3 Count: Embedded Tweets

And one nasty kind of DRM...

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1: A Ruling Over Embedded Tweets Could Change Online Publishing

First off today, Louise Matsakis at Wired reports that a judge in the Southern District of New York has ruled in favor of photographer Justin Goldman in a lawsuit that deals with whether publishers could be held liable when they embed tweets that contain copyright infringing material.

In 2016 Goldman took a photo of NFL quarterback Tom Brady that soon went viral on both Reddit and Twitter. Several publications, including Yahoo, The Boston Globe and Heavy.com, embedded tweets from Twitter containing the photo prompting Goldman to file a lawsuit. According to Goldman, even though the sites were not hosting the images themselves, they had violated his display right.

Though previous cases had found similar uses to be non-infringing when dealing with search engines, the judge in this case ruled that news organizations had to be held to a different standard because, where Google is only providing content at the direction of users, news organizations are providing content whether users ask for it or not. Legal experts say that this interpretation of the law is new but, if it holds up on appeal, could have a major impact on the now-commonplace practice of embedding content from third party services.

2: Piracy Site-Blocking Laws Under Review

Next up today, Corinne Reichert at ZDNet reports that the Australian government has opened consultation on the country’s site-blocking legislation. The move comes three years after the law passed.

The Department of Communications is seeking feedback on the laws until March 16. Of particular importance os the effectiveness and efficiency of the current system, whether the current application and injunction process is working well and whether any new amendments are required.

The consultation period comes as local media company Roadshow as well as Hong Kong broadcasters TVBO/TVB are battling in court to get a series of allegeldy infringing websites blocked but the judge in the case has expressed skepticism at the evidence they have provided.

3: Flight-Sim Devs Say Hidden Password-Dump Tool Was Used to Fight Pirates

Finally today, Kyle Orland at Ars Technica reports that flight sim developer FlightSimLabs (FSLabs) is under fire for distributing malware that it says was aimed at targeting customers who pirated their software.

FSLabs makes and sells professional-grade flight simulator software. However, just as with other software, piracy has been an issue for the company. Users discovered an executable in the recent Airbus A320-X add-on package that, upon closer examination, dumped all of the passwords stored in the users’ browser.

FSLabs explained the presence of the code saying that it would only run on pirated copies of the software. However, they also admitted it was both controversial and heavy handed. They re-released the add-on without the code but the incident is still one of the most extreme anti-piracy countermeasures ever seen.


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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