November 30, 2006

Hey, It’s *Their* Movie! [6:20 pm]

Motion Picture Studios File Suit To Stop Ripping of DVDS to Portable Video Players

In Paramount Pictures v. Load ‘N Go Video, the motion picture studios have brought legal action against a small company that has loaded DVDs onto personal video players for its customers. Specifically, according to the lawsuit, Load ‘N Go Video sells DVDs and iPods to its customers, and loads the DVDs onto the iPods for customers who purchase both. The motion picture studios assert that this practice violates the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

[...] The key point for Load ‘N Go Video will be that its customers purchased both the DVDs and the portable video players. Thus, Load ‘N Go Video simply has saved the customers the time and hassle of themselves loading the content they paid for on the portable video players they also purchased.

Taking the motion picture studios’ argument to its extreme, a buyer on his own could be subject to legal liability for at home ripping purchased DVDs onto a purchased portable video player without first seeking permission or purchasing the content again for specific use on the portable video player. One wonders whether a court would embrace such an argument taken to its extreme.

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Developments in Google’s BookSearch Fight [4:28 pm]

Yahoo Rebuffs Google on Digital Books

Yahoo has rebuffed Google’s attempt to learn more about its efforts to create digital copies of books, dealing Google another setback as it prepares to fight a copyright infringement suit.

In rejecting Google’s request, Yahoo adopted the same stance taken last month by the Internet retailer, and called Google’s request a brazen attempt to pry into its trade secrets.

Google says it believes it can defend its plans to provide online access to millions of library books by obtaining more details about similar projects involving rivals.

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Joke Book Suit [6:52 am]

Copyright in jokes? Leno fails to see the humor in joke books - pdf

Leno and NBC Studios filed a federal court lawsuit Wednesday to stop comedy teacher Judy Brown from publishing his punch lines in her books, which are largely compilations of jokes uttered by Leno and other comedians, including Ellen DeGeneres, Joan Rivers, Jerry Seinfeld, Lucille Ball and Tim Allen.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, said that Brown and her publishers have turned out nearly two dozen such joke books.

“Brown is no ‘author,’ ” the lawsuit chides. “She is simply packaging the original copyrighted work of [the plaintiffs], drawing and profiting from a well of creativity that is not her own.”

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November 2006
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