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First off today Righthaven, the company filing copyright infringement lawsuits on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post, has suffered a significant fair use setback as a judge ruled that even copying an entire article could be a fair use. The judge said the verdict was limited on many grounds, namely that Righthaven was not the original copyright holder, had not filed a takedown notice, was suing a non-profit and the article was primarily factual with little creative expression. However, an appeal of this case is almost certain as this ruling could, potentially, completely kill Righthaven’s business model of suing infringers.
Next up today, in a completely separate fair use case, artist Richard Prince has lost his case against photographer Patrick Cariou, who had sued him over uses of his photographs. Prince had taken some photos snapped by Cariou, modified them in various ways and then used them in a gallery exhibit. Cariou, who used the images as part of his book “Yes Rasta” sued but Prince claimed his works were a fair use, however, a Federal judge disagreed, granting a summary judgment in the case in favor of Cariou. An appeal is also likely in this case.
Finally today, the UK’s two largest ISPs, BT and TalkTalk, will on Wednesday challenge the Digital Economy Act to a judicial review and, on Friday, it will be decided if that review can go forward. According to the ISPs, the act, which aims to stifle file sharing in the country through a “three strikes” regime to cut off access to suspected sharers, both infringes the basic rights of users and did not receive adequate review in Parliament. If it goes through, the review will at least tie up the act’s implementation for over a year.
That’s it for the three count today. We will 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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