3 Count: Westward Law

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1: Class Action Contends Lawyers’ Copyright Infringed by Commercial Database

First off today, in Ottawa,Canada, two attorneys have filed a class action lawsuit over the litigator service Westlaw, which is owned and operated by the media company Thompson Reuters, claiming that it is violating their copyright by copying and republishing their legal pleadings in a variety of formats. The pleadings, which are filed in open court, are offered for download on the service, which the attorneys say is “a service whose sole purpose is to carry out mass copyright infringement for their own financial profit.” In the U.S. it would likely be argued that such a database is a fair use, transformative enough to qualify (though this theory is largely untested) but it remains to be seen how such an argument will play out in Canada, with its more limited fair dealing exemptions.

2: Teen Arrested for Leaking Manga Comics Online

Next up today, a teenager in Japan has been arrested and charged with making Manga comics available on YouTube before they were commercially available. He is suspected of having photographed some 118 titles and uploading them as slideshows to the video sharing site. This is believed to be the first arrest in Japan for copyright infringement via YouTube and police are investigating how the teen obtained the comics before their release.

3: Rosetta Stone Announces Settlements with Ten Individuals for Copyright and Trademark Infringement

Finally today, Rosetta Stone, the makers of the well-known language learning software, have announced in a press release that they have settled ten of their ongoing cases against alleged pirates of their software. According to the release, the ten individuals had shared Rosetta Stone software illegally. The exact terms of the settlements were not disclosed.


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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