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First off today, Julia Fioretti at Reuters reports that, in Europe, the European Commission is pushing forward with a plan to do away with or modify the “country of origin principle”, which allows broadcasters to acquire rights for their home country and not the EU as a whole.
A study by the commission says that it would harm U.S. filmmakers at the expense of European ones by giving filmmakers in the EU access to a broader market. However, there are also concerns that the proposal would put smaller distributors out of business as they would be unable to afford pan-EU licensing. That could leave just a handful of players in the market.
The move is supported by the European Broadcasting Union but is widely opposed by commercial broadcasters and rightsholders, saying that it would dilute the value of exclusive rights.
Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that, according to local Russian media, the Russian government and entertainment industry groups are working together on new legislation to target piracy on social media sites by removing protections they enjoy under the current law.
Though current Russian law allows courts to compel local ISPs to block access to copyright infringing sites, social media sites are currently exempt as they are considered “information brokers”. According to the reports, the government is looking at either removing or limiting that protection so local social media sites can not escape liability.
Of particular interest is the site VKontakte, considered the Russian Facebook. The site is widely used to exchange and download infringing material, in particular music, but has largely escaped liability.
Finally today, Dan Seitz at Uproxx reports that Bob Zeidman, an expert in software and intellectual property, has offered up $200,000 in prize money to anyone who can prove that Microsoft’s MS-DOS was in any way copied from an earlier operating system CP/M.
The legend centers around how MS-DOS was written. Created by Tim Patterson, the first iteration was entitled Q-DOS and was meant to provide functionality similar to CP/M, the most popular operating system at the time, on IBM chips. Microsoft bough the rights to Q-DOS and hired Patterson to produce MS-DOS for their computers.
Ever since then, there have been allegations that Microsoft copied from CP/M in creating MS-DOS but, to date, no one has found evidence despite multiple examinations. Zeidman, however, claims that he found out that the two operating systems use the same “system calls” with the same numbers, thus prompting him to put up the prize money.
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.