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First off today, Doreen Carvajal at The New York Times reports that the Swiss foundation that holds the rights to Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl has announced that Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, is being given co-author status on the book, a move that will extend its copyright for another 35 years in the EU.
Anne Frank was a Jewish teen who kept a journal while she and her family hid from Nazis in an Amsterdam attic. The family was eventually caught and Anne Frank died in a German concentration camp in 1945. Her father, however, survived and lived to 1980. In 1952, he published the diary, where it has gone on to become an extremely popular book and an important historical touchstone.
The copyright was set to expire in much of the EU at the end of this year, 70 years after the author’s death. However, the move to add Otto Frank as a co-author will extend the copyright to 2050. Many in the EU are protesting the move, saying that it is illegal and that they intend to challenge it. However, in the U.S., the copyright will expire in 2047, 95 years after its publication in the country.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is once again asking a court to require domain registrars, advertisers and other third parties to cease providing services to the movie streaming site Movietube, renewing a call that they had previously backed away from.
The MPAA had sued Movietube previously and made the same requests. However, as the story became public, there was an outcry saying that the MPAA was overreaching what the law allowed it to do. However, the MPAA withdrew the requests as the site shut down shortly after the lawsuit was filed.
In the meantime, the defendants, listed as John Does, have failed to respond to the lawsuit and the court has filed a default judgment in favor of the MPAA. In light of that judgment and the fact the MPAA claims the people behind the site have started a new one, are reinstating their request for a broad injunction.
Finally today, Dan Browning at the Star Tribune reports that the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility, the organization that investigates ethics complaints against Minnesota attorneys, has filed a 43-page petition against Paul Hansmeier seeking to suspend or disbar him as well as forcibly liquidate his assets in an ongoing bankruptcy.
Hansmeier rose to prominence with the firm Prenda Law, a so-called copyright troll that those who downloaded pornography off of file sharing networks, suing them as “John Doe” defendants to force ISPs to turn over their identity. Once those identities were learned, they sought quick settlements. However, their practice became muddled as defendants fought back, it was revealed that Prenda’s clients were really shell companies owned by Prenda Law and its members.
Hansmeier has since left copyright and is now focused on suing bars and restaurants over Americans with Disability Act violations. However, his creditors, including some of his former Prenda Law defendants, say he owes more than $1.5 million, which prompted Hansmeier to file for bankruptcy to restructure his debt. However, in addition to possible disbarment, the board is asking the court to forcibly liquidate his assets because, they claim, he sought protection of the court in bad faith.
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.