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First off today, Eriq Gardner at Billboard reports that the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a motion in a U.S. court saying that Kim Dotcom should not be allowed to challenge seizure of his assets because he is a fugitive and should not be able to avail himself of the court’s protection.
Dotcom, who lives in New Zealand, was arrested in January 2012 and his site, Megaupload, shuttered due to a joint action by U.S. and New Zealand authorities. he is currently facing extradition to the U.S, which he has been fighting, but a hearing isn’t expected until June 2015 due to multiple delays. In the meantime, the U.S. government has filed a civil complaint for forfeiture of any assets Dotcom may have acquired through his alleged crimes.
Dotcom is fighting those seizures saying that there is no crime of secondary copyright infringement. However, the U.S. government has said that, since he has not consented to surrender and is not in custody, he can not avail himself of the court’s protection as he is a fugitive. The paperwork also shows that, of Kim Dotcom’s four codefendants, two are awaiting extradition with him in New Zealand and two more have successfully fought extradition, one in Slovakia and one in Germany.
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that a judge in Washington has rejected a rightsholders request for $30,000 in damages when handing down a default judgment against 11 suspected file sharers, instead opting to award the minimum statutory damages and attorneys fees.
The case involves Elf-Man LLC, a company that controls the rights to the movie by the same name as well as The Thompsons. They sued a large group of defendants for illegally sharing the film. Many settled their cases and a group of 11 failed to respond at all. In those cases, the company asked the judge for a default judgment of $30,000 for each defendant but the judge said that was a violation of the eighth amendment, which prohibits excessive fines, and ordered the defendants pay $750 in damages, the minimum statutory damages under the law, and $2,250 in attorneys fees for a total of $3,000 apiece.
A lower court judge made a similar ruling in the Jammie Thomas-Rasset case, which prompted repeated retrials on damages. However, the ruling was overturned on appeal, which reinstated the original $1.92 million in damages. The Supreme Court also declined to hear the case.
Finally today, Rob Crossley at Gamespot reports that Ubisoft, the makers of the Far Cry series of video games, have added a “bug” to the latest installment, Far Cry 4, that may discourage piracy and reveal those who pirated the game.
The illegal copies of the game lack a feature known as Field of Vision (FOV) control. These controls are needed to prevent the game from becoming blurry or otherwise distorted when playing. While the game is still technically playable, it will likely be of a lower quality.
The move was revealed by Alex Hutchinson, a creative director at Ubisoft, who tweeted that PC players complaining about lac of FOV controls were pirates as the feature is in all legitimate copies of the game.
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.