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First off today, Timothy B. Lee at Ars Technica reports that Megaupload, the company, is arguing the U.S. government is attempting to change the rules to allow prosecution of foreign companies and, by doing so, it is admitting that it didn’t properly notice them of the criminal action.
Megaupload, the site, was shuttered in January of 2012 after it was seized and arrested many of its New Zealand-based employees, most notably including its founder Kim Dotcom. However, an issue arose as Megaupload claimed that there were not properly served because U.S. law did not provide a clear way to serve foreign corporations with no U.S. address.
However, a judge rejected that argument in October, saying that they can satisfy the notice requirement after Kim Dotcom has been extradited. More recently, U.S. Assistant Attorney Lanny Breuer, citing the Megaupload as an example, has asked Congress to change the rules regarding providing service to foreign corporations to provide an alternative path. According to Megaupload, this is an admission that the service to them was improper and that the case should be dismissed.
Even if Megaupload is victorious in getting the charges dismissed against it, i would not bring an end to the case against Kim Dotcom, who faces extradition later this year.
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that science fiction author Cory Doctorow’s latest novel, Homeland, has become the unwilling subject of several DMCA notices from Fox, which is seeking to remove torrents of its new TV show by the same name.
Doctorow, a well-known copyright activist, has released the book through publisher Tor Teen under a Creative Commons license that allows downloading and sharing. Doctorow, after hearing about the takedowns, was angry and called for the nead of New Corp’s President Rupert Murdoch.
However, Tor is also not without blame as it too has send DMCA notices over another one of Doctorow’s books, The Rapture of Nerds. Doctorow said that Tor often sends notices when the book is wrapped in DRM or otherwise violates the license. But Tor admitted to its mistake in this case.
Finally today, Ad Week reports that Aereo, the controversial TV streaming service that is being sued by broadcasters for copyright infringement, has taken out a full page ad in The New York Times to plead its case directly to the public.
The ad comes as broadcasters file a second appeal and ask the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to shutter the service. However, Aereo, which uses a series of small antennas to capture the over-the-air signal and stream it, both live and recorded, to subscribers on a variety of devices, says that it is legal. The Appeals Court previously agreed, saying that the performance was a private one, not a pubic one.
However, a conflicting ruling in California against a similar service may open up the door this new appeal to work, or so broadcasters hope. This prompted Aereo to take out the ad, saying that its service is not piracy, but rather, “Part of the American Way”. Fox and CBS, however, have threatened to consider ditching over-the-air broadcasts if they lose the case.
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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