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FIrst off today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that Aereo is trying to distance itself from its competitor, FilmOnX, which recently suffered a serious defeat in a D.C. court that resulted in it being enjoined from operating in most of the country.
Both companies provide a TV streaming service that lets users rent an antenna and stream over-the-air broadcast television to multiple devices. Both are facing challenges in various courts but, while FilmOnX has lost in both California and D.C., Aereo has so far come out ahead in New York, both avoiding an injunction and surviving an appeal. However, the judge in D.C. noted that Aereo is a similar service and may face serious challenges with its planned expansion to the capital.
Aereo’s more immediate concern is in Boston, where it was recently sued by a local TV station. In that case, Aereo is telling the judge to ignore the D.C. ruling and, instead, focus on its favorable rulings in New York as well as other rulings that Aereo sees as relevant. A ruling on a possible injunction against Aereo is expected soon.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the Beastie Boys will not be able to completely avoid a lawsuit over a they used in a 1989 album, even if that lawsuit has been severely weakened.
The lawsuit comes from TufAmerica, which owns the rights to compositions by the R&B group Trouble Funk. They allege that, in 1989, the Beastie Boys sampled the group in their 1989 album Paul’s Boutique. Though it was widely known the album used samples, not all of them were known at the time and TufAmerica claims it only recently became aware of Trouble Funk’s inclusion, thus prompting the lawsuit.
Though the judge dismissed four of their claims, he allowed two to move forward. However, the judge also ruled that TufAmerica can only collect damages on infringing acts made after May 12, 2009, three years before the lawsuit was filed. The album was released 20 years before that date and saw most of its success before then.
Finally today, the BBC is reporting that the City of London, a partially-autonomous city/state within London, is assembling a 19-person police unit to tackle intellectual property crime.
The focus of the group will be to use national and international connections to pursue suspects that are professional criminals, using IP infringement to earn a living. They will act on tips from the public, including copyright holders, and also conduct independent investigations.
The group is being founded, in part, by £2.56 million ($4 million) in funding over two years from the UK Intellectual Property Office.
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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