This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.
First off today, a new study from Norway found that those who pirate music are ten times more likely to purchase music than their non-downloading counterparts. The study, which only looked at Internet users over the age of 15, examined whether a user had downloaded free music, legally or illegally, and then asked for proof of any purchases.
If this study is accurate, then it is possible that pirates are actually a major buying force for the record labels. It also comes hard on the heels of the verdict in The Pirate Bay trial as well as new decision in Norway that will make it easier for copyright holders to get information about file sharers.
At a recent event Vice President Joe Biden said that the administration, “Will find the right person for intellectual property czar.” While what he said isn’t very controversial, the fact that he said it at a Hollywood gala seems to indicate what he means by the “right” person.
The Obama administration, already signaling a much more industry-friendly approach to intellectual property than many had hoped, has the duty of appointing someone to coordinate the administrations IP policy and it seems likely, much like with the RIAA-friendly DOJ attorneys, that this person will be very sensitive to the needs of large copyright holders and very controversial among copyright reformers.
Finally today, we get a bit of extra commentary today on The Pirate Bay verdict and several things become a bit more clear.
First, the the four men were convicted due largely to the very relaxed standards for conviction of “assisting” in a crime in Sweden. In a previous Swedish case, a person was convicted of assisting in mayhem solely for holding the perpetrator’s coat.
The prosecutor was able to easily meet the standard set forth by the law, backed up by The Pirate Bay’s own emails and public statements. They were able to show that The Pirate Bay had knowledge of infringing torrents, were in a position to act and did nothing. This, combined with the providing of the search engine and the bitorrent tracker, was enough for the courts.
We also get the opinions of Swedish legal experts who say that, though there will likely be two appeals, it is highly unlikely that the verdict will be altered over overturned in any meaningful way. Apparently, legal experts feel that the verdict is solid enough to stand up to the appeals, or that simply few cases get overturned on appeal.
If this is true, the case could drag on for many years without much in the way of major developments.
That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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