3 Count: Closing Down

3 Count: Closing Down Image

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1: Aereo Laying Off Most of its Employees, Closing Boston Office

First off today, Lauren Raab at the Los Angelest Times reports that Aereo has announced it will close its Boston office and lay off some 60 of its staff, nearly its entire workforce.

Aereo is the TV streaming service that, previously, rebroadcast and recorded live, over-the-air television on a series of tiny antennas. However, with the Supreme Court ruled that it was violating copyright, the service shut down while it tried other arguments to find a path to legality.

Those attempts, however, have been unsuccessful with the court recently issuing an injunction barring them from broadcasting and saying they do not qualify for a compulsory license. Aereo says that the layoff is necessary to “preserve” the company while it attempts to continue its legal battles but a handful of executives will remain employed.

2: ‘Iron Man’ Composer Beats Ghostface Killah in Copyright Lawsuit After Rapper’s No-Show

Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that composer Jack Urbont has won a default judgment against rapper Ghostface Killer in a case about sampling.

Urbont is best known for creating music for various television shows, including the 1960s show The Marvel Super Heroes. Ghostface sampled one of his songs, “Iron Man Theme” on two separate tracks, prompting Urbont to sue for infringement of both the composition and the sound recording.

However, that lawsuit has progressed very slowly as Ghostface initially proved difficult to serve with papers and, later on, refused to show up at depositions and hearings. At one point, Gostface’s attorney recused himself from the case due to lack of payment and communication. This lack of presence prompted the judge to issue a default judgment in favor of Urbont. Now the judge will have to weigh the damages that are appropriate, which will be closely watched in the sound recording as it is a pre-1972 work that is protected by state law.

3: Domain Registrars Face Piracy Liability After Court Ruling

Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that a German appeals court has ruled in favor of Universal Music in its case against local domain registrar Key-Systems, which the court says should have revoked the domain of a popular BitTorrent site and now faces liability for failing to do so.

The case centers around the now-defunct site H33T, which was a BitTorrent site that, among other things, hosted a link to download the popular song “Blurred Lines”. Universal filed takedown notices with the site to no avail and, after those failed, turned to the site’s registrar Key-Systems, which took no action. That prompted Universal to sue Key-Systems in a German court.

The lower court sided with Universal saying that Key-Systems should have taken action against the site. Now an appeals court has upheld that ruling, saying that the registrar was legally and technically able to stop the infringement and failed to do so, meaning they are at least partially liable for it. The ruling will likely open the door to other copyright holders ordering German registrars to disable infringing sites.


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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