Wednesday 29 June 2016

The CopyKat

Video-sharing website Vimeo LLC cannot be held liable for copyright infringement for unknowingly hosting older music uploaded by its users, a U.S. appeals court ruled, dealing a blow to record labels seeking broader protections. In a victory for internet service providers, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York also held that the mere fact that Vimeo employees had viewed videos with copyrighted sound recordings was not enough to prove the company ignored red flags of infringement. The case, pursued by Capitol Records and Sony Corp units, was closely watched in Silicon Valley, with Vimeo's appeal drawing support from Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google, and other companies.

A new letter, signed by a host of recording stars including Lady Gaga, Sir Paul McCartney, Ryan Adams, Cher, Sir Elton John, Fall Out Boy, Yoko Ono Lennon, Bette Midler, Queens Of the Stone Age, Pink, Maroon 5, Mark Ronson, Elton John, Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, Aerosmith's Steve Tyler (pictured) Pusha-T, Sade, Gwen Stefani, Sting and Beck has been sent to Congress asking lawmakers to "please protect" future artists and songwriters by enacting "sensible reform" of DMCA - adding that the current version of the YouTube-shielding ' safe harbor' law "simply doesn't work" and has allowed tech companies to generate “huge profits” while the earnings of artists and songwriters “has plummeted”

Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde has been ordered by the Helsinki District Court to pay E350,000 ($395,000) to record labels including Sony, Universal, Warner and EMI, after their content was shared illegally via the platform and costs of around $62,000 (55,000 euros) - the payment has to me mad to the local branch of IFPI. Sunde also faces a fine of one million euros if the content continues to be shared via The Pirate Bay but - as he says he is now unconnected to the site - how he is supposed to do anything about that isn’t clear.

A building design firm is suing Lion Enterprises, Inc., Bastian Homes Ltd. and Eugene J. Bastian, citing alleged copyright infringement. Design Basics LLC filed a complaint on in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against the defendants, alleging that they violated Copyright Act and the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act by publishing, distributing, marketing, and advertising certain architectural designs for residential homes similar to the plaintiff's Plan No. 2316 – Franklin – and Plan No. 6715 – Sycamore. The defendants allegedly violated and continue to violate the plaintiff's exclusive rights in each of the copyrighted works. Design Basics is asking for a jury trial and and injunction prohibiting the defendants from further infringing on its copyrighted works, an order directing the U.S. Marshals Service to impound all copies of the copyrighted works in possession of defendants, and an award for all damages, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees and for such other relief as it may show itself to be entitled.  U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Case number 1:16-cv-00922]

TechDirt reports on two more decisions from the US Courts that confirm "legal threats against alleged infringers, based on nothing more than IP addresses" will not succeed in the courts.  In the first case, New Jersey Judge Kevin McNulty disagreed with Malibu Media's request for default judgment, pointing out that the limited info it was working with could not rule out a successful defense being raised by the accused infringer. In the second case brought against defendant Thomas Gonzales, Oregon Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman said The only facts Plaintiff pleads in support of its allegation that Gonzales is the infringer  is that he is the subscriber of the IP address used to download or distribute the movie, and that he was sent notices of infringing activity to which he did not respond. That is not enough. Plaintiff has not alleged any specific facts tying Gonzales to the infringing conduct. While it is possible that the subscriber is also the person who downloaded the movie, it is also possible that a family member, a resident of the household, or an unknown person engaged in the infringing conduct."

And finally, the Walt Disney Company is taken legal action against three Chinese companies over the animated film “The Autobots” which Disney claims infringes the Disney copyright in the hit animated movie “Cars”. According to Reuters, the three defendants are the production firm Blue MTV, media firm Beijing G-Point and online content platform PPLive Inc. A notice on the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court website states that Disney are suing for copyright infringement and unfair competition.

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