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First off today the U.S. Trade Agency has released the final draft of the controversial ACTA treaty, which made only minor changes from the previous draft to put to rest a disagreement between EU and U.S. negotiators. The treaty will require nations to do border checks for copyright infringing works, provide means for protecting works online and include injunctions and fines as part of their enforcement measures. The U.S. has announced its intention to sign the agreement as an executive order, meaning without the approval of Congress, though constitutional scholars are questioning if that is possible.
Next up today, the Usenet community site FTD won at least part of its appeal to Europe’s highest court. The court of the Hague ruled that the service was not liable for copyright infringement for making available copies of a movie by the studio Eyeworks, which had sued the Usenet service provider and won in the lower courts. The court found that FTD was not responsible for “spotting” where users notify each other of the availability of illegal files. However, the court did rule that FTD was liable for “stimulating” illegal uploads via its service. The court also reaffirmed that downloading content is not illegal for personal use in the Netherlands, the home country of FTD, but did say that such a law may violate EU law.
Finally today, South Park’s creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were sued for copyright infringement over a 2007 episode entitled “Canada on Strike” where one of the characters Butters sang a song from the hit viral video “What What (In the Butt)”. The creator of the viral video, the singer Samwell, and the producers of the film, Brownmark Films, have sued South Park for “willful, intentional, and purposeful” copyright infringement and is seeking both an injunction and statutory damages.
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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