3 Count: UK Today

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1: BBC and Others Targeted by Microsoft Copyright Takedown Request

First off today, the BBC reports that, in July, Microsoft incorrectly sent DMCA notices to Google requesting that the search engine remove several legitimate pages from its index. This includes links on the BBC’s site as well as CNN, Wikipedia and the U.S. government. Though many of the sites were on a Google whitelist and were unaffected, others, such as AMC Theaters and RealClearPolitics, were not and had pages removed from the search index. Microsoft claimed that the sites were hosting Microsoft Windows 8 Beta downloads though the only thing the pages appeared to have in common was the number “45”. Despite the errors, most of the URLs on the list appear to be infringing. Microsoft has not commented on the issue.

2: Copyright Holders Call for Unlawful Downloading Regime to Cover 4G Networks

Next up today, in the UK, the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) is hoping that the country will expand its impending “three strikes” system to include cell phone networks. According to FAST, the impending rollout of 4G cell access means that mobile networks may become a haven for illegal downloading. However, the current regime, as passed under the Digital Economy Act (DEA) in 2010, only covers fixed broadband providers. Ofcom, the organization overseeing the implementation of the DEA, has said they will review the scope in six months but that the evidence currently doesn’t not support the inclusion of mobile.

3: EU Green-Lights ‘Copyright Land Grab’ Law on Orphan Work

Finally today, The Register writes that, in the EU, ministers have approved an orphan works bill that will allow libraries, educational establishments, museums, archives and other non-profit groups to make copies of works in their collections when the copyright holder can not be identified. If rights holders come forward later, they will be eligible for payment, but it will be limited due to the non-commercial nature of the use. The UK government has outlined separate plans that will allow for both commercial and non-commercial use of orphan works, however, commercial institutions would have to pay for the use at a market rate.


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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