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First off today, the third trial of Jammie Thomas concluded last week and it didn’t end better for the single mother than the first two. The jury, which was ruling on the matter of damages only, found her liable for $1.5 million in damages or $62,500 for each of the 24 songs she was accused of sharing. The first trial found her liable for copyright infringement for sharing those song on Kazaa but the case has gone back twice now on the issue of damages as the judge has reduced the award significantly both times. Further appeals on damages are expected.
Next up today, middlemen of copyright in Europe may want to watch their backs as the European Commission may be gunning for them soon. Eurocrat Neelie Kroes has taken aim at such copyright middlemen, saying that they impede the spreading of information and add unneeded barriers between the artists who create content and the consumers that want access to it, even going so far as to propose reform to streamline the process. Details were few and far between in his speech but it seems likely we will be hearing more about this push in the coming weeks and months.
Finally today, content tracking company Attributor (Disclosure: I have done paid consulting for Attributor) unveiled the results of a “trial run” of a graduated response system aimed at dealing with sites that widely infringe copyright. Specifically, Attributor targeted 107 sites that had taken at least 10 articles in a month and first sent them a polite letter and the followed it up, for those who did not comply, with a notice to the search engines and relevant advertisers. The result was that some 75% of sites complied and either purchased a license or removed the content. The test stopped short of the final phase, notifying Web hosts to remove content.
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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