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First off today, Todd Spangler at Variety reports that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that sharing passwords without permission is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and can, technically at least, be considered a federal crime.
The case centers around David Nosal, a former employee of the Korn/Ferry executive recruitment company. Nosal had left the firm but, by using another person’s password at the company, was able to gain access to their systems and download critical data. The Ninth Circuit, by a margin of 2-1, upheld a conviction of Nosal on the grounds it violated the CFAA.
However, as the dissenting judge noted, the ruling could have serious impacts for users who share passwords for services such as HBO Go and Netflix. Under the ruling, any sharing of passwords without the administrator’s permission is a possible crime. However, both Netflix and HBO Go have released statements saying that they have no interest in prosecuting the behavior at this time.
Next up today, Catherine Stupp at EurActiv report that two groups representing the film and music industries have written European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to ask him to help crack down on companies that they say are unfairly exploiting artists.
One organization is asking Juncker to propose legislation that would require YouTube to pay creators more when their work appears on the site. They go on to say that YouTube’s ContentID system, which attempts to proactively flag and remove infringing work, doesn’t work at all because it is limited in the types of content it can detect.
The other group is asking for artists to receive royalties from online services such as Spotify and Netflix when there work is used. They say the royalties would be similar to the ones that are paid by radio stations and would be important because most artists can’t negotiate royalties for themselves.
Finally today, the Associated Press reports that Glen Craig, a New York photographer, has filed a lawsuit against the B.B. King estate and Universal Music Group over their use of his photos King’s albums for over 40 years.
According to Craig, his photos have been used on B.B. King albums since 1971 and cites some 40 examples of what he claims is unauthorized use of his work. Several of the photos were published on albums in the past year.
Craig is asking for a jury trial and neither Universal nor the estate responded to the lawsuit.
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.