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1: Fast-Tracked Panamanian Copyright Bill Creates Financial Incentive to Maximize Enforcement of Copyright
First off today, Mikae Palmedo of Infojustice writes that Panama is fast-tracking a new copyright bill that will give its Copyright Office some controversial new powers. Primarily, the bill aims to bring the nation into compliance with a free trade agreement the country signed with the U.S. It lengthens the copyright term to 70 years after the author’s death and expands the definition of reproduction to meet criteria in the agreement. However, the bill also gives the Directorate General of Copyright new powers to both go after infringements and, when collecting economic sanctions, keep the money for its budget. This is in sharp contrast to most nations, where such sanctions are put in the general budget to be doled out accordingly. The government hopes to pass the bill by the end of October.
Next up today, Matthew Belloni at the Hollywood Reporter, Esquire reports that Disney has won its lawsuit over the direct-to-DVD “Santa Paws” films. Three men had sued Disney claiming that the two movies based on the character, which is a dog that helps out Santa Claus, was based on a short story and script they had conceived in 1991. However, the judge has tossed the case saying that the works are not substantially similar and that the similarities the works shared were not protected under copyright law. The court also dismissed a civil conspiracy claim. However, the plaintiffs have said they are considering an appeal.
Finally today, Zach Walton of WebProNews writes that Swiss Federal Railways (SFR) is accusing Apple of copyright infringement over a clock. According to SFR, the clock used in the latest version of iOS for the iPad is nearly identical to the iconic clock that they use developed. The clock, which has no numbers and only dark hashes to represent the various positions, is widely identified with the company. SFR says it will now get in touch with Apple about the infringement and seek a “legal, as well as a financial solution”. Apple had no comment on the allegations.
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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