3 Count: Narrow Window

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1: Craigslist wins early legal victory against PadMapper, 3Taps

First off today, Declan McCullagh from CNet reports that, even though a judge has dismissed much of the copyright portion of the case between Craigslist and several services that scraped its data, the case still lives on as other allegations and a narrow window of copyright claims are allowed to continue following a motion to dismiss.

The case saw Craigslist sue companies PadMapper and 3Taps, alleging a host of violations including copyright infringement, trespass and civil violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The services scraped or continue to scrape Craigslist content for use in new applications. These services famously led Craigslist to change its terms of service so that it held copyright in everything posted to it and was able to sue for copyright infringement.

However, those copyright claims have been largely dismissed and are only being allowed to continue for user content posted between July 16, 2012 and August 8, 2012 as, during that time, the Craigslist TOS required posters to grant Craigslist exclusive rights to their posts. That TOS change was rolled back after it became controversial with both users and various online rights groups. Other claims are being allowed to move forward, save a conspiracy allegation between the defendants, which was dismissed.

2: Belgian ISPs Sued for Providing Internet Access Without Paying Copyright Levies

Next up today, Loek Essers at PCWorld reports that Sabam, a Belgian association of author, composers and publishers, is suing the nation’s three top ISPs claiming that, since they offer access to copyright protected works online, they should be paying copyright levies.

Specifically, Sabam wants the three ISPs, Belgacom, Telenet and Voo, to pay some 3.4 percent of their turnover in copyright fees, noting that they are profiting from users that are using the Internet connections to access copyrighted works they are not compensated for. According to Sabam, the levies would be similar to the ones manufacturers already pay on physical media such as blank CDs and DVDs.

The Internet Service Providers Association, which represents ISPs in the country, says that such a levy would be unfair to legitimate consumers, who would pay twice for their media, and claims Sabam’s lawsuit lacks any legal basis.

3: Universal Music Says Artist Privacy at Stake in Digital Royalties Dispute

Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that, in the long-running dispute between Universal Music Group and artists, Universal is attempting to withhold information claiming it could violate artist privacy.

Universal artists Rob Zombie and Rick James (or rather, his estate) are suing the label claiming that they were underpaid for royalties on digital downloads with the label considering them “licenses” instead of “sales” as so to pay the lower royalty rate. The artists are seeking class action status for the lawsuit but need to determine damages. To do that, they’ve requested Universal turn over royalty figures for certain artists (since different artists have different contracts), but Universal has declined saying it would violate their privacy.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a victory by artist Eminem who had won his case in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and confirmed that, in his case, downloads should be treated as sales.


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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