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First off today Dan D’Ambrosio at USA Today repots that Vermont artist Frank Gaylord has won a judgment against the U.S. Postal Service over stamp the organization issued featuring the Korean War Veterans Memorial, which Gaylord sculpted.
The stamp, which was based on a photo taken by a former Marine named John Alli, featured the memorial and prompted Gaylord to sue. The lower court sided with the Post Office, saying that the stamp was a fair use. However, that was overturned on appeal in 2010 and it was sent back to the lower court, which then ruled in favor of Gaylord, awarding him $685,000.
The bulk of the award comes a 10% royalty on the estimated $5.4 million in stamps the Postal Service is said to have sold featuring the image. Gaylord had also sued Alli, but the two quickly reached an agreement where Alli would pay Gaylord a 10 percent royalty on any further sales of the image. The Postal Service has said it is considering appealing.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter reports that the heavily-anticipated Hotfile ruling has been made public and, though the MPAA is right that it scored a major win against the file locker service, it also suffered at least a small setback, namely that Hotfile can move forward with claims that Warner Brothers misused its takedown tool to remove files it did not have the rights to.
The lawsuit began when the movie studios sued Hotfile, alleging that the file locker service was responsible for the infringements that took place on its service. Hotflie claimed that it was protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor rules that prevent hosts from being held liable for actions committed by users. However, the court ruled that Hotfile does not qualify for such protection, saying the site has an inadequate repeat infringer policy and failed to address the scale of infringement on the service.That matter will be put before a jury barring a settlement.
Hotfile, however, will also get one of its issues heard before a jury as well. Namely its claims that Warner Brothers misused a takedown tool to remove files it didn’t hold the copyright in. The judge declined to dismiss those claims and are setting those up for a trial at a later date, once again, barring a settlement.
Finally today, David Kravets at Wired reports that The Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America and several of the largest ISPs in the U.S. are launching a new pilot project in California that aims to teach elementary school students about copyright.
The new curriculum is currently in “draft” stage and has not been approved by the Center for Copyright Infringement, which commissioned the study. The curriculum includes a short video and a worksheet for teachers.
However, the draft is already coming under fire with one reviewer from the Electronic Frontier Foundation calling it “propaganda” and others criticizing the overall tone. Creators of the curriculum say that there may be some tweaks and changes to the wording of the documents.
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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