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First off today, the Digital Economy Bill passed the House of Commons in the UK last night, paving the way for it to be signed into law as early as today. The controversial bill will allow, with a court order, the government to demand ISPs block certain Web sites and may pave the way for a “three strikes” system that could cause alleged file sharers to lose access to the Web. Gone from the last version of the bill is the orphan works provision, which would have allowed use of copyrighted works for which the owner could not be found.
Next up today, Mike Stoklasa, the creator of the wildly popular YouTube series making fun of and reviewing the first two “Star Wars” prequels briefly had his most recent series, a 90-minute review of “Attack of the Clones”, briefly removed from the site due to a copyright infringement claim, supposedly by Cartoon Network. However, the videos were restored but questions were raised about whether his long-format reviews were a fair use or not, an area that is gray enough to discourage Stoklasa from filing a counter-notice. The videos, however, have been restored.
Finally today, commentator James Boyle has some thoughts on “Hot News”, a legal precedent that extends well past copyright and into protecting facts that were collected at expense and might give competitors an unfair advantage. Some news organizations have pushed for such protection, even relying on an early 1900s court case, but, according to Boyle, that could backfire by not adding any significant protection and prohibiting news organizations from actually covering the news. An article definitely worth reading.
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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