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First off today, Netflix has announced that it is abandoning its plans to split off its DVDs-by-mail service into another service named Qwikster and will, instead, keep the two services under its “Netflix” name. The move, which came after Netflix split apart the two services, raising the costs for many of its customers, was an unpopular decision among its (already angered) customers, which didn’t want to visit two sites to manage their media. Netflix apologized for the plan, saying it “underestimated” the convenience of having both under one roof and said it will continue to do so in the future.
Next up today, the Authors Guild has filed an amended complaint in its ongoing battle with HathiTrust and many of the libraries that are part of it. Hathitrust is a non-profit that focuses on preserving and sharing digital works between various libraries, it was sued by the Authors Guild for its book digitization efforts and its now-abandoned “orphan works” project. The Authors Guild amended its complaint to add several new plaintiffs including the U.K. Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, the Norwegian Nonfiction Writers and Translators Association, the Swedish Writers Union, The Writers’ Union of Canada and several more individual authors. HathiTrust was spearheaded by the University of Michigan but includes some 50 partners, mostly college libraries from across the U.S., many of which are included in the suit.
Finally today, two of Britain’s largest ISPs, BT and TalkTalk have been granted a chance to appeal a recent High Court ruling that upheld the Digital Economy Act. The ISPs claim that the law will unfairly force them to police user behavior by compelling them to send out notices on behalf of rightsholders to warn against illegal file sharing. The government has announced they will not pursue a site blocking provision, even though the law allows it.
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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