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First off today, Reuters reports that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Kim Dotcom and Megaupload, allowing the U.S. government to continue to seize millions of dollars of his assets.
Megaupload was shuttered and Kim Dotcom arrested in a raid at his New Zealand home in January 2012. Since then, Dotcom has been fighting extradition to the United States. The government, as part of the seizure, also froze millions of dollars in assets but Dotcom, citing that he has not been convicted of anything, requested that he be given access to the funds.
However, the Fourth Circuit ruled 2-1 that Dotcom is a fugitive and that the issue of jurisdiction was resolved because many of the Megaupload servers were housed in the United States. As such, the court ruled that Dotcom does not deserve access to the funds. In the meantime, one New Zealand court has already approved his extradition though that decision is currently on appeal.
Next up today, Chris Morran at The Consumerist reports that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed an appeal in the “Dancing Baby” case with the Supreme Court, hoping that the highest court in the land will take a look at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s standards for when someone can receive damages over a false copyright notice.
The case began in 2007 when Stephanie Lenz uploaded a short video of her son dancing with Prince’s song Let’s Go Crazy playing in the background. Universal Music, the rightsholders to the song, file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice to get the video removed. That prompted the EFF to take up the case and sue Universal for filing a false notice.
While the courts have ruled that rightsholders, such as Universal, need to take fair use into consideration when filing a notice, they also set a very high standard to show DMCA misuse. Namely, Lenz would have to prove “some actual knowledge of misrepresentation” to prove Universal was liable. EFF feels that standard is too high and makes the fair use requirement “all but meaningless.” As such, they are asking the Supreme Court to take up the case.
Finally today, Kathianne Boniello at the New York Post reports that artist Scott Fulop has filed a lawsuit against Archie Comics, the publisher of the Sonic the Hedgehog comics, and Sega claiming that he is owed royalties for characters that he created and they continue to use without his permission.
Sonic is perhaps best known for being Sega’s video game mascot. However, like many characters, his popularity has spawned toys, TV shows and comic books. It’s in those comics that Fulop was an artist from 1996-1998 and he says he created some fifteen of the additional characters in the series.
Fulop claims that they continue to use the characters without his permission and that he isn’t receiving royalties for his work, even after what he called “extended settlement negotiations.”
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.