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First off today, the U.S. Copyright Office, which advises Congress on copyright-related matters, has recommended that the U.S. phase out cable and satellite statutory licenses. Those licenses make content from providers, such as networks, available for a flat fee under the law. The Copyright Office would like to phase out those licenses in favor of having cable and satellite providers work with rightsholders directly. Most feel Congress is unlikely to act on the recommendation, especially since it is the USCO’s fourth attempt at phasing out these licenses.
Next up today, in New Zealand, the day before the country’s “three strikes” law is to take effect, the Labour Party in the country has made copyright reform, including the repealing of the above law, part of its party platform. They’ve promised to repeal the law within 90 days if elected into office. They also promise to look at the entirety of the copyright act and seek out other, broader copyright reforms.
Finally today, cables leaked by Wikileaks reveal that, in Australia, the movie studios deliberately avoided picking a legal fight with the larger ISPs and, instead, sued the third-largest company, iiNet, over allegedly not doing enough to stop copyright infringement over its network. Specifically, the studios wanted to avoid a tussle with “the big guns” Telstra BigPond, which they feared would be in a better position to defend and win the lawsuit. The iiNet case is currently about to be heard a third time, this time before the High Court of Australia.
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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