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First off, David Kravets at Wired reports that San Francisco TV station KTVU has started filing DMCA takedown notices in a bid to remove videos showing the famous gaffe where a reporter was tricked into reading racially insensitive joke names on the air thinking they were the pilots involved in the Asiana flight 214 crash.
The station has started filing the takedown notices on sites such as YouTube where clips have been widely uploaded. But while the station says it is within its rights to do so, the general manager admits that copyright is not the main focus, saying that the videos are “insensitive and offensive” and that they are seeking to minimize its “thoughtless repetition.”
The station issued an apology after the gaffe saying that the names had been confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board but the video became an Internet sensation, also featured heavily on other mainstream media outlets.
Next up today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that Prenda Law is facing yet another setback, this one in San Francisco, where Judge Chen raised serious questions about the law firm’s practices and seems likely to uphold nearly $23,000 in attorneys fees being sought by a defendant.
Prenda Law became famous for suing a large number of suspected BitTorrent pornography pirates in hopes of receiving quick settlements. However, after several of them fought back, issues with Prenda were exposed including the misuse of shell companies, lawyers not stating that they were also the plaintiffs and accusations of identity theft. This has caused several of the cases to be tossed and defendants are seeking attorney’s fees to cover their costs.
Judge Chen sharply questioned Paul Duffy, a Prenda Law representative, via speakerphone. He asked pointed questions about why attorney’s fees should not be awarded, including about their business model, the issue of whether AF Holdings, the alleged copyright holder in the work involved, had standing and whether Prenda Law was the first to upload the files to the BitTorrent sites.
Prenda Law has already been ordered to pay fees and other awards in related cases, including another San Francisco case. However, none of the other defendants who have won such awards have received any money.
Finally today, Andy Chalk at The Escapist writes that Finland’s Parliament will vote on the world’s first “crowdsourced” copyright law. Entitled “The Common Sense in Copyright Act”, the bill was drafted by citizens and, through an online petition, earned enough signatures to receive a full vote.
The petition, which passed with just one day to go, is similar to the “We the People” petitions in the U.S. but, where successful petitions in the U.S. merely receive a response from the White House, the government votes on successful ones in Finland.
The draft legislation includes provisions to expaind fair use, reduce penalties for infringement and provide increased legal copying for legally-owned media among other things. The vote is scheduled to take place in early 2014.
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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