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First off today, with the SOPA/PIPA “blackout” protests behind them, anti-SOPA advocates are tallying the results. So far, that includes 9 co-sponsors of the bills, including 5 in the Senate and four in the House, that have withdrawn their support for the bills. The two bills, which were being rewritten prior to the protests, would both have allowed copyright holders and the Attorney General to obtain court orders requiring ISPs to block access to “rogue” websites existing primarily for the purpose of copyright infringement. Copyright holders also could have ordered payment processors and advertisers to stop giving money to such sites. The bills are both being redrafted following a rebuke from the White House on the site blocking provisions.
Next up today, music streaming service Grooveshark has been forced to disable access to German listeners due to a protracted legal fight against the local music rights group GEMA. According to Grooveshark, “disproportionately high operating costs” in the country are forcing the move and the site, in its notice of closure, is asking its users to send a “polite” letter to GEMA over the matter. Grooveshark will continue to serve other countries, including the U.S., where it is being sued by all four of the major record labels over its service. Grooveshark, however, claims to be protected by DMCA safe harbors as the music it streams is uploaded by users.
Finally today, Oracle, in a filing made Tuesday in its ongoing case against Google, has offered to put on hold its patent claims if the court will hear its copyright ones more quickly. According to Oracle, Google misappropriated elements of the JAVA language in building their Android operating system, including both patent and copyright violations and is seeking both damages and an injunction against Google. However, disputes and challenges over damage estimates in the patent portion of the case has slowed the case to a halt, thus prompting the move. Google strongly denies the allegations.
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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