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First off today, Erig Gardner at Billboard reports that Joel Tenenbaum, the file sharer who was famously sued by the RIAA for infringement he committed on the Kazaa file sharing network, has lost yet another appeal as an appeals court upheld a $675,000 judgment against him.
Tenenbaum, along with thousands of other file sharers, were sued by the RIAA for suspected copyright infringement years ago. However, unlike most of the other cases, Tenenbaum fought his and the jury in 2009 awarded the record labels $675,000 in damages, $22,500 for each of the songs.
Tenenbaum had previously appealed and lost, even having the Supreme Court deny to hear his case, but he appealed again claiming that the high damages were a violation of his due process rights. The Appeals Court disagreed noting that he had shared thousands of songs, ignored multiple warnings to stop and even lied during the case.
Next up today, Catherine Saez at Intellectual Property Watch writes that members of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has reached an agreement on a treaty that provides increased access to copyrighted works for the visually impaired.
Though many countries have broad exemptions to copyright to allow improved access for the visually impaired, works created have not been able to cross borders, meaning every nation had to create their own works. But this latest treaty aims to make it easier to transport such works, enabling greater access.
Portions of the treaty had been opposed by some larger rights groups, including the Motion Picture Association of America, but a representative for publishers said that the treaty was “fairly balanced”. The treaty will now go to the drafting committee, which will write the final version and it will be reviewed and adopted by the full organization later.
Finally today, Anthony Ha at TechCruch reports that BitTorrent has published a blog post asking others to refrain from saying that illegal content, such as TV shows and movies, are available on BitTorrent, noting that the piracy takes place on sites outside of their control.
BitTorrent is the name of both the protocol that many file sharing sites use and the name of the company that developed it. BitTorrent Inc. is attempting to work with rightsholders to use its distribution platform in legitimate ways and is frustrated at constantly being associated with piracy.
BitTorrent Inc. also says that the issue goes beyond the protocol as a great deal of piracy happens through other means, including streaming and other file sharing networks. (Hat Tip: Patrick O’Keefe)
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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