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First off today, the BBC is reporting that Kim Dotcom, the founder of the cyberlocker service Megaupload, is having his extradition hearing tentatively postponed to March 25, 2013. Dotcom was arrested in January as his site was shuttered by a joint U.S. and New Zealand raid. The U.S. sought extradition of Dotcom and several alleged accomplices but have hit roadblocks, most notably a New Zealand judge ordering the U.S. government to turn over evidence obtained in raids against Megaupload servers. The U.S. said that it would take too long to compile the evidence and, furthermore, they can’t turn it over since he has not submitted to U.S. authority. The New Zealand judge overseeing the extradition hearing decided to postpone the hearing, originally scheduled for August, to sort these and other issues out. Dotcom tweeted saying that this was a delay tactic by the U.S.
Next up today, Reuters is reporting that Dish Network lost a jurisdictional ruling related to its “Auto Hop” DVR that lets customers automatically skip commercials. Dish Network sued the four major networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in a New York court seeking a declaration that the “Auto Hop” feature was not infringing. However, three of the networks (ABC abstained) filed a similar suit in Los Angeles. However, the judge in the New York case ruled that the copyright issues should be tried in LA, leaving only some contract issues that are required to be heard in New York and Dish’s case against ABC, to be heard in New York. Dish Networks had claimed that since they were first to the courtroom with the suit (by only a few hours) they should have the right to choose the venue though the judge in the case disagreed.
Finally today, Claire Connelly of News.com.au reports that music streaming service Pandora has returned to Australia after nearly five years away. The company, which provides a streaming music service that lets users build custom “radio stations” based on their musical tastes, abandoned all non-U.S. markets after a 2007 Copyright Royalty Board ruling doubled the royalties they had to pay to performers. The increase forced Pandora to seek out separate arrangements with record labels and licensing boards and the company has since slowly been returning to international markets. Users of Pandora in Australia before the shutdown will still have their playlists and accounts, enabling them to pick up where they left off.
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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