3 Count: New Record

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1: Solid Oak Files $2.2B Suit Against China, OEMs

First off today, we have a possible new record for largest copyright lawsuit ever as the software company Solid Oak has filed a $2.2 billion suit against Sony, Lenovo, Acer and, biggest of all the Chinese government itself.

According to the lawsuit, China’s “Green Dam” Web filtering software, which was for a time mandated on all computers sold in China, used thousands of lines of code reused without permission from Solid Oak’s Cybersitter filtering software. The suit alleges that manufacturers, including those listed above, sold computers with the infringing code installed on them even after they discovered that it was infringing.

The suit seeks the $2.2 billion amount based upon an estimated 56.5 million unauthorized copies of Cybersitter being sold at about $40 each. The suit also accuses the Chinese government of using various corporate espionage efforts to gain access to the code, including trojan emails.

2: Tenenbaum’s P2P Use: the Labels Made Me Do It!

Next up, it’s a Nesson story so you may want to sit down. Charles Nesson, the attorney representing Joel Tenenbaum, who was found liable to the tune of $675,000 for sharing some 30 songs, has filed a petition seeking either a new trial or a drastic reduction in the damages.

According to Nesson, the record labels are at least partially responsible because their selling of music, but not in the format Joel wanted, was an “attractive nuisance”, making the record labels partly to blame for his infringement.

Attractive nuisance is a legal term commonly used in homeowner disputes. In-ground pools are the most common example as homewoners are required to safeguard their pools from tresspassers as they might entice others to them where they risk harm.

According to Nesson, the record label’s selling of music in DRM-only format, such as with iTunes before the transition to DRM-free. constitutes such a nuisance and puts at least some of the blame on the labels. This is an argument somewhat in line with the judge’s suggestion that there may have been a fair use argument if the music had not been available for sale, but Nesson is taking it further by asking for such an argument until it was available DRM-free.

3: MP William McCrea Faces Copyright Breach Claims

Finally today, Rev William McCrea a DUP party member and an MP in his native Northern Ireland, is being sued by another gospel singer, Mark Carmichael, regarding the song “Just a Breath Away”, which Carmichael claims copyright in and that McCrea infringed upon.

The lawsuit is due to for a mention in a Belfast court this Friday, McCrea has said that he is defending the charges.

McCrea has a history of combining a successful singing career with a successful political career. Also named in the suit is his label, Daybreak recordings, which he is co-director of, and Ian McDowell, Daybreak’s other director.


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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