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First off today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that the U.S. government has filed for a default judgment against Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom in a move to seize all of his assets including bank accounts, cars and other possessions.
Megaupload was shuttered in 2012 following a joint U.S. and New Zealand police action. In Dotcom’s home of New Zealand he is facing extradition to the U.S. but the process has been repeatedly delayed, with a hearing now slated for this summer. In the meantime though, the courts in the U.S. have ruled that Dotcom is a “fugitive” and is ineligible to defend the seizure of his assets.
Following that ruling, the government is now seeking a default judgment against him which would order the seizure of all his assets. However, that ruling would have to be presented in the countries where his assets are, namely New Zealand and Hong Kong, and it’s been said that would likely lead to further litigation.
Next up today, Same Gutelle at Tubefilter reports that Freeplay Music has filed counterclaims against two YouTube multi-channel networks (MCNs), Machinima and Collective Digital Studios, alleging that the two groups infringed music that they control in countless videos.
The two MCNs filed suit against Freeplay alleging that the site engaged in “copyright troll” tactics, namely promising free music for use in videos but then demanding hefty license fees for commercial use. Freeplay has said that the terms for using their music is clearly spelled out and they have, since the lawsuit began, also filed suit against other MCNs they accuse of infringement.
Freeplay has licenses with YouTube the allows free use of their music in exchange for the right to profit from ads on and around the video. It also has agreements with various video editing tools, which leads some to believe that the music is available for free use.
Finally today, Alex Needham at The Guardian reports that the rap group Wu-Tang Glan took the stage at PS1 to unveil their new album. However, that album will only have one copy of it made, which will be auctioned off, and will not be able to be distributed for some 88 years after its release.
The album, entitled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, will be sold to a single person. According to the band, this auction comes with restrictions, including that they will not be able to commercialize, sell or distribute the album for 88 years, after which the agreement will expire as well, according to the band, the copyright in the album.
The band said they made the decision as a means “to restore the concept of value to music” and emphasized that no backups of this album exist. If it is broken or destroyed, the album will be lost forever.
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.