3 Count: Piracy Tax

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1: Belgian Court Rules ISPs Don’t Have to Pay Copyright Levies

First off today, Loek Essers at PCWorld reports that a Belgian court has ruled that ISPs in the country do not have to pay a copyright levy for offering Internet access to customers, just because that access can be used to download infringing material.

SABAM, a local group representing authors, composers and publishers, sued the nation’s largest ISPs in 2013 demanding 3.4 percent of their revenue in fees. However, the court has disagreed with and, instead, followed the EU rules, which require that ISPs not be liable for the content they transmit.

However, SABAM has said it sees opportunities to appeal the case, claiming that the ruling goes against four decisions by the Court of Justice o the European Union. However, the organization still hasn’t made a final decision on whether or not it will.

2: Dish, Chinese Broadcasters Sue Streaming Service for Piracy

Next up today, Austin Siegemund-Broka at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Dish Network, backed by a group of Chinese broadcasters, is suing a collection of Chinese companies that make a set-top TVO unit titled the TVpad, which they allege give users illegal access to programs licensed by the networks.

They call the unit a “pirate broadcasting network” that captures various television channels within the country and streams it over the Web to the United States for viewing. The lawsuit further notes that the device uses a peer-to-peer network “like Napster, Grokster and BitTorrent.”

In addition to suing the manufacturer, the broadcasters also sued those behind the distribution of the device in the United States. In addition to infringing on Chinese-made television, the lawsuit alleges it also provides illegal access to HBO, BBC, CNN and others U.S.-based channels.

3: Pirate Bay Easily Accessible in UK After Security Tweak

Finally today, Matt Kamen at Wired reports that The Pirate Bay is now available on four of the five major ISPs in the UK following a security move that allowed it to bypass the filters put into place.

Ever since it’s reemergence, the site has used CloudFlare to serve as a content delivery network. Recently, The Pirate Bay enabled “HTTPS Strict”, which forces the entire communication between the user and the site to be secure. This has apparently caused most of the ISPs in the country to be unable to block it because they can’t see which traffic is going to the site.

Currently, the site is accessible through BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and EE. Only Sky’s block is still functioning, indicating that it is still possible but the other ISPs used a different method that is now ineffective. It is unclear when they will update their filters to continue blocking the site, which they are legally required to do in the country.


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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