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1: Links to Playboy Pictures Don’t Infringe Copyright, Says Top EU Lawyer
First off today, David Meyer at Fortune reports that the top legal adviser for the European Court of justice (ECJ) has recommended that the court rule linking to copyright infringing material is not, by itself, an infringement.
The case deals with the former publisher of the Dutch edition of Playboy, Sanoma Media, which sued a website GreenStijl over its linking to unlicensed pictures from the magazine. The case is now before the ECJ but the adcovate general, Melchior Wathelet, has issued a statement saying that the links are not an infringement.
The reason, according to Wathelet, is that a link does not make an infringing work available, it merely points to it. Since the work is already available, it’s not a violation of the “making available” right under copyright law, even if the site knew it was infringing. Though the recommendation is not binding, the court is widely expected to follow it and the ruling would be binding in all member states. However, the EU is already considering revisions to its copyright laws that may change this area of law.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that “used” music reseller ReDigi has reached a deal with record industry that will allow them to appeal the case to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
ReDigi attempted to create a service that would allow customers to resell legally-purchased music files for a fraction of the price. However, they were sued in 2011 by the record labels, which alleged that there was no such thing as “used” digital good. ReDigi responded by saying that they were protected by the right of first sale, which allows owners of legitimate copyrighted works to resell or otherwise dispose of their copies.
The lower court didn’t see it ReDigi’s way, ruling that first sale only applies to physical goods and that ReDigi did not simply transfer a physical object but made copies along the way. That set the stage for a trial on damages but the two sides have reached an agreement on that issue. With the trial avoided, now ReDigi is free to appeal the the first sale issue, which they are doing.
Finally today, Gil Kaufman at Billboard reports that Martin Shkreli’s attorney has hit back against an artist’s claim that Shkreli infringed his work work when Shkreli displayed a book with his unlicensed images after buying the sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s latest album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
Last year, the band made headlines when it said it would record the album but only produce one copy, to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Shkreli purchased it for $2 million but said that he had no intention of listening to it or allowing others to do so. However, he displayed the album and its booklet to at least one reporter, including several images crated by artist John Wait.
Wait, however, claims that he never granted permission for his artwork to be used on the CD or the booklet, just on the site. He has sued the band and Shkreli but Shkreli is claiming that his use of the image was a fair use and that he should be dropped from the case.
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.