3 Count: Google Attack

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1: Google Looks to Cut Funds to Illegal Sites

First off today Katherine Rushton at The Telegraph reports that Google is rumored to be in talks with payment processors to see about disabling financial services to pirate and other illegal websites.

Google has been facing stiff criticism from copyright holders, who accuse the search giant of profitting off of pirate works and also supporting such sites directly through Adsense ads. Google had previously announced an effort to de-prioritize sites that receive a large number of copyright complaints but those efforts have, for the most part, not had a significant impact on search results.

Elsewhere, copyright holders are asking Google to increase the number of takedown notices they can file per day. saying that limitations on the number of takedowns they can file and the number of searches they can perform are stifling their efforts to battle piracy.

2: Former File-Sharing Site Admin Fined 6.4 Million Euros

Next up today, Enigmax at Torrentfreak writes that Italy has handed down a 6.4 million Euro ($8.5 million) fine to a Naples-based man named Tex Willer.

Willer operated a series of forums, the largest of which was ItalianShare, that focused on file swapping. Together, Willer’s sites reportedly had some 300,000 members but were shuttered in late 2011 after Italian authorities executed a warrant on them.

The fine was massive because it was learned that Willer had earned an estimated 580,000 Euros ($784,000) and had reportedly evaded taxes on those earnings. Also, Italian law adds an administrative fine based on the number of works illegally distributed and, due to the popularity of the sites, the number was extremely high.

3: As 3-D Printing Becomes More Accessible, Copyright Questions Arise

Finally today, Steve Henn at NPR reports that, as 3D printing becomes both easier and cheaper, many people are using the technology to reproduce works that are protected by copyright including statues of Star Wars characters and characters from Pixar movies.

Some copyright holders, including Moulinsart, which owns the rights to “Tintin” have filed several Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices to sites such as Thingverse, which host the 3D designs that others can use to print.

Given the steady improvements in the technology, it seems likely that we’re going to see more of these issues in the coming years.


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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