Friday 25 July 2014

The CopyKat - the pain in Spain means no blocking - again

A  court in Spain has overturned a previous ruling that had led to the blocking for a number of file-sharing sites. Back in May this year the anti-piracy group FAP secured injunctions in court forcing internet service providers in the country to block various file-sharing set-ups, including SpanishTracker,,,, and - but in a blow to the content industries - who had celebrated the earlier ruling - an appeals judge in the wonderfully named Court of Instruction No.10 (well that's according to TorrentFreak)  has said there are "insufficient grounds" for blocking the offending sites in order to protect intellectual property rights - although thus will no doubt prompt fresh calls to extend or revise the so called Law Sinde in Spain which was meant to have allowed web blocking as a remedy against internet piracy from March 2012

It seems Amazon is trialling a 'Spotify' type service which will allow Kindle users to subscribe for ebooks - paying $9.99 a month to have access to 640,000 books and nearly 7,000 audio books. Richard Mollet, the Chief Executive of the Publishers Association in the UK has said that it is essential that any subscription service properly rewards writers and publishers. Kindle Unlimited joins Scribd, EnTitle and Oyster - but with the potential a far far bigger library of books available to subscribers - although no books from any of the 'big five' publishing houses (Penguin Random House, Simon & Schusterm, Harper Collins, Hachette and Macmillan are featured in the prootional video which had been seen by Gigam - although Lord of The Rings, books from the Harry Potter series and Life of Pi were apparently seen in the video.

And Google is possibly experimenting with a new system that would see adverts for legitimate content platforms positioned at the top of searches for unlicensed movies or music. Google has been widely criticised by the music and movie industries for not doing enough to steer web-users to legitimate rather than illegal sources of content.

Bornstein & Bornstein, a firm of attorneys in San Francisco are being accused of censorship after reportedly using a DMCA copyright takedown notice to remove a controversial and secretly filmed video from YouTube. A certain Jackson West had attended one of the firm's sessions  on how to progress local evictions of longterm tenants, and video taped people protesting at a seminar given by the lawfirm . However you can still see the video via Vimeo - for now - from a link on TechDirt.

US fashion and make up blogger and YouTube star is facing a copyright infringement action from Ultra Records and Ultra International Music Publishing, home of Calvin Harris and Deasmau5. The case, filed in the United States District Court in Los Angeles, makes it clear the label has only begun its search of Phan’s many online productions, but has so far uncovered dozens of infringements, according to the complaint. Those videos have been viewed more than 150 million times, the plaintiffs said. However at lest one Ultra artist, Kaskade, the globally renowned US DJ who was nominated for a Grammy last year, is not happy with his label's stance tweeting "Copyright law is a dinosaur, ill-suited for the landscape of today’s media.”   “I’m not suing @MichellePhan + Ultra Records isn’t my lap dog. I can’t do much about the lawsuit except voice my support for her.".

And finally, Malibu Media, perhaps wrongly accused of being a copyright troll, has succeeded in an infringement action against Don Bui, an immigrant from Vietnam who is now a naturalized US citizen, after the judge in the case gave short shrift to his explanation that the reason he downloaded and kept 57 Malibu Media porn movies from Kickass Torrents was because he had no idea how torrents work - and saw nothing wrong in "ordering movies" from Kickass Torrents. The erotic film studio has filed thousands of lawsuits against "John Doe" defendants in the U.S., in many cases "collecting a couple of thousands of dollars from "scared file sharers who do not want to go to court." US District Judge Robert Jonker reportedly said this "Defendant has some quarrels with the details of how BitTorrent works, but nothing that the Court sees as a fundamental or material issue of fact. Even as Defendant describes the facts, using BitTorrent technology, he ultimately winds up with 57 unauthorized copies of Plaintiff's works--copies that did not exist until Defendant himself engaged the technology to create new and unauthorized copies with a swarm of other users. True enough, the process is not identical to the peer-to-peer file sharing program in Grokster. It is, however, functionally indistinguishable from the perspective of both the copyright holder and the ultimate consumer of the infringed work. In both situations, the end user participates in creating a new and unauthorized digital copy of a protected work. It makes no difference from a copyright perspective whether the infringing copy is created in a single wholesale file transfer using a peer-to-peer protocol or in a swarm of fragmented transfers that are eventually reassembled into the new infringing copy." Bui's attorney also suggested his client was a "poor immigrant" who didn't understand English very well" - that argument was shot down as well. More on TechDirt.

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