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First off today, the AP is reporting that Paramount Pictures has said that it will challenge any attempt to make a sequel to the 1946 holiday classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life”, throwing a significant obstacle in front of Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions, which announced such plans on Monday.
The original film stars Jimmmy Stewart, who plays George Bailey, a down-on-his-luck father who imagines his town and friends without him. The new film would have centered on Bailey’s grandson and was scheduled for a 2015 release.
Paramount, however, has said that it will challenge any such production that does not obtain a license, this despite the widespread belief, including Bob Farnsworth, the president of Hummingbird Productions, that the original film is in the public domain. The family of Frank Capra, who directed the original but died in 1991, also oppose the new film saying that their famous forefather would not have approved of it either.
2: Automattic files two lawsuits and strikes back at fraudulent DMCA takedown notices on WordPress.com
Next up today, Paul Sawers at The Next Web reports that Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, has filed two lawsuits against individuals that it says have filed false Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices with the service in a bid to censor legal speech.
The two cases involve the blogs Retraction Watch and Olver Hotham blogs, both of which were the subject of questionable DMCA notices that, according to Automattic, sought to censor their speech rather than remove copyright infringements.
Automattic is using the DMCA itself against the filers, specifically section 512(f) of the law that forbids false notices and provides a means for victims and their hosts to sue the filers of such notices for damages.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that Pirate Parties International (PPI), the group that serves as the umbrella for all of the national Pirate Parties, has been granted “observer” status during the upcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) conference in Bali next month.
The status allows the group will be allowed to participate in the conference (as well as other meetings) and it is eligible to submit papers to the conference that will be circulated among members.
The PPI had been denied observer status previously, due in large part to the objection of several member states, including the United States. The PPI is now filing a new application with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in hopes of achieving similar status there.
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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