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First off today, Jan Willem Aldershoff at Myce reports that Antiguan software company Slysoft has closed its doors after a prolonged battle over the DVD and Blu-Ray ripping software the company produced.
The company was best known for its software that could circumvent copyright protections on various media formats. In the United States, the creation and sale of such software is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), however, the company has routinely maintained that, since it is based in Antigua, the software is legal for it to sell.
The company had been in operation for almost 13 years and had been under constant assault from a variety of private rightsholders and government entities. Most notable of the latter is the U.S. Trade Representative, which listed Slysoft as a “Rogue Site” the company was a reason for putting Antigua on the “Priority Watch List” for countries that failed to adequately protect intellectual property.
Next up today, Cyrus Farivar at Ars Technica reports that, Chelsea Manning, a former United States Army soldier who is currently serving a 35-year sentence after being convicted of leaking classified military documents, has had some of her mail blocked on the grounds of copyright infringement.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a supporter of Manning attempted to send her print outs of various EFF articles about prisoner rights. However, the Army refused to deliver the articles saying that, since the printed materials exceeded five pages per day, that the distribution may violate copyright.
However, the EFF has given permission for its articles to be distributed to Manning and, further, it releases all of its site content under a Creative Commons license that makes printing and redistribution legal.
Finally today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that a new study from Carnegie Mellon University challenges the notion that piracy is good promotion for films saying that, while there is a promotional effect for movies that are leaked, it was simply swallowed up by the impact of cannibalization.
According to the study, between 2006 and 2008, there was a 15% increase in box office revenues in films if piracy was eliminated from the theatrical release window. From 2011 and 2013, the other window studies, that effect was 14%.
A small number of films, around 3%, did see a benefit from pre-release piracy, with the study noting that, if piracy did not general promotional effects through word of mouth. that box office revenues would drop by an additional 1.5%
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.