3 Count: Buried Lede

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1: CBS Forced CNET Staff to Recast Vote After Hopper Won ‘Best in Show’ at CES

First off today, Joshua Topolsky at The Verge reports that CNET was forced by its parent company CBS to retake an editors’ vote after The Hopper, Dish Network’s controversial commercial-skipping DVR, won CNET’s “Best in Show” award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). CBS, along with other television networks, is currently engaged in litigation with Dish Network over Hopper, claiming that the DVR infringes upon their copyrights.

Upon learning that Hopper won the editors’ vote, CBS ordered CNET to remove it from consideration and retake the vote. A notice posted on the article said that Hopper was removed from consideration due to the litigation but made no mention of the revote.

In response to the interference, Greg Sandoval, one of CNET’s best-known reporters, has resigned from the site and CBS has issued a statement saying that it was “an isolated and unique incident” and that CNET maintains “100% editorial independence”.

2: Megaupload’s Planted Evidence Allegations are Baseless, U.S. Says

Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that the Department of Justice has responded to Megaupload’s claims that the US government “planted” evidence against them.

According to Megaupload, the Department of Justice requested that Megaupload hang on to suspected infringing content as part of a subpoena in an unrelated infringement case and then, later, used those files as evidence against Megaupload claiming the service failed to remove infringing material.

However, the Department of Justice claims that the U.S. government never asked Megaupload to hold onto the files, saying the company fails to cite a single instruction from anyone at the government to do that. Furthermore, the Department of justice claims that the 39 files in dispute were not involved in the search warrant executed at Megaupload’s hosting company.

Megaupload was closed in a joint action by U.S. and New Zealand authorities last year. The legal case against Megaupload the company is moving forward in the U.S. but its employees and founder, Kim Doctom, face extradition from New Zealand in a March hearing.

3: Norway Faces Site Blocking Measures in Anti-Filesharing Bill

Finally today, Enigmax, also at Torrentfreak, writes that Norway is weighing an anti-piracy bill that could result in the country ordering ISPs to block access to certain sites. The move would follow on the footsteps other similar bills in the UK and elsewhere, where site blocking has become common.

The bill follows a 2009 lawsuit that saw copyright holders lose a bid to force ISPs in the country to block The Pirate Bay. After an appeal was rejected in 2010, the Ministry of Culture announced it had put forward proposals for amending the country’s Copyright Act that would allow both easier identification of suspected pirates and blocking of infringing websites.

Critics worry that the new legislation will not be effective is passed and may enable almost any copyright holder to monitor almost any one online. The Norwegian government had no comment though it’s previously stated that it will do so this month.


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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