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First off today, Joe Flint of the LA Times reports that Aereo has won its first key round against broadcasters, avoiding an injunction against their business. Aereo is a TV service provider that lets users rent antennae and DVRs in their facility to record and playback broadcast television on multiple devices. The four major networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, all sued Aereo claiming that the service was infringing. The networks requested an injunction but the judge in the case denied it saying that Aereo was protected under another 2nd Circuit court ruling that allowed Cablevision to operate a remote DVR as long as it was the customer doing the recording and the DVR did not do anything that the customer couldn’t do with one in their home. Aereo successfully used the same arguments in battling the injunction but the networks have vowed to appeal and make a case that the Cablevision ruling does not apply in this dispute.
Next up today, the CBC reports that, in Canada, the Supreme Court is set to rule on five different copyright cases, three of them involving the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers (SOCAN), which is seeking to collect fees from ISPs, video game makers and on iTunes song samples. All three are arguing that they should not have to pay royalties. ISPs claim that downloading does not constitute a communication to the public, video game makers argue that the purchase of a game should be treated as a sale, not a transmission, and Apple believes short snippets should be exempt from royalties. The court is also set to weigh in on another case related to educational institutions and how they can use copyrighted works.
Finally today, the Associated Press reports that a New York man named Gregory Cherwonik has pleaded guilty to participating in a piracy group named IMAGiNE, which specialized in releasing movies online before or just after they were released in theaters. The group had been called one of the most prominent release groups previously but was broken up in September of last year after the arrests of four of the group’s alleged members, including Cherwonik.
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