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First off today, Petchanet Pratruangkrai at The Nation reports that the United States will soon be sending a team to Thailand to help the nation improve its intellectual property laws and avoid appearing on the U.S. Trade Representatives “Priority Watch List” next year.
The watch list, which is part of the USTR’s “Special 301” report, which was released last week, highlights countries that the USTR feels are not doing enough to adequately enforce copyright and patent law. Thailand appeared on the list again this year despite the country’s efforts to improve intellectual property protections.
However, the U.S. has agreed to send a team next month to the country for a six-week collaboration that will seek to find ways that Thailand can improve its intellectual property laws and enforcement thereof. Thailand has already promised to clamp down on violations and noted that it seized nearly a quarter of a million infringing goods since the beginning of the year.
Next up today, Jan Aidershoff at Myce reports that a Belgian bus driver faces paying some €40,000 ($56,000) in compensation for downloading movies from the now-defunct site belgium-scene.de.
The driver, identified as Christopher R, didn’t settle the case for a lesser amount because he was unable to pay the settlement amount. Now R is before the courts and the Belgiam Anti-Piracy Foundation is seeking compensation of €37,714 ($52,000) for his downloading of some 253 movies, 64 computer games and 22,000 audio files. In addition to that, R faces an additional €4,500 ($6,200) fine from the prosecutor in the case.
Another user of the site was hit with a €60,000 ($83,500) judgment over their use of the site. Others, including those involved directly with the site’s operation, settled the case for a fraction of that amount.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that HBO’s popular TV show “Game of Thrones” not only drew huge audiences to the network, but also huge audiences on pirate sites.
According to statistics, the latest episode appeared online shortly after it finished airing and more than 200,000 people were involved in a BitTorrent swarm of the video at its peak with some 1.5 million people grabbing a copy.
The heavy download traffic marks just how quickly the series has grown in popularity with pirates. In 2011, the most popular episode was downloaded 3.4 million times during the first year, a number that this one will likely break in just a few days.
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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