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First off today, Brian Fung at the Washington Post reports that U.S. ISP Comcast sent a cease and desist letter to Torrentfreak, an online blog dedicated to BitTorrent-related news, for the blog’s posting of a legal document submitted by Comcast as part of an ongoing case involving Prenda Law.
Comcast had been asked via subpoena to identify the owner of an IP address that, according to The Pirate Bay, uploaded one of the torrent files that Prenda Law went on to sue people who downloaded. Comcast confirmed, via a letter, that the IP address was connected to Prenda and Torrentfreak, reporting on the revelation, posted a copy of the letter on their site.
Generally, reposting documents that are part of legal filings is considered acceptable as part of news reporting, However, Comcast, through a representative named Cyveillance, sent a cease and desist saying that the letter was in violation of their copyright. However, Comcast has backed off from that, telling Torrentfreak that the letter was sent in error and should be ignored.
Next up today, speaking of Torrentfreak, Ernesto writes that the Supreme Court in Germany has confirmed that the file sharing service Rapidshare must police its site in order to reduce piracy.
The court found that, though Rapidshare has no obligation to proactively monitor the files that are uploaded to it, it does have to monitor external sites that are linking to copyrighted works on its servers. The court went on to say that, if those measures are not effective enough, Rapidshare should take steps to reduce or eliminate anonymity on the service.
Rapidshare, however, claims that not much will change as they have been policing their site in this way for some time, following lower court rulings that they needed to.
Finally today, Rhian Jones at MusicWeek reports that Russian social networking site VK.com (formerly known as VKontakte) has signed a deal with the anti-piracy company Muso to help remove MP3 sites that are making illegal files available on their service.
VK has historically been criticized by copyright holders for being a haven for unlicensed music and movies. However, VK hopes to change that as the deal with Muso makes it possible for the site to automatically remove content that is reuploaded after it has been removed once using Muso’s one-lick takedown process.
The tool is available immediately but is only available to subscribers of Muso’s service. The move comes after new anti-piracy legislation in Russia requires sites like VK to remove infringing material within 24 hours of notification or risk being blocked by ISPs.
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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