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First off today, the BBC is reporting that the “three strikes” system in the UK is suffering yet another delay, with the letters not expected to not start going out until the second half of 2015.
The system, which was part of the Digital Economy Act, which took effect in 2010, were supposed to begin in 2011 but have faced repeated delays, including a court battle over the legality of the system.
The delay comes after the UK Parliament withdrew legislation to determine who would pay for the three strikes system, which sends warning letters to suspected infringers and, after two warnings, disables their Internet access. Without clear guidance on who is paying for the system, it’s being delayed though other provisions of the act, including site blocking, are moving forward.
Next up today, Josh Taylor at ZDNet reports that the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has released its proposals for changing the copyright act in that country and it includes a fair use provision that would be much more broad than existing exemptions, which are case-specific.
The recommendations come on the heels of the Optus case, which saw the cell phone provider successfully sued for a TV streaming service, named TV Now, that recorded shows on their servers for streaming to mobile devices. The Full Federal Court ruled that the app did not qualify for an exemption under the copyright act as it was using the TV programs for a commercial use.
However, according to the ALRC, under the proposed new rules Optus would likely win as its use of the content would be merely to facilitate the users’ fair use of it. In the ALRC’s view, the new regime will be technology-neutral and assist with adapting the law to future technologies.
Finally today, Dave Neal at The Inquirer writes that Sony Music has received a colorful reply to a copyright claim it sent to the independent label GUmmy Soul over the Bizarre Tribe album, which is described as “a mashup of hip hoppers The Pharcyde and A Tribe Called Quest sample sources.”
Sony wrote the label alleging that the album was infringing by using samples from A Tribe Called Quest (ATCQ). However, Gummy Soul rebutted saying that the use of ATCQ content was minimal and that the project was much more “nuanced” than what Sony alleged, using only original samples for most of the work (including samples also used by ATCQ). Gummy Soul also took issue with Sony’s allegations that the record was being distributed for sale noting that “We do not, and have never, sold the album in any capacity be it physical or digital.”
However, despite the protests of Gummy Soul, as of this writing, the album is not available and has been replaced with “Access Denied” clips on both the album’s site and the label’s. Gummy Soul said they did this to avoid a “meritless and costly lawsuit.”
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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