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First off today, Colin Mann at Advanced Television reports that a Manhattan judge has said that she will likely hold Aereo competitor FilmOn X in contempt of court for continuing to operate after the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo infringed the copyright of broadcasters.
FilmOn, like Aereo, is a TV streaming services that uses a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, to capture, record and stream broadcast TV over the Web. The Supreme Court overturned a 2nd Circuit decision ruling that Aereo was legal, forcing it to “pause” its service while it finds a path to legality. However, despite the ruling, FilmOn X continued streaming until around July 8, over two weeks after the decision was handed down.
FilmOn has long said that it is a cable provider under Section 111 of the Copyright Act and that it is willing to pay royalties as per the law. But the judge noted that FilmOn can not unilaterally decide that it is a cable company and, to date, both the Copyright Office and the courts have challenged that notion. The judge said she is “inclined” to grant a motion of contempt filed by broadcasters, possibly opening the service up to fines and other punitive action.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that lawyers representing Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke have filed a motion for summary judgment in their case against the estate of Marvin Gaye, hoping to end the lawsuit without a jury trial.
Williams and Thicke sued the Gaye estate after the estate began to make accusations that their song “Blurred Lines” was an infringement of Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up”. After discovery and analysis by experts, Williams and Thicke are asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed saying that the estate’s claims are limited to the composition and that many of the similarities aren’t written in it. Furthermore, according to the plaintiffs, the remaining similarities are not protectable under copyright.
According to the filing, “Defendants smelled money and rushed to make their infringement demand, but they chose to ignore that the songs had no similarity in actual notes or phrases.” The filing also notes that the publisher of the song, EMI, has also declined to file a lawsuit over the alleged infringement, this led to the Gaye estate suing EMI alleging a conflict of interest over the music, noting that EMI has a business relationship with Williams and Thicke. A motion of opposition to the summary judgment is expected shortly.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that The Pirate Bay has launched a mobile version of its site and said that it is planning on breaking apart its main site into several smaller ones, one for each type of content.
Mobile users who visit The Pirate Bay are now directed to The Mobile Bay domain, which features a more mobile-friendly layout.
In the future, The Pirate Bay said it plans on taking the sections of the site and break them apart into new sites, including TV< movies, music both to provide a better experience to downloaders but also greater resilience against copyright enforcement efforts.
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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