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First off today, Dominic Patten at Deadline Hollywood reports that HBO and Showtime have filed a joint lawsuit against two John Doe defendants accused of operating sites that are planning on showing illegal streams of the upcoming Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, which is scheduled for May 2nd.
The fight is a joint effort from the two competing networks and is easily one of the most anticipated boxing matches in over a decade. However, ahead of it, several sites have been promoting that they will be offering free live streams of the fight, in violation of HBO and Showtime’s copyright
Despite the fact that the infringement hasn’t happened yet, HBO and showtime are suing for copyright infringement. However, it is likely that the suit will be dropped if the sites decline to show the fight or that the suit will be amended if they do, making these lawsuits a warning shot to these (and others) who are planning on illegally streaming the bout.
Next up today, Claire Reilly at CNet reports that Australian ISP and Cable company Foxtel is asking Parliament to “broaden” site-blocking legislation that it is pondering in order to expand it to cover search engines and other intermediaries.
A bill setting up provisions to require ISPs to block known pirate websites was introduced in Parliament last month. The bill, however, specifically says it is not intended to impact search engines but Foxtel would like to see that changed. According to Foxtel, such a provision is required to make the law more effective and it would also make it technology neutral, requiring all intermediaries, not just ISPs, to comply.
Foxtel noted that search engines in other countries have “safe harbor” provisions that require them to remove or disable access to knowing infringing works when notified. However, they say that Australia largely stands alone in not having such a requirement for search engines.
Finally today, Glenn Peoples at Billboard reports that the U.S. Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante is before the House Judiciary Committee to provide testimony and guidance for the copyright issues she expects that Congress will address in the coming years.
Entitled “The Register’s Perspective on Copyright Review”, Pallante is expected to discuss music licensing reform, the implementation of a copyright small claims court and other reforms she and the Copyright Office have pushed for in various reports over recent years.
Two years ago Pallante appeared before the same committee and asked Congress to consider drafting “the next great copyright act”, which prompted a Congressional review of existing copyright law.