3 Count: Rapid Decline

3 Count: Rapid Decline Image

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1: RapidShare Calls it Quits: Veteran File-Sharing Site to Close in March 2015

First off today, Cyrus Farivar at Ars Technica reports that the file sharing site RapidShare has announced that it will close its doors at the end of March, ending over 13 years of operation.

Early in its life, RapidShare was one of the most popular cyberlocker sites and was frequently used by those sharing infringing material online. However, as time went on, the site began to take action to distance itself from piracy including taking strong action against copyright infringement. Those efforts came in the spotlight in January 2012 after Megaupload was shuttered in a raid by U.S. and New Zealand authorities.

RapidShare has been in decline in recent years. It’s attempted to position itself as a cloud hosting provider but its offerings were never as popular as competitors such as Dropbox and Google Cloud. The company said that users have until the end of March to backup any data they have on the service before their accounts and data are deleted.

2: Estonian Man Pleads Guilty in Megaupload Piracy Case

Next up today, Jessica Gresko at the Associated Press reports that Andrus Nomm, a 36 year old Estonian man, has pleaded guilty in a federal court to conspiracy to commit copyright infringement for his role in operating the site Megaupload.

Megaupload was a popular file sharing site that was shuttered in January 2012 after a joint action by New Zealand and U.S. authorities. The site’s founder, Kim Dotcom, along with six other employees, were arrested. However, all have been fighting extradition to the U.S. and Nomm is the first to come, having left his residence in the Netherlands willingly.

As part of the please deal, Nomm was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Many believe that Nomm’s deal likely also includes a stipulation that he testify against Dotcom and other defendants.

3: 9/11 Photos Causing Legal Trouble for Fox News, Other Media Outlets

Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Fox news has lost an attempt to toss out a lawsuit against them over their use of an iconic photograph taken shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The owner of the photograph, North Jersey Media Group, sued both the network and its personality Jeanine Pirro saying that they used the photo, which features firefighters raising the flag over the rubble of the World Trade Center, to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the lawsuit. However, Fox claimed that the use was a fair use and asked the judge to dismiss the case but the judge has refused, saying that there is enough dispute on the fair use factors, including some issues of material fact, that need to be weighed. This sets up the case for a possible trial.

A day earlier, another photographs, Anthony Fioranelli, filed his own lawsuit over 9/11 photographs, this one against CBS. According to Fioranelli, he licensed the image for one-time use to CBS but the network continued to using it in various works since.


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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