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First off today, a series of articles from the blog Torrentfreak have connected IP addresses allegedly associated with the RIAA, Sony Pictures, NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment and even the palace of French President Nicholas Sarkozy with downloading files via Bittorrent. The blog used a new site entitled YouHaveDownloaded, which monitors some 20% of the Bittorrent traffic and records IP address information. Visitors can then see what the service has found that they’ve downloaded or check other IP addresses. There’s been no comment from any of the organizations involved.
Next up today, in a move that was predicted last week, both Sony and Warner Music have joined Universal Music’s lawsuit against the streaming service Grooveshark. The lawsuit, which Universal filed in November, alleges that Grooveshark executives uploaded tracks to their streaming service in violation of copyright law. Grooveshark denies this and claims that its tracks are user uploaded and, as such, it deserves safe harbor protection from the DMCA. However, according to Universal, emails and other information obtained through an earlier lawsuit indicate otherwise. Sony and Warner joining the lawsuit now means that the three biggest record labels are involved and the fourth, EMI, which currently licenses its music to Grooveshark, is in the process of being sold to Universal.
Finally today, the Federal Court of Australia is taking up a case that could have a major impact on the nation’s copyright laws as it pertains to time shifting. The case centers around Optus, a local cell phone carrier, being sued by a slew of sports leagues and TV networks. According to the plaintiffs, Optus is illegally enabling users to record and stream live TV, including football (soccer) and Rugby matches on their phone. According to Optus, this is completely legal as time shifting, recording TV for viewing at a later date, is legal. However, the lawsuit alleges that, since the act is done via the cell network, those rules don’t apply and that since there is such a small delay between when a work is recorded and available, that it isn’t true time shifting and is instead just moving the media to a more convenient platform. Many, however, are predicting that this is an area of Australian copyright law that is ripe for legislative action, possibly making any impact from this case short-lived.
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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