Technology and Business Law Blog

Artistic License Terms- Copyright Infringement

In Jacobsen v. Katzer, the appellant brought an action against the appellees for copyright infringement for not following the terms of the Artistic License while copying and incorporating materials from it’s website.

The District court had stated that open source Artistic License created an “intentionally broad” non-exclusive license which is unlimited in scope and thus did not create liablity for copyright infringement. The appellete court’s analysis was otherwise stating that the Artistic License and other open source licenses cannot be randomly copied and modified without following the terms set forth in the license.

In this case the Artistic License required that changes to the computer code be tracked so that downstream users know what part of the computer code is the original code created by the copyright holder and what part has been newly added and altered by another collaborator. The appellate court stated that a user who downloaded the JMRI copyrighted material is authorized to make modifications and to distribute the materials “provided that” the user follows the restrictive terms of the Artistic License.

The crux of the appeal was that whether the terms of the Artistic License are just actionable under breach of contract based on covenants or if they were breach of conditions enforceable under copyright infringement. The court held that the term “provided that” denotes a condition and under copyright law the conditions under an Artistic License are enforceable. and so the Artistic License terms were conditions enforcable copyright conditions.


August 14, 2008 Posted by | Contract, Copyright Infringement, Licensing | | Leave a comment

Prince to sue for copyright infringement.

The latest news is that the U.S. pop star Prince plans to sue YouTube and the like for unauthorized use of his music in a bid to “reclaim his art on the internet.” He said that YouTube could not argue it had no control over which videos users posted on its site. “YouTube … are clearly able (to) filter porn and pedophile material but appear to choose not to filter out the unauthorized music and film content which is core to their business success” Prince also plans legal action against online auctioneer eBay and Pirate Bay, a site accused by Hollywood and the music industry as being a major source of music and film piracy.

YouTube responded saying that they do care and are trying their best to prevent copyright infringement and piracy and are developing the necessary tools to combat it. If you read my previous entry- you can read more about it. With more and more advanced technology being developed to share music, videos etc copyright infringement and fighting piracy is a one step forward two step backward game.

September 13, 2007 Posted by | Copyright, Licensing, Piracy, YouTube | Leave a comment

YouTube’s Antipiracy Technology and Licensing

YouTube owned by Google has been accused of not complying with copyright laws since the site is abound with pirated material. So far the company has not had a system to prevent piracy of copyrighted music, movies/videos on it’s website. The problem for YouTube is to identify and keep tab on the music and movies and decide who is the owner of the rights since lots of theYouTube has  posted material is rehashed and mixed.

This year the company planned to introduce technology to help media companies identify pirated videos uploaded by users or detect illegaly copied material before being posted. The technology it’s developing will allow copyright owners “to identify their content, locate it and then make a decision based on whether they want to remove it,” said spokeswoman Julie Supan.

The new technology will be designed to scan a digital audio file, such as an MP3 or video, and compare the electronic “fingerprints” to databases of copyright material.But copyrights can be tricky on sites like YouTube. Even a homemade video can run afoul of the law if it has a professional song playing in the background. Amateur concert footage and other video may be pulled from sites as a precaution simply because it’s unclear who owns the rights.

Viacom had sued Google in March 2007 over copyright infringement and had sought $1 billion in damages. The new technology that Google will introduce will add another layer of software protection for copyright holders such as Viacom. Viacom had several popular television shows such as South Park, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Reno 911. Viacom had ordered the removal of such content from YouTube. The removal order from Viacom caused thousands of illegal videos to be removed from YouTube.

But this technology was offered only as part of  broader negotiations on licensing deals. Now YouTube has signed a licensing deal with the British composer’s group, MCPS-PRS Alliance, that collects royalties for composers, songwriters and publishers. Under this licensing agreement the artists will be paid when their tracks are used as background music for clips on the video sharing website.

September 1, 2007 Posted by | Antipiracy technology, Licensing | Leave a comment