3 Count: Censorship Day

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1: SOPA Bill Won’t Make U.S. a ‘Repressive Regime,’ Democrat Says

First off today, the first hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are being countered with a fierce protest that includes a full page ad in the New York Times and many popular websites displaying overlays or turning their sites black. However, Congressmen who support the bill are saying that the fears are overstated and that the bill will not lead to widespread Internet censorship. The bill, which is targeted at “rogue” websites, would allow copyright holders to get court orders to force ISPs to block access to certain sites as well as force search engines, payment processors and advertisers to cease working with them. The hearing is one of the first steps to bringing the bill to the floor of the house for open debate and eventual voting.

2: Costco Prevails in First Sale Case Thanks to Copyright Misuse

Next up today, the case between Costco and Omega watches has taken yet another turn. Omega sued Costco claiming the retailer illegally imported in watches bought cheaper in foreign markets and resold them at a discount in the U.S. When Costco won the first suit, Omega added a copyrighted image to each watch and sued claiming Costco illegally imported a copyrighted work. The district court originally ruled against Omega claiming that Costco had the right to resell legally-purchased copyrighted works but the Appeals court overturned that verdict and the Supreme Court upheld it by taking no action. That sent the case back to the District Court where Costco has prevailed yet again on a summary judgment, this time claiming Omega has been engaged in copyright misuse, meaning Omega attempted to use its copyright monopoly to exert control outside of the element of copyright. The case will likely be appealed, yet again.

3: Artists Call CBS the Chief Copyright Pirate

Finally today, Alkiviades David, the owner of FilmOn.com, has filed another lawsuit against CBS and its subsidiary CNET claiming that the two companies encouraged and enabled file sharing by offering several file sharing applications, including LimeWire, for download on their download.com site and also ran several guides on how to share files online. The lawsuit also lists several hip hop and other artists and Sugar Hill Music as plaintiffs. The lawsuits is Alkiviades second against CBS since the company received an injunction barring FilmOn from rebroadcasting CBS’ over the air transmissions on its service. The first lawsuit, which involved a much smaller collection of works, is still pending.


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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