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First off today, Timothy B. Lee at Ars Technica reports that Prenda Law’s much-anticipated appearance in court on Tuesday did not go as planned for the judge. Rather than answering questions about alleged illegal practices, the lawyers that make up Prenda law pleaded the Fifth amendment, refusing to answer any questions and prompting the judge to storm out angrily.
Prenda Law earned a reputation for itself by mass-suing suspected BitTorrent file sharers of pornographic films. The firm would try to compel ISPs to give over personal information of the suspected sharers and then attempt to pressure them into quick settlements. However, when one of the defendants fought back, information came to light that made it appear Prenda had set up fake companies to represent in the lawsuits, a violation of the law.
Prenda’s lawyers were first supposed to appear at a hearing last month but failed to show, prompting the judge to schedule the hearing for Tuesday. However, the unwillingness of the lawyers to answer questions about their practices made the judge, according to one observer, “incandescently angry” and prompted him to storm out after barely 15 minutes of time in the courtroom.
Next up today, RapidTV News writes that the French Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM) and Universal Music Publishing International (UMPI) have reached a new agreement with YouTube, one that will allow music that they represent to be played in 127 new countries, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
The organizations, which represent music composers and publishers, had previously been unable to reach such an agreement, resulting in many videos that are available in the United States to not be available internationally. This represents the first such deal of this scale with YouTube.
The deal is part of a SACEM-UMPI joint action named DEAL (Direct European Administration and Licensing).
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Sony Pictures has emerged victorious in a lawsuit filed by author Joe Quirk, who claimed that the studio based their recent movie “Premium Rush” off of a novel he had written.
Though such lawsuits as common Quirk’s was seen as a more likely case than most because he not only had written and shopped screenplays for his book “The Ultimate Rush” but was also suing under breach of implied contract, which is normally tougher to defeat.
However, the judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying that the two works, the movie and the book, were not substantially similar but also noted that Quirk disclosed the ideas in his novel to the world without any conditions beyond copyright law, limiting his potential for implied contract claims.
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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