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First off today, in the case of Vernor v. Autodesk, which saw Autodesk go after a businessman who was reselling licenses of their AutoCAD design software on eBay, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned a lower court ruling and found that the license agreement that came with each seat of AutoCAD meant that the works were licensed, not owned, and could not be resold. This has the potential to almost eliminate the right of first sale for digital works. Right of first sale allows the resale of legally-purchased copyrighted works so long as no new copies are made. This could affect virtually all digitally distributed works as even music sold through Amazon and iTunes has similar language in their licensing agreements.
Next up today, Switzerland-based Logistep has been ordered by the Swiss High Court to stop harvesting IP addresses from suspected file sharers saying that the information is private and should not be collected without user permission. This comes after a very long battle with the Swiss government that first saw the Swiss data protection authority file a recommendation that Logistep stop its collections in 2008, which in turn kicked off the legal battle that reached the High Court and now can not be appealed.
Finally today, the new ivi plans on offering a live streaming service for television and will offer access to 20 different channels including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and PBS for about $5 per month. Though copyright questions are legion, the company claims to have found a loophole. By calling itself a cable company, it can provide the streaming service but, as a Web-only company, is outside the jurisdiction of the FCC and thus able to avoid retransmission fees. It is unclear how courts will rule on ivi’s practices but it seems certain that a legal challenge will be forthcoming.
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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