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First off today, it is final. The EU has approved a copyright extension in sound recordings from 50 years to 70 years. The move has not only taken some songs out of the public domain that were already there, but also prevented many others from losing their copyright. The extension only affects performer’s rights in the songs, not the songwriter’s, which was and remains the life of the author plus 70 years. The measure should be implemented in all EU states by 2014.
Next up today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has gotten grand jury indictments against 5 people involved with the site NinjaVideo, which ICE had shut down in 2010. The indictment targets 3 Americans for operating the site as well as one additional American and one resident of Greece that they accused of being among the biggest uploaders. They are all indicted with one count of conspiracy and five substantive copyright infringement counts. According to ICE, the site earned at least $500,000 in revenue while enabling millions of dollars worth of copyright infringement.
Finally today, Australian electronics retailer Harvey Norman is said to be “reviewing” it’s sale of McTiVia, a product that allows Australia residents to bypass country filters and visit sites such as Hulu. The product works by having its users connect to a VPN, that in turn makes them appear to be from the U.S. Though Havey Norman had not advertised the product as a means to circumvent copyright protections, many sites had. Harvey Norman has said that the VPN feature could be removed without harming the product’s main function, streaming Web video the TV, but that is normally a decision left to the manufacturer.
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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