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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the U.S. Trade Representative has released its annual Special 301 report. The report, which is designed to identify countries that the U.S. government feels are not doing enough to enforce intellectual property, both offline and on.
Closely watched this year is Spain, which avoided being put back on the list. There were rumors the country could be re-included on the list but the country began to push new legislation aimed at targeting pirate websites. Spain, along with Bulgaria, have been kept off the list but both will be reevaluated by the USTR soon.
Another winner is Canada, which was moved from the “Priority Watch List” to the “Watch List” citing Canada’s new Copyright Modernization Act as a key reason. However, Ukraine has been designated the only “Priority Foreign Country”, the highest tier in the list, over what the USTR called deteriorating enforcement and the lack of transparency among royalty collection societies.
Next up today, Timothy B. Lee at Ars Technica reports that Holly Jacobs, is suing her ex boyfriend, Ryan Seay, over his alleged posting of nude images of her online without her permission. However, Jacobs’ lawsuit also targets four sites where the works were posted, calling them “revenge porn” sites, and the companies that provide hosing to those sites.
However, on a cursory examination, at least two of the sites don’t appear to be actual revenge porn sites, but rather are just places to post images and content, including pornographic material. One site does appear to be and one is currently offline.
Legal experts believe that both the sites and the hosting companies will likely be protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects hosts from uploads by users/customers. However, that protection could be weakened if it’s found that the sites actively curated the content or were otherwise not a neutral party in its posting.
3: Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat’s Attorneys Sue Scribblenauts Videogame For Copyright and Trademark Infringement
Finally today, Milord Keshishian at the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Trademark Attorney Blog writes that both Keyboard Cat creator Charles Schmidt and Nyan Cat creator Christopher Orlando Torres are suing Warner Brothers and game developer 5th Cell over alleged copyright and trademark infringement of their work.
According to both Schmidt and Torres, developers used both of their creations as easter eggs in the Scribblenauts games including Scribblenauts, Super Scribblenauts, Scribblenauts Remix and Scribblenauts Unlimited. The pair are seeking unspecified damages and attorneys’ fees.
The trademark claims may have trouble since neither meme was trademarked until 2010, a year after the first Scribblenauts game was released. This could limit the plaintiff’s ability to collect statutory damages and attorneys’ fees on the trademark claims.
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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