3 Count: Digial Barbarism

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: Hollywood in showdown over DVD ‘ripper’

First off today, RealDVD is getting its day in court. The product, which is produced by the company Real and allows users to backup their DVDs to their hard drives, had trial begin Friday.

Previously the judge in the case had issued a temporary order forbidding the sale of RealDVD, which allows users to break the CSS encryption on DVDs and copy them to their computers, saying that it appears to violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. However, the judge, which is the same judge that shut down Napster in 2000, wanted to save the matter for a full trial so he could better understand the technology.

According to Real, the product is not a violation as it fills a legitimate need, to backup DVDs. RealDVD also does not allow users to make additional copies of their DVDs as the version on their hard drive is wrapped in its own version of DRM.

The trial is expected to last three days.

2: Rapidshare Shares Uploader Info with Rights Holders

Those who use Rapidshare to trade files illegally may want to be a bit more wary. A section of the law commonly used against traditional file sharers is also being used to compel RapidShare, which is hosted in Germany, to give up the IP address and other information of uploaders.

In one case, the police raided the house of an individual that uploaded Metallica’s new “Death Magnetic” album to the site.

Germany copyright law, unlike U.S. law, does not provide clear protections to Web hosts that host infringing material uploaded at the direction of their users, making them more likely to cooperate, especially with record labels and movie studios.

3: ‘Digital Barbarism’ Wages Online Copyright Battle

Finally today, a new book by author and novelist Mark Helprin challenges the notion of copyleft and makes his case for both a lengthier copyright term and stronger rights.

Without having read the book, there isn’t much to say, but there is a sample from the book in the article linked above as well as information to purchase your own copy. Obviously, I’ll have more on this in the coming weeks, after I’ve had a chance to buy and read the work.


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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