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First off today, Wikipedia has announced that they will be joining Reddit and a slew of other sites in going “dark” on January 18th in opposition to the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and it’s sister act, Protect IP (PIPA). The 24-hour blackout will affect only the English language version of the online encyclopedia and is designed to protest the acts’ alleged censorship of the Web. However, the move comes as both acts are being rewritten to remove the controversial site blocking provisions and SOPA is currently on hold following a condemnation by the Obama administration.
Next up today, Andrew Crossley, the founder of the controversial UK law firm ACS:Law has been suspended from the practice of law for two years and ordered to pay £76,326.55 in costs at a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT). The firm rose to prominence, and controversy, in 2009 for its bulk lawsuits against suspected pirates, where it demanded settlements from them to avoid further litigation. Crossley admitted to six of the charges before him, including acting against the best interest of his clients, but contested a seventh, that he had failed to adequately protect client data. The latter charge stemmed from a data leak from his server that resulted in defendant information being leaked on the Web. The tribunal rebutted his claims and found him guilty of that charge as well.
Finally today, as the U.S. celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. day yesterday, many were surprised to learn that they were unable to find a free version of his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The reason is that the speech itself, which was given 48 years ago, is still protected by copyright and will continue to be until 2038, 70 years after MLK’s death. Currently, EMI records is the company responsible for the licensing of the work though, with EMI’s recent auction, that right will, likely, soon go to another record company.
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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