3 Count: Geoblocking Bloc

3 Count: Geoblocking Bloc Image

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1: Photog Who Got $1.2M Copyright Verdict Against AFP Won’t Get Legal Fees

First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that photographer Daniel More may have emerged victorious in his case against the AFP, but he won’t be receiving attorneys fees as part of his $1.2 million award.

The case began when the wire service starting selling Morel’s photos from the Haiti earthquake over its service without permission. When they realized their mistake, they tried to put a “mandatory kill” notice on the images but it was too late. The jury ended up siding completely with Morel, awarding $1.2 million in damages, the maximum they could have under the instructions of the judge.

However, the judge notes that the case dealt with “novel” legal issues and that that the AFP made good faith attempts to settle, including a $2 million offer before trial. As such, she has decided not to award legal fees on top of the damages. However, the judge also reduced the legal fees that Morel owes. His attorney had sought a lean of $1.1 million on the award but the judge, citing “opaque and imprecise” billing awarded only $164,580.

2: Cox Refuses to Reveal Financials in ‘Repeat Infringer’ Piracy Case

Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that Cox Communications is refusing to turn over all of the financial information asked for by BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music, saying that the request is overly broad and inappropriate.

Round Hill and BMG sued Cox alleging that the ISP has filed to terminate repeat infringers on its service despite thousands of takedown notices being sent. The case is seen as a significant test of the protections the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides ISPs and their obligations under the law.

The case is currently in discovery with both sides asking for a wide array of information. Cox, for example, is interested in the source code to the software used to detect infringements and ownership of the 1,000 works involved in the case. The copyright holders want detailed financial information from Cox, saying it’s relevant to their motivations but Cox is saying that they are only willing to provide “high-level” data.

3: Abolish Geoblocking? Not so Fast, Says EU Digital Commissioner

Finally today, Loek Essers at PCWorld reports that the European Commission Vice President for the Digital Single Market Andurs Ansip said that he dislikes the idea of geoblocking, the blocking of Internet users based upon their country of origin, and favors the abolition of it within the EU to help bring about the digital single market that the EU seeks to be.

However, the issue seems to be far from cut and dry as Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society said that he felt the measure could go too far and that more study needs to be done to look at the impact of eliminating geoblocking before action can be taken.

Currently in the EU, many rights are still sold on a per-country basis with geoblocking used to prevent other nations in the bloc from accessing the work illegally. However, the EU has stated it wishes to become a single digital market and part of that will likely include restrictions on such blocks between member countries.

Suggestions

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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