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First off today, Jessica Elgot at The Guardian reports that, in the UK, the Green Party has faced blow back after it posted a manifesto that called for the reduction of copyright length within the country, pushing it back to just 14 years.
Currently in the UK, copyright lasts the life of the author plus 70 years. The statement, which was a single line in the manifesto, drew a great deal of criticism from authors and other creators, many of whom took to Twitter.
A representative for the Green Party said that the change was a “long-term vision” and was not meant for implementation in the near future. Currently the Green Party is polling with 5-6 percent support in the UK, behind the four other major parties in the country.
Next up today, Claire Reilly at CNet repots that HBO has warned several users of its new HBONow service that their accounts will be suspended because the service determined that they connected via a virtual private network (VPN) so to connect to the U.S. only service when they are out of the country.
HBO announced the service last month and it provides a means for those in the U.S. who have Apple products to view HBO programming without a cable subscription. However, users from other countries, most notably Australia have used VPNs to connect to the service to appear to be in the U.S. HBO has now begun working on detecting VPN usage and shuttering accounts that attempt to access the service illegally.
Netflix has faced similar pressures, with many out of the country viewers using VPNs to access the service illegally. This has led to pressure from content creators for Netflix to take steps to block VPNs, something they have been reluctant to do.
Finally today, Michael Cieply at The New York Times reports that five independent movie studios, Millennium, Voltage Pictures, Bloom, Sierra/Affinity and FilmNation Entertainment, have formed a new anti-piracy coalition dubbed the Internet Security Task Force.
The goal of the new organization is to create a group that represents the interests of independent studios, which they say are more fragile to the losses caused by piracy. It is not clear what the new group will do, but public relations and lobbying are at the forefront of the agenda. However, the companies were clear that it would not file lawsuits and that issue would be left to the individual studios.
Independent films have been at the forefront of movie piracy recently. Last year Millennium suffered heavy losses when its blockbuster Expendables 3 was leaked on the Web weeks before its theatrical debut. Another studio, Voltage Pictures, has sued thousands of suspected file sharers over their alleged infringement of The Hurt Locker.
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.