3 Count: Unpackaged Deal

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1: Viacom Tells Judge Not to Invalidate Carriage Agreement With Cablevision

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Viacom has hit back against Cablevision, which sued the TV giant in February alleging that a carriage deal Viacom with them to sign was illegal.

According to Cablevision, Viacom illegally bundles its channels, forcing cable providers like Cablevision to pay for channels like MTV Hits and Palladia if it wants popular channels like Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. Cablevision is asking the court to invalidate the carriage agreement and has once amended the lawsuit with greater clarification.

However, Viacom hit back late last week, saying that their actions are not unlike Cablevision’s, which bundles channels for customers, but also that there is no legal basis for its claims. Viacom also claims that Cablevision was aware of the practice in 2008 and did nothing then to challenge it.

2: Cheap MP3 Site Shuts Down, Keeps Users’ Cash, Blames Russian SOPA

Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Russian MP3 site LegalSounds has shut down and taken with it much of its customer’s money.

LegalSounds was one of several Russian and Ukrainian sites that claimed to sell legal MP3s but at a fraction of the cost of authorized sellers, often for 10 cents per track or $1 per album. However, the site shut down abruptly and, with it, the money from their customers’ accounts has disappeared, with the company only promising refunds to credit card customers who haven’t used any of their purchase amount.

LegalSounds blames the closure on recently-passed anti-piracy legislation in Russia. However, the law currently only deals with movies and TV shows, not songs, making that unlikely.

3: Nintendo Copyright Claim Kills Metroid Fan Film on Kickstarter

Finally today, Mitch Dyer at IGN reports that Nintendo has filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice with Kickstarter and removed a proposed fan film for the Metroid video game series.

The film, Metroid: Enemies Within, would have been a 10-minute film funded by fans of the game on Kickstarter and would have been a non-profit project. However, Nintendo objected to the use of their characters and ordered the project’s removal.

Nintendo has been clamping down on copyright issues lately, including its move to take ad revenue for “Let’s Play” videos on YouTube.

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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