3 Count: API Debate

A contradiction in terms... of service.

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1: Instagram Just Threw Users of its Embedding API Under the Bus

First off today, Timothy B. Lee at Ars Technica reports that we have another lawsuit over the embedding of Instagram images but this one stands in sharp contradiction to the one we had in April.

The lawsuit features a photographer name Elliot McGucken, who took a photo of a temporary lake in Death Valley. Newsweek then embedded the post into their site prompting McGucken to file a lawsuit. However, in a similar case involving the site Mashable, the court ruled that the Instagram terms of service grant Instagram the ability to sublicense the image through its API, causing the court to rule in favor of Mashable.

Here, however, the court was not convinced and refused to dismiss the lawsuit on these grounds. The case now moves toward a potential trial. Meanwhile, Instagram has released a statement that says, while their TOS does grant them a sub-license, they do not grant one through their API and the onus is on users to ensure they license the content they embed.

2: Japan Passes New Copyright Law to Criminalize Manga Piracy & Linking Sites

Next up today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that Japan’s parliament has amended the country’s copyright law to make it illegal to download manga, magazines and other textual works from unlicensed sites on the internet.

Eight years ago, Japan passed the original legislation, which made it illegal to download movies and music from such sites. However, ever since its passage, other kinds of creators have felt left out and campaigned to have their work added to the law. Now authors have successfully done so and, starting on January 1, 2021, such downloads will be illegal with exceptions for those who download very small amounts of a single publication.

The law was also amended to target “leech” sites that do not host infringing content themselves but point sites and resources that do. Such sites will face penalties starting October 1, 2020, which will include the same sentences available to direct pirate sites, namely up to five years in prison and a fine of up to 5 million yen ($45,700).

3: Twitter Disables Trump Campaign Video about George Floyd Over Copyright Laws

Finally today, The Associated Press reports that a video uploaded by President Donald Trump was removed from Twitter following a copyright complaint from an unknown party.

The video in question was a 3-minute 45-second tribute to George Floyd that included a series of still images and short videos featuring both peaceful marches and scenes of civil unrest. It was uploaded to the @TeamTrump account but was quickly replaced with a notice that the video was disabled due to a copyright claim.

The removal initially caused President Trump to accuse Twitter of censorship and to threaten to escalate his feud with social media companies. The video, however, remains available on his YouTube account.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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