YouTube Users Not Thrilled With New Copyright School

Google (and YouTube before it was bought) has taken a variety of steps over the years to educate its users on copyright issues and discipline them when the message doesn't get through. The latest of those is being called Copyright School; it's a combination video and quiz that YouTube will force offenders to watch and pass before they'll be allowed to upload more content. How's the video going over so far with YouTube users? Like a lead balloon. As of this moment, "dislikes" are outnumbering "likes" by almost 4-to-1. There's no way to tell if they're rejecting the entire notion [...]

If Google Was New York City & Online Piracy Was Knock-Off Handbags…

Restraining Order Imagine my shock when I used Bing to search for "Where to buy knockoff products in New York" and found a treasure trove of information on the web leading me to an apparently little-known area of New York City where such products are available around Canal Street: Imagine my further shock to discover that major companies such as Demand Media, Yahoo, TripAdvisor and Yelp were all providing information that Bing listed on how to locate this area. Imagine my even further shock to discover that in today's US congressional hearing about fending off such intellectual property theft, no one appa [...]

Google Wants TV Show Owners To Start Tagging Video

Google is encouraging TV show owners/providers to begin tagging their online videos with several new fields that can be used in both video sitemaps and mRSS feeds. The new fields include specific data for identifying the show/series title, season and episode numbers, premiere date and more. Google's blog post explains and shows the correct code in more detail. Interestingly, that blog post also begins by saying the new fields should be used "if your website is the authoritative source for the video of a particular TV show." But there's nothing stopping other sites that post unofficial TV [...]

Italians Issue Another Dubious Anti-Search Decision

Earlier this year the Italian Communications Authority decided that YouTube was effectively a TV broadcaster and imposed the same rules and restrictions that apply to TV in Italy -- and potential penalties for their violation -- on Google. It said that Google is now legally responsible for any content appearing on YouTube. Now an Italian court has done something potentially much more sweeping with broad implications for search in Italy. Yahoo Guilty for Linking to Infringer Yahoo (in its capacity as a search engine) has been found liable for helping facilitate copyright infringement by index [...]

Google Book Search Settlement Rejected By Court

google-books-featured Remember the Google Book (Class Action) Settlement? It's been some time since there's been any news. After many months of waiting, the court handed down its decision today -- a defeat for Google and those who supported the settlement. The Authors Guild brought a class action lawsuit against Google in 2005 for "massive" copyright infringement over its book scanning project. The parties worked out a settlement  in 2008 and had sought to finalize that settlement after many rounds of hearings. The settlement called for writers who objected to opt-out or be bound by its terms. That opt-out d [...]

SEO Held Liable, Fined In Counterfeiting Case

[caption id="attachment_65488" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image courtesy"][/caption] A website builder and SEO firm has been held liable in federal court in a case in which it was accused of enabling the sale of counterfeit goods. Bright Builders faces a $770,000 fine for damages in the judgment, handed down in U.S. District Court in South Carolina last week, while its client was only fined $28,000. The lawsuit was filed by the Roger Cleveland Golf Company, which makes golf clubs and related products, accusing Christopher Prince, the owner of the copycatclub [...]

Could The US Demand That Google Boost Hollywood Sites To Fight Online Piracy?

Should the US demand that Google, Bing and other search engines give preference to "authorized" sites offering television shows and movies? At least some members of the US House of Representatives pondered the idea yesterday, during a hearing on online piracy issues. The US House Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet Subcommittee hearings yesterday on online piracy and copyright, of which has a nice write-up. The entertainment industry has been lobbying heavily for more government intervention to protect their interests and these hearings would appear [...]

Little-Known Isohunt Case Attracts Google’s Interest

[caption id="attachment_65488" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image courtesy"][/caption] Why does search giant Google care about Isohunt, a search engine that few have ever heard of? That's the question raised in a Paid Content report. Turns out Google filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a civil case against Isohunt Web Technologies, a BitTorrent site, because it's concerned the court will set a precedent it doesn't like. The copyright infringement case -- brought by Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Tristar Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Films, U [...]

Google Removes Piracy-Related Terms From Instant Search

As it promised in early December, Google has begun to remove terms associated with piracy from producing search results in Google Instant Search, and from appearing in Google Suggest. That includes searches involving the word "torrent" as well as "BitTorrent," which is both the name of a company in San Francisco that produces torrent software, as well as the peer-to-peer sharing protocol itself. Google promised this was coming in a December 2, 2010 blog post that addressed several issues related to copyright protection. The company said it would remove terms like this from autocomplete: [...]

Viacom To Appeal YouTube Lawsuit Loss

As expected, Viacom is planning to appeal its loss in a long-running copyright case against YouTube/Google. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Viacom may file its appeal as soon as tomorrow (Friday). Viacom sued YouTube in early 2007, claiming copyright infringement because YouTube users had posted thousands of clips from Viacom-owned programs. The case reached its first "conclusion" when Google/YouTube won a summary judgment this past June -- the judge ruling that the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects Google from copyright claims over the activity of its users. A Goo [...]

Google Improves Copyright Protection

Anyone who has found that their content has been stolen (or scraped) online faces the decision of either letting it go (and using best practices that help Google rank things correctly) or dealing with the cumbersome task of filling out a DMCA  infringement notice. Those who are falsely accused of copyright violations have to deal with the equally cumbersome counter-notice process. Today, Google announced on their public policy blog that they'll be launching improved tools for both to make these processes easier and to better protect copyright online (beginning with Blogger and Web Search). T [...]

Google Makes Deal To Scan Some French Books

While a US court is still deciding the fate of the Google book scanning settlement, the company has announced a deal with the biggest publisher in France that gives Google the go-ahead to scan some French books. But the key word there is "some." As The New York Times reports, publishing company Hachette Livre will decide which out-of-print-but-still-under-copyright books Google will be allowed to scan and sell electronically. The Times says this is a non-exclusive deal, so Hachette will be able to make the same books available to others. Google and Hachette will share sales revenue, but no [...]

Google Creates “Source” Meta Tags To Help ID Original News Sources

With the amount of content published online seeming to expand dramatically every year, Google says it's experimenting with two new meta tags that it hopes will help it identify the original sources of online content. They're called syndication-source and original-source and here's a look at what they do and how publishers can use them. What Is Syndication-Source? Web sites that syndicate their content to others can use the syndication-source meta tag to give Google a signal that theirs is the one that should be included in Google News. In a perfect world, the tag will be used by both the [...]

German Court Finds YouTube Liable In Copyright Case

A German court has found YouTube liable for copyright damages after one of its users uploaded copyrighted music videos. A Google spokesperson tells the AP that it's evaluating the court's decision and will appeal. The case stems around a YouTube user who uploaded several videos of singer Sarah Brightman. While YouTube specifically warns users not to upload copyrighted material, the court's ruling says that isn't enough. From the AP article: The Hamburg state court said the standardized question to users about whether they have the necessary rights to publish material is not enough to rel [...]

Viacom Loses Google/YouTube Lawsuit

Google has won a "motion for summary judgment" in its bitterly fought lawsuit with Viacom over YouTube. This ruling effectively ends the case. Google has won, at least in this court. Viacom vows to appeal. Viacom had sued YouTube/Google for copyright infringement surrounding the posting of scores of clips of Viacom-owned programming (e.g., Jon Stewart) on YouTube. Viacom had sought damages for infringement that might have run more than a billion dollars. This is a major victory for Google, which can still be appealed by Viacom. Reportedly Viacom will appeal; however it's unlikely the com [...]

Google Lawsuit: Our Links Don’t Violate Copyright

Google is suing a small record company that previously sued Google over its links to copyrighted works hosted on Rapdishare. Google Inc. v. Blues Destiny Records, LLC was filed April 28 in a California district court. It's a potentially important issue at hand: As Billboard explains, Google is asking the court to declare that the links in its search results (to copyrighted material) don't constitute a copyright violation. Blues Destiny Records sued Google, Microsoft, and Rapidshare last year. The company said Google and Bing were helping Rapidshare distribute copyrighted works because t [...]

Photographers Group To Sue Google Over Book Deal

While Google waits for news about its proposed book search settlement with authors and publishers, it's about to face a new legal challenge. The Financial Times reports that the American Society of Media Photographers and related trade groups are expected to file a new, class action lawsuit over the images that appear in the books Google has been scanning. The Financial Times spoke with James McGuire, the attorney who's leading the ASMP's case, who said this: Google is scanning in books and publications with visual images, which impedes the rights of the copyright holders of those images [...]

Google Wins Legal Battle Over AdWords Trademark Issue In Europe

European luxury goods maker LVMH (Luis Vuitton) sued Google in France over its AdWords policy allowing third parties, including LVMH competitors, to bid on its trademarked terms as keywords. The case originally arose when marketers bid on "Louis Vuitton" and turned out to be selling counterfeit Louis Vuitton items. The company won in France's highest court, even as Google was liberalizing its AdWords policy in Europe to conform to the more permissive US policy that routinely allows such third party trademark-keyword bidding. (Trademarks cannot appear in competitors' ad copy however.) Google [...]

Google-Viacom Court Documents Out; Google Says Viacom ‘Secretly’ Uploaded Videos

The three-year-old lawsuit in which Viacom is seeking $1 billion from Google over copyrighted videos on YouTube moved a step forward today with the release of several court documents. The three documents unsealed today are: Viacom: Memorandum in support of motion for partial summary judgment (2.7mb PDF) Viacom: Statement of undisputed facts (5mb PDF) Google: Memorandum in support of motion for summary judgment (500k PDF) As a refresher, Viacom sued Google in March 2007 for "massive intentional copyright infringement," claiming that Google allowed thousands of Viacom videos to be po [...]

Waiting Game Begins On Google Book Search Settlement

The dust has settled from last week's Fairness Hearing on the proposed Google Book Search, and now all parties are playing a waiting game. Judge Denny Chin began the hearing by announcing -- to no one's surprise -- that he wouldn't be announcing a decision during or immediately after the hearing. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chin cited the "voluminous materials" submitted in the case and said he'll issue a written opinion later. "There's too much to digest," Chin said. In his coverage of the hearing, Gary Price notes that 21 of the 26 speakers during the hearing were against the se [...]

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