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First off today, a coalition of artists, lead by FilmOn.com, have sued CBS Interactive and CNET for making the LimeWire file sharing application available on download.com. The site, which is operated by CNET, which is in turn owned by CBS Interactive, accounted for some 95 percent of the downloads of the application according to the plaintiffs. LimeWire has since been shut down and is facing a trial for damages in a different case. The plaintiffs are also taking aim at how-to articles on CNET’s sites that instruct users in how to share files. FilmOn.com, however, is already battling CBS in courts after CBS sued and received an injunction barring FilmOn from streaming CBS content over their service. As such, CBS has called the lawsuit a “distraction” from the real issues.
Next up today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has given a reprieve to Larry Montz, who clams to have created the concept for the “Ghost Hunters” series but was told by the network they weren’t interested, only to make a very similar series three years later. Montz sued for breach of implied contract and breach of confidence but the district court ruled that copyright law preempted his claim and that, since the new show was non-infringing, he was not entitled to damages. The Appeals Court, however, ruled that copyright does not preempt this agreement and, as such, Montz should have his day in court.
Finally today, released documents indicate that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has expressed concern over both morale and national security at the potential “shifting” of the cost and time burden of enforcing copyright from the private sector the police, namely the RCMP. Calling copyright matters a low priority, the RCMP said that it is focusing its intellectual property enforcement efforts on elements that have a public health risk, such as counterfeit drugs. The letters, which were sent to the U.S. Trade Representative, came as the U.S. was negotiating ACTA, a controversial treaty that increases law enforcement involvement in copyright matters. (Hat Tip: @justinbgoff)
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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