Tuesday, October 26News That Matters

Tag: Copyrights and Copyright Violations

Locast Shutting Down After Losing Court Battle With TV Networks

Locast Shutting Down After Losing Court Battle With TV Networks

Technology
Locast, a nonprofit streaming service that piped local broadcast signals over the internet, is shutting down after a federal judge ruled against the organization in a rare case tackling the legality of network content delivered online.The organization said it was “suspending operations, effective immediately,” and it added that Locast was meant to “operate in accordance with the strict letter of the law,” but had to comply with the ruling, with which it disagreed.The service was in many ways a quixotic bet on the nature of copyright law. It was started by a Washington lawyer, David Goodfriend, who designed the platform specifically to challenge broadcasters. “Do you know you’re supposed to get television for free?” Mr. Goodfriend said in a 2019 interview.The four big networks — NBC, CBS, A...
Google Infringed on Sonos Patents, Judge Says

Google Infringed on Sonos Patents, Judge Says

Technology
OAKLAND, Calif. — Google infringed on speaker-technology patents held by Sonos and should not be allowed to import products that violate Sonos’s intellectual property, a judge said in a preliminary finding by the United States International Trade Commission that was released on Friday.In January 2020, Sonos sued Google in federal court and in front of the United States International Trade Commission, a quasi-judicial body that decides trade cases and can block the import of goods that violate patents. Google later filed a countersuit against Sonos, claiming that Sonos was infringing on its patents.Sonos had asked the commission to block imports of Google Home smart speakers, the company’s Chromecast systems and its Pixel phones and computers. Those products are made in China and shipped to...
Olivia Rodrigo, Courtney Love and the ‘Sour Prom’ Image

Olivia Rodrigo, Courtney Love and the ‘Sour Prom’ Image

LifeStyle
“People copy all the time, they call it homage, but sometimes the copy is just too blatant and it is quite annoying,” she wrote in an email. “I actually tried to sue once, but it is very complicated and in the end not worth it. Today social media is doing the job.”Mr. Walker, who photographed the “Sour Prom” image, did not respond to an interview request. A representative for Ms. Rodrigo declined to comment for this article.Amy Adler, a professor at the New York University School of Law who specializes in art law, said that any legal action against Ms. Rodrigo for the image would be an “uphill battle.”“You can’t copyright an idea, but only the expression of that idea,” she said.Both images, Ms. Adler said, subvert “the smiling perfection of the idealized beauty queen.” It’s a common visual...
For 40 Years, He Climbed Ev’ry Mountain for Rodgers & Hammerstein

For 40 Years, He Climbed Ev’ry Mountain for Rodgers & Hammerstein

LifeStyle
In 1981, two years after the death of Richard Rodgers and 21 years after the death of Oscar Hammerstein II, Ted Chapin got a call from Rodgers’s daughter Mary, asking if he’d like to run the Rodgers & Hammerstein office.That’s all “R&H,” as it has always been called, amounted to then: the place where the work of managing the pair’s many musical theater properties was conducted. But in the 40 years since, it would become much more, as the office turned into an “organization” and the business of exploiting copyrights by making new shoes from old leather changed drastically.Chapin, 70, recently stepped down from the job he started when he was just 30 and so untried that his first two years were probational. He had been hired partly because the Rodgerses were friends of his parents: El...
On Spotify, an Arranged Marriage Between Music and Podcasts

On Spotify, an Arranged Marriage Between Music and Podcasts

Technology
Danyel Smith used to make a podcast in her kitchen. Smith, an author, journalist and former editor in chief of Vibe magazine, recorded it with her husband, Elliott Wilson, a fellow journalist and the founder of Rap Radar, between the sink and a bowl of fruit.As one might expect of a show hosted by longtime music journalists, the podcast, “Relationship Goals,” which ran from 2015 to 2016, featured lots of music — in between playfully adversarial banter about domestic and professional headlines. The song placements, like the show itself, were done off the cuff — without much forethought, professional assistance or official permission.“It was a little bit of pirate podcasting,” Smith said. “We weren’t a part of a network, and this was before podcasting had become super popular. We would just ...
Will Songwriting Survive Streaming? Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus Is Worried.

Will Songwriting Survive Streaming? Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus Is Worried.

Technology
But the thing is, they don’t know what they’ve done. “What did I do?” Because to know, you have to be a craftsman as well. You have to realize what a good song is. And if you can’t recognize garbage, it’s very hard to know what a good song is. And that’s what time gets you, to become a good craftsman.In the current model of pop songwriting, you have teams of writers, with a separation of roles like an assembly line — somebody does the beat, somebody else does the melody. Is that good for music, and good for songwriters?For me, those songs most of the time become products. There’s no sense of, this is coming out of someone’s heart. Take Elton John and Bernie Taupin, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” That’s not a product; that is something else. I prefer the ones where you feel this is who is sen...
Google Won. So Did Tech.

Google Won. So Did Tech.

Technology
This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it weekdays.On Monday, the Supreme Court said it was kosher to copy someone else’s computer code in some cases. That handed Google a win in a decade-long court battle with Oracle over the guts of the Android smartphone system.I’ll explain why the technology industry was relieved by the decision, and the ways it might be relevant for artists, writers and archivists. I also want us to ponder this: Why are thorny legal questions seemingly inescapable in technology right now?What was the legal case?Oracle controls software programming technologies called Java that are a building block for many apps and digital services. Google used a relatively small chunk of Java computer code in its Android operating system, and ...
Supreme Court Backs Google in Copyright Fight With Oracle

Supreme Court Backs Google in Copyright Fight With Oracle

Technology
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh joined the majority opinion. Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the case, which was argued before she joined the court.In dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., said leapfrogging the first question was a grave analytical misstep. “The court wrongly sidesteps the principal question that we were asked to answer,” he wrote, adding that he would have ruled that the code was protected by copyright laws.The majority’s approach was inexplicable, Justice Thomas wrote, and its rationale — that technology is rapidly changing — was odd, as change “has been a constant where computers are concerned.”Justice Breyer used what he called a “far-...