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First off today, the jury in the MGA/Mattel trial now has the case. The battle, which has been going on for over six years, centers around the Bratz doll line, the creator of which, Carter Bryant, worked at Mattel since he came up with the concept but took the idea to a relatively new company, MGA, which turned the doll line into a major success. According to Mattel, Bratz are a work for hire creation that is owned by them and covered under Bryant’s contract but MGA disagrees. The jury will begin deliberating today, also weighing whether Mattel engaged in unfair business practices by spying on MGA and attempting to steal secret information.
Next up today, Judge Beryl Howell, who earlier handed a major victory to those engaged in mass copyright infringement lawsuits but was later found to be a former RIAA lobyist, has placed some limitations on what rightsholders can do in the case, namely forcing them to drop lawsuits against individuals who have been named by their ISPs but have not been actively named in the case. While likely a minor shift for the defendants, who were likely to be dropped regardless in search of a settlement or more appropriate jurisdiction, it represents a turn for the judge and is being seen by some as an indication that the pressure has affected her position from the bench.
Finally today, in the UK copyright holders have been tasked with coming up with a draft proposal for how the blocking of alleged pirate sites would work within the country. The proposal has to address ISP issues of cost, feasibility, liability and effectiveness among other issues. This proposal is part of a proposed voluntary scheme between ISPs and copyright holders to block allegedly infringing sites in a bid to head off further potential legislation.
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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