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First off today, even as the net neutrality debate heats up on the heels of a “compromise” proposal between Google and Verizon, the RIAA and twelve other groups representing musicians have stepped in asking that any legislation or compromise on the subject encourage ISPs to block illegal content and deter unlawful activity, including copyright infringement. This is not the first time copyright holders have interjected themselves into the net neutrality debate, the latest being in January when the RIAA asked the FCC to adopt “flexible” rules that enable filtering of infringing content.
Next up today, in a move that was widely predicted, Charles Nesson has filed a brief with the Supreme Court on the case of Whitney Harper to the Supreme Court. Lower courts ruled that Harper was not an “innocent infringer” and thus not eligible for lower damages for trading files over file sharing networks including Kazaa though Harper, who was 16 at the time of the infringement, said she had no idea what she was doing was illegal. The Appeals Court ruled that copyright notices on the CDs were adequate notice even though the files were traded digitally. Nesson filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court to ask them to reverse the Appeals Court ruling, which in turn reversed the District Court’s ruling.
Finally today, as the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act seeks to extend very limited copyright protection to the fashion industry, where no such protection exists currently, many are wondering if it is wise or even necessary as the U.S. has a thriving fashion industry without it. This article on Newsweek delves into the issue, looking at both sides of the debate and asks some very difficult questions about the role of copyright in the digital age.
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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