The gradual descent into a permission culture has many ugly heads. Be they copyright maximalism, patent wars, cementing antiquated business models by suing, or a myriad of other things.
One of said ugly heads is that people pretend to have a copyright just to milk others. The name Righthaven will be known to most people as a prime example of this going badly for the offenders. From how it looks, the people behind Righthaven, a company founded just to sue others, are being pursued through that shell.
Many of you will know the infamous "You have to watch this on YouTube as Rightster filed a copyright claim" notice. What this means is that YouTube will (try to) display ads and Rightster will get a share of any revenue. I can't comment on the validity of those claims, but some of them struck me as dubious in the past.
We reached a new low, though. Scripps Local News, which publishes world-renowned papers such as Ventura County Star and Corpus Christi Caller-Times, temporarily blocked NASA's video of Mission Control during MSL's seven minutes of radio silence with their copyright claim. As NASA-produced video featuring NASA, published on NASA's YouTube account. Blocked:
Turns out something is borked here and I don't have time to fix it right now. I uploaded it to imgur as a quick fix.
The video has been made accessible again in the meantime, but this is, yet again, proof that we are sliding into a society where content and knowledge is locked down by default.
Don't let that happen. Pester your politicians, inform your friends, participate in demonstrations, and don't give up. It's our culture, not theirs.