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First off today, Netflix customers are upset after a rate hike on the company’s plans may see some users having an increase as much as 60% on their bill. Netflix announced they were separating out their DVD rental and streaming accounts, charging $8 for each instead of $10 for both 1 DVD rental and unlimited streaming in one account. The rate hike is being blamed in at least part on anticipated struggles with negotiating new licensing deals with movie studios as old contracts expire for Netflix. Studios are expected to demand much more money due to Netflix’s growth and the fact many are establishing competitors of their own. The rate hike takes effect immediately for new customers and September 1st for existing ones.
Next up today, ISPs in New Zealand have one a decision from their government that will enable them to charge $25 for every infringement notice filed under that country’s new three strikes law. The price is actually compromise between disparate positions between copyright holders, who wanted to only pay $2 per notice, and ISPs, which wanted them to pay $40. The system requires ISPs to send on notices of copyright infringement on behalf of ISPs and, after three notices, copyright holders will be able to take matters before a copyright tribunal, which can impose penalties as high as $15,000 and have infringer’s Web access cut.
Finally today, an unusual copyright question has been raised after a photographer traveling in Indonesia had his camera snatched by a group of monkeys who took a series of accidental self portraits with it. The photographer, David J Slater, was able to recover the camera with the images intact but created a good deal of discussion by licensing the photos out to the Caters News agency for distribution. Techdirt, in turn, raised the question of who owns the copyright in such photos (copyright usually transfers to the person taking the photo). However, that question is no longer hypothetical after Casters filed a takedown notice on the images, ordering their removal. Techdirt is claiming fair use in its use of the photos.
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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