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First off today, David Kravets at Ars Technica reports that President Donald Trump has officially withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a wide-ranging treaty a dozen pacific-rim nations that included provisions on intellectual property.
The TPP had been controversial since its inception due to large amounts of secrecy. The agreement was mostly an attempt to harmonize various trade rules between the nations and included a wide range of subjects including human rights, tariffs and intellectual property. President Trump, during his campaign, claimed that the TPP was a bad deal for the United States and vowed to get the U.S. out of it.
Without the United States involvement, it’s unlikely that the deal will move forward with the other 11 nations. On the front of copyright, the deal would not have meant any changes to U.S. copyright law, but would have exported U.S. copyright terms and protections of digital rights management to the other nations.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that adult content provider Perfect 10 has racked up yet another loss, this one before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in their battle with GigaNews.
GigaNews is a Usenet service provider that allows users to download content from the Usenet messaging service. Much of that content is pirated, including many of Perfect 10’s images. Perfect 10 originally sent a series of takedown notices to GigaNews but, after finding that it wasn’t effective enough to their satisfaction, filed a lawsuit. The district court ruled against Perfect 10, saying that GigaNews had not violated the law, and ordered Perfect 10 to pay some $5.6 million in attorneys fees.
Perfect 10 appealed to the Ninth Circuit and the key issue was whether Perfect 10 had to show “volitional conduct” on its claim of direct infringement. Since it was users who were doing the copying, the lower court ruled that Perfect 10 needed to show that that GigaNews didn’t just provide the means for the copying, but caused it. Perfect 10 cited the previous Aereo case to such conduct was not necessary to prove but the Appeals Court disagreed, handing Perfect 10 another defeat.
Finally today, Alexandra Alter at The New York Times reports that Fredrik Colting, a Swedish author well known for being sued by the J.D. Salinger estate over an unauthorized sequel to The Catcher in the Rye, is being sued again, this time over children’s books.
The estates of Arthur C. Clarke, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote and Ernest Hemingway along with two major publishers have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against him for writing and releasing children’s books based on creations by those authors.
At issue is Colting’s KinderGuides, which are children’s books based on classic novels such as Kerouac’s On the Road and Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Colting previously said that the aim of KinderGuides was to make classic novels more accessible to children. He further claimed that they are intended as study guides, similar to CliffsNotes, and add to the work rather than infringing copyright.
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.