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First off today, Jonathan Stempel at Reuters is reporting that the U.S. government has secured two more guilty pleas over pirated Android apps, raising the total number successfully convicted to four.
Thomas Pace pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement for his role in the Appbucket Group and Kody Peterson pleaded guilty to the same charge for his role in the SnappzMarket Group. Their guilty pleas follow those of Nicholas Narbone and Thomas Dye, who both were also part of the SnappzMarket Group.
The two groups combined were accused of trafficking in counterfeit Android apps worth over $2.4 million. But while Pace is scheduled to be sentenced on July 9, Peterson’s sentencing date has not been set.
Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Kim Dotcom has scored a potentially major legal victory in his ongoing battle over Megaupload. A High Court in New Zealand has refused to renew a foreign restraining order meaning that Dotcom may soon have cars, cash and other property seized from him returned.
Dotcom was arrested and had much of his assets seized following a January 2012 raid that saw his site, Megaupload shuttered. The prosecution of Dotcom is ongoing as he fights extradition to the United States from his home in New Zealand but the matter has taken so long that a restraining order requiring the seizure of his property is about to expire and the court has refused a government request to renew it.
The government has two weeks to appeal the ruling, which it will likely do, but Kim Dotcom wasted no time taking to Twitter and posting a photo of himself with some of his high-end cars with the caption “Come back to daddy!!!”
Finally today, Wendy Davis at MediaPost News reports that Netflix, Facebook and Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) have filed amicus briefs in the “Innocence of Muslims” case asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its earlier ruling.
The case features actress Cindy Garcia, who claims that she was duped into performing in the controversial trailer. She says she acted for different film and her inflammatory lines were dubbed over. Since she says she never signed any agreements, she claimed copyright interest in her performance and sought to have the video pulled from the Web, which the 9th Circuit agreed to, overturning a lower court ruling.
Google is now asking the entire 9th Circuit to hear the case, as opposed to the three-judge panel that took it up previously. The companies, divided between two friend of the court briefs, have said the original ruling creates a new class of copyright that could cause chaos for the film industry and for online service providers as they could be flooded with copyright demands from actors in nearly every conceivable video.
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