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First off today, Imelda Saad at Channel News Asia reports that Singapore is looking into updating its copyright act to enable the blocking of copyright infringing websites at the ISP level.
Under current law in the country, rightsholders can file for a takedown notice against an online service provider but the process is complicated and requires filing a lawsuit against the ISP. The new changes would make it easier, requiring only a court application to receive an ISP block of an infringing website.
The Singapore government said that it weighed other options. Those options included a graduated response system, which targets Internet users and, after a series o warnings, takes punitive measures against individual file sharers. However, they rejected the idea saying that it was too invasive for ordinary Internet users. A period of public input on the proposed changes ends in two weeks.
Next up today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that MGM and Danjaq, the producers behind the James Bond series, have filed a lawsuit against NBCUniversal alleging that the studio’s upcoming “Section 6” movie is an infringement on the James Bond franchise.
According to the lawsuit, “Section 6” is currently in development and features a tuxedo-wearing British secret agent bent on saving the world from a villain. According to MGM, these similarities make the film a derivative work of the James Bond franchise and, as such, an infringement.
The two sides have been wrangling over the film for a while. According to MGM, when they first heard about the screenplay, they contacted NBCUniversal but NBCU said that it had not optioned the script. When MGM later learned that the the script had a director and producers, it contacted NBCU again, asking to look at the script, which NBCU refused to do.
Finally today, speaking of NBCUniversal, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that NBCU has won a long-running case over the TV show “Ghost Hunters”, one that dates all the way back to 2006.
The lawsuit was filed by Larry Montz and Daena Smoller, a team who claims to have conceived of teh show idea and then pitched it to various NBCU executives between 1996 and 2001. IN 2006, one year after the show launched, the two filed a lawsuit first claiming copyright infringement and then for breach of an implied license.
However, the duo won a hard-fought battle over the claims, with NBCU arguing that the contract claims were just disguised copyright ones. With an appeals court eventually ruling that a promise of a partnership was virtually identical to a promise of payment for the purpose of an implied license.
However, when sent back to the lower court the case was dismissed on statute of limitations grounds because, though the duo filed the lawsuit within 2 years of having seen the episode (2 years being the statute of limitations on contract cases), they were after two years when the first episodes aired and, according to the court, if they had engaged in due diligence, they would have been aware.
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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