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First off today, Jan Buchholz at the Washington Business Journal reports that real estate start up RealMassive has reached a settlement with CoStar Realty Information Inc. in an copyright battle that began over photos owned by CoStar appearing in RealMassive’s real estate database.
CoStar is the established leader in real estate information, providing a database of listings with images. RealMassive is a startup competitor that has launched in 33 markets. When CoStar discovered that some of its images were in RealMassive’s database, the company sued. RealMassive quickly removed the images in question but the lawsuit pressed on.
In the end, RealMassive has agreed to pay $1 million for the infringement saying that, though they feel they did nothing wrong, that the settlement is cheaper than litigation and will get them protections, such as a cooperative effort with CoStar to prevent future infringements.
Next up today, Patrick Frater at Variety reports that the Hong Kong government has dropped planned copyright reforms due to repeated parliamentary delays that held the bill up indefinitely.
The bill was supported by local film and TV producers, which claim that the current laws are out of date and enable rampant piracy. Opponents, however, claimed that the laws would harm free speech in the region and, though the bill was supported by a majority in the government, opponents were able to delay the bill until the government chose to drop it.
It is widely expected that the government will try again this summer, following a new consultation.
Finally today, David Kravets at Ars Technica reports that the judge in the Google/Oracle Java lawsuit has denied a request by both sides to have potential jurors answer a questionnaire prior to potentially being seated. The judge says he feels that the lawyers are attempting to set the jurors up to fail and so both sides can push for an appeal if they lose.
Oracle sued Google claiming that Google’s version of Java in their Android mobile operating system violated their copyrights. Google, however, claimed to have only copied the APIs, which they believed were not copyrightable. Though the trial court agreed with Google, that was overturned by an appeals court, which, after the Supreme Court declined to intervene, kicked it back down to the lower court for a retrial on the issue of fair use.
That retrial is scheduled for early May and both sides wanted to force potential jurors to answer a questionnaire prior to selection. However, the judge has determined that it will not be used because the questionnaire is too vague and will likely cause jurors to unintentionally provide false information that could be used to throw out the trial or force an appeal.
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.