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First off today, Eriq Gardner at They Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the video sharing site Vimeo will not be able to duck a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the major record labels.
The record labels sued Vimeo alleging the site encouraged users to upload infringing videos, including lip syncing videos with popular songs. Vimeo, on the other hand, claimed it was protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor provisions that, typically, protect hosts of content from the actions of their users.
However, the court ruled in a summary judgment that, in 55 of 199 cases, Vimeo’s staff was involved in some way in the upload (including in some cases uploading the file or merely liking it), possibly wiping away safe harbor protection. Those cases will be heard at trial. The judge also granted a summary judgment on pre-1972 sound recordings, saying that the DMCA didn’t apply to them as they are not Federally protected. The good news for Vimeo was that it did escape liability on 144 videos and the judge ruled that Vimeo did not induce copyright infringement with its actions.
Next up today, The Local reports that Spain is preparing to pass new legislation to close what is widely seen as copyright loopholes and help law enforcement fight piracy within the country.
The new legislation won’t target end users, but will create a criminal penalty for linking to copyright infringing work, one punishable by up to six years in prison, and will enable judges to order the removal of infringing content from such sites. The bill also makes it possible, in some cases, for the government to order the blocking of infringing sites.
Though the legislation is welcomed by copyright advocates, others worry that the criminal code is too vague and makes it unclear when the law should be applied.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that the Internet Archive, which houses a large repository of public domain and free-to-share media, is being attacked by spammers who are uploading fake movies in hopes of getting users to visit their sites and, likely, become infected with malware.
In addition to its popular “Wayback Machine” for viewing old versions of websites, the site lets users upload content that’s legal to share, including movies, audio and more. However, in recent weeks, titles such as “The World’s End” have begun to appear on the site, despite clearly not being public domain or under an open license. However, when users try to view or download the film, they are instead direct to spam sites that often try to infect their computers with malware.
Such spam is nothing new on many BitTorrent and direct-download sites, but this is the first time it has appeared on The Internet Archive, a legitimate site for downloading legal content. It is unknown what action the site plans to take.
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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