3 Count: The 10th Justice

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1: Obama Administration Asks U.S. Top Court to Decline Google Copyright Appeal

First off today, Lawrence Hurley and Dan Levine at Reuters are reporting that the U.S. Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, has responded to a request by the Supreme Court to weigh in on the Oracle v. Google case and has asked the court to not step into the matter, letting an appellate court ruling stand.

Oracle sued Google alleging that Google, when making its Android mobile operating system copied the APIs from its JAVA programming language. While Google rewrote the rest of the language, the copying of the APIs was meant to make it easy for JAVA developers to write programs for Android. A lower court had ruled that APIs, which are a set of instructions, don’t qualify for copyright protection but the appeals court overturned that. Google appealed to the Supreme Court, which asked the Solicitor General for input.

According to the Solicitor General, the appeals court ruling should stand and, before there should be concern about Google’s predictions of dire consequences for software development, the case should head back to the district court for a hearing on fair use and whether the copying of the API was an infringement at all. The Supreme Court generally heeds the advice of the Solicitor General, giving it the role the unofficial title of “Tenth Justice” for the sway the position holds in Supreme Court matters.

2: EBook Piracy Sites to be Blocked by UK Net Providers

Next up today BBC News is reporting that, in the UK, a court has ordered that local ISPs block some 7 overseas sites that specialize in the download of copyright infringing eBooks.

The action comes as the result of a motion by The Publishers Assoociation, which also said it had asked Google to remove more than 1.75 million links from its results from these sites.

The move was made possibly by the Digital Economy Act, which gave courts the power to order ISPs to block such sites after a ruling. One site, Freebookspot, said it has removed 10,000 titles to try and avoid the block but to no avail. All major ISPs have until June 9th to put the block into place.

3: Fox News Gets Support From CNN, NBC and CBS in Lawsuit Against TVEyes

Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that CBS, NBCUniversal, CNN and two other media companies filed an amicus brief in the Fox News’ case against TVEyes, a service that records TV programs for easy search and review by subscribers later.

Fox News sued TVEyes for copyright infringement but a judge ruled that the indexing of the service were a fair use. However, the case has continued and this has prompted mother media companies, including CBS and NBCU, which have been TVEyes customers, to file friend of the court briefs supporting Fox News, in particular on the economic harm that TVEyes can do.

The brief takes issue with the previous ruling and says it clashes with a ruling against Meltwater, a separate news monitoring service. However, the judge isn’t looking at the issue of indexing right now, but rather, other elements including the downloading, archiving, emailing, saving and sharing of clips.


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.

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