In Google Books Suit, Parties Mulling the DOJ’s Objections

21 09 2009

Monday is the first day of fall. But no fear, we already have a guess as to what the legal theme of the upcoming season might be: the scrutinized and/or rejected settlement.

Of course, we’ve written a lot about the rejected settlement in the Bank of America/SEC matter, but another big settlement is getting an exceedingly close look prior to a hearing before New York federal judge Denny Chin on Oct. 7.

That settlement, which we’ve also written a bit about before (here and here), involves Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. Over the weekend, the parties said they were hashing out what changes they are willing to make to the agreement following the Justice Department’s objections, formally articulated on Friday.

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Scribd sued over copyright… by Jammie Thomas lawyers

21 09 2009

The law firm of Camara & Sibley has decided to take on document-sharing website Scribd in a big way, seeking class action status against the site in a lawsuit filed Friday in a Texas federal court. The charge: like YouTube, Veoh, and other user-generated content sites, Scribd makes it just too easy to upload copyrighted content without permission, and the company should be held liable… and pay up.

What about all those cases (including the recent Veoh ruling) which broadly construe the DMCA’s “safe harbor” provisions to protect these kinds of websites so long as they promptly take down content when notified? Hey, those cases are all out in California, baby! It’s time for Texas justice.

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France passes harsh anti-P2P three-strikes law (again)

20 09 2009

The French legislature today passed into law a second version of the ultra-controversial HADOPI “three strikes” law that targets illegal Internet file-swappers. The revised proposal does address the concerns of the “Sages” who sit on France’s Constitutional Council who objected to the first version of the law, but it does little to mollify critics. Internet disconnections of up to a year can be ordered by a single judge in a “streamlined” proceeding, while Internet users who fail to “secure” their connections can also be punished if other people use those connections to exchange copyrighted material.

The National Assembly passed HADOPI 2 today by a margin of 285-225; the Senate has already passed the legislation.

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Link To Complaint In Joltid v Skype Copyright Suit

18 09 2009

Background of Joltid’s copyright suit against Skype here; link to text of decision here.

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Veoh Gets Yet Another Terrific 512 Defense Win–UMG v. Veoh

17 09 2009

By Eric Goldman

UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Veoh Networks, Inc., 2:07-cv-05744-AHM-AJW (C.D. Cal. Sept. 11, 2009)

What’s the difference between the market leader and an also-ran? When the also-ran wins its third big legal victory in a row, the first question everyone asks is “what does this mean for the market leader?”

Specifically, when the copyright infringement lawsuits were filed against YouTube in 2007, everyone got really excited about a looming legal determination of the legitimacy of YouTube’s practices. (See, e.g., 1, 2). But, we haven’t learned very much about substantive law from YouTube’s litigation in the 2+ years since. Instead, while the YouTube cases are mired in procedural heck, Veoh has notched three powerful defense-side wins that surely help YouTube (see my previous posts on the Io case and the earlier 512 ruling in this UMG case). These cases have established Veoh as the litigation leader of the user-generated online video business, even if it’s not the market leader.

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UK musicians protest proposed copyright laws

12 09 2009

The Telegraph reports on how some leading musicians are attacking UK government plans to cut off internet access for those who illegally download music.

Yet here in NZ the protest about S92 seems to have subsided and Adam suspects we will land up with a draconian regime serving the interests of a very few.

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Copyright Office slams Google Book deal, Google opens up

10 09 2009

When the US Copyright Office first heard about the proposed Google Books settlement, it found the idea a “positive development.” Then, after reading the fine print, it changed its collective mind, deciding instead that Google was really out to rewrite US copyright law through the courts.

Marybeth Peters, the Register of Copyrights, today explained to Congress (PDF) her office’s objections to what Google hoped to do:

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Resistance to Google book deal builds as Google woos Europe

8 09 2009

Last Friday, the deadline passed for formal comments from parties interested in the Google Book Settlement, but the flow of less-formal comments doesn’t seem to have abated. The settlement would turn the search giant into the gatekeeper for out-of-print books, and a variety of groups have now expressed concern for the sweeping changes it would allegedly make to the management of copyrights. This week, however, the focus has shifted to Europe, where Google has faced opposition from France and Germany that has prompted it to offer some concessions to local publishers.

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German Government lodges objection to Google Books deal

5 09 2009

OUT-LAW News, 03/09/2009

The German Government has lodged an objection to the deal which will allow Google to continue to scan, and sell digitised copies of, many of the world’s in-copyright books.

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Is Creative Commons Good for Copyright?

5 09 2009

One of the beauties and frustrations of dealing with issues online is the immediate feedback loop and the possibility that such a loop amounts to little more than people talking at each other, rather than with each other.

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