3 Count: Innocent Infringement

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1: Supreme Court Gets RIAA Copyright Case

First off today, the Supreme Court is being asked to take on the case of Whitney Harper, a woman who was sued for file sharing she committed using LimeWire when she was in high school. The lower court had set the damages to $200 per song, or $7,400 total, claiming she should be classified as an innocent infringer. The appeals court, however, overturned that verdict and set the damages to $750 per song or $27,750 total saying she could not rely on her legal naiveté because the CDs had copyright warnings on them. Harper had said she did not realize she was sharing files and, instead, thought she was just streaming music over the Web. If the court decides to take the case, which it may not do, it will still likely be many months before arguments are heard.

2: Law Firm Asks Alleged File-Sharers To Incriminate Themselves

Next up today, the law firm ACS:Law, which has been on a controversial campaign of mass-litigation against alleged file sharers in the UK, is apparently trying a new approach to get file sharers on the hook. If a target of ACS:Law action denies wrongdoing, the company sends a survey that, according to Torrentfreak, is designed to get the user to incriminate themselves or someone else for the infringement. Recipients of the questionnaire are advised not to answer it and are under no obligation to do so.

3: Warner Bros. Sued for Pirating Anti-Piracy Technology

Finally today, in a bit of piracy fail, Warner Bros. is being sued for patent infringement by German firm Medien Patent Verwaltung, who accuses the movie studio of using their patented DRM scheme without permission. According to the suit, the company demoed their application, which uniquely identifies each print of a film to prevent piracy only to find that the company was later using it without having obtained a license. Warner Bros has apparently filed a patent for a very similar system.


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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