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First off today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that promotional CDs, which are often mailed out to reviewers prior to the release of an album, can be sold and given away even though the CDs often come with stickers and warnings that they are “not for sale” or “for promotional use only”. The court ruled that, since the CDs were given away freely, that there could be no license between the recipient and the record label. While this punts somewhat on the issue of whether one can actually strip the right of first sale through such notices, an argument that circuit has been at least somewhat open to, it does mean promotional CDs and copyrighted works distributed in a similar manner can not lose that right by the mere presence of such a notice.
Next up today, the U.S. Copyright Group, despite some recent legal setbacks, is seeing growth in its business as it picked up Nu Image Films as a customer for their mass litigation campaign against alleged file sharers. Nu Image’s best-known film, and the target of its first lawsuit, is the 2010 movie “The Expendables”. This comes as the group is planning on refiling thousands of lawsuits that were dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction and the company’s 15 partner law firms are preparing similar lawsuits in courts across the country. According the company, settlement rates have been very high, up to twice what their counterparts in Europe saw.
Finally today, BitTorrent, the company, has announced that it’s tools, which include uTorrent, Mainline and BitTorrent, the application, have reached some 100 million active users per month with some 20 million users logging in per day. This will certainly be bad news for those in the entertainment industry, which decry Bittorrent as the main protocol for piracy on the Web, those who support Bittorrent are going to be excited by the growth. The numbers, however, don’t count the many unofficial Bittorrent clients, many of which are more widely used.
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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