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 is the big news that has everyone talking, The Pirate Bay, the infamous bittorrent tracker that is the subject of the criminal trial in Sweden, has been sold to a Swedish software company called Global Gaming Factory for a sum that approximately equals $7.8 million.
The sum seems low for a site that is one of the top 100 sites on the Web, but it seems likely that the lower price is due to the recent criminal case as well as the civil one against it. However, the sale price does more than double the $3.5 million verdict against them, so long as the labels don’t win their push to raise the fines.
There is a lot of uncertainty as to what this will mean for The Pirate Bay moving forward. There is some talk that they will be moving their Bittorrent tracker to another service and the CEO of Global Caming Factory said that he was working to have The Pirate Bay “introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site.” No one seems to really know what will happen next.
For their part, The Pirate Bay admins have said that the profits from the sale will “go into a foundation that is going to help with projects about freedom of speech, freedom of information and the openess of the nets.”
More information will likely be forthcoming over the next few days.
Connie Schultz, a columnist for The Plain Dealer, hypothesizes in a editorial on her newspaper’s site that what newspapers need to survive is tougher copyright law to battle back against aggregates and other “freeloaders”, which would apparently include this column on Plagiarism Today.
According to Schultz, the only way that newspapers can survive is if copyright law is broadened to allow newspapers to protect themselves against aggregators and others that report on and link to their content. Since those sites are able to report on the content for a fraction of the cost, they dilute the advertising market and are still able to turn a profit, all while not doing anything to pay for the reporting.
Schultz wants tighter copyright law to block this behavior and revenue-sharing deals with aggregators to help prop up the newspapers. Whether this will actually work, however, remains to be seen.
Finally today, Microsoft’s new search engine Bing is being accused by airfare-finding service Kayak of being too similar to their own. The complaints mostly center around the layout and features of Bing’s similar flight research tool, which uses sliders and checboxes to help focus in on the needed flights.
It is unclear if this is a copyright issue or even if any of the alleged similarities are copyrightable in the least, but Kayak has sent a letter to Microsoft expressing concern over this issue and Microsoft has also issues a stern denial, saying that all of the work was done in house by them and farecast.com, which the own.
More on this situation as it develops, if it does.
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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