3 Count: The Walking DRM

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1: Brett Gibbs Flips, Backs Sanctions Against Former Prenda Law Colleagues

First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that a pair of filings in the Prenda Law case have kept the dispute active even as the controversial and much-maligned law firm appeals the sanctions against it.

Prenda Law is became well known as a copyright “troll” organization that would sue hundreds of suspected BitTorrent pirates in massive lawsuits in hopes of collecting quick settlements. However, lawyers involved with the group are facing sanctions after some defendants fought back and it was revealed that some of Prenda’s clients were shell companies created by the lawyers themselves, as well as a variety of other serious legal issues.

In one motion, John Steele, the head of Prenda Law, asked the court defense attorneys and reduce potential sanctions against him due to the fact, he claims, he was not served properly with paperwork since he started defending himself. The judge quickly denied that motion. However, in the bigger news, Brett Gibbs, an attorney who worked with Prenda in some of their cases, has said in a statement in a separate case that he backs the sanctions against Prenda and feels that the lawyers should be personally responsible rather than their shell organizations.

2: Where the Wild Things Are Sequel Pulled from Kickstarter for Infringing Copyright

Next up today, Laura Owen at Paid Content reports that a project on Kickstarter aimed at creating a sequel to the popular children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” has been removed from the site after a DMCA takedown notice was filed by HarperCollins, the publisher of the original book.

The campaign was launched by Geof Todd, an author, and Rich Berner, an illustrator, who hopped to raise £25,000 ($37,000) to publish their follow up “Back to the Wild”. However, since sequels are considered derivative works and are generally seen as infringing, HarperCollins filed the takedown notice. Todd and Berner, on the other hand, said that they had received legal advice to the contrary.

However, even without the takedown notice it’s unlikely that the book would have been funded, having raised just £694 ($1,000), under 3% of its stated goal.

3: For the First Time, You Can Actually Own the Digital Comics You Buy

Finally today, Laura Hudson at Wired reports that Image, the third largest comic book publisher in the U.S., has announced that it will be offering DRM-free versions of its books, going against both Marvel and DC, the current market leaders.

Comic book distribution online is currently distributed by platforms such as ComiXology and iBooks, which wrap DRM around the downloads, restricting how they can copied and where they can be read. Image will continue to sell books on those platforms, but will also offer DRM-free versions in PDF, EPUB, CBP and CBZ format.

The move comes after a March server crash caused by an overwhelming response to a promotion by Marvel caused the DRM to fail in ComiXology, causing readers to be unable to access legally-purchased work.


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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