Map-makers are far from the only ones to use copyright traps. Dictionaries are frequent culprits: recent editions of the New Oxford American Dictionary included the word “esquivalience” (defined as “the willful avoidance of one’s official responsibilities”), which was later shown to be entirely made up, just to catch would-be plagiarists. Such lexicographical traps are sometimes called Mountweazels, after the entry for Lillian Virginia Mountweazel in the 1975 New Columbia Encyclopedia. Mountweazel was apparently a fountain designer-turned-photographer celebrated for her photographs of rural American mailboxes; alas, she never lived. Richard Steins, one of the volume’s editors, told The New Yorker: “If someone copied Lillian, then we’d know they’d stolen from us.”

Copyrighting Cartography with Fictional Places | Atlas Obscura

"Finally, while it is technically possible for trademark and copyright owners to proceed with civil litigation against the consuming public who affirmatively seek out counterfeited products or pirated content or engage in illegal file sharing, campaigns like this have been expensive, do not yield significant financial returns, and can cause a public relations problem for the plaintiff in addressing its consuming public," the association recommended.

American Bar Association urges against file sharing lawsuits | Ars Technica

Consumers should be able to use their existing cell phones when they move their service to a new wireless provider,” Leahy said. “With today’s strong bipartisan vote in the Judiciary Committee, I hope the full Senate can soon take up this important legislation that supports consumer rights.

Cell Phone Unlocking Bill Clears Senate Committee | TechCrunch

A pair of award-winning writers decorated by the Queen have told a House of Commons debate that only education can solve the piracy problem . Assemblies on copyright should take place in every school, one suggested, while the other favors letting kids know that it’s only J.K Rowling that gets Hollywood money “for writing a little story about wizards.”

Copyright Education Needed in Every School, Parliament Hears | TorrentFreak

“Flat characters thus don’t evolve. Round characters do; Holmes and Watson, the estate argues, were not fully rounded off until the last story written by Doyle. What this has to do with copyright law eludes us,” wrote Judge Richard A Posner in the court’s opinion. The decision is one of the few where a reader might find a federal court discussing Star Wars. Judges said that the estate’s argument was tantamount to an argument that copyrights on Star Wars, Episodes IV, V and VI were extended because of the release of Episodes I, II and III. “We don’t see how that can justify extending the expired copyright on the flatter character,” Posner wrote.

Sherlock lives in public domain, US court rules in case of the heckled brand | Books |

Even with the ascendance of digital media, however, one of the music industry’s most intense battles centers on AM and FM radio stations, which pay royalties to songwriters but not to performing artists. Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the group behind the Grammys, said, “There’s no example in American history of business that profits from the works of others without paying them.” Representative Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat of New York who has supported changing this rule, responded. “Actually, there is,” he said, “but it’s before the Civil War.”

Music Industry Officials Agree on Need for Licensing Rule Changes, but Little Else -

In a decision written by Circuit Judge Barrington Parker, the three-judge panel said it concluded that the creation of a full-text searchable database was a “quintessentially transformative use” of a copyrighted work, a legal principle necessary to be established before the court could find that it was lawful to copy and store the books electronically without the permission of the authors and publishers. “There is no evidence that the authors write with the purpose of enabling text searches of their books,” Parker wrote. He added that enabling the full-text search “adds to the original something new with a different purpose and a different character.”

Court: Searchable books database is ‘fair use’

The court ruled that “on-screen copies and the cached copies made by an end-user in the course of viewing a website satisfy the conditions” of infringement exemptions spelled out in the EU Copyright Directive. The NLA’s opponent in the case was the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA). The PR group hailed the decision. “We are utterly delighted that the CJEU has accepted all of our arguments against the NLA, which represents eight national newspapers. The Court of Justice, like the Supreme Court before them, understands that the NLA’s attempts to charge for reading online content do not just affect the PR world, but the fundamental rights of all EU citizens to browse the Internet,” PRCA Director General Francis Ingham said. “This is a huge step in the right direction for the courts as they seek ways to deal with the thorny issues of Internet use and copyright law.”

Web browsing is copyright infringement, publishers argue | Ars Technica

Here’s how it works: Rightscorp identifies IP addresses sharing files via BitTorrent. The company then sends notices to those internet users via their ISPs. So, for example, if an IP address belongs to a Comcast user, Rightscorp sends the notice to Comcast, to then forward on to the subscriber in question. The notices are “offers of settlement.” They threaten users with the maximum legal penalty — $150,000 — but say, basically, that if you just click here right now, for $20 per infringement we can just make this all go away. 50% of each settlement goes to Rightscorp, and the other 50% goes to the client who sent them. The biggest clients are record labels, according to Ars, with BMG alone accounting for about a quarter of Rightscorp’s revenue. Most folks who might have illegally-obtained copies of a new pop album or last week’s Game of Thrones episode don’t have a spare $150k lying around, and when faced with a scary-sounding legal threat are probably more likely to pony up $20 or $100 than to take the (expensive, time-consuming, uncertain) option of trying to defend their case in court. Last year, people who received notices paid up to the tune of about $750,000.

Private Internet Copyright Cop Company Makes Profit From Every “Settlement” – Consumerist

The Center for Copyright Information says this is just the beginning, however. In a report released today detailing its 10 months of operation after opening in 2013, the center says that it believes the notifications it sent only cover a small percentage of all copyright infringement cases. It intends to double in scope for 2014 and begin a publicity campaign so that people are aware that the system is in place. Only 265 of the warnings in 2013 were challenged, and the center says that none of them were determined to be inaccurate. Several dozen of them were successfully overturned, however, on the grounds that the account holder was not the person responsible for the detected piracy. The center says that it’s focused on accuracy, with copyright education being the warning’s primary goal. So long as the person does not reach the final strikes, they won’t actually be put at risk of an infringement lawsuit

US internet providers sent over 1.3 million piracy warnings in system’s first year | The Verge