Copyright

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A former employee of Vodacom has taken the cell phone group to South Africa’s highest court. He claims to have invented the popular “Please Call Me” service but never got paid for it. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Intellectual property: what can be learnt from South Africa’s “Please Call Me” case

Vodacom's battle with its former employee over the "Please Call Me" service brings home global disputes over intellectual property rights. Do South African laws adequately protect innovators?
A pause, not a halt in legal attempts to claim money from people who illegally downloaded the movie Dallas Buyers Club, which starred Jared Leto (left) and Matthew McConaughey (right). Voltage Pictures

What now after the Dallas Buyers Club pirate claim is rejected as ‘surreal’?

The Federal Court has said no to an attempt to claim potentially thousands of dollars from people who illegally downloaded the movie Dallas Buyers Club. But the downloaders are not in the clear yet.
It’s an abuse of copyright to use it to stifle creativity – even the everyday, unglamorous kinds. Randi Boice

Reality bites: when copyright law and reality cooking meet, only the lawyers win

High-stress scenarios, flavoured with competitive chefs, and garnished with a panel of celebrity judges ... what could possibly go wrong? The copyright spat between channels Seven and Nine is illustrative.
Men at Work were found liable for copying two bars from Kookaburra Sits on the Old Gum Tree – a ‘fair use’ exception would have prevented this. Jolene Bertoldi

The Down Under book and film remind us our copyright law’s still unfair for artists

A new book and documentary tell us more about the story behind Men at Work's song Down Under – and the court case it eventually led to. They also prompt questions about current Australian copyright law.
BitTorrent site Pirate Bay is one of those often targeted in anti-piracy legislation. Bhupinder Nayyar/Flickr

There are better ways to combat piracy than blocking websites

The government's new anti-piracy bill is not the best solution to online piracy. What really works is easily accessible and affordable legal means to acquire the latest content.
Finding those responsible for illegal downloading on BitTorrents may prove a challenge. Flickr/nrkbeta

BitTorrent and the digital fingerprints we leave behind

How easy is it to find those responsible for movie piracy using BitTorrent technology, as in the Dallas Buyers Club case. Not as easy as you might think.
The ‘Blurred Lines’ verdict is only the most recent copyright ‘Controversy’ to erupt – just ask Prince. Mike Blake/Reuters

The messy history of music copyright suits

Like ambulance chasers, gimlet-eyed entertainment lawyers have been trained to detect the most trivial copyright infringements.
Marvin Gaye’s daughter speaks to the media after her family was awarded $7.4 million. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

How the jury in the ‘Blurred Lines’ case was misled

According to copyright expert Wendy Gordon, the judge bungled his instructions to the jury. From there, the outcome was inevitable.

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