The Lunacy of Copyright Laws, from the terrifying to the comic, including the ridiculous.

The terrifying: Biology student in Colombia faces jail for reposting scholarly article. A direct consequence of bilateral agreements that the US has been doing with more, let’s say, pliable countries to force even worse copyright laws. Don’t take my word: “He is being sued under a criminal law that was reformed in 2006, following the conclusion of a free trade agreement between Colombia and the United States. The new law was meant to fulfill the trade agreement’s restrictive copyright standards, and it expanded criminal penalties for copyright infringement, increasing possible prison sentences and monetary fines“.

The ridiculous: Copyright extortion startup wants to hijack your browser until you pay. They have been successful in extorting minor ISPs and now want to go after all the major providers in the US to keep any users they decide to harass from actually navigating the internet until the pay. What a racket!

And finally, the comic: Copyright troll abuses DMCA in bid to censor his previous life as a troll-fighter. The guy went to the dark side and don’t want people to know of his legitimate past… As Cory Doctorow reminds him,
Allow me to offer Mr Meier a quick refresher in Internet Law 101:
* The DMCA only applies to copyright, not defamatory speech
* The DMCA only applies to web-hosts, not registrars
* Courts have found that parties who cynically use the DMCA to remove non-infringing material (including material that has a strong fair use defense) are liable for damages
* The CDA immunizes all intermediaries, including web-hosts and registrars, from liability for bad speech by their users, and imposes no takedown duty on them
* Your spurious DMCA notices are sworn “under penalty of perjury” and are likely to come to the notice of your Bar Association
* The Streisand Effect is real


(all items, H/T to BoingBoing)


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