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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that anti-piracy company Rightscorp, along with their clients Warner Brothers and BMG Rights Management have beaten a claim that they were abusing the legal process, but failed to convince the judge that the lawsuit against them was a violation of their first amendment rights.
Rightscorp uses a process known as a DMCA subpoena to reveal the names and identities of suspected file sharers. It then uses that information to try and compel those file sharers to reach settlements. However, a class action lawsuit was filed accusing Rightscorp of abusing the legal process through this, prompting Rightscorp to hit back with an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) claim, saying that the lawsuit was a violation of their first amendment rights.
However, the anti-SLAPP argument was thrown out on the grounds that the state law didn’t apply to a federal subpoena. The judge also tossed aside arguments that Rightscorp had abused the legal process because there was no evidence that Righscorp had done anything other than use the subpoenas for the intended purpose, learning the identities of suspected infringers with the intent of taking legal action. However, the case is moving forward on claims that Rightscorp and others violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by making unlawful calls to cell phones.
Next up today (in other DMCA subpoena news), Dave Tach at Polygon reports that Scott Cawthorn, the creator of the popular Five Nights at Freddy’s series of games, has filed a DMCA subpoena to learn the creator of an unofficial sequel, Five Nights at Freddy’s 4, which was sold and has since been removed from the iOS App Store.
The unofficial game was posted under the name Lazada Polodi and was done so without the authorization of the series’ creator. As such, Cawthorn is using a DMCA subpoena to hopefully learn the identity of the person or company that posted the game for possible legal action against them.
Apple has until May 25th to comply with the notice or file a challenge against it. Meanwhile the real Five Nights at Freddy’s 4: The Final Chapter, is due for release Halloween this year.
Finally today, Todd Spangler at The Boston Herald reports that the fifth episode of Season 5 of Game of Thrones has broken its own piracy record, having been downloaded by an estimated 2.2 million people within 12 hours of airing.
The episode was significant because, before the first episode aired, Game of Thrones suffered a content leak that saw the first four episodes leak online before release. Now, with the fifth episode, people returned to piracy sites in droves to download the latest episode shortly after airing.
The record also comes after the launch of HBO Now in the United States, which allows people to view HBO programming without a cable subscription. Considering that the U.S. led other nations in its piracy of the show, it seems HBO Now may not have caught on with many pirates.
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.