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First off today, the Agence France-Presse reports that the extradition hearing for Kim Dotcom is finally underway, after the judge denied yet another last-minute attempt to delay the proceedings, and the prosecutor has begun to lay out its case for extraditing the former Megaupload head and those who worked with him.
Kim Dotcom, along with many of his employees, was arrested in January 2012 in his home in New Zealand. At the same time, his then-site, Megaupload, was shuttered in a joint action by New Zealand and United States authorities on the grounds of criminal copyright infringement, fraud and money laundering. However, ever since then delays have prevented an extradition hearing from taking place.
The hearing was set to begin earlier this week but lawyers representing Dotcom attempted once again to delay the proceeding, a motion which was denied. Yesterday the prosecution began laying out its case saying that, when the distractions are stripped away, Megaupload is about “simple fraud” and presented several incriminating Skype chats that they claim show Dotcom was both aware and encouraging of copyright infringement on the service.
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that The Pirate Bay’s official forum, SuprBay, has been taken offline due to a complaint filed with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that handles the domain name system for the .org TLD.
According to ICANN, the domain was registered using false information, which is a violation of the terms of service when registering a site. As a result of that, ICANN attempted to reach out to the domain registrar but was unable to resolve the issue. The domain was put on hold and is currently inaccessible.
The outage does not affect the main Pirate Bay website, which is on a different domain. However, users of The Pirate Bay will find it more difficult to contact moderators as it was a primary means of communication. It’s also unclear who made the complaint.
Finally today, Nate Rau at the Tennessean reports that, at a recent roundtable hosted by the House Judiciary Committee, producer and songwriter Kevin Kadish said that, for his co-authorship of the 2014 Meghan Trainor hit All About That Bass, he received just over $5,600 in royalties from Spotify despite the song getting 178 million streams.
The move comes as songwriters push for the Fair Play, Fair Pay Act, which seeks to balance the playing field between songwriters/publishers and recording artists/record labels when it comes to streaming royalties. Songwriters feel that, even as streaming royalties rise, they are not getting their fair share of the revenue.
The meeting was held in Nashville with members of the House Judiciary Committee, which has been holding regular hearings on the subject of copyright with an eye to reevaluate the entirety of U.S. copyright law for reform at a later date.
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.