Thursday, August 30, 2007

Copyrights or CopyWRONGS?

So the guys that have unlocked the iPhone have (as expected) received a "friendly" call from O'Melveny & Myers LLP, an international law firm representing AT&T - giving them some "friendly advice" about the fact that their software contained copyrighted Apple property.

Funny, since they don't even have a copy of it - how can they know what it contains.

Also interesting is that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has an explicit exception for individuals who unlock cell phones for personal use. In fact, the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress even issued a statement to that effect last year. However, the US District court in Orlando found that the DMCA exception did not apply to folks unlocking a phone and then making a buck off it.

So, this could go either way. It could be argued that the software - if given away for free - would be tool that could enable people to lawfully unlock their phones for personal use.

It's going to be interesting to watch where this one comes down.

On another "too scary to be true but it is" note - Christopher Knight apparently had a run-in with the copyright nazis at YouTube. They pulled a clip that he posted showing a clip from VHS's "Web Junk 2.0". That's nothing new - YouTube pulls thousands of clips a day at the request of various companies - including Viacom that owns the show.

Here's the rub: the clip on the show was a video that VIACOM SNATCHED off of YouTube. It happened to be Christopher Knight's clip! Not kidding. It seems that Viacom downloaded the YouTube video created by Mr. Knight (of course without notice or permission) and then used it on their for-profit show, and then they had the balls to bitch at YouTube that Mr. Knight was violating THEIR copyright.

Um, yeah. Gotta' love the selfish bastards running American Entertainment companies!

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