A copyright fight is brewing in Europe this week as the deadline after which two key WWII-era texts will fall within the public domain steadily approaches. In Europe, a book becomes public domain 70 years after the author’s death, on the first day of January. This Friday, January 1st, both Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl and Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf will enter the public domain.
As every website has been attempting to inform you since 2012, copy-pasting several paragraphs of dense legal voodoo onto your Facebook wall does not somehow exempt you from the terms of service that bind all Facebook users. If Facebook decides it wants to start using your content in some way you don’t like, your legal options include: don’t put that content on Facebook. Or: stop using Facebook altogether. If you won’t believe us, please believe John Oliver.
The annual ritual of everyone you know sharing a meaningless copyright disclaimer on Facebook has begun again. And, just in case you didn’t get the message the first half-dozen times this has happened, you can’t opt yourself out of Facebook’s terms of service or change what they’re allowed to do with your content by copy-pasting some pseudo-legal boilerplate into your timeline.
David Slater, the British nature photographer whose camera equipment was stolen by a selfie-mad macaque in 2011, has made repeated attempts to remove the famous photos that resulted from Wikimedia Commons, a database of royalty-free media from the organization behind Wikipedia. Wikimedia refused, claiming that Slater does not own the images' copyright.
The clock is running down for Kim Dotcom, the Megaupload founder whose riches and eccentricities make him a kind of hacker Howard Hughes. In a last-ditch effort to avoid extradition from New Zealand to the United States for trial, Dotcom's offering $5 million to anyone who can prove corruption in his case.
The lawsuit over the song of the summer just got a little hotter: Marvin Gaye's family reportedly turned down a six-figure settlement and have decided to continue with a planned lawsuit, believing that a court will find that "Blurred Lines" is a blatant ripoff of Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" (it kind of is).
Television host Philip "Dr. Phil" McGraw's Peteski Productions filed a copyright-infringement suit yesterday against Gawker Media. Peteski accuses Deadspin of having harmed the ratings of two episodes of the Dr. Phil program by posting video clips from the show—in which McGraw interviewed Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the confessed perpetrator of the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax—online.