3 Count: Skype Me

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1: Skype founders go to court to seek damages

First off today, the founders of Skype, which was purchased by the online auction company eBay in 2005 is now suing its parent company in court for copyright infringement.

According to the suit, when eBay purchased Skype, they purchased the company but not the core copyrighted works that make up the service. Instead, they obtained a license to use it from the owners. However, after the founders left the company, eBay began to alter those core technologies in violation of that license.

The case, which was filed in London, estimates that the copyright is being violated every time someone downloads a copy of Skype, up to 100,000 times per day, making the total damages per day up to $75 million, an amount eBay would have to pay half of according to their contract with Skype. All of this comes as eBay is hoping to sell Skype by the end of the fourth quarter this year.

2: Near-instant book printer adds Google Books titles

Next up today, multiple sources are reporting that today Google and On Demand Books, maker of the Espresso Book Machine will be announcing a partnership to print on demand public domain works through Google Book Search.

The Espresso Book Machine is a printer capable of turning out a paperback novel in a matter of minutes, it is commonly used by print-on-demand houses and has been considered for use by Barnes & Noble and other bookstores for similar ventures. However, Google will be using it to print out on-demand copies of various public domain works that it has digitized and included in their library.

This service should not cause any controversy and is unrelated to the ongoing Google Book Search settlement dispute, where Google, along with many publishers and the Author’s Guild, seeks to scan and display in-copyright but of print works in Google Book Search.

3: Second Life Sued For Allowing Sale Of Impostor Virtual Goods

Finally today. Kevin Alderman, a maker of erotic goods for the online virtual world Second Life, has sued the game’s creators, Linden Lab, for allowing his goods to be pirated within the world.

Alderman, who allegedly has brought in some $1 million off the sale of virtual sex beds, claims that Linden has allowed others users to upload and sell his virtual goods and profits from the venture since they earn money off of money transferred into and out of the world. According to his theory, this means Linden sacrifices its DMCA safe harbor protection and is at least partially liable for the infringements.

The suit is seeking class action status though it is unclear if others are planning on joining it.


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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