3 Count: Rule 50

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1: Plaintiffs win Tenenbaum case; court reconsiders Rule 50 ruling, grants directed verdict on copyright liability

First off, the Joel Tenenbaum case is, effectively, over. Yesterday Tenenbaum admitted liability for his file sharing and the judge in the case granted a motion by the record labels, which effectively removes the question of liability from the jury and means they will only be deliberating on damages and willfullness.

The motion, known as a rule 50 motion, asks the judge the resolve an issue before it reaches a jury. This requires that “a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the party on that issue, the court may:”

This means that there is no means by which Tenenbaum can walk away from this trial with less than $22,500 in damages being awarded against him as the record labels sued him for sharing 30 songs over various P2P networks. The minimum the jury can find him liable for is $750 per song and the maximum, if they feel he infringed willfully, is $150,00 per song or $4.5 million total.

2: The Pirate Bay Ordered To Close In The Netherlands

Next up, The Pirate Bay has lost another round but this time it was in the Netherlands. Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN sued The Pirate Bay there and the judge ruled that the site had to cease all operations in the country, meaning it has to block all Dutch visitors, or all three of the admins will be fined 30,000 Euros per day the site is up after ten days.

However, this is a great deal of controversy about this suit and ruling. Peter Sunde, one of The Pirate Bay admins listed, said that he was never notified of the trial or even the verdict. This despite the fact the judge had ruled BREIN had taken adequate steps to notify the trio, though no official summons was handed down.

In short, none of the admins nor any of their representatives were at the trial and it is unclear if the admins will actually be forced to pay any of the penalties. The Pirate Bay has filed papers with the court saying that they were never notified and has asked the court to fine BREIN for their actions.

Most likely though, BREIN is going to take this victory and go after Dutch ISPs in a bid to force them to block The Pirate Bay.

3: Victory for Whiter Shade organist

Finally today, an organist for 60s band Procol Harum, Matthew Fisher, won his copyright legal battle with the band and will receive 40% of the copyright as well as royalties from the band’s hit song “Whiter Shade of Pale”, for which he wrote the organ melody.

The case, which took place in Britain, began in 2006 where a high court sided with Fisher. However, an appeals court reversed the decision on the grounds that he had waited too long to make his claim. However, the country’s highest court has ruled unanimously in his favor, restoring the first ruling.

The song in question was a number one hit in the UK for six weeks though only reached number five on the U.S. charts.


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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