3 Count: A Little Late

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: Public Booted from DVD Copying Trial Over ‘Secret’ CSS Code

First off today, in a move that has many left scratching their heads, the judge the in RealDVD case, which pits the MPAA against Real over their DVD ripping software, booted the media out of the courtroom to protect the “secrecy” of the CSS encryption key used to protect DVDs from being ripped.

Though this seems to make sense as the key is technically a corporate secret, the CSS encryption key as well as software to rip DVDs has been publicly available even open sourced for quite some time. In fact, one of the CSS keys itself was the subject of a Digg user revolt when Digg pulled down an article that featured the key. This resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, or articles with the key being submitted and the key being printed on t-shirts, mugs and more.

The judge in the case said she did not wish to go through “bit by bit” and analyze what was and was not a corporate secret so she booted the media from the courtroom during the parts of the testimony dealing with the CSS system.

2: Rapper Lil Wayne sues song’s producer

Next up, in a story of local interest to me in New Orleans, rapper Lil Wayne is suing Rebel Rock Productions Inc., claiming that the company failed to clear rights for a sample he used in one of his songs, which in turn is why he was sued by folk singer Karma-Ann Swanepoel last year.

Swanepoel sued Wayne for copyright infringement after his song “I Feel Like Dying” sampled Swanepoel’s track entitled “Once”. That case is on going and, most recently, Wayne was forced by a judge to give up records related to album sales for the calculation of possible damages.

3: Italian Courts Target Pirate Bay

Finally today, an Italian prosecutor is targeting The Pirate Bay founders, who were just found guilty in a controversial court case in their home country of Sweden. The four men, who were sentenced to one year in prison and given a hefty fine, are facing identical charges in Italy.

However, the prosecutor makes it clear that there is no chance of extradition to Italy over these charges and, instead, focuses on seizing assets to repay copyright holders and to enforce a block of The Pirate Bay, which was overruled and overturned in October of last year.

The prosecutor in the case feels comfortable that he will be able to get a conviction and the local copyright lobbies have expressed confidence that they will be able to get the ban re-instituted.


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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