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First off today, Gene Maddaus at Variety reports that VidAngel has suffered another setback as the company has been ordered to pay movie studios $10,000 in legal fees after it was found to be in contempt of a previous injunction ordering them to cease streaming many of their films.
VidAngel is a movie streaming service that lets users “buy” films for $20 and then stream them. When the viewer is done, they can sell the film back for $19. VidAngel also allows users to filter out objectionable content and the company believes that, between right of first sale and the Family Movie Act, that it is operating legally. The movie studios disagree and have sued.
In December, the studios won an injunction against VidAngel but the service continued operating for weeks, until after the judge denied a stay. The studios wanted VidAngel held in contempt for that delay and the judge has now granted that, handing the studios more than $10,000 in legal fees as well.
Next up today, Tom Pullar-Strecker at Stuff reports that the Motion Picture Association has said in a submission to the New Zealand government, that piracy is a significant problem in the country with pirate sites consistently ranking higher in New Zealand than they do elsewhere in the world.
The move comes as New Zealand is looking at the possibility of copyright reform, including adding a “fair use” like right in the country. But the MPA, which represents all of the major U.S. film studios, warn that any such reform should also come with protections to guard against digital piracy.
Others counter the MPA’s evidence saying that the list of most popular sites is not a valid way of determining how much piracy is taking place. Further, they contend that evidence as to how much piracy is taking place shows that piracy in New Zealand is on the decline.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that entertainment industry associations including the MPAA and RIAA have submitted amicus briefs to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals support BMG in their ongoing case against Cox.
BMG sued Cox alleging that Cox failed to terminate repeat infringers on its network and that Cox’s policy was a sham. Cox denied that but the jury disagreed, hitting them with a $25 million judgment. That matter is now on appeal before the Fourth Circuit.
Now, several industry groups including the MPAA, RIAA and the Copyright Alliance have submitted briefs to the court supporting BMG. According to them, Cox should not be able to enjoy safe harbor because of their failure to disconnect repeat infringers and, as such, share in the liability for infringements that took place on their network.
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.