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First off today, Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon and the chair of the Senate Finance Committee’s International Trade Subcommittee, is questioning the legality of ACTA treaty. Specifically of interest to Wyden is that the treaty was signed as a “sole executive agreement”, meaning that it doesn’t change U.S. law and does not need Congressional approval. However, according to Wyden, even if the treaty does not change U.S. law, copyright is under the purview of Congress in the constitution, meaning that the treaty can’t be entered into without Congressional approval. The treaty is an attempt to harmonize anti-piracy efforts between many countries including U.S., Japan, Australia and the EU, the latter of which has not signed the treaty as of yet but was involved in the negotiations.
Next up today, the elctro band Djuma Soundsystem is in some legal hot water as a court in their native Denmark ruled the group owes 747,182.82 kroner (approx $130,000) for their sampling of a ten second loop. The lawsuit stems from the group’s 2003 song “Les Djinns” which looped a ten second clip from a song entitled “Turkish Showbiz’ by Atilla Engin. The group lied to their label and said there were no samples in the song, which was released and sold 150 copies. However, when the band wanted to re-release the track after switching labels, they tried to clear the sample but, after attempts to work out an agreement failed, the band was sued, prompting this recent judgment. Djuma Soundsystem has said they plan to appeal the verdict, admitting they owe money to the rightsholders but believe the verdict is much too high.
Finally today, a filing by an attorney seeking to push through a massive bittorrent lawsuit on behalf of an adult content provider has filed a pleading that sheds light on how IP addresses are converted into settlements or individual lawsuits. The filing, which aims to show why it’s legal and necessary to bundle so many “John Doe” lawsuits into one suit. According to the filing, many of the individuals are dropped from the suit including undercover police, those who have died, prominent figures and those operating public hotspots where finding an individual defendant is almost impossible. However, it remains unlikely that these arguments will have much sway in the case, as they aren’t necessarily legal arguments for joining together so many lawsuits.
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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