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First off today, the British law firm ACS:Law has suffered a setback in its attempt to litigate against suspected file sharers. The firm sought default judgements against eight suspected file sharers who had not responded only to have all eight motions denied. The judge took issue with some of the arguments made in seeking default judgement, including whether having an open wifi was a form of copyright infringement and whether the plaintiff could bring the copyright claims as they were not the rightsholder. The judge also noted that several of the defendants had responded, making the motion for default judgement inappropriate. It is not clear if ACS:Law can or will move forward with these cases before a full trial or if they will be forced to drop them entirely.
Next up today the Electronic Frontier Foundation has countersued Righthaven, the organization that has become famous for suing websites for republishing content from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, claiming that Righthaven needs to pay the organization’s legal bills for their successful defense of Democratic Underground. Righthaven had sued Democratic Underground claiming copyright infringement of Review-Journal content but dropped the case after the EFF offered a defense and made a fair use claim that seemed likely to succeed. According to the EFF, the lawsuit was either frivolous or in bad faith, meaning Righthaven owes the EFF expenses for defending the case.
Finally today, the MPAA will be sending out warning letters to colleges and universities that it says are not doing enough to stop piracy by students. Specifically, the MPAA is citing the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, which requires universities to take action against piracy to receive Federal funding. The MPAA has said it has no intention of suing students and just wants to help colleges comply with the law. The notices, however, will include “specific instances” of infringement at the colleges that get the letter.
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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