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First off today, Grant Gross at PCWorld reports that the U.S. Senate has voted to end a filibuster that would have blocked a bill to fast-track trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), through Congress.
The trade agreement, which is currently being negotiated buy the Obama administration, is a wide-ranging deal between the U.S. and various Pacific Rim nations, including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Canada. The agreement was first proposed in 2005 but, after years of secret negotiation, there is little clue as to what is inside it. From leaks it is believed to cover a wide variety of topics including copyright, where the United States aims to expand elements of U.S. law to other nations in the TPP.
The secrecy of the TPP has stoked the ire of activists online, who have campaigned heavily against the bill, which would streamline the agreement through Congress once it is signed. This new legislation helps pave the way for that fast track to take place, making it more difficult for those who oppose the treaty to halt it.
Next up today, Elena Chong at The Straits Times reports that Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has filed a lawsuit against the couple behind The Real Singapore (TRS) alleging that TRS reproduced SPH articles for their site.
In the lawsuit, SPH is seeking a declaration of infringement, an injunction against future infringement, damages and/or profits that TRS has made from its infringements. The couple, Yan Kieheng and Ai Takagi, were served with the lawsuit outside of state court on Monday.
However, this is not the only legal challenge TRS faces in the country as it was previously charged with seven counts of publishing seditious articles. That case is the reason they were at the court where they were served.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Rotten Records is suing a pair of Comcast users that they claim ignored copyright notices sent to them and continued to share content despite multiple notices to stop.
According to the lawsuit, Rottech Records used Rightscorp, a controversial anti-piracy firm known for attempting to procure small settlements from suspected file sharers to track infringers. Rightscorp sent one of the defendants 11 notices to cease sharing the content involved and, in the other case, sent 288. The lawsuits now seek an injunction as well as statutory damages.
The fact that the lawsuit involves Comcast is especially interesting since Comcast is one of the ISPs that, while it will forward notices sent by Rightscorp, will strip out the settlement demands sent by Rightscorp, possibly setting up the lawsuit both as motivation for others to settle with Rightscorp and for ISPs to be more cooperative.
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.