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First off today, Gerrit Wiesmann at the Financial Times reports that Google has won a key concession in a new German law that, earlier, seemed prepared to require the search giant to ask permission, and possibly pay a fee, to use snippets of news sites in their search results, including Google News.
The ancillary copyright law passed Germany’s lower house and the law gives newspapers the ability to license how their content is used on the Web. However, that license does not extend to “snippets” of text, as are often displayed by Google. The last-minute concession followed months of lobbying and pressure from Google, as well as other tech companies, against the bill.
Both Google and German publishers appear to be happy with the bill. Publishers are satisfied that they will be able to target personalized newspaper services that aggregate the whole content and Google believes the most dangerous parts of the bill were removed. The bill still has to pass the upper house and is expected to meet some resistance there.
Next up today, Reuters is reporting that Kim Dotcom, in his bid to avoid extradition to the U.S., has suffered at least a small setback as an appeals court overturned a lower court ruling requiring the U.S. government to turn over all of its evidence.
Dotcom was arrested in January of 2012 and his site, Megaupload, was shuttered in a joint action by U.S. and New Zealand authorities. The U.S. has sought extradition of Dotcom on the grounds of criminal copyright infringement, fraud and money laundering but Dotcom has been fighting it.
A lower court twice ruled that Dotcom should have all of the evidence against him before his extradition hearing but the appeals court ruled that the U.S. government only has the duty of “candor and good faith” in making such a bid, meaning a summary of evidence is acceptable. After multiple delays, Dotcom’s extradition hearing is currently scheduled for August.
Finally today, Erin Geiger Smith at Thomson Reuters News and Insight reports that the University of Phoenix has sued the site Student of Fortune and its owners, Chegg Inc, for copyright infringement, alleging that the site encourages and promotes copyright infringement, including the copying of the University of Phoenix’s courses.
Student of Fortune is an “online tutorial marketplace” where people pay for tutor assistance in the form of custom tutorials. However, according to the lawsuit, large amounts of University of Phoenix material can be purchased on the site.
Neither Student of Fortune nor Chegg responded to queries about the lawsuit but the University of Phoenix said that the litigation is part of their ongoing efforts to prevent cheating.
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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