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First off today, Dawn C. Chmielewski of the Los Angeles Times writes that a Federal Appeals Court judge has revived Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube and its parent Google. The case goes back to 2007 when Viacom first sued claiming that, during the early years of YouTube, the site willfully ignored infringement and grew in popularity because of it. However, a lower court judge tossed the case initially saying that YouTube qualified for DMCA safe harbor protection. In a reversal of that, the Appeals Court ruled that the case needs to be sent back to the lower court so a jury can decide if YouTube had actual knowledge of specific infringements. This moves the case back to the lower court, where the case will now, likely, be headed toward a jury trial.
Next up today, Enigmax at Torrentfreak writes that a variety of organizations from Google, Facebook, the EFF, Public Knowledge and the MPAA have weighed in on a thorny DMCA safe harbor case that could require sites to take stronger action against repeat infringers. The case, Flava Works, Inc v. Gunter, pits an adult film studio, Flava Works, against Marques Gunter, who operates a site called myVidster. According to the lawsuit, Gunter would respond to specific DMCA notices but failed to act on or prevent known repeat infringers. The lower court agreed with the plaintiff and said that safe harbor protections no longer apply for Gunter. That lead to the appeal and the slew of amicus briefs with most wanting the original decision overturned but the MPAA speaking in favor of it.
Finally today, Megan Geuss at Ars Techncia writes that Judge Howard R. Lloyd has denied a subpoena request by Hard Drive Productions that would have required ISPs to turn over contact information for hundreds of IP addresses accused of illegally sharing files over Bittorrent. The reason for the denial was that the subpoena would not result in the identities of the infringers being known as many people can use the same IP address. This ruling follows similar ones in Illinois and Florida, which have set back such mass-litigation strategies.
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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