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.
First off this week, in what is now the second entry on the new Copyright Fail Web site, a freelance reporter for Fox News’ Web site committed both career and copyright suicide by downloading and then reviewing the leaked copy of Wolverine, which is owned by Fox News’ parent company Fox.
Fox has already gotten the FBI involved in the chase for the person who leaked the film, including shutting down at least one datacenter, and was very prompt in firing the reporter. The reporter, Roger Friedman, has not been available for comment but one can only wonder what he was thinking when he gleefully described both how easy piracy was and wonderful it was, all the while committing infringement over a film owned, quite literally, by the people who sign his paycheck.
The Uruguay Round Agreements Act was a rather unusual beast in that it took certain foreign works that were in the public domain int he United States and removed them from it. However, the question was unanswered as to how this affected people who had already exploited works in the public domain but had had that right revoked.
Well, a the District Court in Colorado ruled that the URAA, insofar as it impacted those who had legitimately exploited public domain works previously, was unconstitutional and was a violation of free speech. Though this only directly affects a very small subset of people, namely those who used the works removed from the public domain by the URAA while they were available for use, it is the first time a court has ruled a copyright extension to be unconstitutional and tied copyright term with free speech.
Clearly, those elements could have larger implications in the future, especially if higher courts offer similar opinions.
Just when you thought that the Tenenbaum case could not get any stranger, Radiohead now plans to testify on behalf of the defense and against the RIAA.
In a case already marked by strange legal theories, personal emails being published and a circus-like atmosphere, it is unclear what Radiohead will bring to this case, other than another strange dimension to it.
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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