3 Count: VPN-N-Out

Welsh government avoids copyright lawsuit in Ireland, music piracy was up in 2015 and Netflix rolls out VPN blocking.

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1: Dylan Thomas Photos Copyright Case Dismissed in Dublin

First off today, Huw Thomas at the BBC reports that an Irish court has dismissed a case against the Welsh government over its use of photos of poet Dylan Thomas as part of a tourism campaign for the country.

The case was filed by Pablo Start Ltd., a company that holds the copyright to several images of Thomas that were taken in the 1930s. The photos were taken by fellow poet Vermon Watkins and Pablo Star bought the rights to the images in 2011 from Watkins’ widow. According to the lawsuit, the Welsh government used used the images as part of a tourism campaign in Ireland that aimed to promote the 100th anniversary of Thomas’ birth.

However, the Irish court ruled that it does not have jurisdiction over the matter and that the case should be tried in Wales. However, the Welsh government has claimed sovereign immunity and has said it can not be held liable for any copyright infringement. A related case against a Welsh citizen is yet to be heard.

2: Global Music Piracy Downloads Grew By Almost a Fifth in 2015

Next up today, Tim Ingham at Music Business Worldwide reports that a study by MUSO, a company that provides content protection and market analytics, shows that illegal music downloads grew by 16.5% in the second half of 2015 when compared to the previous six months.

According to their 2015 Global Music Piracy Insights’ Study, the company monitored some 840 different torrent sites plus a collection of illegal music streaming sites. They found that though, overall, traffic to torrent sites dropped by about 20% during 2015, music piracy increased. Traffic and music piracy at streaming sites remained flat.

Though the United States was number one for overall piracy, it was number three for music piracy. For music, Russia was the number pirate country. According to MUSO, the study shows that there is a great untapped potential in reaching out to pirates and converting them to legitimate services.

3: Netflix Starts Blocking Australian Customers from US Catalogue

Finally today, Hannah Francis at Stuff reports that, in Australia, Netflix has already began its promised blocking of virtual private networks (VPNs) and proxies to stop subscribers from accessing content libraries of other nations.

Many Australians, disappointed by the content available in their local Netflix library, have taken to using VPNs to make it appear that they are in the United States, where they are able to access a much larger collection of movies and shows. However, after launching a near-global expansion, Netflix announced that it would soon be taking greater measures to block such tactics and those measures seem to already be bearing fruit in Australia.

Currently, not all VPNs and proxies are blocked and many anticipate that the practice is being rolled out. Still, many Australian users are reporting getting error message indicating that they are using a proxy and should disconnect from it before accessing Netflix.


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.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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