3 Count: Costco’s Case

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1: U.S. Top Court to Hear Costco-Swatch Copyright Case

First off today, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear the ongoing case between warehouse retailer Costco and watch maker Swatch. At the heart of the case is Costco’s importation of Swatch products, which included a small logo. According to copyright law, copyright holders can object to the importing/exporting of copyrighted works. Swatch claims that Costco’s buying and selling of its products is a copyright infringement but Costco claims that the watches, which were obtained through intermediary sellers, are covered under the right of first sale, which guarantees a buyer the opportunity to resell a copyrighted work provided no copies are made. Costco lost the case in the Appeals Court and the Department of Justice had encouraged the Supreme Court not to take the case.

2: Both Sides Claim Victory in Rome Court’s Privacy Ruling

Next up today, a court in Rome has ruled that Italian ISPs are not obligated to disconnect file sharers but are obligated to pass along information to prosecutors and the communications ministry. While this seems to be a split verdict, and both sides are claiming victory, the practical results are less clear as copyright holders are free to give the information themselves, with out the ISPs working as a middle man. However, the ruling could become moot if Italy adopts more stringent copyright laws, including some of the provisions being proposed in ACTA.

3: Canadian Artists Call on Federal Government to amend Copyright Act

Finally today, Canadian musicians are encouraging the government to amend the country’s copyright law to include a levy on MP3 players and other music devices. The levy they are requesting is one that has been specifically declined in the upcoming changes to copyright law, despite having been mentioned previously. Canada currently has such levies on blank CDs and DVDs.


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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