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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Amazon: Google book deal possibly illegal, definitely bad

3 09 2009

This Friday is the deadline for documents to be filed with the court that’s overseeing the Google book settlement, which will absolve the search giant from liability for its book scanning activities and set up an independent entity that will oversee the distribution of e-books from its digital stacks. Amazon, given its sales of both print and e-books, has joined a group that opposes the deal, but that hasn’t stopped it from filing an objection to it individually. Amazon’s lawyers spend over 40 pages arguing why that the deal should be rejected on copyright and antitrust grounds, while throwing in a very explicit admission that it’s bad for its business model.

The proposed settlement arose form a series of lawsuits that accused Google of violating copyrights via its book-scanning agreements with various libraries. The settlement would absolve the company of further claims and set up an independent body, the Books Rights Registry, which would oversee payments for authors arising from Google’s use of the works; the Registry would also have the right to license the digital library to commercial or private entities.

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RIAA continues to squeeze Tenenbaum, wants injunction

2 09 2009

The gloves are coming off. Although the RIAA already won a $675,000 judgment against student Joel Tenenbaum over 30 songs shared on P2P networks, the recording industry has a fixation with going the extra mile against infringers. It is asking courts to issue injunctions against repeated infringement for both Tenenbaum and Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the only other file-sharing defendant to go to trial in the US.

In a new filing with the Massachusetts federal court, RIAA lawyers rail against Tenenbaum’s “repeated lies and continued infringement,” saying that “it is likely Defendant will continue to infringe and/or act in concert with others in committing online copyright infringement of Plaintiffs’ sound recordings, especially given that he is currently promoting the online copyright infringement by countless others.”

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$32M Louis Vuitton judgment shows limits of ISP safe harbors

2 09 2009

The best feature of the much-maligned Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is its “safe harbor” for Internet service providers, who can’t be held liable for what customers do using their networks. Mostly. There are limits, and Louis Vuitton found them this week in a federal court. The luxury goods maker won $32 million from two ISPs and the man who ran them after proving to a jury that the ISPs had full knowledge that they hosted mainly websites for counterfeit goods—and refused to take action.

The two ISPs are Akanoc and Managed Solutions Group, both run out of Fremont, California by one Steven Chen. According to Louis Vuitton’s July 2008 complaint, Chen’s companies “were formed for and exist primarily to facilitate the promotion and advertisement of offers for counterfeit and infringing merchandise.” The ISPs hosted a huge array of sites offering fake Vuitton purses, wallets, and bags—sites like Luxury2us.com, Louis-vuitton-bags.org and HandBagSell.com.

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