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First off today, the German Pirate Party, which supports extreme copyright reform, won 8.9% of the vote in a recent Berlin state election, which earns it 15 seats in the local parliament. The organization played down it’s copyright reform platform in favor of focusing on transparency in government and improvements to public transportation. The move worked as the party only got 3.4% in the last Berlin election. Though a local election that isn’t likely to have much bearing on copyright law, it is widely seen as the Pirate Party’s greatest success, especially out of it its native Sweden.
Next up today, Joel Tenenbaum, a former college student who was sued by the RIAA for alleged file sharing, has lost his appeal. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston today rejected the lower court’s 90 percent reduction awarded to the RIAA. The jury in Tenenbaum’s case had awarded the RIAA some $675,000 in damages but the judge reduced those damages to just $67,500, claiming they were excessive. Both sides appealed the reduction, Tenenbaum wanting an even lower award and the RIAA wanting the original damages to stand. The RIAA won the appeal, meaning that the original verdict will stand barring further appeal. The U.S. government also appealed to battle Tenenbaum’s claims that the damages were unconstitutional. They also won.
Finally today, settlement negotiations in the U.S. Google Book Search lawsuit seems to be moving forward well enough for the Judge to grant both sides more time, nine months worth. The lawsuit, in which Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers sued Google over its Google Book Search project had been the subject of one settlement in 2005, which was shot down by the judge for being too broad and in violation of anti-trust laws. The two sides have since been working on a modified agreement that they hope will be accepted by the court.
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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