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 today, allegations of bias have come up against the judge who ruled on The Pirate Bay case.
It appears that the judge who recently found the four founders guilty and sent them to jail for a year apiece was also a member of at least three pro-copyright organizations, including one that also has some of the the attorneys that represented the entertainment industry in the trial as members as well.
According to experts on Swedish law, this represents a conflict of interest and may be grounds for a retrial, something that at least one of the defendant’s attorneys is demanding. The retrial request is part of the usual appeals process and will be ruled on by the appellate court.
In the end, what this does is make the possibility of a retrial much more likely and could result in the verdict being thrown out.
Next up today British Singer Billy Bragg has come out against the proposed EU copyright extension, which would extend the copyright on music recordings from 50 to 95 years, but not for the reasons many might expect.
Bragg said that the extension would, “simply perpetuates recording contracts that were signed in the last 50 years.” He instead threw his support behind a Green Party amendment that would extend the term to 95 years but, after the first 50, would turn the rights over to a national agency to divide the royalties among artists and performers.
He also said that he is against “criminalizing fans” and wants copyright law to focus more on commercial use.
Finally today, a lot of reporters and newsmen are winding up with some egg on their face, including me, as the report of plagiarism lawsuit over the Twilight series appears to have been a hoax.
There are a lot of unanswered questions about how this story made it into so many large news outlets, including the MSNBC story I linked to yesterday, but it appears at this time that there is no such lawsuit and no threat to the new movie, due out in November.
News that I am certain makes Twilight fans very happy.
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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