3 Count: Empire Building

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: New Pirate Bay Will Become a Pay Site

First off today, in a move that is almost certain to rile up existing Pirate Bay users, the new owners have announced that they will converting the site into a paid service so they can pay copyright holders when their work is downloaded.

The announcement came from Wayne Rosso, who was appointed by the new owners of the site, Global Gaming Factory (GGF) to head up the operation. Rosso has experience with other P2P service, including Grokster, where he was the president of the company.

GGF agreed to purchase The Pirate Bay for approximately $7.8 last month. However, it appears that the sale is far from final as they first have to raise the money with which to make the purchase and need shareholder approval. Since shares in the company have gone down since the announcement, the latter part could be a pretty difficult step.

2: Wikipedia painting row escalates

Next up today, the dispute between Wikipedia and the National Portrait Gallery of London has been heading up. The dispute when a Wikipedia member, who has now been identified as David Coetzee uploaded over 3,000 images taken by the gallery of its works. Though the paintings themselves are in the public domain, under British law, photos and scans of them are not.

According to the gallery, the dispute centers more around Wikipedia harming their ability to sell prints and books based upon the images. That posting high-resolution versions on their site, for free, could hurt their efforts to recoup the £1 million in digitization fees they spent. They have reportedly offered medium-resolution images for Wikipedia to use.

Wikipedia, on the other hand, has accused the gallery of “empire building”, saying that the gallery is working to make claims on works now owned by the public and is looking to further their bottom line by restricting public access to works.

3: Copyright law still riles

Finally today, we have some of our first “reviews” of New Zealand’s new copyright proposal. The first one, which called for ISPs to disconnect users after two warnings, was scuttled after widespread user protest. However, the new one reworks the “three strikes” system by instead sending the alleged infringer to a tribunal where a variety of punishments can be levied, including fines and disconnections.

The reviews from the groups who lead the protest against the first draft say that the new one is an “improvement” but that there is still the danger for it to punish innocent users, especially in business and education settings.

It is unclear how the law would handle disconnections where there are multiple users involved, including many who likely do not share files, but it does seem that the new system would be in a better position to address those situations.


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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