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First off today, Reuters is reporting that The United States has removed the Philippines off its special 301 “watch list” following what it considers tougher new copyright laws and improved enforcement.
The Philippines were put on the list by the U.S. Trade Representative, which publishes the 301 report every year. The “Watch List” is the lowest tier on the list, meaning the countries needing the least scrutiny, and the country’s removal from it means that it has been removed from the report completely.
The U.S. Trade Representative is schedules to release its full 301 report for 2014 next week business groups are lobbying for India to be named the top offender, which would replace Ukraine should that come to pass.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that James Franco has been sued over his upcoming film Bukowski, which is said to be based upon the author Charles Bukowski and his semi-autobiographical novel, Ham on Rye.
According to the lawsuit, Franco purchases the rights to the book to make a film but those rights expired in 2010. Despite the termination of the rights, Franco has moved forward with the picture, which is scheduled for release later this year.
While facts can not be copyrighted, meaning that an autobiography can be used as the basis for a book without a license, the unique and creative way those facts are presented are protected, leading to questions about what is in the script and if the movie is actually infringing.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Zona, a new piracy app from Russia, is positioning itself as a replacement for the popular but troubled piracy app Popcorn Time.
Popcorn Time became famous for providing a Netflix-like streaming experience for BitTorrent users, offering easy streaming of illegally available films. However, Zona takes things further by offering a larger library of torrents to choose from, the ability to switch languages and toggle subtitles.
Zona also has the ability to stream live TV from certain channels, offers pornographic content and has an Android app available. The app, though hailing from Russia, is available in a wide variety of languages.
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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