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It appears to be official, the Tenenbaum file sharing case is now just about damages and not liability. Yesterday Tenenbaum’s attorneys admitted that they are not disputing liability and that the sole issue is the question of damages and harm.
Tenenbaum, who is being sued by the record labels for sharing 30 songs over various P2P networks, had his fair use defense thrown out on the eve of the trial, leaving very little in the way of options for his defense team.
Given that the minimum amount of damages the jury can award is $750 per song, the minimum award would be $22,500, still well above any settlement offer. This could increase many fold should the infringement be deemed willful, which was an issue testified on today by showing that Tenenbaum continued to share files after being contacted and even after being sued.
If the jury agrees that he is a willful infringer, the damages could go up to as much as $150,000 per work, or a total of $4.5 million.
Next up, I hope you like your copyright cases old because there isn’t that much modern about this one. The band Men at Work, who had two number one hits in the U.S. during the eighties, is being sued by an Australian music label Larrikin Music for allegedly plagiarizing the song, “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”, which was recorded in 1934.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Sydney, the band’s 1981 song “Down Under” uses a flute riff from the famous 1934 song.
Lawyers for the record labels had originally fought the suit claiming that Larrikin Music had failed to adequately acquire the rights to the song. However, a judge recently dismissed those claims paving the way for the lawsuit.
The original author of “Kookaburra”, Marion Sinclair, died in 1988, two years before Larrikin music bought the rights.
And yes, I did just use the words “flute riff” in a sentence.
Finally today, thirteen Hollywood studios have followed on the record studios and filed suit in Sweden demanding that The Pirate Bay, which lost its civil/criminal trial earlier this year, be shut down.
The site has remained in operation and has even been the subject of an attempted buy out by Global Gaming Factory even though the founders of the site were sentenced to a year in prison and sued successfuly for approximately $4.5 million in damages.
The Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde, however, was unimpressed by the recent threat saying that, “I’m on vacation, sleeping a lot and eating great vegan food,” before calling the lawsuit harassment.
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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