3 Count: Socially Unfiltered

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1: Copyright Holders Dealt Blow in EU Social Networking Case

First off today, in the EU, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that copyright holders can not force social networks to install filters to block copyrighted materials on their sites. The case, which pitted Belgian rights organization SABAM against the local social network Netlog, stems from what SABAM considers rampant illegal downloading taking place via the network. However, according to the court, the installation of filters to prevent copyrighted content from being uploaded and traded could undermine freedom of information. The ruling follows a similar case in November that SABAM lost against Internet Service Providers.

2: Pub Landlords Face Jail in Major Sky Crackdown on Illegally Broadcast English Football Matches

Next up today, in the UK, pub owners are staring at a crackdown against illegal broadcasting of football (soccer) matches. One pub owner has already been ordered to pay some £19,000 (approx $30,000) in fines for playing matches in his pub without a commercial license. The move comes as a European Court has ruled that the use of cheaper foreign decoders to descramble and play matches is legal, however, the playing of matches without a license likely violates copyright law, in particular the display of logos, songs and pre-recorded footage. That, in turn, is the approach being taken in the new crackdown that has many pub owners worried.

3: $4M Default Judgment for Private in Copyright Suit

Finally today, a default judgment filed against California residents Mark and Mina Fargalla, who ran the now-defunct membership site pornvisit.com, is nearly $4 million dollars. The suit was filed by Fraserside IP, an intellectual property holding firm, and accused the due of running the site for profit and illegally distributing content owned by the Fraserside. The two, however, did not appear in court and that prompted the judge to issue a verdict against them for both the maximum statutory penalties under the law, $150,000 per work, as well as other damages and attorney’s fees. The judge in the case called it a “shot across the bow” of any other piracy.


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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