The Daily Mail receives a letter from a lawyer

November 14th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

This (.pdf) is one of the most pleasant things I’ve read in a long time…

Florida based celebrity photo agency Mavrix have filed suit against the British newspaper for multiple copyright infringements, and are seeking statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement. With up to 10 images involved the total sought comes to $1.5m plus attorney’s fees and “any such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and appropriate”.

In court documents Mavrix accuse the Mail of “a pattern and practice of intellectual property piracy”:

“One of the Daily Mail employees who Mavrix interacted in the past regarding Mavrix images was Elliot Wagland, the Daily Mail Online Picture Editor. Defendants with Mr. Wagland’s assistance have a history of copyright piracy conduct. Indeed, the pattern and practice of Defendants is to ignore the demand of photo agencies or photographers to agree to rates before use and to simply take the pictures and use them without compensation or to then offer token compensation.”

h/t @waxnip

Daily Mail coughs up

September 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I recently posted about the Daily Mail infringing copyright whilst crying about someone infringing theirs.

So, I suppose I had better post about the conclusion too. Here’s a post from the blog of the Open Rights Group

We’ve just received a cheque for £1,000 from the Daily Mail’s publishers, after they admitted publishing photos from Alice in Wonderland blog without permission. The photos featured ultra-skinny mannequins. The Daily Mail had asked Alice for permission, but refused her £250 fee (given to a charity of her choice).

“I don’t like the Daily Mail, and didn’t want to give them commercial use of my pictures for free.” she explains.

But they published anyway. Alice wasn’t best pleased at this blatant commercial abuse of her copyright, and demanded they donate a grand to the copyfighters at ORG, alongside MIND. After some excuses, they relented, and today we received their cheque. You can read thefull story on Alice’s blog here.

A massive thank you to Alice for her heroics and the very generous donation!

via DickMandrake

Daily Mail owns up and still lies

August 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

The Daily Mail got caught using photographs without permission. Well, they’ve owned up to their ‘mistake’…

Speaking to Amateur Photographer (AP) magazine last night, a spokesman for Mail Online said: ‘The pictures were published in error due to a breakdown in internal communications.

‘We regret the error and have now settled the matter amicably with the photographer.’

What? It happens, even in such slick operations as the Mail.

But reverting to type, the statement is still full of shit…

However, Taylor says she has not yet settled with Mail Online ‘amicably’, though she hopes to.

via @LouiseMensch

Daily Mail: fuck copyright unless it’s our stuff

August 17th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Just as the Daily Mail is taking down istyosty.com for copyright infringement, up pops another story involving the Daily Mail and copyright infringement. This time, the boot is on the other foot…

A few days ago, I snapped a picture in The GAP on Oxford Street: their ALWAYS SKINNY mannequins’ legs are not only always skinny, but anorexically/starved so.

I tweeted it, and TwitPic’d one picture. Then Cory BoingBoing’ed it. Then the WashPo emailed, asking permission to reprint, and asked for a quote or two. I said yes. I sent them a further pic, too.

Then the Daily Mail got in touch. Could we use the photos, they said. I said, yes, if you donate £250 – a standard photo fee in my book, certainly less than what Getty charges, say – to a charity of my choice. I don’t like the Daily Mail, and didn’t want to give them commercial use of my pictures for free.

The Mail said £250 was not within their budget and so wouldn’t be using the photo. I bet you can’t guess what happened next.

Go read the rest of the post and marvel at the hypocrasy of Paul Dacres’ henchmen.

(Thanks to George in my previous post reminding me about this)

Daily Mail takes down istyosty.com

August 16th, 2011 § 5 comments § permalink

The Daily Mail has sent a letter to istyosty.com shutting it down.

I’ve written about istyosty several times and if you’re not a regular reader this post explains what it’s all about.

Anyway, as of now istyosty is no longer cacheing the Mail, the Sun or the Express. If istyosty hadn’t of complied, the Mail would’ve chased for £150,000 per cached article plus legal expenses. They didn’t like the bit on istyostys’ ‘about’ page that detailed how it reduced hits and consequently ad revenue. Just as predicted, the Mails wallet is its’ soft spot.

The Mail also are under the impression that Istyosty is making money off the back of it…

Your deliberate attempt to interfere with Associated o’hits” Newspapers’ ability to get valuable to its website, through the willful infringement of our clientls copyrights, are irreparably damaging to Associated News. Under the law, Associated News is entitled not only to injunctive relief against you, but also is entitled to receive awards of damages, recovery of your ill-gotten profits, and to recover the attorneys’ fees and costs it incurs as a result of your violations of law.
Statutory damages alone may be awarded in the amount of $ 150,000 per work infringed under the U.S. Copyright Act,17 USC $101, et seq.

Istyosty did not use the Mails identifying features, logos etc to advertise itself, the only time they appeared was when a cached page was brought up.

As you can see from this cache of Istyostys’ frontpage, there are no adverts. As Istyostys’ cache process stripped the adverts from the Mails pages there were no adverts on those pages either. No adverts, no income generated.

Anyway, as usual, Istyosty doesn’t have the resources to contest this latest threat from the Mail and so has to close.

A good tool for media watchers, and one that the Mail obviously felt it had to take seriously.

It was good while it lasted. Thank you Istyosty.

The take down notice can be seen here (.pdf), or I have a copy here.

DVDs: Grrr (a rant)

December 31st, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

Rant time.

Right, film studios, distribution houses, or whoever the fuck puts DVDs together. Sort it fucking out, you cunts.

When I put a DVD in the machine I do not want to have to sit through upto quarter of and hour of shit just to get to the fucking film. I’ve bought the film, paid good fucking money for it, supported your overblown, whiney fucking company instead of those terrorist supporting, drug dealing, baby-eating pirates so LET ME SEE THE FUCKING FILM.

OK, you got the splash screen of Universals’ Earth, Disneys’ Cinderella castle or Paramounts mountain and (flying?) horse, which I’ll let you have, but then you get a fuck load of notices, which I can’t skip. What the fuck is wrong with you fuckers?

  1. The Copyright Notice

    I know it’s illegal to copy the fucking thing. I know it’s A Bad Thing to share the chuffing film over the internet. I FUCKING KNOW. I don’t need to be told everyfucking time I play the fucking movie. if I was going to do any of those things, is displaying a fucking notice really going to change my mind? No it’s not,so Fuck. Right. Off.
  2. The Anti-Piracy Promo Vid
    The same goes for this ‘funky’, ‘edgie’, ‘down-with-the-kids’ video that is supposed to make you realise that pirated DVDs pay the IRA or Al-Quada or make drug dealers money so they can buy drugs to sell to your children. Well, it too can fuck the fuck off. It’s camera work induced motion sickeness, the music might be ok of it was longer and had the chance to actuall be a porper tune, and your bolloxed of your face on ketamine, and tells people who already know you (usually) get shit quality films from pirated stuff that you (usually) get shit quality films on pirated stuff.
  3. The Commentary Disclaimer
    What the cunting fuck is the point of that Commentary Disclaimer? Whatever the director/actors/teaboy say on the disc is obviously not the film companies official line, otherwise they would have an Official Spokesman on there saying it. There is not going to be anything contentious in their commentary because the film companies lawyers have ok’d it before the DVD was released. If it must be there, LET ME FUCKING SKIP IT, you fuckers.
  4. Movie Trailers
    What is the point in putting trailer fo other films on a DVD? the only films that get put on there are either other high profile movies that i) I already know about and are going to buy or ignore the existence of or ii) unheard-of shit films that the film house need to shift more copies of that. I buy a DVD to wathc the main feature over and over again over the years. Five years down the line I still don’t want to be told that a shit film is great and I should buy, when after five years it will still be a shit film and I probably couldn’t buy it even if I did want to. At least the trailers are usually skippable but sometimes, and I’m looking at you Thomas and the Magic Railway, they’re not and it is a fucking ballache having to press a button on the remote an extra six or seven times to get past them.
  5. Animated Menus
    Yeah, yeah. Very nice. They were a thing of wonder when DVDs first appeared. ‘Ooh, look at that. You don’t get that with VHS.’ No, you didn’t. Unless you pressed pause/stop the video player just got the fuck on with it. I see the need for a menu, what with all the options like subtitles, but when I select an option just fucking do it. Don’t fuck about with swirling graphics and morphing. Get. On. With. It.
  6. A special mention for Disney Fast-Play
    Disney Fast-Play: Fuck. Off. Go on, get the fuck out. Disney Fast-Play is a big fucking lie. What do you think should happen when the Fast-Play feature appears? You get the choice of Main Menu or Fast play. Main Menu takes you where you expect, but the words ‘Fast-play’ must mean that the film will start even quicker. Yahoo! Excellent idea Disney. Cut the shit and get to the film. But no. Fast-Play does exactly the opposite. It plays tall the fucking adverts and trailers and then I don’t know because I don’t sit through the fucking thing.
    So even if you don’t get fooled into watching the trailers, it still takes longer to get to the fucking main menu than non-Disney DVDs because there is and extra menu in the fucking way. Well done Disney. I hope you’re fucking proud of yourself.

I feel better for that. Happy New Year, dear reader.

Pirates of the er, Vatican?

December 12th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

I just noticed this from the Wikileaks cables in the Guardian about the Vatican

…only one senior papal advisor uses a Blackberry, one cable states the “technophobia” in the hierarchy has prompted numerous gaffes and PR mishaps, followed by attempts to protect the pope from bad news.

Which means there are at least twice as many pirates in the Vatican as Blackberry users…

…the most unexpected location [for pirated Avast! Pro anti-virus software] is for the two computers located within the Vatican.

[avast link via @gcluley]

Politico vs Tory-Politico

February 4th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

Tory Politico has received a Nasty-O-Gram from an organisation calling themselves Politico

(click to enlarge)

The letter then goes on to explain how people are going to get confused between an American “media company covering national politics and Washington governance” and a British blogger that talks about British politics from a Conservative angle.

Oh, they also want Tory Politicos’ domain name.

First of all, who the fuck uses Alexia to gauge a website? No fucker I’ve heard of.
Secondly, 57.3% of TPs’ visitors are from the UK, according to Alexia. So, the vast majority then, and even more so for visitors of TPs’ site that get routed through a foreign country for some reason, like AOL. As TP points out…

While I can understand why they are saying only 57% of visitors are from the UK this is a wholly false claim. According to Google Analytics, which has been tracking traffic since the site launched, 85% of readers are from the UK with only 5% coming from within the United States.

Thirdly, what sort of fucking lawyer uses the word ‘presumably’? This smells like a fishing expedition to me.
Fourthly, the word ‘politico‘ is a word that is in common usage, as opposed to a word made up especially for a product or brand, and so is not copyrightable.

This isn’t the first time Politicos’ lawyers have surprised someone

The College Politico has received a cease-and-desist letter from lawyers for Politico, demanding that he stop using the word “Politico” in his name — and that he give them control of his domain.

It doesn’t look like Politico have won that one (yet) as The College Politico is still going.

But there’s more. And it’s quite shitty too…

Dear Reader:

Faced with a trademark legal challenge and protracted litigation by the publishers of the newspaper and website ¨Politico,¨we have reluctantly chosen to change the name of our publication, from“La Política” to “CandidatoUSA.”

Politico won that one. The letter continues with how it happened…

The publishers of Politico – launched in January by Washington D.C.-based Allbritton Communications, also owners of seven ABC television affiliates and three other news channel outlets – claim La Politica infringes on their trademark.

The name change odyssey began,without our knowledge, on July 11when Jim VanderHei, Politico’s co-founder and editor, called me.

He had heard of our plans to launch La Política and wanted to know more. I gave him details of
our preparations to launch an electronic trade newsletter on the business of reaching Hispanic voters.

At his suggestion, we agreed to talk again after the launch of La Política on November 5 to explore avenues of collaboration between Politico and our publication.

It sounds promising for La Politica. Not even launched yet and already someone backed by a big news company is interested in working with them.

We did launch on November 5. But next day, instead of a call from VanderHei, we received a two-page aggressive and threatening letter from Politico’s attorney demanding that we “cease and desist” from the use of the La Política name because they hold a registered trade mark in the term “The Politico.”

This is Jim VandeHei. I would post a picture of him but, well, given his history…

The chap behind La Politica wrote to Jim and even offered to go to Washington to talk about how they might resolve this nicely, but no. That didn’t work.
Anyway, because of the money behind Politico, La Politica capitulated and La Politica now points to Politico.com.

I have no idea how this is going to play out, whether TP being British based is going to work in his favour or he will just end up being extradited, or if Politico are gonna leave it and are just trying their luck, but what ever happens, I wish you the best of luck with it, Tory Politico.

[title removed due to possible copyright infringement]

January 21st, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

A Belgian couple are sueing some magazines for infringing copyright on a photo of themselves. Only not all of the magazines they are suing published the photo some only mentioned it.
Tech Dirt

‘a mere reference to an image should be considered a reproduction of the image’!”

WTF?

via 21st Century Fix

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