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First off today, Joe Flint at the LA Times reports that the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a friend of the court brief with the Supreme Court, urging it to side with the major broadcasters in their battle against Aereo.
Aereo is a TV Streaming/DVR service that captures over-the-air broadcast television using a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, and then streams that video over the Internet. Broadcasters have sued Aereo multiple times but have only managed to secure an injunction against it in Utah. A denial of an injunction in New York is on appeal to the Supreme Court now.
According to the Justice Department, a ruling against Aereo would not be an assault on cloud-based services that “provide new ways for consumers to store, hear and view their own lawfully acquired copies of copyrighted works.” Instead, it said that Aereo is “clearly infringing” by retransmitting the works of broadcasters. Broadcasters have said that, should Aereo win, they may have to curtail the amount of free television they provide in order to preserve their retransmission fees from cable companies.
Next up today, Pamela Rofle at The Hollywood Reporter writes that several of the most popular websites for downloading movies in Spain have stopped linking to infringing material.
The sites involved include SeriesYonkis, Peliculas Yonkis and VideoYonkis, all run by a local company named Burn Media. The move was likely to appeal to the Anti-Piracy Federation, which has been in litigation against Burn Media since 2008 but recently showed evidence of heavy damages, an estimated $11 million, by the company’s practices.
Burn Media is reported to have offered to close the sites in exchange for dropping the legal campaign. However, the Anti-Piracy Federation said that they couldn’t do that so long as the sites linked to infringing material. But despite the change, the Anti-Piracy Federation has not said it will drop the case, instead saying that “We won’t abandon the excellent work of the law enforcement agents and the judicial process.”
Finally today, Wesley Yin-Poole at Eurogamer reports that video game developer Interceptor has purchased 3D Realms, which is best known for creating the “Duke Nukem” franchise of video games. However, the purchase comes amid a lawsuit that may see 3D Realms lose control of its most iconic character.
As 3D Realms was struggling financially after repeatedly pushing back the release of the game “Duke Nukem Forever”. Gearbox Software purchased the rights to the game, finished it and released it. However, late last month, 3D Realms and Interceptor launched a teaser site for a new Duke Nukem game, “Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction”, which drew a lawsuit from Gearbox. According to Gearbox, they have purchased all of the rights to the character and are the sole company that can develop new Duke Nukem games.
The investment firm behind Interceptor has since purchased 3D Realms outright and has said it plans to fight the lawsuit. It will keep 3D Realms on as the publisher but plans to develop the game in house if it is able to resolve the case.
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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