3 Count: Department of Damages

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: DoJ supports RIAA in Sony v. Tenenbaum three-ring circus

First off today, the Obama administration’s Department of Justice, in its first public copyright-related act, has sided with the RIAA and others on the issue of statutory damages, saying that damages awarded by copyright law, which can be many thousands of times higher than the actual damages.

Recent Supreme Court rulings have called this into doubt, even though the damages awarded under copyright are written into the law itself, but the DOJ, in an RIAA file sharing case, filed a brief in support of such high damages, citing circuit court rulings.

This has caused a great deal of controversy among Obama supporters, many of whom had hoped the new administration would bring a new position on copyright.

2: Fox Breathes New Life Into Redlasso

Redlasso, the video sharing service that let viewers clip out portions of TV shows and embed them into their site, has inked a limited deal with Fox to allow Redlasso to stream their video.

Fox and NBC, two partners in Hulu, had sued Redlasso in July of last year, forcing them to shut down their public-facing service. However, now Redlasso has announced that they have “settled all pending lawsuits with the television networks” and the deal with Fox seems to indicate that a new service is not far away.

3: Sinking China’s Video Pirates

Finally today, a new company named Vobile is hoping to bring the fingerprinting and automated content detection technology we see on YouTube to Chinese video sharing sites. These sites, as YouTube has clamped down on copyright infringement, have become leading sources for copyrighted videos all over the world.

As part of their new deal with 56.com and Pomoho, Vobile will provide fingerprinting technology similar to what is used on YouTube to detect infringing material before it goes online and help copyright holders request removal.

This marks the first time that major Chinese video sharing sites have taken such direct action against copyright infringement and will undoubtedly be a welcome change for copyright holders, many of whom have seen infringement that once took place on YouTube or Google Video simply shift east to China.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll 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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