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First off today, in Canada the Supreme Court will hear testimony on five copyright-related cases. The cases all deal with the issue of fair dealing, Canada’s equivalent to fair use, and may have a drastic impact on the amount Canadian’s pay for certain types of copyrighted content. One of the key cases deals with music samples in iTunes, which are currently offered for free and limited to 30 seconds. SOCAN, a rights group representing authors and publishers, thinks there should be a royalty affixed to those samples while Apple and other believe it to be an example of fair dealing. In another case, colleges are seeking to overturn a previous ruling that found copying short excerpts of copyrighted works for educational uses was not protected under fair dealing. Rulings on these cases are not expected for many months though testimony will be heard both today and tomorrow.
Next up today, social game maker Zynga has settled their ongoing litigation with Vostu, a Brazilian company they accused of ripping off several of their games. Under the terms, Vostu will pay an undisclosed sum of money, make changes to four of their games and will drop a counter-claim they had filed against Zynga. The settlement puts an end to both lawsuits, one in Brazil and one in the U.S. and ends the dispute between the two companies.
Finally today, Google has indicated that it will seek dismissal in its long-running dispute with the Author’s Guild. The lawsuit, which is over Google’s Book Search tool and its scanning/indexing of books, has had two settlements be shot down. The Author’s Guild, however, is petitioning to have the settlement converted to a class action lawsuit. Even if Google wins and gets the lawsuit dismissed, it won’t be the end of the litigation as the individuals in the lawsuit would be able to continue.
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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