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Opinion: EFF refutes arguments for online piracy legislation

The Electronic Freedom Foundation takes on what it says are distortions of the positions taken by those opposing the online piracy legislation recently introduced in both houses of Congress. While acknowledging that the tech industry recognizes the importance of copyright as it applies to the Internet, writes Trevor Timm for EFF, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act already allows copyright holders to direct websites to remove copyrighted content. The new legislation overreaches, says Timm, adversely affecting

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Opinion: Life after Righthaven shows promise

Commentators for the Electronic Freedom Foundation, Rainey Reitman and Kurt Opsahl, write that in the ashes of Righthaven’s attempt to capitalize on copyright infringement of newspaper articles, there is hope for a new world of free expression. The commentators commend Digital First Media for its advocacy of open sharing of content. -db From the Electronic Freedom Foundation, September 12, 2011, by Rainey Reitman and Kurt Opsahl. Full story

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FTC discussion paper provokes debate on future of journalism

The Federal Trade commission has published a staff report with proposals to save print journalism, prompting widespread commentary. Hearings on the problem began June 15. -db Citizen Media Law Project Commentary June 14, 2010 By Eric P. Robinson The Federal Trade Commission—which last year created guidelines to impose ethical standards on bloggers—is now taking on the ambitious task of saving the print media in the Internet era. In preparation for the final in a series

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Federal court voids injunction on ‘Catcher in the Rye’ sequel

A federal appeals court vacated a lower court’s injunction on the publication of a sequel to “Catcher in the Rye” without ruling on the issue of whether the injunction constituted unlawful prior restraint on speech. -db The New York Times April 30, 2010 By Dave Itzkoff A United States appeals court on Friday vacated a lower court’s order to enjoin the publication of a novel described as a sequel to J. D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye.”

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Hallmark wants rehearing in First Amendment case against Paris Hilton

After losing a federal court appeal ruling on August 31, Hallmark Cards is asking for a rehearing with the full court concerning a dispute with Paris Hilton over a birthday card bearing an image of Hilton’s head. -DB The National Law Journal September 23, 2009 By Amanda Bronstad Hallmark Cards Inc. has asked the full “Court of Appeals for the Hollywood Circuit” to reconsider a ruling that pits the greeting card company’s First Amendment rights

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Opnion: The Stop Online Piracy Act would would adversely affect journalists

If passed in its present form, the Stop Online Piracy Act would subject articles to censorship in blocking articles from appearing on sites accused of piracy, writes Jessica Ray for 10,000 Words. Even if one site contained content deemed illegal, the entire site could be blocked. Internet innovation and creativity would also take a hit. -db From a commentary in 10,000 Words, November 16, 2011, by Jessica Roy. Full story  

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Online piracy legislation stalls in Congress

It now appears now that Congressional bills to protect copyright on the Internet will be embroiled in a long, intense struggle even as President Barack Obama declared his opposition to key elements of the bills. The technology industry opposes the bills out of concern that they will stifle free speech and innovation. -db From The New York Times, January 15, 2012, by Jenna Wortham and Somini Sengupta with contribution from Nick Bilton. Full story  

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Creditor moves to seize Righthaven assets

A man awarded legal fees for defending himself against a Righthaven copyright lawsuit asked a judge to authorize  U.S. Marshalls to seize Righthaven’s bank accounts, property and other assets. Righthaven missed the deadline to pay the $34,000 in fees. Righthaven CEO Steve Gibson said his firm would be vindicated for suing the man who had published an editorial verbatim on the website to prompt discussion of public employee pensions. -db From Wired, September 19, 2011,

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Google’s new Public Data Explorer raises questions about access to public records

With new search avenues,  journalists will have greater ability to search public records, but some public agencies across the country claim ownership rights to the records and are reluctant to make records available and even one state, Oklahoma, has raised millions in revenue from selling data. -db Citizen Media Law Project Analysis April 28, 2010 By Helen Fu In March, Google launched its Public Data Explorer, expanding upon its public data search feature that’s been

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Federal court finds online newspaper excerpts fair use

A Nevada federal district court declared that an online forum is not liable for user posts and that the practice of excerpting a few sentences and linking to articles elsewhere is fair use and not copyright violation. The court’s judgment came in one of the cases appealed by Righthaven who had brought a number of nuisance lawsuits to contest trivial uses of newspaper content, writes Kurt Opsahl for the Electronic Freedom Foundation. -db From a

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Righthaven plans to stop suing for excerpts from news articles

Righthaven, the company of lawyers that sues blogs and websites for posting articles from client newspapers, has announced it would no longer sue when the posting constitutes an excerpt. -db Wired November 18, 2010 By David Kravets Copyright troll Righthaven this week promised to narrow its lawsuit campaign in the face of a courtroom defeat, when a judge ruled that a real estate website made “fair use” of a newspaper article from the Las Vegas-Review

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New laws proposed to save newspaper industry

In the face of the shrinking revenues for print journalism, some are suggesting new laws, including ones that would restrict linking and that would create a federal law enshrining the “hot news” doctrine. -DB MediaShift July 21, 2009 By Jeffrey D. Neuburger As newsroom staffs continue to shrink and newspapers go out of business at an alarming rate, the difficulty newspapers have experienced in gaining economic traction online has been blamed on blogs and websites

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PBS’s MediaShift lists eleven top stories in media law for 2011

MediaShift’s top media law stories for 2011 include journalists’ coverage of Occupy movements; the proposed online piracy legislation; net neutrality; coverage of live police actions; Righthaven and the “hot news” doctrine. -db From a commentary in MediaShift, December 23, 2011, by Rob Arcamona, Jeff Hermes and Andy Sellars. Full story

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