3 Count: New Zealand First

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1: Copyright Law Claims First Victim

First off today, Hamish Fletcher at The New Zealand Herald is reporting that, in New Zealand, the country’s Copyright Tribunal has handed down its first ruling under that nation’s “three strikes” law. The ruling found the defendant had shared two songs unlawfully (one song allegedly shared twice) and ordered the customer to pay a penalty of $616.57 (Approx. $510 USD).

The defendant, who was unnamed, been brought before the tribunal by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) after they had received two warnings for file sharing. The tribunal could have handed down a judgment as high as $15,000 but opted for a smaller award, which included $6.57 for the tracks, $50 toward RIANZ costs, $200 tribunal application fee and $360 in deterrence ($120 per incident).

The case was heard “On the Papers”, meaning that the defendant didn’t actually appear before the tribunal and all correspondence was in writing. The defendant admitted to having downloaded at least one of the songs, being “unaware” it was illegal but denied responsibility for another. The tribunal, however, sided wth RIANZ in the end.

2: Arbitron Sues WKYC-TV for Copyright Infringement

Next up today, Joe Fernandez at Research Magazine reports that Arbitron, a ratings and media research company, is suing WKYC-TV in Cleveland for copyright infringement saying that the organization illegally copied and distributed Arbitron’s audience estimates without permission.

Specifically, the allegation is that WKYC used Arbitron data in its sales presentations and media kits to attempt to lure new advertising customers. Arbitron also says that the station falsely labeled some figures as being Arbitron data when it wasn’t, causing confusion.

Arbitron is asking for $150,000 for each incident described in the lawsuit in addition to attorneys fees and court costs. The lawsuit also seeks a permanent injunction citing that Arbitron will suffer irreparable harm if one isn’t granted. Arbitron recently settled a similar lawsuit against Magic Broadcasting, a former customer.

3: Tech Industry Sharply Criticizes German Online Copyright Bill

Finally today, Loek Essers at IT World reports that, in Germany, pending copyright legislation has drawn the ire of more tech giants, including Yahoo and Facebook, as well as German startups.

The legislation aims to give publishers, in particular news publishers, the exclusive right to exploit even snippets of their content online. Seen as a move against Google News, which routinely publishes snippets without payment or a license, the law has been dubbed by many the “Google Tax”.

However, Google had been largely alone in its opposition to the bill but the new statements from other companies add more weight to their opposition as lawmakers are meeting to discuss the bill today. The meeting, in the Legal Affairs Committee, is the last step before it heads to the plenary, a chamber of Germany’s Parliament.


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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Tune in every Wednesday evening at 5 PM ET for the live recording of the Copyright 2.0 Show or wait and get the edited version Friday right here on Plagiarism Today.

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