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First off today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that, in the ongoing Megaupload case, a new front has opened at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has asked the court for copies of Megaupload’s servers before allowing any further postponement of the civil case.
In January 2012 Megaupload was raided and its employees, including its head, Kim Dotcom, were arrested in a joint U.S. and New Zealand police action. Since then, Dotcom and other employees have been facing extradition from their home in New Zealand but the process has met with repeated delays. In the meantime, MPAA and others have filed civil cases against Megaupload but those too have been delayed pending the outcome of the various criminal proceedings.
Megaupload and the MPAA seemed to be moving toward another extension of the civil proceedings but the MPAA has refused to agree to it unless they can get copies of the content of the Megaupload servers, including cached data, stored at Cogent Communications. Cogent, though now defunct, is opposed to this saying it violates customer privacy and Megaupload’s attorneys agree. The MPAA is expected to seek a subpoena demanding the data since the sides could not work out an agreement.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Justin Bieber’s legal team has found themselves in an odd position as they may be forced to defend themselves in a music infringement case without the aid of expert witnesses.
The lawsuit was filed by Devin “the Dude” Copeland, who claims that he wrote a 2008 song with Usher entitled Somebody to Love. He claims that Usher and Bieber used parts of his song to create their 2010 song with the same name. However, the district court dismissed the case concluding that there was not enough similarity. That ruling, in turn, was overruled by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which kicked it back to the lower court for reconsideration.
Back at the District Court, the judge is eager to move things along to an October trial, even if neither side wants it. He originally handed down a March 21st deadline for the submission of expert witness reports. However, both sides had agreed on an extension until April 15. Unfortunately for Bieber’s team, the judge denied that extension, meaning that they failed to file the reports of their musicologists and damage experts. Without that evidence, it’s likely that the judge will deny summary judgment motions and move the the case even closer to a trial. Bieber’s team is filing an emergency motion for reconsideration.
Finally today, the BBC is reporting that video game publisher EA has filed a copyright complaint against a fan-made film entitled Trump Effect, which parodied the launch trailer for EA’s Mass Effect 2 using the trailers voiceover with clips of Donald Trump.
The video has been removed from both Twitter and YouTube, with the most notable takedown being from Donald Trump’s own Twitter feed. Trump, who had retweeted the video previously was left with a “This tweet… has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder.” in his feed.
EA released a statement saying that “The Video was an unauthorized use of our IP,” and that they do not support the use of their assets in political campaigns.
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.