3 Count: End of the Line

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1: Supreme Court Rejects Minnesota Woman’s Appeal of $222,000 Penalty in Music Downloading Case

First off today, The Associated Press is reporting that Jammie Thomas-Rasset has had her appeal to the Supreme Court denied, bringing an end to her long-standing civil case over her file sharing activities.

Thomas-Rasset, was sued in April 2006 after she refused to settle to allegations she had illegally shared music files online. She was sued for sharing some 24 songs and, after her first trial in 2007, she was found liable and hit with statutory damages totaling $222,000. However, the judge in the case threw out the damages leading to a series of retrials, including one on damages, until the Appeals Court reinstated the first verdict.

Following the Appeals Court setback, Thomas-Rasset appealed to the Supreme Court but the court has denied her appeal without comment, leaving her with the original judgment against her.

2: EA Admits SimCity Could Have Run Offline

Next up today, Erik Kain at Forbes reports that Lucy Bradshaw, the head of Maxis, which is the subsidiary of EA that developed the recent SimCity game, has admitted that the game could work fine in offline-only mode.

The highly-anticipated launch of SimCity has been marred by server problems that have prevented players from accessing the game due to always-on copy protection. Bradshaw said that they rejected the idea because it “didn’t fit with our vision”, which she says included not having cities in isolation, but rather, interacting with one another.

Meanwhile some players have modded the game to enable an offline mode, with some saying that it only requires changing one line of code to make it possible. Bradshaw’s statement contradicts earlier statements that seemed to indicate that SimCity depended on the remote servers for calculations making them necessary at all times.

3: Documentary Filmmaker Sues AP for Stealing Footage

Finally today Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that filmmaker Melinda Hunt is suing the Associated Press, alleging that the news organization unlawfully used portions of a documentary she filmed in a news report.

Hunt is the filmmaker behind the movie “Hart Island: An American Cemetery” which was about an island in New York where the unclaimed dead are buried. Filmiing is not allowed on the island but Hunt was able to receive permission after years of negotiation. However, when the AP attempted to do a news story on Hart Island, they struggled to get the same permission and then, according to Hunt, simply spliced in portions of her film into the news report.

Hunt is suing for copyright infringement, secondary copyright liability (for allegedly contributing to the infringement of the AP’s affiliates, removal of copyright management information and circumvention of copyright protection systems (the latter two coming from the AP’s alleged breaking of DRM schemes used to protect the film’s DVD). The AP had no comment.

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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