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First off today, opening arguments were heard in the LimeWire trial and attorneys for the company and its founder, Mark Gorton, accused the record industry of attempting to turn LimeWire into a scapegoat and even used quotes from the various record label executives to make their point. The record label attorneys, however, reminded the nine-member jury that the judge had already ruled LimeWire was liable for copyright infringement and that the trial was on the issue of damages alone. They also pointed out that Gorton had told his employees to never respond to inquiries about the service’s legality. The trial is expected to last as long as four weeks.
Righthaven, the company that has enforced the copyrights of works created by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post, has suffered from a string of legal defeats and is battling questions as to whether its assignment of rights, the tool that gives it the power to sue, is valid. However, the company is hoping to turn things around by hiring Dale Cendali, a New York copyright attorney best known for representing the AP in the Shepard Fairey case and J.K. Rowling in her battle against an unauthorized Harry Potter encyclopedia. While it is unclear if and how Cendali will be able to help, his firm is known for being an expensive one, with billing rates north of $1,000 per hour.
Finally today, Google won another victory in France, where an Appeals Court sided with a lower court in ruling that Google’s inclusion of piracy related terms in its autosuggest feature does not violate the law and Google is under no obligation to filter such results. However, Google has already begun to filter those results and started doing so last year, after the legal case had begun. There is no word as to whether Google has any plans to remove the filters, which it has not done at this time.
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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