3 Count: Final, Final Fantasy

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1: House Committee Approves Bill to Legalize Cellphone Unlocking

First off today, Chris O’Brien at the LA Times reports that the House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that, if passed, will legalize cell phone unlocking for the purpose of moving it to a new carrier.

Cell phone unlocking without permission of the carrier, currently, is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) anti-circumvention provisions. The new law will legalize it and also enable the holder of the phone to designate someone else to unlock it on their behalf, making it possible for users to get assistance in unlocking their device.

The bill now moves to the full House of Representatives where it faces a tougher test. The House has passed very few bills this year and the issue of phone unlocking is still divisive, as hearings in the Judiciary Committee showed.

2: Netflix Clones in Russia Get a Head Start With Piracy Law

Next up today, Ilya Khrennikov at Bloomberg reports that Russia’s new anti-piracy legislation takes effect today and the country is hoping that it will help pave the way for legitimate video streaming services to take hold.

The law makes it possible for sites that do not quickly comply with takedown requests to be blacklisted and blocked within the country. However, the law only applies to movies and not to audio or other content.

In Russia, watching pirated content on social media sites, such as VKontakte, is so common that the movie studios consider Russia to be a “notorious market” for copyrighted works. Russia hopes the new law, if effective, will work to change that.

3: Final Fantasy VII Kickstarter Removed After Copyright Complaint

Finally today, Wired UK is reporting that Kickstarter has pulled down a Final Fantasy VII fan project that was seeking some $400,000 in funding to finance a series of Web-based videos dedicated to the series.

The shutdown came due to a DMCA notice filed by Square Enix, the owners of the video game series.

The proposed project would have produced 5-6 episodes of a series of videos, each about 15 minutes long. Square Enix though, owning the full rights to the story and its characters opted to shut down the proposal unless some licensing arrangement can be worked out.

Suggestions

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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