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First off today, the Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, testified before Congress yesterday regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and gave unabashed support for the bill, even saying that without it copyright would “ultimately fail”. The act, which enables U.S. rightsholders to get court orders to block “rogue” websites as well as order payment providers, advertisers and others to stop supplying funds to them, has been the subject of great controversy in recent weeks. Pallante herself had, previously, indicated she was opposed to efforts that might “unnecessarily jeopardize the efficient operation of the Internet” but gave her full support for this bill. More hearings are scheduled today.
Next up today, in the UK, a high court has ruled that a streaming service does not violate copyright for the portions of the copyrighted work it stores in its servers. The case deals with the site TVCatchup.com, which rebroadcasts transmissions from various TV stations in the country via the Web. Broadcasters sued the site claiming copyright infringement but the judge, on advice from a European Court, has ruled that the amounts stored in the server for transmission are not, in and of themselves, an infringement as they are temporary and incidental. However, if the European Court finds that the broadcast equals transmission to the public, the site will still be in violation of copyright. The UK court has asked the European Court to rule on that matter.
Finally today, 20th Century Fox has dropped its lawsuit against P.J. McIlvaine, a woman they alleged posted scripts from some 80 movies and TV shows on her site. Fox sued McIlvaine for some $12 million even though she was not the original uploader of the script and, instead, compiled scripts she found elsewhere online. Fox did not provide any insight as to why it dropped the year-old lawsuit.
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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