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First off today, David Robb at Deadline Hollywood reports that an ex-studio worker named William Kyle Morarity has agreed to plead guilty to leaking pre-release copies of The Revenant and The Peanuts Movie online.
While working for the unnamed studio, Morarity obtained pre-release screeners of the two films that he then copied to a portable drive and uploaded to the BitTorrent site Pass the Popcorn. In the case of The Revenant, it resulted in the film being released on BitTorrent sites six days before being released in movie theaters.
Morarity will be arraigned next month and faces a felony charge of uploading copyrighted works being prepared for commercial distribution. The charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.
Next up today, Emmanuel Legrand at Music Week reports that The US Copyright Office has released its report on the “making available” right and has determined that Congress doesn’t need to take any action on the issue, claiming that the right is already protected under U.S. law.
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 the United States implement the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet treaties which, in part, require signatories to recognize a “making available” right. That right gives copyright holders the exclusive right to authorize transmission of their works to the public through interactive platforms.
According to the Copyright Office, though the DMCA did not amend the law to include a making available right, the right is respected under other exclusive rights under the law. Further, the office said that any attempts to add a specific making available right would likely be more disruptive than helpful, making such action inadvisable.
Finally today, David Murphy at PC Magazine reports that YouTube has responded to criticisms of its copyright policies by saying that it is assembling a team to minimize mistakes when it comes to various types of copyright claims.
In recent months several prominent YouTube users have complained that the company does not provide adequate protection for clear fair use cases and that the appeals process for dealing with copyright claims is burdensome.
According to a post on Google Product Forums, YouTube is now assembling a team that will be dedicated to “minimizing mistakes and improving the quality of our actions.” They say that the initiatives will roll out in the coming months and will help strengthen communication between creators and YouTube support, something many YouTubers said was completely lacking.
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.