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First off today, financial news site Theflyonthewall is getting some help in its case against Merrill Lynch, which sued the company successfully for writing about information in Marrill Lynch’s research reports. The judge in the case found the Theflyonthewall violated Lynch’s “hot news” rights. Hot news is an early 1900s doctrine that provides limited copyright-style protection to news and facts gathered at expense, in this case forcing Theflyonthewall to delay reporting on Lynch’s research. The case is currently on appeal and Google and Twitter have both filed briefs in the case, calling “hot news” outdated and saying it is not in line with the current news ecosystem.
Next up today, in another story involving Google, the search giant has been targeted for a takedown notice by the BPI. the British equivalent to the RIAA. But while that isn’t altogether unusual, what is strange is that they are demanding removal of several different songs across a variety of digital locker sites and indicating that the root URL of these sites was infringing as well. This has led many to hypothesize that BPI may be putting Google on notice before preparing a lawsuit over Google’s linking to these sources. While this may or may not be true, this comes as Britain is dealing with the Digital Economy Act, which asks ISPs and search engines to do more to stop copyright infringement.
Finally today, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers filed suit on Monday against 21 bars and clubs across the country for performing songs in their catalog without a license. ASCAP, which collects royalties for song writers, has a licensing system for bars and clubs which wish to have performers sing songs in their catalog. Locations that don’t license the content and continue to present such music run the risk of being sued by ASCAP.
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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