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First off today, yesterday was day 2 in the Australian High Court trial between AFACT and iiNet. AFACT, a consortium of copyright holders, had sued local ISP iiNet claiming they had not done enough to stop infringement. Though iiNet won in both of the lower courts, the appeals court ruling opened the door to a “three strikes” system in the country. AFACT appealed the case to the High Court. The second day focused more on iiNet’s ability to control its customers actions and on AFACTs demands, with iiNet claiming that nothing short of terminating suspected repeat infringers would have been adequate to avoid a lawsuit. The case enters its third day today and is likely to continue next week.
Next up today, the Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has found itself in the center of a controversy as composer Melchior Rietveldt is claiming that the group used his song without permission on various DVDs for the anti-piracy warnings. According to Rietveldt, he was paid to compose a song for an anti-piracy ad to be played at a film festival. However, BREIN (or another party) went on to use the work for warnings distributed on DVDs without any compensation. To make matters worse, a board member of Buma/Stemra (a royalty collection agency), Jochem Gerrits, offered to help but only if he could collect 33% of the earnings. Gerrits has since said his words were misinterpreted but has offered a temporary resignation. That being said, according to BREIN director Tim Kuik, the contract dispute does not actually involve the organization as it is not the distributor nor the client involved.
Finally today, the EFF is preparing for the next round of Copyright Office hearings on DMCA exemptions and is hoping to expand on exemptions that it helped fight for in the last round. The DMCA prohibits the circumvention of DRM and other digital locks but provides exemptions where it is acceptable. To determine what exemptions are appropriate, the copyright office holds hearings every three years and rules on what new exemptions should be added. Last year, the EFF and other groups argued for an exemption to jailbreak phones and received it. However, the exemption didn’t cover the trafficking of the software to perform the jailbreak nor did it cover other commonly-jailbroken items such as tablets, video game consoles, etc. The EFF is hoping that, with this round, it can earn those exemptions as well.
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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