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First off today James Ball at The Guardian reports that, in the UK, Anton Vickerman has been convicted for his role in operating the site surfthechannel.com, which provided links to infringing video material. However, Vicerkman was not convicted for copyright infringement and, instead, was convicted for conspiracy to defraud. The conviction places a new burden on a similar case involving Richard O’Dwyer, who is facing extradition to the U.S. for criminal copyright infringement for his role in running the site TVShack. Many, including Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, believe that O’Dwyer should be prosecuted in the UK and not sent to the US and view this case as proof that it is practical to do so. Sentencing for Vicerman is scheduled for next month.
Next up today, Ed Treleven of the Wisconsin State Journal reports that photographer Michael Kienitz has sued local t-shirt maker Sconnie Nation over a shirt they printed for a block party that featured photo of Madison, Wisconsin mayor Paul Soglin with the text “Sorry for Partying”. The photo, which is the official portrait of Mayor Soglin, was taken by Kienitz and selected in 2011 as the official portrait however, according to the lawsuit, Kienitz still holds the copyright to it. Kienitz is suing for the profits from its publication and to prevent any future shirts from being printed.
Finally today, David Kravets at Wired writes that the Supreme Court’s 2011-2012 term ended Thursday, following the court’s much-anticipated ruling on healthcare, leaving many to reflect on the year of rulings (and non-rulings) the court has made. On copyright, this most prominently includes the case Golan v. Holder, where the court ruled that Congress had the ability to re-copyright works placed in the public domain, as it did with the Uruguay Round Agreement Act, which re-copyrighted many older works to comply with the Berne Convention. However, perhaps more important is the cases the court didn’t hear, one which allowed a $675,000 verdict against file sharer Joel Tenenbaum to stand. In the upcoming term, the court is scheduled to take up the issue of whether the right of first sale applies to works manufactured overseas in a case involving imported Omega watches.
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.