3 Count: Operation 404

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1: U.S., Brazilian Law Enforcement Target Digital Piracy in Operation 404

First off today, Darryl Coote at UPI reports that U.S. and Brazilian law enforcement agencies have teamed up in “Operation 404”, an effort to shutter pirate websites across the internet.

The operation was led by Brazilian authorities and they worked with the U.S. Department of Justice and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit. As a result of the effort, several key pirate website domains are now in the custody of the U.S. government as the operation targeted illegal streaming websites.

According to Brazilian authorities, this was phase two of an operation that began in November 2019. In this round they executed some 25 search and seizure warrants and secured the suspension of some 252 sites.

2: Proctorio Used DMCA to Take Down a Student’s Critical Tweets

Next up today, Zack Whittaker at TechCrunch reports that the proctoring software company Proctorio has filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice with Twitter to get a series of tweets critical of the company and their practices.

The tweets were published by Erik Johnson, who is both a student and a security researcher who is also a critic of Proctorio and its product. Johnson obtained the source for Proctorio’s Google Chrome extension and examined it in a series of tweets that included snippets of the code itself. Those tweets are not available as Proctorio has filed a notice with Twitter to remove them and has also filed a similar notice with Pastebin to get that copy of the code removed as well.

Proctorio has become highly controversial as its use has skyrocketed amidst the pandemic. There are privacy concerns, concerns that it harms students without high-speed internet connections and that it may accuse students of cheating unfairly. This has resulted in several student petitions to drop the software.

3: Inside ‘Single Ladies’ Choreographer JaQuel Knight’s Quest to Copyright His Dances

Finally today, Rebecca Milzoff at Billboard reports on choreographer JaQuel Knight’s bid to register the copyrights to his various creations and effort to get paid for the continued use of his work.

Knight is the choreographer behind many of the most popular music videos in recent memory including Beyonce Single Ladies, Cadi B and Megan Thee Stallions WAP and more. However, he’s begun working with Lynne Weber, a professional dance notator, to try and record his routines and register them with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Though choreography has long qualified for copyright protection and registration, such registrations are rare in large part due to the complexity of filing for them and a perceived lack of need. Knight has successfully registered his Single Ladies routine and is currently attempting to register six others. He hopes that, eventually, this will help him exercise greater control over his work and get ongoing royalties for its use on tours and in movies.

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