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First off today, a UK court has ruled that Richard O’Dwyer, the alleged operator of TVShack, can be extradited to the U.S. to face charges of criminal copyright infringement. O’Dwyer is being sought on charges that his site enabled and supported copyright infringement, however, O’Dwyer claims that his site didn’t actually host or provide any illegal content, merely links to it and that it was completely legal in the UK. O’Dwyer and his lawyer have promised to appeal the ruling to the High Court of Britain.
Next up today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has signed on to defend researchers and operators involved with a database of time zone information that became the target of a lawsuit by Atlas maker Astrolabe, which accused them of misusing copyrighted information. The database, which many computer systems depend upon to update clocks and calculate time zone differences, was shut down but has since been brought back online. According to the EFF, the database only copies facts from Astrolabe’s work, which are not copyrightable under U.S. law. The EFF has ordered Astrolabe to drop the suit or face a motion for sanctions.
Finally today, the author of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would allow rightsholders to obtain court orders to have ISPs block access to “rogue” websites dedicated to the purpose of infringement, is facing a copyright infringement claim of his own. According to Vice’s reporter Jamie Lee Curtis Taete, a previous version of Rep. Smith’s site had a background image taken by photographer DJ Schulte. Though the photo was licensed under a Creative Commons License, there was no attribution offered making its use a likely infringement. Rep. Smith’s office did not have an immediate comment on the matter.
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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