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First off today, Jeff John Roberts at GigaOm reports that an advertisement by CBS raised copyright, publicity and other questions.
CBS, seeking to promote its new film Inside Llewyn Davis, took out a full page ad in the New York Times but most of the ad what white, save for a single tweet from from the Times’ movie critic, A.O. Scott.
The tweet was used without Scott’s permission, having declined it before the ad ran, and a debate was sparked about whether the tweet use violated Scott’s copyright, right to publicity or Twitter’s terms of service. However, most legal scholars believe that the use was legal, similar to the long-running practice of studios quoting movie critics, and, even though the tweet was shortened, it didn’t take anything out of context to raise a libel issue.
Despite this, Twitter does have a policy against the use of tweets in advertisements and the Times advertising department has said that, if they were aware of Scott’s objections, they would not have run the ad.
Next up today, Jodie Fleisher at WSBTV in Atlanta reports that State Senator Barry Loudermilk, through a non-profit he is the head of, has claimed copyright in a video that was paid for by the Georgia Department of Education.
The Department paid some $10,000 to the production o a video entitled “It’s My Constitution”, which featured Loudermilk and his three children talking about the importance of the Constitution. However, at the end of the credits, the copyright of the film is attributed to “Firm Reliance”, a non-profit organization registered to Loudermilk.
Loudermilk has said that he is not charging anyone to view the film and is only claiming the copyright to prevent commercialization of it. Loudermilk also says that he was not paid for his time on the project and that his non-profit is solely for teaching the Constitution. Further, according to a representative for the Department of Education, a representative said that there was a mutual agreement that they could both use the video and to license it through the aforementioned non-profit to protect it.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Ubuntu, the most popular Linux desktop distribution is planning on adding torrent search to its desktop search feature in its Unity Desktop and will have the feature enabled by default.
The current prototype uses The Pirate Bay as the backend but, as a condition of Ubuntu’s use in schools, it has to have license filtering. However, according to an Ubuntu representative, that filtering is at an early state and it can be disabled if the user wishes to.
Ubuntu does say that they chose to use The Pirate Bay because it was easy to implement and to filter adult content. However, other torrent search engines may be used in its place if they can “Give access to Free Culture and will be available wherever they are not blocked.”
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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