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First off today, all eyes are on Australia today as a Federal court in the country is hearing a case between the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, which counts 34 major copyright holders as members, and local ISP iiNet.
Copyright holders have accused iiNet of not taking reasonable steps to prevent copyright infringement on its network. With their previous win against Sharman Networks, the makers of Kazaa, hope to expand that win to cover traditional ISPs. However, there are many hurdles in their way including safe harbor protections and a telecommunications act that could bar the action the copyright holders want to see.
The case is expected to last into November and is being closely watched by ISPs all over the world.
Next up today, Linden Lab, the maker of the virtual world Second Life has banned some 50 users from the world after they were found to be using an unofficial viewer to infringe upon copyrights.
What is interesting about the case is how the users were caught. A legitimate viewer would not demand all of the objects nearby, however, the unofficial ones would ask for more than they were allowed and Linden Lab used that knowledge to slip in objects that phoned home and then tracked those objects and their copies to boot infringers for both violating access rules and copyright.
Members of Second Life has been cheering this ban and most seem to hope that there are other similar actions in the future.
Finally today, the husband and wife team of Susan and John Ross plead guilty to money laundering and aiding and abetting in forging fraudulent copyright notice respectively. The two had been indicted on some 47 counts of mail fraud, money laundering, theft from a state agency and copyright infringement.
The two were at the center of a scam where they created illegal copies of various textobooks, which they sold to another company, which in turn sold them to a local school district.
Though neither have been sentenced, Susan Ross has been recommended for a sentence of 27 months in prison. John, who was convicted of the lesser crime, has not had a sentence recommendation. The two will also have to pay back approximately $350,115 and forfeit another million in assets. This comes after the two are accused of defrauding the district of over $4.3 million.
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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