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First off today Steven Sparkman at the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that, as expected, the Game of Thrones premiere is setting new piracy record but that record has been made even worse by a leak that has put four low-resolution episodes from the new series online ahead of their debut.
The episodes appeared shortly before the first episode of the fifth season aired this weekend, meaning that nearly half of all of the 10 episodes from this season were online before they had aired. The episodes have been downloaded millions of times already.
There is no indication of where the episodes came from but the low resolution of the videos combined with a blurred watermark hints that it was possibly a DVD screener sent to the press. According to HBO, which produces the series, this means that the leaked episodes are probably a early copies and not final versions.
Next up today Micah W. Miller at the National Law Review reports that Xcentric Ventures LLC, owners of RipoffReport.com, has won a key ruling against Christian DuPont and others over the validity of the copyright transfer on RipoffReport.com’s site.
Christian DuPont sued the site after it declined to to remove a report he had made on it. Xcentric claimed DuPont, as part of posting the report, had transferred his copyright interest to the site granting an exclusive license. DuPont, however, claimed that the license was “browserwrap”, meaning that he never actively clicked on it or agreed to it, rendering it valid.
While the judge did agree that the terms of service was a browserwrap agreement and not valid, the portion of the agreement pertaining to the copyright transfer was displayed prominently above a “continue” button during the posting process. As such, the court found that DuPont had been adequately notified, had transferred his copyright to Xcentric and the agreement was valid. DuPont has not said if he is planning an appeal.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that filmmakers behind the movie Manny have suffered a setback in their copyright enforcement campaign as a judge has denied their request for a subpoena on the grounds that an IP address does not identify an individual who allegedly pirated a film.
Manny LLC, the company that owns the rights to the film, has filed some 215 lawsuits across the nation against suspected pirates identified only by their IP address. However, in one case in District of South Florida, the judge demanded more evidence that an IP address could be tied to a person and when Manny LLC failed to prove that to her satisfaction, she denied the request.
Other jurisdictions do allow such subpoenas to go through, which are then used to learn the identity of the suspected pirate, who is then contacted directly in hopes of a quick settlement. The practice has drawn a great deal of controversy, having been called both “speculative invoicing” and “copyright trolling”.
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.