3 Count: Smack Downs

3 Count: Smack Downs Image

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1: Appeals Court Hands Veoh Another Win in Important Copyright Ruling

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Universal Music’s appeal in its case against Veoh, saying that the video sharing site most certainly was protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor protections.

Universal sued Veoh alleging that the site encouraged and promoted infringement of its content. However, Veoh claimed that it was a mere host of the content and, since it removed materials upon notification, was protected from liability by the DMCA. The lower court agreed and so did the appeals court in December. That latter decision was reaffirmed in this latest ruling.

Universal tried to claim Veoh’s functionality of reencoding videos didn’t fall under the DMCA, that Veoh ignored notifications of infringing material and that Veoh didn’t qualify since it received financial benefit from the infringement. However, the court ruled against Universal on all areas, saying that the technology was protected, that Veoh did not ignore any proper infringement notifications and that Veoh lacked the ability to control the infringement.

2: Court will sanction Prenda lawyers if they don’t appear March 29

Next up today, Timothy Lee at Ars Technica reports that Judge Otis Wright, the judge overseeing the Prenda Law case, has set a new hearing date for March 29 and has ordered all relevant Prenda Law members to attend or face sanctions.

Prenda is a firm famous for engaging in Bittorrent “Troll” litigation where they sue a large number of defendants for allegedly downloading pirated pornograophy and then seek quick settlements. When one of the defendants fought back, it was revealed there were irregularities in Prenda’s case, including allegations that the plaintiffs were shell companies created by the lawyers themselves. This was furthered when a man named Alan Cooper came forward and said his identity was used without his permission to be CEO of one of those companies.

This lead to a hearing regarding possible sanctions earlier this week but Prenda’s members failed to show up, prompting Judge Wright to issue the new order.

3: Zorro Copyright Rights Challenged by Playwright

Finally today, The Wrap writes that playwright Robert Cabell has filed a lawsuit against Zorro Productions Inc (ZPI) over the latter’s alleged claiming of nonexistent rights over the iconic masked character.

According to Cabell, many of the core Zorro works, including a 1919 book and a 1920 movie, have long lapsed into the public domain. but ZPI continues to claim copyright over the character and has used that claim to help secure trademarks over the name.

Cabell is the author behind a 1996 theatrical production named “Z – The Musical of Zorro” and claims that CPI has launched a “campaign of intimidation and coercion” to limit his ability to use the character. Cabell is seeking unspecifiedorgue damages in addition to an injunction preventing further claims from ZPI.


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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