3 Count: International Edition

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1: Merkel Criticizes Google for Copyright Infringement

First off today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel launched a strong criticism over the Google Book Search settlement Saturday saying that, “We reject the scanning in of books without any copyright protection — like Google is doing. The government places a lot of weight on this position on copyrights to protect writers in Germany.” She made the comments in her weekly video podcast, before Tuesday’s opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The Google Book Search settlement, which is now being redrafted following objections from the U.S. Department of Justice, would have allowed Google to scan, display and sell copies of in-copyright but out-of-print books. Many other countries, including both France and Germany, have expressed displeasure at the settlement saying that it would allow Google to infringe upon the copyright of their authors, who are not a part of the settlement.

2: Legal Win for iiNet in Copyright Battle

Next up, the legal battle between Australian ISP iiNet and Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has taken a turn in favor of iiNet.

iiNet had been pushing to enter a series of documents into evidence that it feels will bolster its case. The documents, which date back to 2006 and include communications between the internet industry, an anti-piracy group representing the movie studios and the federal government, is said to bolster iiNet’s argument that there were no “reasonable” steps the company could have taken to prevent piracy.

iiNet was sued by AFACT, who claimed that the ISP had refused to take any action to stop piracy taking place over its network by users. The case is ongoing and the trial is expected to last for the rest of this week.

3: Illegal Downloads 150x More Profitable Than Legal Sales

Finally today, Torrentfreak is reporting on a PowerPoint presentation by German anti-piracy outfit DigiRights Solutions which, according to their math, shows that sending settlement demands to pirates can be up to 150x more profitable than legitimately sold works in iTunes or other stores.

The company send emails to alleged file sharers demanding a settlement of €450 ($650) per offense, of which the company keeps about 80% of the money to cover expenses, but pass on about €90 to the copyright holder. According to them, about 25% of recipients pay up without further questioning, much higher than expected.

This has called these particular tactics into question and made many wonder if they should be legal. Currently though, the company only operates within the UK and Germany.

Suggestions

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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