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First off today, Loek Essers at PC World reports that a German court has ruled local domain registrar Key-Systems is liable for copyright infringement for its refusal to terminate the domain name of the popular torrent tracker H33t.com.
The case began after Universal Music, seeking to reduce leaks of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” album, sent a notice to Key-Systems asking them to revoke H33T’s domain. Key-Systems refused to comply and Universal then sued the registrar, winning this decision.
According to the court, the copyright violations at H33T were obvious enough that Key-Systems should have revoked the domain and, if Key-Systems ignores the ruling, they could face a maximum fine of €250,000 (US$339,000).
Next up today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that Dallas Buyers Club LLC, the copyright holder to the movie “Dallas Buyers Club” has filed a lawsuit in, appropriately, Dallas, Texas against 31 suspected BitTorrent file sharers.
The lawsuit, as with most similar cases, seeks identify the defendants, known currently only by their IP addresses. In similar lawsuits, when the copyright holder has learned the identity of the alleged infringer, they have dropped the initial lawsuit and, instead, sought a settlement with them, usually for a few thousand dollars.
However, this strategy has been fraught with challenges for copyright holders, including issues of enjoinment and jurisdiction. However, the plaintiffs say that they have used geolocation software to determine where the IPs are located and ensure that they are filing in the correct district.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Sony, Universal and Warner have filed a motion in their lawsuit against SiriusXM asking the judge to clarify the law as it pertains to public performances of pre-1972 sound recordings.
Since pre-1972 sound recordings are not covered under federal copyright law, they are instead protected under state misappropriation law. However, it’s unclear whether public performances of such recordings amounts to misappropriation. According to the plaintiffs, SiriusXM has been using such recordings over satellite radio for years without a license and the record labels are now asking if that use amounts to misappropriation under California law.
The lawsuit could have a major impact on the fate of such sound recordings, including their use on websites, in bars, clubs and elsewhere.
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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