Tagged With copyright

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If you've gone to YouTube to watch an unofficial upload of a TV episode, or even a single scene from your favourite anime, you've probably seen the weird things uploaders do to stop YouTube from taking down their videos. Your show might be sped up a bit, the voices pitched down, the video flipped horizontally or covered in digital snowfall. Maybe you suffered through it, recognising that this degraded quality is a necessary sacrifice to avoid YouTube's copyright bots. The bad news is, it was probably completely unnecessary.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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"A good composer does not imitate; he steals," Igor Stravinsky supposedly said. Faulkner allegedly phrased it as "Immature artists copy, great artists steal." Steve Jobs put it most simply: "Good artists copy, great artists steal." The saying regularly inspires artists, thinkers and dorm-room poster designers. But in practical terms, what does it mean?

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At a for-profit editorial outlet like Lifehacker, when we need an image for our posts, we can't just do a Google image search and slap up the first result. We have to use properly licensed photos. Sometimes we use our own original photos, sometimes stock images that we pay for, sometimes the millions of Flickr photos licensed for free use through Creative Commons.

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The current row about the certification of Manuka honey, and whether it is a distinctly New Zealand product, is just the latest dispute involving Geographical Indications (GIs). These are markers that products have special qualities due to their origins in a specific region, like Champagne.

There is a debate as to whether a registered GI system for food should be adopted in Australia. It might be good for our farmers – to more effectively protect King Island Beef, Bangalow pork or Tasmanian lobster against low quality imitations. But would it be in the best interest of Australian producers and consumers to simply capitulate to demands about New Zealand Manuka, or about GIs in general?

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Last week, we brought you the news that Village Roadshow was seeking to add 40 more sites to Australia's anti-piracy block list. ISPs will now need to ban customers from accessing popular torrent and movie streaming sites that include ExtraTorrent, Demonoid, Torrent Downloads, TorrentProject, YTS, 123Movies, and Icefilms. Here is the full list of banned websites (and how to bypass the blocks).

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Copyright holders certainly have legitimate grievances when it comes to piracy. People who turn to the BitTorrent channel to watch the latest blockbuster movies are stealing and it's delusional to tell yourself otherwise, no matter how justified you feel in your actions.

That said, it's hard to feel sorry for Australia's copyright police when they're so determined to shoot themselves in the foot at every opportunity.

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Dear Lifehacker, I have made many trips to Bali and now have over 100 cheap DVDs purchased from market stalls over there. I like to travel but carrying around 100 DVDs isn't very efficient. I was thinking about moving them onto my MacBook but don't want to get in trouble for breaking copyright. Am I allowed to transfer these DVDs to a MacBook or is this considered pirating?

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It's easy to forget that GitHub can host any sort of content, not just source code and data for your personal or business projects. This means GitHub can unintentionally become a server of copyright-infringing material, a fact the company takes seriously -- it shut down over 8200 projects during 2015, with nearly 6000 closed in September alone.