RIAA, BPI websites infringe copyright


#1

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#2

By removing the notice they changed it substantially - fair use.


#3

Little though I care for the RIAA and their ilk, I think this is almost a non-story.

That script has been minified (run through a compressor to strip out comments, redundant whitespace and other unnecessary content, so that the script downloads more quickly). In the jquery.js distribution, the MIT license and copyright notice are included as a comment at the head of the file. So when the build process for the site ran the minifier over the jquery.js file, away went the license.

I would guess that almost every site that does its own minification of third-party scripts will turn out to be ‘guilty’ of the same thing. It’s a technical violation of the license, but it’s certainly not intentional or malicious.

The jQuery website does provide a minified version of the jquery.js script that includes the license, so the solution is for sites to use that, rather than doing their own minification. Still, there may be valid reasons why a site would want to perform its own minification (when combining multiple library scripts into one file, for example, to reduce the number of individual downloads), making inadvertent violations of the letter of the license hard to avoid.


#4

Ah, so the RIAA and BPI get a second chance! Not immediate disconnection, no “first warning”, no massive and ruinous fines, but a mulligan.

I guess it’s fair though. Everyone makes mistakes, and who better know that than these clowns?


#5

Your point makes sense. I do the same thing with DRM-embedded media files. Totally legit. Minification.


#6

It’s trivial to keep those license notices when running through a minifier. For example with the YUI compressor, all you need to do is add a ! to the start of a comment block:

/*! 
 * Your saved comment
 */

Other minifiers have similar options.

When you download jQuery (compressed or uncompressed) they already put in the ! for you.

/*! jQuery v2.0.3 | (c) 2005, 2013 jQuery Foundation, Inc. | jquery.org/license
//@ sourceMappingURL=jquery-2.0.3.min.map
*/ 

#7

Very useful to know. Thank you. Now I no longer need fear that minifying jQuery on my own websites will one day lead to me finding myself manacled in the dock next to the executives of the RIAA and BPI and other career copyright criminals.

I can’t tell you what a relief that is.


#8

This would actually seem to be the usual BoingBoing (commenter) interpretation.


#9

What’s more you should probably be using one of the various CDN distro’s of jQuery anyway.


#10

But it’s different for RIAA and BPI. They don’t need to comply to copyright cause it’s…um yeah…got nothing…


#11

I think this is an overreaction. I hate the RIAA, et al, but this wasn’t deliberate and they quickly corrected it after being notified.


#12

The complaint here isn’t about the copyright infringement per se, it’s about the hypocrisy they exhibit. They push various 3-strikes/6-strike extra-legal penalties without concern to mistakes (like this) or fair use or even if the person being penalized is the person who did the infringement (open wifi ports).


#13

The point isn’t that it’s substantial, it’s that they beat everyone over the head with gigantic fines for minor infringement but commit some of their own minor infringements, get caught, and–so far as I can tell–don’t even say “sorry.”

Given the going charge for a single song worth of “piracy,” they should at least make a thousand dollar donation to jQuery.


#14

JQuery scrips?

both of said?

You’re killing me here Cory. Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed that I can often distinguish your posts by the number of spelling and grammatical errors alone.


#15

While I agree that this was simply server minification not set to maintain the copyright notice and is a non-issue, they would be smart to make a substantial donation to jQuery of the same size and nature they’d make an infringer pay for distributing a minified (mp3) copy of one of their songs. How many times have they served the script x totally huge made up loss figures = what they should donate.

Of course they won’t bother with any PR move like that because they are so far beyond the point where even the most gratuitous public relations stunt could ever help them. They rank a top spot on almost everyone’s hate list for a good reason, they’ve worked tirelessly to earn that honor again and again and again.

They are the dinosaur that doesn’t know it is already extinct yet, and are in the throws of slowly fighting their own inevitable decline. RIAA you won’t be missed. Rest in Pieces.


#16

Nobody really needs to comply with unenforced copyrights. MIT could have sued (and still can), but they haven’t.


#17

*facepalm* MIT doesn’t have the copyright to jQuery. The jQuery Foundation does.


#18

Not every minifier understands the ! convention. And things get even more complex when you are concatenating files. Difficult enough that right now MediaWiki’s resource loader (used on Wikipedia) doesn’t have /*! blocks in non-debug mode:
https://bits.wikimedia.org/en.wikipedia.org/load.php?debug=false&lang=en-ca&modules=jquery%2Cmediawiki%2CSpinner|jquery.triggerQueueCallback%2CloadingSpinner%2CmwEmbedUtil|mw.MwEmbedSupport&only=scripts&skin=vector&version=20131024T173121Z


#19

OK, whatever; based on the phrase “MIT license” I assumed that MIT was the actual copyright holder and not that an MIT license is a term of art used to describe a specific, popularly-used license.

The point remains the same, however: the copyright holder can enforce the copyright at its discretion.


#20

No! There are enough perfectly valid reasons not to use common CDN distributed libraries; Dependence on a 3rd party website both yours AND theirs have to be up for your site to work. Security, you open up another vector of attack. Even if you secure your own servers code can be injected from the 3rd party either intentionally/maliciously or unintentionally/being hacked. And it precludes your ability to concatenate that file with all the JS files you use and reduce the number of HTTP requests you make. Which in reality is the most important thing when it comes to speeding up your website.

Also the screenshot in question seems to be for jQuery.tmpl.js which isn’t even in jQuery’s, Google’s, Microsoft’s, or CDNJS/CloudFlare’s CDN.