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First off today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals asked tough questions to lawyers representing both Viacom and YouTube in their appeal. Viacom sued YouTube and its parent Google in 2007 claiming that, in the early years of the site, they openly encouraged and built their business on pirated video clips. However, the trial court ruled that YouTube qualified for safe harbor protection under the DMCA and tossed the case. Viacom appealed the decision, which is what was heard today. The court laid out a series of conditions that would have to be met to reverse the lower court ruling and YouTube hit back saying that, out of the 63,000 clips in dispute, none could be shown to not be removed after a proper DMCA notice.The court did not render an immediate decision and is expected to post its verdict in a few weeks.
Next up today, attorney James C. White, who represents adult film company K-Beech, has said that filing mass bittorrent lawsuits has gotten trickier in large part due to cut-and-paste filings passed around bittorrent sites that oppose his motions. The lawsuits work by trying to enjoin thousands of defendants into a single suit for the purpose of discovery and then forcing ISPs to turn over customer information. Many of the defendants have used these filings to fight that process in a bid to make litigation more difficult and expensive. White also noted that, in such lawsuits, between 35-55 settle very early in the litigation process.
Finally today, in the UK, the West Yorkshire police department have been sued for allegedly infringing the copyright of a software developer when building their own forensic application. Forensic Telecommunications services (FTS) alleges the department used software it develops to get data off of mobile phones for evidence-gathering in creating their own version of the tool. FTS even said that the department included mistakes that were made in their original, proving that the departments version, originally called CLIVE and then renamed OLIVE, was a copi. The West Yorkshire Police have denied this allegation.
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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