3 Count: Grand Theft Takedown

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1: Authors Guild: Wait for Congress to Sort Out Google Scanning

First off today, Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly reports that the Authors Guild is making one last argument in its case against Google over the search giant’s book scanning project.

The Authors Guild sued Google alleging that its scanning and indexing of millions of books was a violation of the authors rights. Google has claimed that the scanning is a fair use and not unlawful. However, in its latest pleading, likely the last before oral arguments are to begin, the Authors Guild is asking the court to disregard any fair use issues, calling the book scanning project a cutting edge case that needs to be regulated by Congress, not the courts.

Google argues that its program has not harmed authors in any way and has furthered scholarship and made books more discoverable. The Authors Guild says that Google is downplaying the commercial nature of the use and its own selfish motives.

2: Online Piracy of Entertainment Content Keeps Soaring

Next up today, Richard Verrier at the LA Times reports that a recent study released by NetNames shows that, despite an increase in legitimate alternatives, traffic to infringing content is increasing as is the number of people actively downloading infringing material.

According to the study, which was released by David Price, NetName’s director of piracy analysis, said that the amount of bandwidth used for copyright infringement in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific has grown nearly 160% since November 2011 and currently accounts for 24% of all bandwidth. The study also found that, in January 2013, the time period the study covered, some 327 million unique users illegally sought out infringing material.

The one area of reduction was to cyberlocker and direct download sites, which have seen a 41% drop in pageviews since November 2011. The reduction is widely attributed to the closure of Megaupload and the fallout that has had across the industry. However, both video streaming and peer-to-peer sites saw marked increases in activity.

3: Rockstar Clarifies GTA 5 YouTube Copyright Policy

Finally today, David Scammell at Videogamer.com writes that, even though Grand Theft Auto 5 has just been released today it is already making copyright headlines. At issue is the policy Rockstar Games, the creators of the title, has regarding YouTube uploads and other videos of the game.

An earlier policy had led some gamers to believe that Rockstar was going to clamp down on all videos of gameplay posted to video-sharing sites, however, the company issued a clarification saying that was not the case. Instead, the company says it is only going to take action against pre-release footage, spoilers (including cutscenes) and in-game video content such as comedy routines and TV shows.

Rockstar said that it is happy to let player post videos of gameplay and even machinima videos (videos acted out through video games) so long as they don’t violate the above guidelines.


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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