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First off today, Cecilia Kang at the New York Times reports that Google-owned YouTube has announced it will pick up the legal costs of a small group of creators that it feels were targets of improper Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices.
YouTube has chosen four cases where it believes its users where hit with DMCA notices despite clear fair use arguments. In those cases, YouTube is keeping the videos online and setting aside up to $1 million to help pay legal bills should any litigation take place.
YouTube has said it may expand the program but only wishes to do so with hand-selected cases that it see as clearly non-infringing. Also, the program is solely for DMCA notices sent to the server, there is no change to its Content ID system, which automatically matches content that’s uploaded to the site.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a court has ruled U.S. ISP Cox Communications has not done enough to shield itself from copyright infringement claims and may be liable for the illegal music downloads of many of its users.
Music publishers BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music sued Cox in November 2014 alleging that the ISP was not doing enough to stop piracy on its network. Specifically, they claimed that Cox did not have a repeat infringer policy, only acted on 5 percent of copyright infringement notices and rarely, if ever, completely terminated accounts of repeat infringers.
Cox continued to claim that it was protected by the DMCA safe harbor but the judge ruled that Cox’s repeat infringer policy was indeed lacking and, thus, has stripped it of safe harbor protection. Cox did rule against Round Hill, saying that it does not own any exclusive rights in the content at issue but is letting BMG move forward.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that “Buddy” bot makers Bossland GmbH have hit back against Blizzard, accusing the video game giant of stealing their code and committing copyright infringement.
Blizzard notably filed suit against a man who goes by the name Apoc that it claims created a series of bots designed to let players cheat at various Blizzard-owned games. Bossland claimed that they were the owners of the bots at issue and that Apoc was not even an employee.
Blizzard, however, said that they have separate legal action against Bossland in Germany and that they sued Apoc because he is a freelancer who created at least some of the bots for them. Bossland now says that Blizzard reached a deal with Apoc where he will surrender all of the source code of the bots he wrote, causing Bossland to turn around and accuse Blizzard of copyright infringement. Bossland has said it is preparing a lawsuit to learn more about the deal.
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.