3 Count: Aereo’s Day

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1: U.S. Justices Show Little Support for Aereo TV in Copyright Fight

First off today, Lawrence Hurley at Reuters reports that the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Aereo case yesterday with the justices showing a great deal of skepticism about the TV streaming service while also worrying that their ruling could impact other services.

Aereo is an online video service that uses a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, to capture over-the-air broadcast television and stream it to its customers. Broadcasters sued the company repeatedly but, after the Second Circuit declined to shutter the service, they appealed to the Supreme Court, which took the case.

The justices heard oral arguments and, though they were skeptical of Aereo’s service, noting that the sole purpose of using multiple antennas was to avoid copyright limitations, they also expressed concern that their ruling could impact other services that are currently viewed as legitimate. However, it is unclear how the court will rule and such a ruling is not expected until June.

2: Quentin Tarantino’s Gawker Lawsuit Dismissed But Can Be Refiled

Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Quentin Tarantino has had his lawsuit against Gawker over “The Hateful Eight” script dismissed but is free to refile it if he can make some adjustments.

Tarantino sued Gawker after the company, on one of its sites, linked to a leaked copy of the script for “The Hateful Eight”, a film that he was working on. According to Tarantino, Gawker’s linking to the file amounted to an infringement and directed thousands of people to the content that never would have seen it otherwise.

However, the judge ruled that Tarantino had not made an argument as to how Gawker was liable for contributory copyright infringement. According to the judge, Tarantino had not showed that those viewing the document had not committed direct copyright infringement, meaning Gawker did not contribute to an infringement. However, if Tarantino can clear those issues up, he is free to refile the lawsuit by mid-May.

3: Megaupload Sues Hong Kong Over Unlawful Shutdown

Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that Megaupload has filed a lawsuit against the Hong Kong government in an effort to unfreeze its assets, including millions of dollars and access to many of its old servers.

According to Megaupload, the seizure was illegal because the U.S. government, which requested it, did not explain how it was going to serve and engage in criminal proceedings against the company and that, even after two years, there have been no criminal proceedings.

Megaupload was shuttered and many of its employees arrested in January 2012 following action by New Zealand, Hong Kong and U.S. authorities. Should Megaupload win a ruling in this case, it could open the door to a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Hong Kong for an illegal seizure. The company added that, if it wins, it will try to give users back access to their personal files that were lost when the site was raided.


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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