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First off today, Loek Essers at ITWorld writes that a UK court has ruled that movie studios have no rights to profits made from the Usenet-indexing site Newzbin2 for its copyright infringement.
The movie studios had filed a proprietary claim, seeking assets held by companies associated with Newzbin2, arguing that they were fruits of the copyright infringement and should be turned over. However, the court denied that claim, saying that a copyright infringer was more akin to a trespasser and such proprietary claims were invalid.
Newzbin2’s predecessor, Newzbin, was shuttered in 2010 after UK courts ruled against it. Newzbin2 was opened soon after by a different group of people but closed in November of last year citing financial problems. The movie studios have said they are planning on appealing.
Next up, William Wolf-Wylie at Canada.com writes that the Canada Post, the Canadian mail service, is continuing with its lawsuit against Geolytica over zip code information, despite the government adopting a more open stance on such data, even releasing the information for free.
Geolytica used the zip code data to create the site Geocoder.ca, which provides coordinate data for zip codes in the US and Canada. The Canada Post alleged that the use was infringing. Unlike the US, works created by the Canadian government can be protected by copyright, including zip code data.
However, the Canadian government has, in more recent months, taken a more open approach to data and, on February 5th, launched a website that offered the “Forward Sortation Area” data set for free. Despite this shift in policy, the lawsuit against Geolytica is continuing.
Finally today, Joe Mullil at Ars Technica reports that Righthaven, the organization that filed over 200 lawsuits over content from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and The Denver Post over copyright infringement on forums and blogs is having its case heard before the 9th Circuit.
Specifically before the court are two of Righthaven’s defeats. In both cases, the court previously ruled Righthaven did not have standing to file suit as the copyright transfer between the newspapers and them only included the right to sue, not a full transfer. Righthaven also lost one case on the issue of fair use, with the judge ruling that the copying of an entire article was fair in that case.
The panel at the 9th Circuit heard arguments from the lawyers on both sides and, though a ruling is not expected for some time, the judges seemed to side against Righthaven on their standing to sue but seemed more open to overturning the fair use ruling. Righhaven owes one of the former defendants some $200,000 and, according to his attorney, there are others out there with judgments against Righthaven.
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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