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FIrst off today, Google, publishers and the Author’s Guild barely made a deadline on Friday to submit their revised settlement regarding the Google Book Search project.
Google had been sued by the other parties for its book scanning project but the two sides had hammered out an expansive settlement that allowed Google to scan, display and even sell copies of in-copyright but out-of-print works on its site, in exchange for a percentage of the advertising and sales revenues. However, the Department of Justice cited anti-trust concerns with the settlement and forced the two sides back to the negotiating table where they drafted the new version.
Among the changes in the new settlement are that the settlement will now only include works either registered with the U.S. Copyright Office or published in the U.K., Australia, or Canada as rightsholders in those countries are joining the case as named plaintiffs, the creation of a Book Rights Registry with the task of tracking down and holding money for writers who are not a direct party to the settlement, a provision that that book retailers will be able to sell consumers online access to the out-of-print books covered by the settlement and the ability of rightsholders to loosen restrictions on books in the database, including adding CC licenses or removing restrictions on printing.
At this time, critics of the original settlement do not seem to be appeased, calling it a “surgical” alteration, and the DOJ is yet to comment. It will have to be seen whether or not the settlement will be accepted over the long haul.
Next up today, it was a big win for Apple in court this week as a California judge ruled in their favor in their suit against Psystar, handing them a sweeping verdict that will be very difficult for the clone maker to overcome.
Psystar, which makes custom PCs with the Apple OSX operating system, had been involved in an ongoing dispute with Apple after the company accused it of violating its end user license agreement, the DMCA and other elements of Apple’s Copyright. Psystar hit back, suing Apple and Apple countersued. However, the judge ruled that Apple’e EULA, which prohibits putting OSX on non-Apple computers, is legal and Psystar’s actions do constitute a breach of that contract and that Psystar’s breaking of DRM schemes that Apple uses to prevent its OS from being used on other systems was a violation of the DMCA.
A hearing on damages is set for December 14. A similar case, one that deals with 10.6 (the California case deals with 10.5) is ongoing in Florida.
Finally today, Fox News seems to be on a takedown bender on YouTube, demanding its clips be removed from a variety of YouTube accounts. Though the takedowns (and suspensions) first seemed to target liberal YouTube channels, such as News1News, it seems to have spread to conservative ones as well, including GlennbeckClipsDaily and ConservativeNation.
What brought about the change in policy is unclear, Fox has traditionally not been extremely aggressive in pursuing clips from its Fox News channel, but this does come on the heels of Rupert Murdoch’s, the owner of News Corp, which owns Fox News, famous interview with Sky News in Australia where he threatened to sue the BBC and remove his content from Google.
Whether this is related to that or not is unclear, but what is obvious is that News Corp is on the war path against what it sees as misuse of its content on the Web, making the Web a dangerous place to post clips of Fox News.
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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