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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the U.S. Justice Department has unsealed some 200 pages of documents that it has as evidence against Kim Dotcom, the founder of the now-defunct cyberlocker service Megaupload.
Dotcom, and many of his employees, were arrested in January of 2012 as their site, servers and assets were seized on suspicion of criminal copyright infringement. Since then, Dotcom has been awaiting extradition to the United States from his native New Zealand but the hearing date has been repeatedly pushed back.
In the U.S., Dotcom’s lawyers protested that the government had shared some of its evidence with various copyright holders for a potential civil suit. This, after some wrangling, prompted the judge to unseal a 200 page summary of the evidence against Dotcom, which includes emails and Skype messages between Megaupload employees indicating hat they tolerated infringement, encouraged each other to ignore copyright notices from “insignificant sources”, copied top videos from YouTube and also manipulated the top 100 video list on Megaupload among other actions.
Next up today, Nick Baumann at Mother Jones reports that a 70-page FBI interrogation manual, intended to be kept secret, wound up in a very unusual and very public place: The Library of Congress.
The document had been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2010 and, as part of that registration, was deposited with the Library of Congress, where it is accessible to the public. Previously, only a redacted version had been made available.
The move is unusual because works by the U.S. Federal Government are no not eligible for copyright protection and, furthermore, a secret manual has little use for copyright. The FBI agent who registered the work did so under his own name, even though the work was like a work-for-hire and not his to claim. The FBI is said to be looking into the matter.
Finally today, in the midst of the copyright upheaval on YouTube following the site’s policy change toward Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs) one developer has created a wiki page to let YouTubers know which game publishers allow their games to be used in “Let’s Play” style videos and have those videos monetized.
Earlier this month, YouTube began performing Content ID and monetization checks on accounts that were affiliates of MCNs. Previously, those accounts had not been subject to such checks due to their relationship with the MCN. This move resulted in a spate of Content ID matches being handed down against YouTubers, in particular those who run video game channels.
Now, developer Lars Doucet has created a wiki page that lists all major video game publishers as either “Yes”, meaning they allow monetized “Let’s Play” videos, “Maybe” for those whose status is unclear and “No” for those who don’t. However, as many YouTubers are finding out, other copyrights may be involved in the game, in particular with the music, that will not be covered by this wiki.
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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