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First off today, Jonathan Cooper at the Associated Press reports that lawyers for Oracle and the state of Oregon have traded barbs in their ongoing lawsuit, with the state claiming that they are immune from the lawsuit and Oracle claiming that any such immunity was waived.
The lawsuit stems from Cover Oregon, the state’s failed attempt at creating a healthcare exchange to comply with the Affordable Care Act. Cover Oregon contracted with Oracle to provide database servers but Oracle claims that Cover Oregon appropriated Oracle’s work illegally over the course of the project.
When Cover Oregon was dissolved, its responsibilities were passed to other state agencies. The state claims that, while Cover Oregon might be eligible to be sued since it was an independent organization, the state itself can not because of the 11th amendment. However, Oracle claims that all such immunity was waived by contract and that the transfer of liability was unconstitutional as it deprives Oracle of its intellectual property rights. The judge is expected to rule shortly.
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that ISPs and major copyright holders have extended the “six strikes” system in the United States for four months as they work on improvements and changes to the system.
The system, named the Copyright Alert System, is a partnership between ISPs and rights holders to send warnings warnings to subscribers whose accounts are being used for illegal file sharing. The system was announced in 2011 but didn’t launch until 2013. It was expected to lapse this month but the two sides approved a four-month extension as they continue to work on the system and find ways to improve it.
The system is operated by the Center for Copyright Information, which puts emphasis on the educational, rather than punitive, nature of the system. However, some rightsholders have criticized the system as being ineffective, saying that only a small percentage of notices are forward and that the punitive steps in the system are unlikely to discourage sharing.
Finally today, Ariel Bogle at Mashable reports that, in Australia, the advocacy group Choice has released a new survey on piracy habits in the country and found that piracy rates have dropped significantly since their 2014 study and the use of legitimate services has increased in the country.
In 2014, Choice found that 23% of Australians identified themselves as “regular pirates” though, in 2015, that number was down to 17%. Meanwhile, according to the same survey, the number of Australians using legitimate streaming service has risen to 59%, up from 46% in 2014.
The rise is largely attributed to the launch of Netflix in the country along with local competitors Stan and Presto, which provide similar movie streaming services. Meanwhile, the issues that drove people to piracy remained consistent including high prices and availability.