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First off today, Ashley Post at Inside Counsel writes that a judge has tossed a lawsuit filed by two lawyers against legal research firms LexisNexis and Westlaw.
Early last year, the two attorneys, Edward White and Kenneth Eland, sued the two services claiming that they unlawfully profited from their selling of access to legal documents they had filed. They sought class action status in the case but dropped that request after the judge removed the class who had not registered their copyright.
White, who had registered his works, continued his claim as a single plaintiff. However, on Friday, the judge dismissed White’s suit saying that he would explain his reasoning in an opinion to be published soon. The services had claimed that their use of the legal documents was a fair use because they were already available to the public via the Pacer filing system and their use was transformative in that they scanned the documents to make them searchable.
Next up today, Adam Bender at Computerworld Australia reports that an Australian Federal Court has sided with musicians in deciding that songs played during an Internet simulcast are not covered under existing licenses granted to commercial radio stations.
At issue was whether or not radio stations would be able to simultaneously stream their music online. A lower court had favored the radio stations, saying such simulcasts were covered under existing licenses but the higher court overturned that decision.
Artists, represented by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia have said that they will seek separate agreements for Internet streams and they will not be bound by a statutory cap that limits how much they can charge radio stations for playing songs over terrestrial radio.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter writes that Warner Brothers is defending itself against allegations made by Hotfile that Warner abused their copyright takedown tool to remove non-infringing material.
At the heart of the case is whether or not a copyright holder must consider fair use before failing a takedown notice. Hotfile cites the recent Stephanie Lenz case, which saw her brief video of her baby be taken down due to a copyright claim against the music in the background. According to Hotfile, the judge in this case ruled that copyright holders must weigh fair use in when filing a takedown notice.
However, Warner Brothers cites the exact same case saying that later rulings indicated that such conditions were “extremely rare” and that, even if a copyright holder didn’t weigh fair use and should have, the claim would not be actionable as the standards for claims against false DMCA notices requires actual knowledge.
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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