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First off today, Todd Spangler at Variety reports that TV broadcasters have filed a new brief with the Supreme Court reiterating their position against TV streaming service Aereo, labeling the lower court decisions as “nonsensical” and seeking the court to overturn them.
Aereo is a service that uses a series of tiny antennas to capture over-the-air broadcast television to both record and stream content over the Web. They were sued by the TV networks but those networks were denied an injunction both in a district court and on appeal. They are now appealing to the Supreme Court in hopes that it will overturn the rulings.
The new brief was filed in response to one filed by Aereo earlier this month, in which Aereo said it would not challenge the broadcasters’ request for a Supreme Court review. But where Aereo has been victorious in every legal skirmish so far, a similar service, FilmOn X, has lost all of its cases, each of which took place in separate districts and circuits.
Next up today, David Kravets at Wired reports that recently unsealed evidence from the U.S. government indicates that Kim Dotcom, the founder of the now-defunct site Megaupload, actively undermined rival services by reporting them to PayPay for piracy, even as Megaupload was profiting from the same behavior.
Dotcom, along with many of his employees, were arrested in January 2012 following a raid that also saw his servers seized and site closed. He is currently facing extradition to the U.S. from his native New Zealand but the date for the hearing has been repeatedly pushed back.
After nearly two years since his arrest, some of the evidence against him has been made pubic and it includes evidence that he reported his competitors to their payment processor, PayPal, in hopes of getting their access to funds cut off. He also cooperated in the investigation of another file sharing networking using his infrastructure, all the while engaging in many of the same behaviors directly. The evidence also hints that, of the 15 billion streams on Megavideo, a Megaupload sister site, some 43% were the subject of at least one takedown request.
Finally today, the BBC is reporting that a German court is now reviewing a decision that required a local ISP to hand over user information of some 10,000 users of the site Redtube.
Redtube, though pornographic, functions much like YouTube in that it’s a streaming video site. An estimated 10,000 IP addresses were collected belonging to people accused of viewing infringing content. Those IP addresses were reported to the court, which ordered the identities of their owners revealed.
However, now the court is saying it may have erred in its judgment, saying that streaming, unlike file sharing, is not necessarily illegal in the country. The information was ordered turned over to a law firm that specializes in sending out letters to suspected infringers and seeking to collect small settlements under the threat of a much larger lawsuit.
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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