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First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that a judge in Florida has tossed a lawsuit filed by Malibu Media against a defendant only identified by an IP address, saying that there is nothing that links the IP address to the identity of the person downloading video illegally.
Malibu Media is often described as a copyright “troll”, an organization that routinely targets file sharers that swap films they represent, usually filing bulk lawsuits against defendants identified by IP addresses. However, in this case, the judge said that an IP was not enough to indicate that they were in the correct jurisdiction, let alone identify the individual involved.
In such cases, Malibu typically seems to order the ISP of the user to turn over the identity of the account holder in hopes of forcing them to settle the lawsuit for a relatively small amount. However, this tactic has met with increasing resistance in courtrooms in the U.S. and abroad.
Next up today, Dana Kerr at CNet reports that the U.S. Justice Department has annoucned that two Florida residents, Nicholas Anthony Narbone and Thomas Allen Dye, have both pleaded guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement.
The two men operated the site AppBucket, which sold counterfeit Android apps. They ended up distributing some one million copies of infringing apps, or some $700,000 in retail value.
Sentencing for the two men is scheduled for June and July respectively. The maximum penalty is one year in prison.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Moby is facing a lawsuit from Salsoul, a funk record label that has made a pattern out of suing musicians over old, unlicensed samples.
Salsoul recently lost a case against Madonna, who they sued saying that her song “Vogue” used samples from music they control. However, the judge in that case tossed the suit noting that it went unnoticed after more than 2 decades and was only detected with the use of specialized equipment, meaning the infringement was like “de minimis” or too trivial to be an infringement.
Salsoul is filing a lawsuit against Moby alleging that two of his 1992 songs, “Next is the E” and “Thousand” use unlicensed samples from the song “Let No Man Put Asunder”, which was performed by the group First Choice. In addition to Moby, the lawsuit also targets Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Warner Music Group and Knitting Factory Records.
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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