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First off today, the U.S. House of Representatives has scheduled a hearing on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The bill would allow rightsholders to get court orders to order ISPs and search engines to block access to “rogue” sites dedicated almost solely to piracy and also force payment processors and advertisers to stop doing business with such sites as well. The hearing will be at 10 AM ET Wednesday in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building and, most likely, will be webcast. An online protest, entitled American Censorship Day, is being planned for the same day in a bid to target the hearing.
Next up today, according to industry insiders, Google has refused to remove an app from the Android App store entitled “MP3 Music Download Pro” even though, according to labels, the app is widely used for copyright infringement. Google has removed similar apps in the past but has seemingly refused to remove this one saying that it has significant legitimate use. The controversy comes as Google prepares to announce the launch its own music store on the Wednesday of this month.
Finally today, in South Africa, the Creative Workers Union of South Africa is warning that their recent anti-piracy campaign is getting out of hand. According to the group, which represents tv and music industry members, claims that their “Shoot the Pirate” campaign has led to real-life violence against street vendors selling pirated goods. At least two brawls have erupted between vendors, artists and the police, resulting in at least two arrests and one injury. Others involved in the campaign have reported receiving death threats and one label boss claims to have hired bodyguards.
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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