3 Count: Snowed In

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1: Germany: Google book deal violates copyright law

First off today, Germany, or more specifically the deputy director general of the Directorate Commercial and Economic Law in Germany’s Justice Ministry, has ruled that the Google Book Search settlement violates copyright law in Germany.

The settlement, which is between Google, book publishers and the Author’s Guild, allows Google to scan and digitize millions of out-of-print but still in copyright books for inclusion in its book search engine and display, in small snippets on its site. Many countries, including Germany, as well as many companies, including Yahoo! and Microsoft, have opposed the deal on copyright and antitrust grounds.

According to the German court, “The decision of this court with respect to this settlement will have the dramatic and long-range effect of creating a new worldwide copyright regime without any input from those who will be greatly impacted — German authors…”

The time frame for participation or rejection of the settlement ends this week.

2: Mac clone maker sues Apple over Snow Leopard

Next up today, beleaguered “hackintosh” maker Psystar has sued Apple again, this time over its new Snow Leopard operating system.

The lawsuit follows a similar direction to the one that Psystar filed over Apple’s previous OSes, claiming that the company is illegally tying it to Apple hardware via both technical measures and its license agreement. Psystar said it believes it activity of selling customer computers with Apple operating systems is legal, but that Apple is trying to thwart its efforts using copyright as a weapon.

Apple famously sued Psystar for its sale of systems using its OS in 2008. That case, along with this, will likely head to a trial in early 2010.

3: Eircom Pirate Bay Blockade Takes Effect

Finally today, Irish ISP Eircom began its blocking of The Pirate Bay yesterday. The ISP had agreed, in an out-of-court settlement following a lawsuit by Irish rightsholder groups, to block access to the bittorrent tracker. Other ISPs in Ireland are fighting the request.

Users who attempt to access The Pirate Bay via Eircom are given a page that states it’s blocks and offers an explanation as to why.

Eircom has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the record industries to attempt to develop and launch a new music buying service by the end of the year.


That’s it for the three count today. We will 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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