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First off today, Grant Gross at Tech Hive reports that yesterday marked the first hearing before the intellectual property subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on a possible major overhaul of copyright in the United States.
The hearing involved members from a group called the Copyright Principles Project, which released a 2010 report about trying to find common ground in the middle of the copyright debates. The group repeatedly highlighted their desire to see a “safe harbor” that protects customers of copyrighted works ability to use legally-purchased works in the manner they choose.
Representatives on the subcommittee seemed to be more skeptical and worried that a major overhaul could weaken protections provided to artists. The witnesses, however, said that the nature of creation has changed and today nearly everyone is a content creator in some capacity.
Next up today, Reuters is reporting that the New Zealand Supreme Court has decided that it will hear Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom’s appeal regarding the evidence that must be made available to him prior to his extradition hearing.
Dotcom, along with several employees, were arrested as part of a joint U.S. and New Zealand action that shut down his site, Megaupload in January 2012. The U.S. has been seeking Dotcom’s extradition over criminal copyright infringement and money laundering charges.
The two sides have squabbled over the extradition hearing, which has been repeatedly pushed back, with Dotcom claiming that the U.S. has not turned over all of the evidence against him, making a defense impossible. However, a lower court ruled the U.S. did not have to make all of the evidence available to him, just an index of it. Dotcom says this puts him at a disadvantage for his hearing, which is scheduled for August but will likely be pushed back.
Finally today, Loek Essers at PC World reports that the Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has suffered a defeat as a court in the Netherlands has refused to grant them information about a bank account that they hope will help them track down who operates a suspected piracy website.
However, the court ruled that banking privacy laws in the country trumped their need for the information. According to the court, BREIN was given the information on the owner of the account but BREIN suspects that person, a 90-year-old woman, is either fake or not the person behind the site. So they requested information on another person authorized to withdraw money from the account but were denied.
According to the court, BREIN needs to take additional steps, including possibly filing a criminal complaint, before it can request the information. However, BREIN has said that they will appeal the ruling, which was handed down by an Amsterdam district court.
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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