3 Count: Routed Away

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1: Record Labels Ask Broadband Providers to Collect Data on Illegal Downloads

First off today, Juliette Garside at The Guardian reports that UK ISPs, including BT, Virgin Media, BSkyB and TalkTalk are being approached by representatives from the music and film industries in a bid to create a voluntary code that would involve their customers receiving letters when their account is used to download infringing material.

The move comes as the Digital Economy Act, an attempt to set up a formal “three strikes” regime under the law, has been pushed back. Despite being passed in 2010, the law will not come into force until at least 2014, possibly later.

Under the voluntary system, which has been under negotiations for at least a few months, repeat offenders could have their bandwidth throttled or even have their connection disabled for a period of time.

2: For a Classic Motown Song About Money, Credit Is What He Wants

Next up today, Larry Rohter at The New York Times reports that Barrett Strong is suing to have his name reaffixed to the popular Motown song “Money (That’s What I Want)”, which he says he contributed to writing but was unfairly removed from.

Strong was listed on the first copyright registration for the song but had his name removed three years after it was written. It was put back on in 1987 after the song was renewed but a year later his name was removed, literally scratched out.

Documents filed show that both removals were at the directions of executives that dispute Strong’s claim. They argue that the original registration was a clerical error and that Strong has long since missed his opportunity to assert his claim. Strong, however, contends he was unaware that he had been removed and that he only learned of the alterations in 2010. However, under Copyright Office rules, Strong only had 3 years to contest his removal even though he was never notified of the change.

3: Website Gets Pro Bono Help in Copyright Dispute Over the Posting of Routing Numbers

Finally today, Bloomberg Law reports that website owner Greg Thatcher is getting some free help from Martin and Associates, a Vermont-based law firm, in his dispute with the American Bankers Association (ABA), an organization that is claiming copyright to the routing numbers, which banks use on checks and other transfers to numerical identify the institution involved.

The ABA had threatened Thatcher, who posted a list of banks and their routing numbers on his site, with legal action if he did not remove them. Thatcher complied but sought legal help and attorney Andrew B Delaney sent a response on his behalf, offering to represent Thatcher pro bono (for free) and mocking the legal arguments of the ABA.

In the two-page reply, Delaney argued that routing numbers were like phone numbers and not subject to copyright protection. He told the ABA the wisest course of action would be to leave Thatcher alone. Thatcher has said on his site that he is hoping to restore the routing numbers shortly.


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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