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First off today, the judge in the Google/Viacom lawsuit has sided with the search giant and has dismissed the case. The lawsuit, in which Viacom alleged over $1 billion in damages over clips illegally uploaded to YouTube, had been a particularly nasty fight with both sides airing a lot of private documents in various court filings. However, the judge ruled that YouTube is protected by the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions, which prevent hosts from being held liable for unlawfully uploaded works so long as they have no actual knowledge and work to remove materials when properly notified. However, Viacom has promised to appeal the ruling saying that it runs counter to the language and the intent of the DMCA as well as recent Supreme Court rulings.
Next up today, in Canada the copyright debate has turned at least somewhat ugly as Heritage Minister James Moore referred to opponents of the proposed legislation in the country as “radical extremists”, setting off a firestorm of criticism across the Web. Though he didn’t call out anyone by name, most believe he was referring to Michael Geist, who has been particularly sharp in his attacks on the legislation, which would make it unlawful to break digital locks, more commonly known as DRM. Other consumer groups and opponents of the bill, however, are also unhappy about the comment, which has been called “unseemly”.
Finally today, Chinese democracy supporters in the U.S. have published and are selling copies of a bootleg version of Li Peng’s controversial autobiography, which details the crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The incident, which China has repeatedly tried to remove references to, has been a focal point for Chinese democracy advocates. Publication of the diary in Hong Kong was stopped due to copyright concerns, though many suspect it was government intervention. However, the activists in the U.S. don’t fear those issues but, instead, would welcome them as an acknowledgement the book was written by Peng himself, thus solidifying it as authentic.
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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