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First off today, in Universal’s newest lawsuit against music streaming service Grooveshark, several emails from the company’s higher-up have been outed, indicating that the company adopted a policy of asking forgiveness rather than permission. Universal is suing Grooveshark claiming that the company makes available countless tracks by Universal music for streaming. Grooveshark, however, claims that its music is uploaded by users and it is protected by DMCA safe harbors. However, the most recent Universal lawsuit claims that Grooveshark employees, including its CEO and VPs, have uploaded thousands of tracks to the service. However, the emails from Grooveshark paint a picture of a company that knew it is hosting infringing content but was trying to become a “force” so that the record labels would be forced to settle with them rather than sue. Grooveshark has called the suit a “gross mischaracterisation of information”.
Next up today, the Justice Department has unveiled a new advertising campaign aimed at consumers with the goal of stopping intellectual property misuse. The campaign largely targets the purchase of counterfeit goods, such as fake clothes, bootleg DVDs, etc. but also has spots dealing with illegal downloads, buying fake drugs and also fake electronics. The campaign aims to show that intellectual property theft is not a victimless crime and includes TV, radio and print spots that will be running during the holiday season.
Finally today, DC-area attorney Mike Meier made a name for himself during some of the initial Bittorrent lawsuits by defending clients and being an outspoken critic of the mass-litigation strategy. However, according to a recent change of his site, he has switched sides and now represents rightsholders filing suit against Bittorrent users. Meier, who once referred to such lawsuits as “extortion” and was listed by the EFF as an attorney to help users fight such lawsuits, has changed his home page to list the various lawsuits (and hundreds of Bittorrent users) his firm has filed suit against. While it’s not uncommon for attorneys to work both sides in such matters, Meier’s history of being an outspoken opponent of the tactic makes this an unusual move.
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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