3 Count: Destructing Instructions

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1: Telling People How to Remove DRM Isn’t Illegal

First off today, Mariella Moon at Engadget reports that a judge has ruled simply directing individuals on how to use digital rights management stripping technology is not, by itself, illegal.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), outside of a set of narrow exceptions, the stripping of DRM from a work or breaking other digital locks is a copyright infringement. So, when ebook store Abbey House Media, prior to its closing, pointed users to an application named Calibre so they could port their purchased books to other devices, publishers Penguin and Simon & Schuster filed a lawsuit against them.

However, when the publishers were unable to provide any evidence of infringement that had taken place because of the provided instructions, the judge dismissed the case. The judge also noted that Abbey House never encouraged its users to share their purchases, only port them over to another device.

2: Jury Awards Sculptor $640,000 in Copyright Case

Next up today, the St. Louis Dispatch is reporting that area artist John Raimondi has won a lawsuit against Igor Olenicoff and his company Olen Properties Corporation over their alleged infringement of sculptures he created.

Raimondi is a sculpture artist best known for large installation sculptures on display in public places. He claims Olenicoff flew him to Los Angeles to commission multiple works for properties he owns there. Raimondi proposed two works, dubbed Dian and Ceres, but was told that the company was not interested in purchasing them.

However, Raimondi claims he later learned that has two large-scale copies of each of the works in front of Olen properties. This prompted Raimondi to file a copyright infringement lawsuit and the jury, after finding that Olenicoff had infringed, awarded Raimondi $640,000 in damages. This lawsuit follows a similar one filed against Olenicoff by granite cluster Wakefield, who won $450,000 in damages.

3: Denmark Banned from Viewing UK Furniture Website in Copyright Spat

Finally today, Jennifer Baker at The Register reports that a Denmark court has ordered a UK furniture site to block visitors with Danish IP addresses from visiting its site, alleging that some of the furniture it sells is infringing in the country.

In most of the EU, furniture designs are protected under copyright lasts the life of the author plus seventy years. However, in the UK, furniture is only protected for 25 years after initial sale, meaning that some of the items on the site, while legal in the UK, are still copyright-protected in Denmark.

That being said, the court took issue with how the site marketed itself to Denmark citizens, including offering delivery assistance and to the country and publishing ads targeting Danish customers. The lawsuit was filed by the Danish furniture industry and the organization may also seek a court order requiring ISPs in the country to block access to the site.


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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