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First off today, the House Judiciary Committee seems to be on a path of approving SOPA, sending it to the House of Representatives for a full vote. The hearing yesterday, which lasted over 7 hours, will continue today but early votes on amendments shows strong support for SOPA in the committee. The bill, which allows copyright holders to seek orders barring ISPs, payment processors and advertisers from letting users access or doing business with sites primarily aimed at copyright infringement, was the subject of nearly 50 amendments, only 10 of which were voted on yesterday. However, one of those amendments, proposed by Representative Darrell Issa, would have removed much of the controversial elements of the bill but was voted down by a 22-12 margin. The hearing is expected to continue today and may stretch past the New Year if Congress goes on break before it’s finished.
Next up today, Universal Music Group hsa responded to allegations that it improperly ordered the takedown of a viral music video posted by controversial cyberlocker site Megaupload. According to Universal, the takedown wasn’t related to the DMCA, but rather, a private contract that UMG has with YouTube to remove videos that infringes any of their rights, not just copyright. This, according to UMG, seems to stem from a partnership the labels signed with YouTube as part of creating the offical VEVO channels. The music video featured various musicians offering support for the site, even as the record labels are condemning Megaupload as a haven for piracy. The video, however, is back on YouTube pending further information from UMG.
Finally today, the UK government has issued its proposal for reforming the nation’s copyright laws and the recommendations follow closely many of the suggestions from the controversial Hargreaves report earlier this year. Those changes include the legalizing of format shafting copyrighted works (IE: ripping a CD to your MP3 player), expanding an copyright exception for researchers to include data mining, expanding “fair dealing” to include satire and, most controversially, making orphan works (works without known copyright holders) available for reuse. The proposal now enters a 14-week public comment period, ending in March of next year.
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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