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First off today, Rob O’Neill at ZDNet reports that the Kim Dotcom extradition hearing will begin today, nearly four and a half years after his initial arrest and the closure of his site, Megaupload.
Dotcom, who lives in New Zealand, is wanted in the United States for criminal copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering related to Megaupload. He was arrested and his site shuttered in January 2012 but he, as well as his co-defendants, have fought extradition ever since with multiple delays.
Copyright infringement is not a criminal offense in New Zealand, meaning that the issue of extradition hinges on the other charges. The hearing itself is expected to take four weeks.
Next up today, Diane Bell at The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Victor Willis, best known as the police officer in the group The Village People, has won over half a million in attorneys fees and costs in his litigation to terminate copyright licenses and transfers in songs he helped write.
Copyright law allows original creators to terminate some transfers and licenses after a certain period of time. After two publishers denied he was eligible for such a transfer for many of his songs, he sued and eventually won. He also sued music producer Henri Belolo, who was listed as co-author on some of the songs, claiming he wasnt actually and author and that Belolo’s shares should revert to the other authors.
Willis won all of his legal battles but at great expense. He filed a motion seeking attorney’s fees and court costs and has been awarded over $530,000 for such fees. The case had been going on since 2011 and involved the copyrights to some 33 of his songs.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that spammers have taken to Google’s DMCA form where, instead of seeking the removal of copyright infringing content, they seek to promote various (likely illegal) products.
For several years Google has been handling most of its copyright notices through a form that filers can fill out. However, it appears that spammers have also mastered the form and have been regularly submitting new notices that are, in reality, just spam messages.
Those spam messages, in turn, have been picked up by Chilling Effects, which automatically hosts copies all the notices submitted to Google to put them in a searchable database. However, it’s likely that the spam is unintentional, with the spammers just looking for any form that they can fill out and submit, regardless of what site it is on.
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.