3 Count: Seeing Double

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1: YouTube prevails in huge copyright suit with Viacom

First off today, Meg James at the Los Angeles Times reports that a judge has once again thrown out Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube, marking the second time that’s happened.

Viacom sued YouTube in 2007 alleging that YouTube, during its early years, ignored infringements on its site and knowingly built much of its audience based on infringing clips. However, a judge dismissed the case saying that there was no evidence YouTube acted improperly and that it was protected by safe harbor provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

However, after Viacom appealed that dismissal, it won a reprieve in the case, sending it back to the lower court arguing that a jury could believe that YouTube had actual knowledge of infringement, which would disqualify YouTube for protection. However, the lower court has again dismissed the lawsuit saying that Viacom has not provided any evidence of such knowledge. Viacom has vowed to appeal again.

2: Prenda Law May be Hit with Attorneys’ Fees in SF Case

Next up today, Joe Mlli at Ars Technica reports that Prenda Law, a law firm best known for mass BitTorrent piracy litigation (so-called “troll litigation) may be ordered to pay attorneys’ fees in some of the cases it is seeking to drop.

Prenda earned a reputation for suing suspected pirates of pornographic films and attempting to get them to settle for modest amounts. However, when one of the defendants fought back in court, questions were raised about the companies the firm represented and whether they were just shell companies for the lawyers themselves.

However, as that was going on, Prenda was seeking to drop other ongoing cases. In a hearing on one such case, Prenda lawyers claim they are dropping it due to evidence destruction issues and a $50,000 bond the judge ordered placed to move the case forward. But the judge asked if it was to avoid adverse rulings and is considering ordering Prenda to pay the defendant’s legal costs in the case.

3: Pirate Bay Co-Founder Charged With Hacking and Fraud

Finally today, Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai at Mashable reports that Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, one of the four founders of The Pirate Bay convicted of criminal copyright infringement in Sweden in 2009, is now facing new charges, unrelated to his exploits with the world’s most notorious BitTorrent tracker.

According to Swedish authorities, Warg hacked into a bank, the government’s tax agency and several other companies during a spree where he allegedly tried to transfer some 5.7 million Swedish Kronor ($875,000) and tried to illegally access commercial and government databases. One hack, the hack against the tax authority, resulted in the leak of some 9,000 Swedes’ personal identity numbers.

Warg is believed to be the mastermind behind the hacks but is not believed to have operated alone. He faces trial on the new charges in May but will likely be held in prison until then, even though his Pirate Bay sentence will have ended, due to fears he will flee the country.

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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