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First off today, the BBC is reporting that a New Zealand appeals court has ruled that the January 2012 raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion was legal, despite contentions of Dotcom and his attorneys.
Dotcom and many of his associates were arrested in 2012 for their role in running Megaupload, a site that was, at that time, the largest file locker service. The site was also shuttered in the raid and Dotcom now faces possible extradition to the United States for criminal copyright infringement and money laundering.
Dotcom had claimed that the raid on his house was improper and that there were errors on the warrants. A lower court agreed but now the appeals court has found that the raid was proper, which Dotcom has said he plans on further contesting. The court, however, did find that police acted improperly in making copies of laptops and other hard drives seized at the house.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Disney, which owns Marvel Comics, is asking a Pennsylvania judge to order Stan Lee Media Inc. (SLMI) to give up its “vexatious and repeatedly-rejected claims of ownership over the Marvel Characters.”
SLMI was founded by Stan Lee in the 90s as a home for Stan Lee’s characters, including Spiderman, Fantastic Four, X-Men and others. However, the company went bankrupt and Lee returned to Marvel. The companies assets were sold off, but SLMI has made multiple attempts in the court, in particular over the past five years, to try and reclaim the rights.
The most recent case involves a lawsuit filed by Disney against a theater production entitled “Broadway: Now & Forever”, that included scenes from “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”, a Marvel-licensed theater production based on the Spiderman character. SLMI has filed an intervenor complaint against Disney in that case asking to defend its rights. However, Disney claims that SLMI is barred from making such arguments because of previous court rulings against it.
Finally today, Andrew Wallenstein at Variety reports that Rick Cotton, the senior counselor of IP protection at NBC Universal and John Landgraf, the CEO of FX Networks, gave a keynote presentation yesterday at the Digital Entertainment World conference, where they discussed copyright protection and called upon technology companies to “join the league of adult citizens of the business community.”
The duo highlighted a Digital Citizens Alliance report that showed that many top tier marketers were unknowingly featured on pirate sites, generating revenue for those who promote copyright infringement. They said that voluntary agreements and cooperation were better than fights in the court and Congress to resolve these issues.
They went on to note that the content industries have been sluggish to make their works legally available online and that legitimate alternatives often blunt the impact of piracy. However, they also noted that there are now some 300 legitimate distributors worldwide and the piracy issue is far from gone.
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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