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First off today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that the most recent FilmOn ruling has been unsealed giving clues as to why a U.S. district judge in Washington D.C. did not feel the service qualified to retransmit over-the-air broadcast television online, even with paying a compulsory license.
FilmOn is a TV streaming service that was sued by the major networks for rebroadcasting their signals on the Web. A competing service, Aereo, lost a high-profile case before the Supreme Court last year. However, FilmOn claimed that, since Aereo was ruled to be similar to a cable service, that similar services should be allowed to continue so long as they pay for a compulsory license that broadcasters are required to grant cable providers.
A California judge had sided with FilmOn, ruling that it is eligible to take advantage of such a license. However, the judge in Washington D.C. disagreed, saying that such a decision is an over reading of the Aereo ruling and that the ruling does not mean that the copyright act is technology-agnostic for this purpose.
Next up today, Anandashankar Mazumdar at Bloomberg BNA reports that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling stating that you can not copyright a a chiropractic procedure and a competitor did not infringe any rights by simply creating a new video detailing the same technique.
The lawsuit pitted Concentro Laboratories, an Arizona firm, against Practice Wealth, a California-based company that offers advice to materials to chiropractic providers. Concentro claimed that Practice Wealth began offering its clients a video teaching a technique that was based on a video they had created previously.
However, the judges ruled that the Practice Wealth video was created from scratch and no content, other than the techniques, were copied. As a result, the court found that no protectable elements had been copied and that the lawsuit should be dismissed. The appeals court said the same about a set of blank forms Practice Wealth was also accused of copying.
Finally today, Julie Chu at the South China Morning Post reports that a court in Hong Kong has agreed to allow former Megaupload head Kim Dotcom limited access to millions of dollars of his assets that are frozen in the country in order to meet living expenses and pay his legal bills.
Kim Dotcom was arrested in January 2012 and his then-site, Megaupload, was shuttered in a joint action between U.S. and New Zealand authorities. Dotcom, who, resides in New Zealand, had his assets frozen, including millions in Hong Kong. However, as his criminal and civil legal battles have waged on, he has repeatedly turned to the courts to unfreeze more and more of his assets to pay his bills.
The Hong Kong court mirrored a New Zealand court and granted him access approximately $50,000 per month of his assets to pay his living expenses and legal bills. Opponents of the unfreezing said that Dotcom had not adequately account for his expenses but the judge in Hong Kong seemed satisfied that Dotcom needed increased access to his accounts.
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.