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First off today, yesterday was the opening day for the Australian High Court trial between AFACT, a local organization representing rightsholders, and iiNet, a local ISP. The suit came about after AFACT sued iiNet claiming that it wasn’t doing enough to stop infringement by its customers. Though AFACT lost on both the lower and appeals court levels, the latter left a door open for ISPs to be compelled to take action. AFACT appealed that ruling as well and now the case is before the high court. On day one, the testimony centered around how much control (or lack thereof) iiNet had over its customers and what it could do to stop infringement. Testimony continues today and is expected to go on for at least the rest of the week.
Next up today, a recent ad for Fiat has caused some copyright controversy. The ad, which showed J.Lo driving through the Bronx in a Fiat car, already caused controversy when it was learned that J.Lo used a body double for the parts taking place in the Bronx. However, the ad became a copyright issue after a group of Bronx street artists named TATS Cru learned that one of their murals appeared in the commercial without permission. Fiat and TATS Cru, however, have since settled that dispute and Fiat put the blame squarely on the ad agency saying, “It is the Company’s standard protocol to require that its ad agencies conduct the necessary due diligence to ensure that all trademarks and copyrights are respected in the course of producing our advertisements.”
Finally today, Medical Justice, an organization that works to protect the reputation of doctors, dentists and other physicians on the Web, is ceasing use of its controversial contracts that would require patients to sign over all copyright to any reviews they wrote about the doctor. This way, they can remove negative reviews using DMCA notices. The move comes after one patient, Robert Lee, filed suit against a dentist, Dr. Stacy Makhnevich, who used a Medical Justice contract to try and force him to remove negative reviews he posted about her. Medical Justice has said that it’s taking the opportunity to retire those contracts and will be discouraging its clients from using them. However, the lawsuit against Makhnevich, which is a class action suit, will continue though it is unclear if Medical Justice will provide any legal assistance.
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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