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First off today, the Senate Judiciary Committee had a hearing on the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which it is taking up for the second time. Speaking at the hearing was the Authors Guild President Scott Turow, who said that piracy has “dismantled” the music industry and threatens the book industry as well. The bill would both reduce safe harbors for ISPs and search engines and would ban certain sites from the DNS system, from credit card processors and advertising networks. The committee, which unanimously moved the legislation to the larger Senate last year, seems likely to do so again this year, setting up the stage for another legislative showdown over combatting piracy.
Next up today, Apple has modified its terms of service for the app store and, in doing so, added copyright infringement as grounds for rejecting apps. This comes as many have criticized the app store for being a haven for illegally sold games and applications. The effect, however, likely won’t be that great as Apple will have a tough time policing the large number of apps it has to approve every day, but it may be a sign that Apple is getting tougher on copyright infringement in its App Store.
Finally today, Righthaven, the law firm that has filed suit against websites unlawfully using content from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, has settled its case against its highest profile defendant, Matt Drudge. Drudge had used an image from the Review-Journal on his popular site, The Drudge Report, prompting Righthaven to sue him demanding both the seizure of his domain and $150,000 in damages. However, documents filed with the court indicate that the case has been settled though neither side has commented on the terms. Typically, however, RightHaven cases are settled for a few thousand dollars and without the domain being transfered and that is likely the case here.
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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