3 Count: Pass the Popcorn

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1: Brett Gibbs Gets His Day In Court — But Prenda Law Is The Star

First off today, Ken White at Popehat writes that yesterday was a major day in the Prenda Law dispute, even if the stars of the show failed to make an appearance.

The case centers around the law firm Prenda Law, which was heavily involved in BitTorrent “Troll” litigation where they would sue individuals suspected of pirating pornographic films and seek quick settlements. However, after one of the defendants fought back, allegations began to surface that Prenda Law had an improper interest in the case and that the plaintiffs were just shell companies. This was furthered when Alan Cooper, one of the attorney’s caretakers, emerged to say that his identity was used without permission to serve as the head for one of those companies.

Prenda’s attorneys had been ordered to appear in court yesterday but did not show. According to their lawyer, they were available via phone but the judge opted not to call. Instead, Cooper took to the stand and testified on threats he had received and an attorney working for Prenda Law, Brett Gibbs, testified that he had had his phone number and letterhead misused by his clients.

The judge did not issue a ruling on possible sanctions and, instead, said he will submit a written ruling later.

2: 3D Printing Gunmaker Forms Company to Flout Copyright Law, à la the Pirate Bay

Next up today, Cryus Farivar at Ars Technica reports that Texan gunsmith Cody Wilson has announced the formation of a new company, DefCAD, to be the next phase in his non-profit organization Defense Distributed.

Wilson, through Defense Distributed, currently offers gun 3D images of gun parts that are available for reproduction on a 3D printer. He wants to expand that through DefCAD into printable models of anything and has said that he’s willing to ignore the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to do so, looking to The Pirate Bay as inspiration.

Wilson said he would first try to “defeat” the DMCA but, failing that, would move the site to countries like Slovakia where the laws are more favorable. However, Wilson says that he first has to raise $500,000 in the next 30 days before he can open for business.

3: Surprise Hit Was a Shock for Artists Heard on It

Finally today, James McKinley at The New Yorks Times reports that Baauer, the creator of the “Harlem Shake”, a song which has become a viral sensation and spawned thousands of videos, is now being the subject of copyright claims by two artists who claim the song sampled their earlier work without permission.

Hector Delgado and Jayson Musson are both looking for payment from Baauer’s label, Mad Decent Records, claiming that the viral hit uses samples of their music. In Delgado’s case, he claims the song uses his singing of the song “Con Los Terroristas” with the sound of Musson chanting “Do the Harlem Shake” over it. Delgado’s song is from 2006 and Musson’s from 2001.

Baauer has not commented publicly but the song has topped the Billboard 100 charts for three weeks straight and has been downloaded more than 800,000 times to date.

Suggestions

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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Tune in every Wednesday evening at 5 PM ET for the live recording of the Copyright 2.0 Show or wait and get the edited version Friday right here on Plagiarism Today.

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