Month: April 2011

Europe ponders browser blocks on pirates

While U.S. officials have been seizing domain names to battle online piracy, other countries have come up with other ideas, such as blocking sites through a website’s domain name system, a notion that has gained some impetus with hints in Europe  that “malware filtering in web browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome would do the dirty work,” the tech news blog Torrent Freak reports. It says that British and Danish officials, pondering the browser-blocking approach, have found it, too, has considerable obstacles, including who would have the authority to blacklist what sites. But this method would have its advantages, too, over the U.S. approach in seizing domain names and taking extensive legal actions against sites such as Napster, BitTorrent and LimeWire, all of which were accused of copyright infringement. Problems with the American way, especially in dealing with off-shore players include, as TorrentFreak has pointed out in numerous postings: U.S. legal actions can be time consuming and controversial; violators skip to new domains when U.S. authorities seize one; and foreign authorities may not see some operators as pirates under their laws. But John Morton, the head of ICE, one of the U.S. agencies involved in the domain seizures, recently has reaffirmed the American commitment to this approach, testifying recently that it will continue — perhaps for years. He also defended the legality of the approach, seeking to answer critics’...

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Sides square off at symposium on college sports

There was plenty of blocking, tackling, whistle-blowing, foul calling, arguments and more this weekend at Southwestern Law School.  And, no, the 100-year-old institution didn’t suddenly put together on-campus athletics. It did host the Collegiate Sports Law Symposium, at which there were at least four heated conversations on the business of amateur sports as it occurs today.  Prominent experts served as panelists and visitors from all over, well, they all were ready to engage in hot debates on public perceptions of collegiate athletes, athletics and the legal issues that affect them — from preps to pros — and the complications...

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‘Oh Really?’ Hints of new law in ‘Inception’

In ‘Oh, Really?’ the Biederman Blog’s editors — voracious consumers of all matters pop culture — cast a curious, skeptical, fun and smart end-of-the-week eye on popular productions, sharing their keen observations about legal matters these raise. While complex interactions with the human brain such as those seen in the four-Oscar Award winning movie Inception are still far from scientific capability, the development of brain-computer interfaceshave become less science fiction and closer to reality. What potential legal issues could arise from interacting with the human brain on such a rich level, inputting and outputting from the deepest repositories of the brain? In Inception, Cobb (played by Leonard DiCaprio) can enter the dreaming mind of another person to steal his secrets. Are we capable of seeing what a brain is dreaming? Matthew Wilson at MIT used implants in a rat’s brain to see how neurons fire, revealing patterns as the rat is moving through the maze. Using the implant and an attached computer, Wilson recorded particular patterns corresponding to specific parts of the maze as the mouse ran the maze. Then Wilson recorded nearly identical patterns while the rat was sleeping. Apparently, the rat was dreaming about running the maze. This is a far cry from the what we saw in Inception. However, this relatively low resolution interface to the rat’s brain is likely just a preview of the interfaces...

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UK: Digital music player ad invites piracy

According to the 1709 Blog’s coverage of the United Kingdom Advertising Standards Authority’s recent ruling on the Brennan JB7 CD player, the ASA exercised its power on a topic normally reserved for the courtroom: copyright. The Brennan JB7 is a CD player with a hard drive that allows the user to rip music from a CD, record, or cassette to the hard drive. The issue was whether the advertisement encouraged users to break the law by illegally copying music. The manufacturer, 3GA Ltd., argued that the unit is similar to other types of electronics that allow users to transfer media from one form to another and that users would use this device as a regular music player. The ASA found that the text of the advertisement did encourage users to copy music illegally because the wording of the advertisement did not state that copying music without permission from the copyright owner is illegal. The punishment? The ASA “told” 3GA to change the wording of the ad to prominently explain to users that they must not break the law by unlawfully copying music. Link to...

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Ruling puts the big squeeze on LimeWire

In a victory for the Recording Industry Association of America and artists, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood has ruled in New York that LimeWire LLC and its CEO were liable for inducing the infringement of more than 10,000 sound recordings, declaring those materials were owned by major labels including UMG Recordings Inc. and Sony Music Entertainment Inc. DigiDayDaily reports that LimeWire is the largest remaining commercial P2P service and has not followed other such enterprises that negotiated licenses or discontinued their service after the Supreme Court decision in MGM v. Grokster. In Grokster, the high court ruled in 2005 that providers of software designed to enable “file-sharing” of copyrighted works may be held liable for the infringement occurring due to its use. The justices held that “one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties.” According to, the record industry trade group and the 13 record companies suing LimeWire for copyright infringement demanded damages ranging from $400 billion to $75 trillion, claiming that Section 504(c)(1) of the Copyright Act allows them to request damages for each instance of infringement where two or more parties were liable; the trade group. in other words, argued for damages not only for the individual...

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Entertainment Law Blogs

The Biederman Blog is now ranked NUMBER ONE on Feedspot's Top 20 Entertainment Law blogs (May 2018). It is very exciting to top this list. We are extra proud of number six - Entertainment Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark. Mr. Firemark graduated from Southwestern in 1992, and is a top entertainment blogger and webinar presenter in addition to being a world class entertainment attorney!

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