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First off today, livestreaming site Ustream is in legal hot water after being sued by a boxing promotional company owned by Roy Jones Jr., Square Ring Inc., after a recent pay-per-view match between Roy Jones Jr. and Omar Sheika was streamed for free to 2,300+ users on the site.
Ustream has said they believe that the DMCA protects them in this case and that the lawsuit is without merit, but they did say that they are taking both short term and long term steps to improve their copyright enforcement on the site.
This follows on the heels of a major overhaul at Ustream’s competitor, Justin.tv, to filter out and block copyrighted video from being played on the site.
Next up, the ongoing dispute between DVD rental kiosk maker Redbox, which is owned by Coinstar, and the movie studios is, well, ongoing. However, the copyright element of it seems to have been removed at this time.
Redbox sued Universal and Fox for copyright misuse and antitrust violations for plans to withhold new releases for 45 days from the company in a bid to increase more lucrative home sales. The movie studios have not been too pleased with the success of Redbox, which places small red DVD rental kiosks in grocery stories and other locations, as it feels the service undercuts their DVD sales by renting them for a dollar per day.
The judge, however, dismissed the copyright misuse claims, the reason being that there is no such thing as a copyright misuse lawsuit. Copyright misuse is a defense against copyright infringement, not an action for a suit. However, the judge has allowed the antitrust claims to move forward, meaning that this fight has likely just started.
Finally today, a recent study in the EU has released some numbers that will be unnerving to those in the content industries. According to the report, barely 5% of Web users paid for content within the last three months and the news among non-payers is not very promising.
Of those, about half said they would consider paying if prices were lowered, quality were raised and/or selection improved. However, 80% said that they would not pay even if all of the free options disappeared,
This has to make music and movie studios nervous as the former begins to dabble with “all you can eat” approaches to music, especially in the EU, in hopes of turning people into legitimate customers, even at drastically reduced prices.
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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