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First off today, Gene Madaus at Variety reports that a judge has issued an injunction against the DVD “rental” service VidAngel, ordering the company to shut down ahead of a trial for copyright infringement.
VidAngel is a family-friendly streaming services that allows users to buy a DVD for $20, stream it using their their player, which can remove objectionable content, and then sell it back for $19. According to several movie studios, which sued VidAngel for copyright infringement, this made it tantamount to an unauthorized streaming service. However, VidAngel protested and said that it was protected by laws that allowed consumers to use software to filter out objectionable material in films.
The judge in the case hinged his decision on digital rights management (DRM) software. Noting that the DVDs involved have DRM and that it is unlawful to remove DRM without permission, the judge issued an injunction saying that VidAngel provided no proof it was authorized to circumvent the DRM to make it available for streaming. VidAngel, however, has promised to appeal the decision, to the Supreme Court if needed.
Next up today, Emma Woollacott at Forbes reports that a German court has ruled against a website that unknowingly linked to infringing material even though the material in question was under a Creative Commons License and the infringement was not carried out for direct profit.
The issue centers around a photographer whose work is available under a Creative Commons License. A website posted the images without providing the correct attribution, making it a copyright infringement. However, when another website linked to the infringing images, the photographer sued that site as well, even though the site had no knowledge of the infringement and only profited through ads on the site.
The decision follows another one in the EU where the European Court of Justice decided that linking to cases carrying infringing material was a copyright infringement if it was carried out for profit. Many had hoped that the law would be applied sparingly and leniently, but this German ruling seems to indicate it will be applied very strictly in some cases.
Finally today, April Welsh at FACT reports that SoundCloud founder Eric Wahlforss has announced that the company has secured the necessary licenses to allow DJs to to keep mixes on the platform legally, ending the the troubled history between DJs and the service.
Previously, SouundCloud lacked the needed licensing to allow remixing of music. This frustrated DJs who would post their mixes to the site only to have them removed by automated detection bots that would pull them over copyright concerns.
However, SoundCloud now says it has sorted the licensing issues, including with Germany’s GEMA licensing agency, and, as a result, such removals should be a thing of the past.
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.