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First off today, as UK ISPs BT and TalkTalk prepare to take their case against the Digital Economy Act to the UK’S highest court, copyright holders and rights groups are blasting the ISPs’ continued opposition to the act. According to reps of both the Music Publishers Association and Warner Brothers, the time has come for the ISPs to stop trying to fight the law and start enforcing it. The law requires ISPs to pass along notification of alleged infringement to their customers and, after several warnings, sever Internet access to repeat infringers. The law also opens the door to the blocking of Internet sites deemed to be infringing, but the government has said they will not put that part into effect. Rightsholders applauded other ISPs, including Virgin and Sky for their cooperation with copyright holders.
Next up today, a case in Virginia involving a mass bittorrent lawsuit has drawn the attention of at least two other law firms engaged in the practice. The system, which involves filing lawsuits against a large number of unnammed defendants to get their personal information via subpoenas to their ISPs, came under fire in the court when the judge dismissed all but one of the defendants and called the process a “shake down”. The judge also ordered the plaintiff to explain why the litigation should be allowed at all. Fearing a ruling that could harm the entire industry, Steele Hansmeier, a law firm that handles similar lawsuits, filed an amicus brief in the matter through another firm, Anderson & Associates, which are also involved with such lawsuits. This is a sign that the parties are taking this ruling very seriously and are worried about its implications nation-wide.
Finally today, a new campaign by the advocacy group Fight For the Future depicts teen pop sensation Justin Bieber behind bars. The campaign is an effort to protest proposed legislation in the U.S. that would make streaming, in some circumstances, a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in prison. Bieber famously got his start on YouTube where his singing of various popular songs caught the attention of Usher, who signed the artist. According to Fight For the Future, that could now land other artists in jail if the law passes.
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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