3 Count: Fifty Settlements

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1: Pirate Bay Conviction for Assisted Copyright Infringement Was Justified, EU Human Rights Court Rules

First off today Loek Essers at PC Advisor reports that The European Court of Human Rights has rejected an appeal by Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde, two of the co-founders of The Pirate Bay, regarding their criminal convictions in Sweden.

According to the unanimous decision, which involved judges from 7 EU countries, the criminal conviction was proper and that the damage awards were not disproportionate as The Pirate Bay had refused to remove infringing materials after notification.

The two had lodged the appeal saying that the conviction abridged their free speech but the court ruled that the need to protect copyright trumped the free speech benefits, calilng the appeal “manifestly ill-founded.”

2: Universal Settles ‘Fifty Shades’ Porn Parody Lawsuit

Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter writes that Smash Pictures and Universal Studios have settled their dispute over Smash’s pornographic parody of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Universal, which owns the film rights to the popular novel series, alleged that the porn parody was not a parody at all, saying that it was too close to the original and was an infringement. Smash, in the end, agreed to no longer argue that its work was a protected parody and, instead, is paying Universal an undisclosed amount and agreeing to a permanent injunction on the sale of the film.

Smash had previously also argued that the books were in the public domain because early drafts were Twilight fan fiction posted on the Web. However, Universal quickly countered that saying theory was “flawed” and that there was no reason to believe it had been removed from copyright protection because of its history.

3: Kim Dotcom: “I Will Never be in a U.S. Prison”

Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that Kim Dotcom, the owner of Megaupload prior to its closure, made an appearance via Skype at SXSW in Austin. There, he spoke about his ongoing criminal investigation and expressed confidence that he will prevail, saying that he “Will never be in a U.S. prison.”

Dotcom was arrested early last year after his site was shuttered by a joint action between U.S. and New Zealand authorities. Dotcom is currently facing extradition from New Zealand to the U.S. over money laundering and criminal copyright infringement charges.

Dotcom also said that Megaupload was not a piracy hub, but rather was a place primarily used to store files. He also criticized a recent study that found Megaupload’s closure boosted media sales, arguing that the study was funded by the MPAA, and hinted that his Megabox service, which aims to compete with record labels, will launch within half a year.


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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