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First off today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that Kim Dotcom has had his day before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he is arguing for access to millions of dollars seized by the U.S. government years ago.
Dotcom was arrested in January 2012 following a raid on his New Zealand mansion over allegations that his then-site, Megaupload, was a haven for piracy and Dotcom was criminally resposible. As part of the raids that shuttered his site, U.S. authorities seized millions of dollars of his assets, which they have refused to allow him access to, claiming that he, and his colleagues, are fugitives.
Dotcom, who is currently fighting extradition, claims that he is not a fugitive but merely asserting his legal rights to fight extradition. A lower court, however, agreed with the government and said that Dotcom’s failure to surrender himself to U.S. authorities has effectively made him a fugitive under the law. Dotcom has appealed that ruling and the hearing was recently held, with Dotcom reiterating his previous arguments.
2: It is Illegal to Screenshot and Share Snapchat Snaps Without Permission, Government Minister Says
Next up today, in the UK, the Government Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, has said that capturing and re-sharing a message on Snapchat without the permission of the sender is a copyright infringement and the infringer could see prison, especially if the image of is of a sexual nature.
Snapchat is a media sharing and social networking service that lets users take images and videos to send to others and have them disappear after a predetermined amount of time. The application warns users when others screen capture the images they send but those who have a large number of recipients are unlikely to be able to keep up.
Vaizey discussed Snapchat as part of a brief on culture and the digital economy. He had been asked by an MP as to what the government was doing to prevent public release of sensitive Snapchat images and Vaizey responded saying that the act was already illegal under the nation’s copyright laws.
Finally today, Rhett Pardon at XBiz reports that the forum site AdultDVDTalk has been hit with a lawsuit by Pacific Coast News, which claims that it holds the rights to photos of celebrities such as Amanda Seyfried, Sara Highland and Selena Gomez that users uploaded to the forum.
According to the lawsuit, the forum does not qualify for DMCA safe harbor for two reasons. First, the plaintiffs claim that at least some of the images were uploaded by moderators, who were not just mere users. Second, they claim that the site has not registered its DMCA agent with the U.S. Copyright Office, a requirement under the law.
The owners of the forum claim that Pacific Coast News is a copyright troll, noting that they have filed some 126 similar legal actions in the past four years. They also claim to have never received any kind of a DMCA notice or any other kind of contact from the company. The lawsuit is seeking $2.4 million in damages over eight images including the maximum of $150,000 for direct and $150,000 for vicarious infringement for each one.
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.