3 Count: Printed Levies

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1: Dotcom Considering Legal Action Over ‘Data Massacre’

First off today, Philippa Warr at Wired reports that the war of words between Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and his former host Leaseweb is heating up.

It was recently revealed that Leaseweb, Megaupload’s former European host, had wiped data from some 630 servers that Megaupload had formerly leased but was unable to pay hosting fees for after the site was shuttered and assets frozen in January 2012. According to Leaseweb, they maintained the servers for over one year without payment or anyone expressing significant interest in them. However, Dotcom claims that both he and the EFF sent data retention requests to Leaseweb in early 2012, shortly after the closure of the site.

Leaseweb, however, says that those requests came when the servers were still in their racks and that little had been done in the nearly one year since. So, in February, they wiped the servers and provisioned them for other customers. Dotcom, however, is said to be reviewing the facts of the case for possible legal action. Leaseweb, however, says that it’s actions complied with the law in the Netherlands, where the company is located.

2: HP, Canon and Fujitsu Could Raise Printing Prices to Deal with EU Copyright Ruling

Next up today, Dan Worth at V3 reports that the European Court of Justice has ruled that companies that make printers will have to pay copyright levies in order to reimburse copyright holders for infringements that are likely to take place on their products.

The move will likely raise the price of printers as companies have to absorb the cost of the levies, though the amount of the increase will depend on how much levies are applied by the individual countries.

Since the ruling was handed down by the European Court of Justice, it is binding across all member states, even though the case started in Germany, where a publisher sued Canon, Epson, Jujitsu, HP and Xerox over the issue of payments for works infringed on their printers.

3: Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Goes Down – Copyright Goes Up

Finally today, Sheppard Mullin at The National Law Review writes that, the recent Supreme Court ruling invalidating significant portions of the Defense of Marriage Act, which previously denied Federal benefits to legally-married gay and lesbian couples, may also have some impact on copyright law as well.

Under U.S. law, many functions of copyright are passed onto “statutory heirs” after the author’s death. Typically, these have been the author’s spouse, children and, in some cases, grandchildren. However, with DOMA, it’s possible legally married gay and lesbian couples would not have been considered statutory heirs and those rights would have gone to other family members.

These rights include copyright termination, the right to end copyright transfers after a certain number of years have passed, and copyright renewal provisions for works created and secured before 1978.

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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