyone who listens to the two songs together knows that that one little note wasn't exactly a gamechanger. The entertainment industry('s lawyers) are buzzing about copyright again, this time about a lawsuit filed by Marvin Gaye's children after they noticed that breakout hit "Blurred Lines" penned by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams borrowed heavily from Marvin Gaye's classic "Got to Give it Up." Yesterday a jury awarded Gaye's family over seven million dollars to compensate for a borrowed baseline that earned Thicke and his crew over $20 million in royalties and revenue. Let's take a listen. Here's "Got to Give it Up": Here's "Blurred Lines" (probably NSFW, so minimize that window):

The tech community is rallying in an effort to convince the Supreme Court to review a federal court decision granting copyright protection to APIs (application programming interfaces.) A few years ago, tech giant Oracle sued Google when Google's engineers used Java APIs to build the Android operating system. Although Google designed its own original programs, it based those programs off of the original Java APIs so that independent developers could create apps and programs for use on Android phones. Pause button. If everything I just said sounded like Greek, the Electronic Frontier Foundation explained in their press release about their request to SCOTUS how APIs work:
Generally speaking, APIs are specifications that allow programs to communicate with each other. So when you type a letter in a word processor, and hit the print command, you are using an API that lets the word processor talk to the printer driver, even though they were written by different people. The brief explains that the freedom to re-implement and extend existing APIs has been the key to competition and progress in both hardware and software development. It made possible the emergence and success of many robust industries we now take for granted—for example, mainframes, PCs, and workstations/servers—by ensuring that competitors could challenge established players and advance the state of the art.
After Google released its Android OS, Oracle sued Google for patent and copyright infringement. A California judge rejected the claim, saying that an API is essentially a "process or method" that allows different computer programs to talk to one another. (Source code, on the other hand, is treated like a literary work and is covered under copyright laws.) A federal circuit appeals court disagreed with the analysis and overturned the decision, instead holding that APIs are copyrightable, upending years of industry practice and sending the tech community into a frenzy. Is this a niche issue? Yes. Is it an important niche issue? Absolutely. From the perspective of a computer scientist or developer, this decision threatens their very ability to create anything new: