copyright Stories November 19, 2015

YouTube on a smartphone: the company is accused of playing Goliath to small indie music labels.

Many YouTube videos include short clips of copyrighted material for the purposes of commentary or parody, uses that are protected by copyright law. However, most users would be intimidated by legal threats and so back down when faced by a takedown notice.

Google has today said that it will be fighting to protect the fair use principle by offering “legal support” to a handful of videos that it believes represent good examples of legitimate use. For these videos, Google will refuse takedown notices, keeping the videos live on the service, and will meet all the legal costs of defending any court action …  expand full story

copyright Stories July 8, 2015

Unlimited All Access Music-Google Play-sale-01

Reports online indicate that Google’s Play Music app isn’t playing nice with downloaded/stored music. Specifically, music stored or cached on a Micro SD card is vanishing or being wiped from memory every time a phone is rebooted, or the memory card is removed and reinserted …  expand full story

copyright Stories May 27, 2015

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The long-running dispute between Oracle and Google over whether Java application programming interfaces (APIs) used within Android were protected by copyright has taken another strange turn, with the Justice Dept urging the Supreme Court not to hear Google’s appeal.

The legal battle is over whether small sections of code originally written by Oracle’s predecessor, Sun Microsystems, can be used under the ‘fair use’ exemption to copyright laws. Google argues that it used only small code snippits, did so mostly for consistency and offered to pay royalties; Oracle argues that the code is its intellectual property, and the royalties offered were too low …  expand full story

copyright Stories December 10, 2014

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Google announced on Wednesday (via Search Marketing Land) that it will soon shut down Google News in Spain because of a recently passed copyright law in the country that will prove too costly for the service to continue running. The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2015, would require Google to pay licensing revenues to Spanish publishers if their content, including headlines, is included in Google News. expand full story

copyright Stories December 8, 2014

YouTube Audio Library

When a content creator uploads a video to YouTube with music, an automated system called Content ID automatically matches the clip against an extensive database to see if the audio is permitted or infringes copyright. Yet, until now, it was impossible for a YouTube creator to know whether a specific track was allowed or not until after uploading a video. expand full story

copyright Stories December 5, 2014

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TorrentFreak is reporting that Google has removed several Pirate Bay apps from the Play Store today after strong pressure from copyright holders. Google sent an email to a handful of developers, informing them that their apps were being removed from the Play Store. The email explains why the apps were removed, citing violation of the intellectual property portion of the Google Play Store Content Policy.

“REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior provisions of the Content Policy. Please refer to the IP infringement and impersonation policy help article for more information.”

The apps removed include The Pirate Bay Proxy, The Pirate Bay Premium, The Pirate Bay Mirror, and PirateApp…

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copyright Stories May 9, 2014

android-java

A seemingly drastic turn of events in the appeals court has reversed the ruling on some elements of the Google-Oracle trial.

The ruling enables Oracle to claim copyright ownership over some parts of Java. The crux of the trial was whether API names and constructs could be owned. The initial decision said that it couldn’t, giving Google a landslide victory. However, the appeal court papers now say the exact opposite:

For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organiza- tion of the 37 Java API packages are entitled to copyright protection. Because there is an insufficient record as to the relevant fair use factors, we remand for further proceedings on Google’s fair use defense.

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copyright Stories March 18, 2014

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In a legal fight which has stretched over seven years, Google seems to have finally resolved their issues with Viacom over copyright violations of videos uploaded to YouTube. Information on the details of the settlement have not been publicly released.

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Re/code received this rather bland statement from the two companies.

Google and Viacom today jointly announced the resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation. This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.

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copyright Stories January 14, 2014

Need some images? Now you can keep it legal, with Google Images usage rights filter

There’s a commonly-held myth that any image found in Google images is fair game for anyone who wants to use it. In reality, most images are copyrighted by default and usage generally requires permission – especially for commercial use.

Google’s Matt Cutts has tweeted that you can now filter images by usage rights. If you want to find images you can use commercially, for example, just do your search, click Search Tools and then select ‘labelled for commercial use’ from the pull-down.

It’s not immediately apparent how Google identifies the permissions associated with an image. We’ve reached out to Google and will update when we have a response.

copyright Stories August 10, 2012

Google experienced more copyright removal notices for URLs in the last month than it did for all of 2009.

The search engine processed more than 4.3 million URL removal requests in the last 30 days, and it plans to redirect this data as a signal for search rankings. The bevy of infringing Web content spurred Google to take into account valid copyright removal notices for websites to verify its search algorithms yield the highest quality results.

Google elaborated on its Inside Search blog

  • Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed fromSpotify.

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copyright Stories April 20, 2012

German court orders YouTube to filter uploaded content

YouTube must implement filters to stop Germany-based users from uploading videos that contain content held by music-royalty collector GEMA.

GEMA represents over 60,000 German artists. The organization sued Google’s video-sharing platform over 12 temporarily uploaded music videos that failed to pay a licensing fee for their content, but YouTube claimed it holds no legal responsibility. Hamburg’s state court found YouTube not in violation of copyrights on Friday, but said the service bears responsibility for the uploaded content.

The Washington Post explained:

YouTube currently offers copyright holders software that allows them to identify recordings for which they hold copyright, enabling them to flag the content as infringing their rights. The Hamburg court ruled that once an alleged violation is flagged YouTube must now apply the software to the recording to prevent further copyright infringements. The court also told YouTube to install a new program that filters uploaded videos for possible copyright infringements according to key words — such as musicians’ names and song titles — to catch versions of a song that only sound somewhat different, such as live recordings.

It is currently unknown if the ruling will be appealed.

copyright Stories March 28, 2012

Stemming from a lawsuit in 2010 where Oracle claimed Google was infringing on its Java-related patents with Android, a court document today reveals Oracle rejected Google’s offer to pay a percentage of Android revenue if the alleged patent infringement is proven in court. Reuters reported:

Google proposed to pay Oracle a percentage of Android revenue if Oracle could prove patent infringement of the mobile operating technology at an upcoming trial, but Oracle rebuffed the offer as too low, according to a court filing late on Tuesday.

As for Google’s offer, Reuters said the company would give approximately $2.8 million in damages to cover 2011, and a future 0.5-percent royalty of Android revenue for one patent that will expire in December. A second patent included in the case would provide Oracle with an additional 0.015-percent until it expires in April 2018. According to the court document, Oracle is holding out for a possible injunction:

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