Copyright in the News

Posner: Sharing links isn’t copyright infringement

Posner’s opinion is a victory for technology. The judge, writing for a three-judge appellate panel that also included judges Joel Flaum and Diane Wood, vacated a preliminary injunction against the “social bookmarking” site myVidster, which permits users to access videos recommended (or “bookmarked”) by other users. Posner distinguished myVidster’s model — which essentially embeds code from the recommended video to facilitate access to the video from the content originator’s server — from that of old-school file-sharing sites such as Napster and Aimster. In file-sharing, users upload and download actual files. MyVidster, by contrast, merely creates a link to the original site, even though that link permits free access to protected material.

When does inspiration violate copyright?

This ethical dilemma of inspiration versus borrowing is especially compelling to me as a young design professional at ZGF Architects. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work on several projects at the conceptual stage. In these early phases in a project, there’s significant examination of what the concept of the building wants to be. Ideas are generated by copious amounts of hand sketching, computer drafting, and model building. Some concepts come all at once and some crystallize only after weeks of hard work. *** Is this copying work? No. One is simply applying the successful ideas of others to create an entirely new idea of his own.

Copyright bot boots NASA rover vid off YouTube • Another example of a broken system.

NASA’s video coverage and pics are actually generally copyright-free, which made the overzealous bot takedown even more ironic as it pulled the video from the space agency’s channel for infringing on the rights of Scripps Local News.The problem, which took a few hours to fix, was flagged by online magazine Motherboard, which spotted a message on the video declaring: “This video contains content from Scripps Local News, who has blocked it on copyright grounds”. Incredibly, this isn’t the first time that Scripps has taken down one of NASA’s videos, as it was also responsible for copyright takedown of the video of space shuttle Discovery’s trip on a Boeing 747 from Cape Canaveral.

About Timothy Powers O'Neill

Timothy O’Neill, an attorney with the firm of Cohen Norris practices in the areas of business litigation, real estate litigation, and intellectual property litigation. Timothy received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Evansville and graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in 1997. Following law school, Timothy clerked for two years in the State of Florida's Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in Palm Beach County, and served as a law clerk in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Timothy serves as an executive board member of the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, a non-profit entity dedicated to preserving Florida’s wildlife through rehabilitation and education. Timothy is admitted to practice before all of the state courts of Florida as well as: The Supreme Court of the United States; United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit; United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; United States District Court, Southern District of Florida; United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, United States District Court of Colorado, and is a member of the Palm Beach County, Florida, and Federal Bar Associations.

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