3 Count: The Dutchess

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1: File-Sharing Heroine Lilly Allen is a Copyright Hypocrite

First of today, musician Lilly Allen has found herself in a bit of controversy. After starting up an anti-piracy blog entitled “It’s Not Alright”, the singer was then accused of plagiarizing an article from the site TechDirt regarding recent comments by rapper 50 Cents on the issue of piracy.

The irony and the hypocrisy was smacking to many, myself included, but the singer countered with an apology stating the following (caps and errors hers): “I THINK ITS QUITE OVIOUS THAT I WASNT TRYING TO PASS OF THOSE WORDS AS MY OWN , HERE IS A LINK TO THE WEBSIITE I ACQUIRED THE PIECE FROM . Apologies to Michael Masnick.”

Masnick, who wrote the article, takes a very strong copyright reform and pro-file sharing stance and has said that he is not bothered by thd use of his content, but highlights how “When it’s natural and easy for people to copy like that, it’s time to learn to accept it and use it to your advantage.”

2: Fergie Accused of Copyright Infringement

Next up today, just after we close the books on the Coldplay/Satriani plagiarism case, we open up a new one. This time it is Fergie, best known from the group Black Eyed Peas, is being sued by the reggae group Groundation for copyright infringement.

According to the suit, Fergie’s song “Voodoo Doll” is “substantially and strikingly similar” to their song “”Each One Teach One”. Fergie’s song, which was off her solo record “The Dutchess” was released in 2006, Groundnation released their song in 2000.

Will.i.am, Fergie’s Black Eyed Peas bandmate is also named in the suit as the writer and producer of the song.

3: Scientology: The Web’s First Copyright-Wielding Nemesis

Finally today, Wired Magazine has a very interesting look back at some of the Church of Scientology’s early history with copyright on the Web, reminding us that even before the RIAA was a household name or Napster the bane of the recording industry, the Church of Scientology was using copyright as a weapon on the Web (technically Usenet) and even reached out to Finland to get an anonymizing service shut down to prevent users from posting content anonymously without the fear of litigation.

The Church of Scientology certainly has one of the more interesting relationships with copyright among various religions. Having famously used it, rightly or wrongly, to silence critics and litigate many into silence. However, the most popular weapon today is the DMCA takedown notice, which many of its notices have fallen under close scrutiny for possibly being false and/or misleading.

All in all, it puts a slightly new spin on the “wild west” internet years before Napster when it comes to copyright.


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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