March 7, 2008

Air Force DMCA-Bombs YouTube

Filed under: Add new tag, Chilling Effects, DMCA, law — wseltzer @ 6:21 pm

Over at Wired’s Threat Level blog, Kevin Poulsen reports on a new DMCA overreach: the U.S. Air Force complained (via outside counsel) (PDF) about his posting of their recruiting video. The post, Kevin says, was initially made at the Air Force’s invitation.

If the government created this work, then the DMCA claim is improper. Works of the U.S. government are not copyrightable. But the statute allows the government to receive copyright assignments, so if an independent contractor created the video, still available at the Air Force’s (non .mil) site, the government could meet that technical requisite of the DMCA.

The DMCA also requires that the notifier assert the posting was unauthorized. Poulsen’s article, however, says the Air Force sent Wired the ad and “thanked THREAT LEVEL for agreeing to run it.” That doesn’t quite square with the DMCA-required statement that the notice-sender “ha[s] a good faith belief that none of the materials or activities listed above has been authorized by the U.S. Air Force, its agents, or the law.”

Even if the Air Force’s DMCA claim is truthful, however, it’s still a policy overreach. Wired posted the video in order to report on government recruiting efforts; the video’s dissemination is part of that First-Amendment protected discussion, whether it happens on or off government websites. The DMCA makes it too easy to takedown first, think later.

March 5, 2008


Filed under: fccboston08 — wseltzer @ 4:28 pm

TurandotPosting here has been light lately because I’ve been rehearsing for my first opera production in a while, as part of the chorus for Puccini’s Turandot with the Lowell House Opera. Now’s the time to see how it all comes together, as tonight is opening night. Most of the singers are far more talented than I!

Performances are March 5 (black tie opening), 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14 and 15, 2008, at 8:30 p.m. Join us!

For its 70th annual production, and in celebration of the 150th year since Puccini’s birth, the LOWELL HOUSE OPERA presents TURANDOT, a lyric drama in three acts, with music composed by Giacomo Puccini and libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. Sung in Italian with English supertitles.

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