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First off today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that the European Court of Justice has ruled that the Netherlands must update its copyright laws to outlaw downloading of infringing works for personal use.
Under the former law, downloading a file in a way that was not for commercial gain was not considered infringing, with their actions being covered under a “piracy levy” that was placed on writeable media. However, the European Court of Justice has ruled that this is illegal as it puts copyright holders at a disadvantage and penalizes those who purchase legal content.
The government of the Netherlands has confirmed that downloading copyrighted works is no longer legal, effective immediately and that such cases will be prosecuted as civil cases. The ruling also likely affects other nations, such as Switzerland, that have similar systems.
Next up today, Dave Stafford at the Indianapolis Business Journal reports that attorney Richard Bell has found and pursued some 300 people that have used a photo he took of the Indianapolis skyline in 2000.
According to Bell, 100 of the defendants settled the disputes before a lawsuit was filed and another 75 settled after the suits were filed. Some were dismissed on jurisdictional grounds and about 10 defendants remain.
Bell did not register the photo with the U.S. Copyright Office until 2011, which makes him ineligible for statutory damages in many cases. However, he is also suing for unfair competition and theft, which he says is supported by the fact that he has sold licenses to use the photo.
Bell has won several key rulings including in a denied motion to dismiss his claims and a denied counterclaim that accused Bell of abusing the legal process. Defendants, however, say that bell is simply trying to procure quick settlements and is extorting even those who have legitimate defenses into settling to avoid a lawsuit.
Finally today, The Saudi Gazette reports that, in Saudi Arabia, the General Directorate of Copyright has temporarily closed some 72 stores in Riyadh for 60-70 days copyright violations.
The stores are shuttered after the electricity is cut and all employees have removed their belongings. Once it’s closed the store has a sign placed on the door that indicates why it was closed and when it will be able to reopen.
Of the stores that were closed, 25 allegedly sol unlicensed software, 27 sold copied records and another 20 sold illegally copied films.
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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