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First off today, the UK a new set of proposed laws could lead to a major crackdown and even a criminalization of file sharers in the country.
The new proposals, if adopted, could lead to penalties as high £50,000 and may also include restrictions on Internet access. The laws are being proposed by Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, and will be unveiled at the upcoming Queen’s Speech.
In addition to the fines and penalties, Ofcom, the industry regulator in the UK, would require internet service providers to collect information on those who downloaded pirate material. Though the information would be anonymous, it could be tracked down to a unique computer ID number for those that the law said warranted it.
Needless to say, it seems likely these proposals will be very controversial.
2: The Pirate Bay Still Hasn’t Gone Legit, Still Enjoys Poking Big Media in the Eye: The “$675,000 Mixtape”
Next up, just because The Pirate Bay is being sold on the 27th, if all goes according to plan, doesn’t mean that they aren’t getting a few parting shots in along the way.
Currently the site is promoting “DJ Joel’s $675,000 Mixtape”, which is a torrent containing the 30 songs that Joel Tenenbaum, the recent defendant who lost in his trial to the record labels, was accused of sharing. Tenenbaum famously lost his suit and was ordered by the jury to pay a total of $675,000 in damages to the RIAA for sharing those songs.
As a bonus thumb in the eye to the record labels, The Pirate Bay is saying the collection is “Approved by the RIAA” though it clearly is not. The Pirate Bay is scheduled to be sold on August 27th to Global Gaming Factor, a Swedish software firm, and four of its former admins were convicted of criminal copyright infringement, the appeals for that case are ongoing.
Finally today, the world’s largest maker of spirits, Diageo, is suing UK supermarket chain Sainsbury over alleged copyright infringement. According to the suit, Sainsbury’s new gin-based summer cocktail drink, Pitchers, infringers on Diageo’s brand and may cause confusion.
It’s important to remember that, while this would likely be a trademark case in the U.S., in the UK copyright law coves many more elements, including design, so a trademark suit makes sense. Very little else is known about this suit at this time but I will keep you updated as we learn more.
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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