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First off today, in the UK, ISPs BT and Talk Talk have lost their appeal of the Digital Economy Act and, most likely, will be forced to issue warnings and even disconnect suspected file sharers. The two ISPs had filed suit claiming that portions of the act were outside of EU law but the High Court refused to forward the case to the European Court of Justice, denying the appeal. Copyright industries have called upon the ISPs to “stop fighting” the law and begin following it though the ISPs have said they are weighing other actions.
Next up today, Righthaven has been stripped of its rights in some 278 copyright registrations under its name and its trademark. The company launched a much-maligned no-warning litigation campaign against people who copied works from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post. However, Righthaven did so not as a law firm, but as a copyright holder (with rights signed over from the papers) and lost many of its cases over its lack of standing to sue. Those cases resulted in judgments being made against Righthaven, judgments that the company has not paid, forcing the judge to seize all of the assets of Righthaven, including the copyrights it does hold. Some non-newspaper copyrights were exempted, including two pornographic films and a mission statement written by Righthaven, but most were included. However, Righthaven itself was not present for the hearing on the matter, prompting the judge to side with the former defendant.
Finally today, in South Africa, the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) has launched a new license entitled Media Monitoring Organisation Licence aimed at getting monitoring services to pay a license fee to newspaper and magazine publishers. However, that license structure faces opposition from South African Reproduction Rights Organisation’s (SARRO) license, which is endorsed by the largest of the media monitoring agencies, Newsclip. The two licensing structures are different in that SARRO’s license is a flat annual fee where DALRO’s is usage-based. Publishers have hinted that they may consider legal action if their license isn’t followed but SARRO claims that their structure is based on the UK’s system which has worked well there.
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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