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First off today, Josh Taylor at ZDnet reports that Australian cell phone service provider Optus has lost its bid to have the country’s High Court hear its case over TV Now and its turning its attention instead to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) in hopes that it will revise the law in its favor. Optus’ TV Now service allowed users to record and stream broadcast television on their mobile devices. Optus preemptively sued competitor Telstra and two sports leagues over legal threats they had made regarding the service, saying that it infringed copyright. Optus won in the lower court but lost on an appeal. A final appeal to the country’s High Court has been rejected and will not be heard. As a result of this final defeat, Optus is now hoping that the ALRC, which is reviewing Australia’s copyright law for possible reform, will alter the law to allow the service. The TV Now case was mentioned specifically in the ALRC’s call for review, raising Optus’ hopes for favorable change.
Next up today, Stephanie lot of PC Magazine reports that legally-embattled music streaming service Grooveshark has a new issue to worry about as record label EMI has filed another lawsuit against the them. This lawsuit claims that, even after an agreement between them was terminated, Grooveshark continued to make EMI’s music available. Grooveshark, which lets users upload music for streaming by others, had signed a deal with EMI but the record label alleges that Grooveshark fell behind in payments and also failed to provide sales records. This prompted EMI to terminate the agreement and, according to EMI, Grooveshark said that, if the agreement were terminated, it would not seek safe harbor protection. Safe harbor protection is what Grooveshark has been claiming in lawsuits with other record labels. Grooveshark has said that it is confident the lawsuit with EMI will be settled quickly. In the meantime though, Grooveshark has released an HTML5 version of its player aimed at mobile devices. This gets Grooveshark back on iOS and Android devices after both Apple and Google pulled the app from their stores due to legal concerns.
Finally today, the Anime News Network reports that Sanrio (the owners of Hello Kitty), DC Comics and Disney have all sued The Party Animals LLC over alleged copyright and trademark infringement. The company specializes in look-alike costumes that are similar to famous characters such as Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh, Supermand and others. Though the site contains a disclaimer that the costumes are not officially licensed, the companies are suing for $150,000 for each infringing copyright and an additional $200,000 for each trademark, an amount that could be increased to $2 million of the court finds the trademark infringement deliberate. There has been no response from The Party Animals as of this writing.
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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