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First off today, the Obama administration, through its Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Epinel, has drafted a report proposing sweeping copyright reforms including making it a felony to stream infringing content in some circumstances, allow use of wiretaps when investigating copyright cases and inform rightsholders when software and hardware designed to circumvent DRM is seized so that rightsholders can file suit if desired. It is unclear what will be made of the report and if any of it will become proposed legislation, but it is the clearest indication of the direction the Obama administration will take on copyright to date.
Next up today, a group of 50 Chinese authors have posted a petition slamming the nation’s largest search engine, Baidu, for what it calls copyright infringement. Specifically, the authors are upset that Baidu allows users to post their works and it appears many have done so. The letter, however, doesn’t fault those who post the work, calling them “friends”, but instead faults Baidu for its “vicious platform”, namely Baidu Library where the works are posted. The authors have threatened to quite writing altogether if the infringement does not cease and Baidu has responded saying that they remove infringing material when notified.
Finally today, purchasers of the digital deluxe version of “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” get a lot of interesting digital goodies, one of which is a downloadable copy of the game’s soundtrack. However, it appears that most of the files in the soundtrack were actually downloaded from a torrent. According to screenshots posted of the files, the tracks were encoded by someone named arsa13, who is a major name at the semi-private Bittorrent tracker Demonoid who had uploaded a torrent of the soundtrack previously. To make matters worse, the one file missing from arsa13’s torrent file was also the only track in the list not labeled as being encoded by him. This means that, most likely, Ubisoft downloaded a pirated torrent of their content to then redistribute to fans, rather than creating new version. Ubisoft’s, who is known for taking a very harsh stance on piracy, had a similar incident in 2008 where it used an illegal “No CD” crack of one of its games to patch it for digital distribution.
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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