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First off today, James Niccolai of PC World reports that the jury has come in on the first phase of the Google/Oracle trial and has issued a partial verdict on the question of copyright infringement. The trial, which began after Oracle sued Google alleging the search giant had infringed both their copyrights and patents in creating their version of JAVA for the Android mobile operating system, was split into two parts, separating out the copyright and patents portion. On the issue of copyright infringement, the jury ruled that Google had infringed one section of code but was deadlocked on the issue of fair use. This means that Google could be ordered to pay damages for infringement (if the fair use issue can be resolved), but the amount will likely be very small as the judge has already declined to grant Oracle a share of Google’s profits for the small amount of infringement. Though technically a victory for Oracle, many are considering it a victory for Google as they were found liable in only one small section of code. However the patent phase of the trial is to begin today and is expected to last about two weeks.
Next up today, according to a press release by the Songwriter’s Guild of America (SGA), former Village People frontman Victor Willis has won a court decision that will allow him to reclaim copyright in many of the band’s best-known songs including “YMCA” and “In the Navy”. Copyright termination allows artists to end all copyright agreements after a set number of years, however, Willis’ label had been challenging his termination on multiple grounds, most notably that the entire band was not involved in the termination. However, the judge ruled that, in cases of joint authorship, the authors transfer their rights individually and can revoke them accordingly. The case is widely expected to be appealed.
Finally today, Wendy Davis at MediaPost News writes that adult content provider Perfect 10 has filed suit against the microblogging service Tumblr, alleging that it did not comply with the DMCA and remove all of the 200+ images that Perfect 10 claims were hosted on the site illegally. Perfect 10 lost a similar lawsuit against Google several years ago when it was determined that their notices were not sufficiently detailed. However, in this case, Perfect 10 has filed in the 2nd Circuit rather than the 9th, where the courts may have a looser interpretation of DMCA requirements.
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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