3 Count: Private Canadians

3 Count: Private Canadians Image

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1: Digital Privacy Act Opens Copyright Loophole that TekSavvy-Voltage Case Closed

First off today, Amber Hldebrandt at the CBC reports that new privacy legislation, which was recently tabled, could have an impact on copyright cases in the country by making it easier for companies, in this case ISPs, to share customer information with other companies, such as copyright holders.

Voltage Pictures, commonly referred to as a copyright troll, had sought the identities of some 2,000 subscribers on the Canadian ISP Teksavvy. Voltage accused the subscribers of illegally sharing their films, including Dallas Buyers Club. While the court did eventually order the identities be turned over, Teksavvy was instructed to do so in a limited and court-monitored way to protect user privacy.

However, the proposed digital privacy act would, in addition to requiring companies to inform customers of security breaches, enable them to share customer information without a court order. Activists in Canada are concerned that this could short circuit the court protections that they currently have against mass copyright lawsuits and open up many Canadians to legal threats.

2: The Matrix Wins ‘Unreasonable’ plagiarism lawsuit brought by writer Thomas Althouse

Next up today, Jess Denham at The Independent reports that Warner Brothers has emerged victorious in a lawsuit brought by author Thomas Althouse, who claimed that the popular trilogy of Matrix movies was an infringement of his screenplay The Immortals.

Althouse claimed that he submitted his script to Warner in 1993 and that it was later turned into the Matrix films without him receiving credit or compensation. However, the judge ruled that his play, which was about a CIA agent who took a pill to become immortal and fights a plot to destroy non-immortals in the future, is too different from The Matrix, which was about a computer expert who learns he is in a virtual reality world controlled by machines.

Althouse had argued that the two movies featured a Christ-figure but the judge noted that such a concept predates both films and is not protectable under copyright.

3: VKontakte Signs Memo to Combat Movie Piracy

Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Russian social network VKontakte has signed a memo stating that it will work to block the reuploading of infringing material after it has been removed due to a copyright violation.

The site, often abbreviated VK, has been listed as a “notorious market” by the U.S. Trade Representative due to the large amount of infringing material that is available on it. VK has, in the past, resisted calls to do more to stop piracy even as legislation in Russia has required sites to aggressively remove infringing works.

The memo had been sighed by some 36 other sites but VK had declined until recently. By adding its signature, VK has agreed to block infringing material “within a reasonable time” and will look at using fingerprinting technology to better deal with the issue.


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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