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First off today the judge in the ongoing Limewire case has limited, somewhat, the number of works the record labels suing the company can seek statutory damages for. According to Judge Kimba Wood, the record labels can claim statutory damages for each individual track infringed but only as long as the track was not solely sold as part of an album. For example, tracks sold individually on iTunes or AmazonMP3 can each receive statutory damages even if they were originally on the same album. However, those only sold as part of the album are eligible for one statutory damage award for the whole compilation. The record labels have been ordered to produce a final list of tracks they are seeking damages for by April 15th. The trial, which is on the subject of damages only, with Limewire already being found liable, is scheduled for May.
Next up today, ICE director John Morton has stated before the U.S. House of Representatives that “Operation In Our Sites”, the seizing of domains that are believed to be for the purpose of counterfeiting and copyright infringement, will continue. Morton also brushed aside questions of constitutionality of the seizures, saying that the process was developed with the Justice Department to ensure compliance. The hearing, outside of Morton’s testimony, focused largely on Google and whether it could do more to stop online infringement. The hearing was part of run up to new legislation aimed at seizing suspected “pirate” domains.
Finally today, Vermont State Rep. Tom Burditt turned many heads last week with a speech he gave on the House floor in which he railed against single-payer healthcare calling it “communist”. However, it also appears that much of the speech, including the controversial passage, was plagiarized from an earlier essay by Dr. Lawrence Huntoon, president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Burditt, when confronted by the similarities said that he didn’t see anything wrong with the copying, saying that, “There’s nothing wrong with having the same opinion as anyone else.” This, in turn, has called for some leaders in the Vermont House to start plagiarism training for representatives.
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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