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First off today, Eriq Gardner at the Hollywood Reporter reports that Megaupload has lost its first round with the U.S. government as a judge has denied the company’s request to dismiss the criminal copyright infirngement charges against it. Megaupload had argued that, since it was a foreign corporation, the U.S. Government was unable to properly serve it a summons and, therefore, the charges should have been dismissed. However, the judge in the case felt that dismissal was not a requirement and that doing so would enable all foreign corporations to avoid U.S. prosecution. Megaupload was shuttered in January after a raid by both U.S. and New Zealand authorities. It’s founder, along with several employees, are scheduled for an extradition hearing in March where they may be sent to the U.S. to face trial.
Next up today, Don Jeffrey of Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Walt Disney, along with other movie and TV studios, have asked a court to rule that LimeWire and its found, Mark Gorton, induced people to infringe the copyright of their films. LimeWire had been found liable for inducing infringement in recorded music back in 2010 and the site was shuttered. LimeWire settled its claims with the record industry for $105 million but they were unable to reach a settlement with the movie industry. That in turn prompted the studios to file for a motion of summary judgment in hopes of compelling a settlement.
Finally today, Kirsten Acuna of Business Insider reports that Stan Lee Media Inc. (SLMI), a company founded by comic book legend Stan Lee but no longer has any affiliation with him, has sued Disney, the owner of Marvel Comics, for copyright infringement. According to SLMI, Stan Lee assigned copyrights in his creations to them before assigning them back to Marvel a month later. The company claims the transfer back to Marvel was invalid and they still hold the rights to many of Marvel’s best-known characters including Iron Man, the X Men, Spiderman and more. However, SLMI has made this claim before and lost in the lower court though a case against Stan Lee himself is on appeal.
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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