Trends in copyright infringement (2020)

Content creators are producing an exponentially increasing amount of content on a daily basis, and often this will involve the use of licensed images on their content.

The types of licenses associated with such images may be either paid or unpaid, and they may be for commercial or non-commercial use. What is most important, though, is that the content creators are using the images according to the terms of the license.

For example, certain licenses require that there is credit given to the creator of the image – this requirement is called attribution. Where content creators are using images without providing required attribution, they may be in violation of copyright protections afforded to the copyright owner of the licensed image. Copyright owners have various protections under copyright law, so the next time someone says, “Don’t take images you find on Google and then throw them onto your website,” we should believe them. After all, Google Images states, “Images may be subject to copyright.” whenever you preview an image found in the search results.

While copyright owners may be entitled to their rights, there is also a growing concern over copyright owners that may be misusing or abusing copyright enforcement mechanisms to the disproportionate detriment of content creators. Are the copyright owners or the enforcement services copyright trolls? This depends on whether the alleged copyright infringement actually occurred among other factors.

The cybersecurity spotlight has been magnified, burning the unprepared

After an incredibly long hiatus, the blog is back in action.

Cybersecurity breaches, at least the public’s knowledge of them, has increased. The breaches have been happening for years, and the media spotlight has continued to increase, especially with high-profile cases involving millions of consumers’ personal data.

A couple of breaches in 2019 impacted numerous consumers:

Increasing regulation in the form of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has applied pressure far beyond previous regulations. Note that the last blog written here was published in 2013, and note that the landscape has significantly changed since then. The consequences of non-compliance can be very severe with up to 20M EUR or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is greater, being the penalty in the case of a GDPR violation. Also in force since January 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) can impact businesses, but it is important for any business or other organization to consider whether the activity they are carrying out even falls within the scope of these laws.

The UK ICO provides a guide on GDPR focused on UK businesses and organizations, but the principles are worth considering when controlling or processing personal data of citizens of European Economic Area (EEA) states. There will be differences that are applicable within different member states that should be considered, but for managing risk especially where a business or an organization is getting off the ground, this is a good start.

Regulations aside, attention must be focused on securing systems and eliminating any security risks that may affect the protection of personal or other data. The best deterrence to a cybersecurity breach is not operating at all, but being practical, the next best is implementing best practices in information security especially at the technical level. The administrative and organizational best practices are also incredibly important, but without the technical component, the data is at critical risk of exposure regardless of how a business or an organization is administered or operated.

RaiBot Legal Blog Started

January 6, 2010 marks the start of the legal blog run under the brand RaiBot, formerly known as communications software for use over the Internet.

Covering news and trends, general publications, and opinions, the RaiBot Legal Blog will not bore anyone interested in media, technology, and infrastructure.  What makes it different is the focus on legal developments and their implications in these sectors.

Why a legal blog, and why under a brand known as communications software?

RaiBot, communications software, was created to allow its users to communicate in a user-friendly manner online.  The consumers ranged from computer novices to configuration experts.  It is with this idea in mind that the new blog runs: readers, no matter their background in the law, can enjoy reading this blog, and it will contain features to make the activity of doing so user-friendly.

Why the change in focus of the brand?

The reason for using the brand name of the software, which turned ten years old on Christmas Day of this year, is to mark a shift in the focus and the purpose of RaiBot as well as that of the creator’s career.  Rather than calling the blog a different name that has no prior history on the Internet, the RaiBot Legal Blog exists both to represent the previous communications work of RaiBot as well as serve as an extension to it in the form of legal knowledge.

Will rebranding work?

Understandably, it could be said this blog will dilute the RaiBot brand name, or it could even be said that this blog is marketing for the RaiBot communications software. Given the ongoing hiatus of the development and publication of the software, the brand will only be diluted over time as it is no longer in use, so the blog is making use of this existing brand and is in fact transforming it to sustain it.  Given the unashamed link between the identity of the brand and the creator, rebranding will certainly work.  The question is, will readers enjoy the content of this legal blog?  There is only one way to find out.