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First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that Prenda Law, the copyright “troll” organization that became well known for mass lawsuits involving suspected BitTorrent pornography pirates, has been hit with an additional $1,000 per day penalty for its failure to pay or post bond on an $81,000 judgment against them.
Prenda, previously, had attempted to sue thousands of “John Doe” defendants identified only by their IP address but, when some defendants fought back, it was revealed that the organizations Prenda was supposedly representing were, most likely, shell companies for the lawyers themselves. That resulted in this particular case being dropped and Prenda being ordered to pay the defendant’s legal costs.
However, to date they have refused to do so and, despite a last-minute appeal to ward off sanctions, the judge has ordered the firm to pay $1,000 “per day, per person or entity” until the amount is paid.
Next up today, Ryan Lawler at TechCrunch reports that the startup company Scroll Kit has received a pair of cease and desist letters from the New York Times, both alleging that the company is is infringing on The Times’ famous piece of interactive journalism “Snow Fall”.
Scroll Kit is a technology company that makes it easy for users to develop interactive presentations and, to demo that, they produced a video showing them making a replica of “Snow Fall” in about an hour on the app. The New York Times sent a series of complaints about that video and it was eventually removed from YouTube.
However, the company kept a claim on its site about how the software was able to make the replica in so little time. The New York Times has sent another cease and desist letter regarding that claim, saying that it is advertising their product as a means to infringe the copyright of the paper.
So far, Scroll Kit has not removed the claim though the company admits it doesn’t have the resources to get into a legal fight with The New York Times.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that a Latvian school teacher named Pāvels Jurs was raided by police after he allegedly posted a scanned copy of a high school history book to a website he operates aimed at helping children research history.
The investigation was carried out by the country’s Economic Crime Bureau, which also arrested Jurs and, for his alleged crime, he faces up to a two year jail sentence.
According to Jurs, he claims that he attempted to negotiate the use of the book on the site and had a misunderstanding with the author. Nonetheless, Jurs does admit that he violated copyright law but feels that the response, in particular the use of police, was unnecessary as, according to him, a civil one would have sufficed.
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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