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First off today, Jordan Crook at TechCrunch writes that Aereo, the New York streaming TV startup, has filed a brief with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals continuing to cite the Cablevision case as why it is a legal service. Aereo allows customers to rent a small antenna and use a remote DVR to record over-the-air television programming in New York City. The broadcast networks sued Aereo, claiming the service was infringing their copyrights but a lower court refused to grant an injunction against the company, prompting the broadcast networks to appeal. Aereo has now responded to that appeal and is continuing to cite the Cablevision case, which saw the cable service provider win a similar lawsuit with broadcasters over a remote DVR product it provided for cable subscribers. However, Cablevision has filed a brief saying that the ruling doesn’t apply because it pays retransmission fees and Aereo does not.
Next up today, Peter Andrews at Reuters reports that, even as the new copyright alert system is scheduled to roll out shortly in the U.S, an expert affiliated with it is coming under fire. The often-called “six strikes” system will see ISPs send warnings to alleged infringers and take action against those who repeatedly download/share illegal material. The system is being overseen by the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), which hired an expert, Stroz Friedberg, to test the monitoring system it will be using, Mark Monitor. Friedberg found that the system worked as planned and was ready to be deployed. However, according to reports, Friedberg is a former RIAA lobbyist and has received over $600,000 in fees from them, raising questions about the impartiality of his analysis. Still, the system is still slated to roll out over the next two months with different ISPs starting up at different intervals.
Finally today, Michael Nunez of the International Digital Times reports that NBC has withheld a popular Saturday Night Live sit from from both its site and Hulu, likely for fear of a copyright lawsuit. The skit involved Mars Bruno, pretending to be an intern at Pandora, being forced to sing a medley of popular songs to keep the airwaves filled after a mechanical malfunction eliminated the vocal tracks. Though NBC makes most of the show’s skits available online, this one did not appear after the show aired, leading many to conclude that it was due to licensing issues with the song and their use online.
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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