3 Count: Slow News Day

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: Judge: Ono owns copyright to rare Lennon footage

First off today, a judge has ruled that Yoko Ono, the widow of the musician John Lennon, exclusively owns the rights to 10 hours worth of footage shot of the star while at home. World Wide Video, who claimed to have bought the video from Anthony Cox, who shot the footage, claimed they held the rights to the work but the judge found that Ono had a very clear agreement with the photographer and she was the rightsholder.

The dispute came about after World Wide Video had planned to show a two-hour documentary produced using the footage to a school in Maine in 2007. When Ono found out about the showing, she sent a letter that put a stop to it. Ono, who wishes to keep the footage private, paid $300,000 to Anthony Pagola, an intermediary who had copies of the film, for the rights.

Pagola was served in the lawsuit as well but failed to answer, leading the judge to file a notice of default against him.

2: DOJ Officially Opens Investigation Into Google Book Search

Next up, the Department of Justice has officially announced it is investigating Google’s Google Book Search product for possible anti-trust violations. This move had long been expected, especially last month when the DOJ sent “civil investigative demands” to Google indicating that they were eyeing Google Book Search for possible violations.

Though it is unclear how serious this investigation is, the DOJ is saying it has not yet determined the merit of the case against Google, but the Google Books Search settlement is still pending final approval in the courts, which should come later this year if all hurdles are cleared.

3: Supreme Court Lets Cable Company Store Recorded TV Shows

Finally today, the Supreme Court has declined to hear the Cablevision case, which pitted several major media companies against the cable company over its remote DVR system. In doing so, it allows the lower court’s ruling to stand, which found that the system was legal.

The system, which allows users to record shows on Cablevision’s servers rather than an in-home DVR, drew the ire of many TV networks and movie studios who sued Cablevision claiming that the service was an infringement. However, the lower courts found that, since in-home DVRs were non-infringing and this service did not function any differently, other than where the data was stored, this service was a non-infringement as well.

The Supreme Court, by not taking the case, has allowed those rulings to stand, clearing Cablevision to continue offering the new service.


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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