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First off today, Reuters reports that a German court has referred a dispute between newspaper publishers and Google to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), letting the EU court rule on whether publishers can force Google to pay for displaying snippets of newspaper articles.
The lawsuit was brought by over 40 of Germany’s publishers, including Axel Springer. They accused Google of copyright infringement for displaying snippets of text in search results, in particular Google news, and are using a German law that deals with using news in this manner.
The ECJ will now have to look at whether that German law is in line with EU law and whether it’s passage without being presented to the European Commission was proper. The review process is expected to take around a year.
Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that, in Sweden, four men have been sentenced between six and ten months apiece for their part in operating several piracy-oriented sites including Dreamfilm, Piratehub and Tankefetast.
The sites were shuttered in December 2014, not long after Swedish police had executed another action that shuttered The Pirate Bay for several weeks. Now, two years later, the men had their day in court, with all of them admitting to their role in the site but denying they had committed any crimes.
The anti-piracy organization Rights Alliance was central to the prosecution and celebrated the sentences. However, the men do have the chance to appeal though it is unclear if they will do so.
Finally today, Dave Neal at The Inquirer reports that Mozilla, the organization behind the popular Firefox browser, is working with a Dutch design studio to create Paperstorm.it, which it says can be used to spread leaflets seeking copyright reform in Europe.
According to their promotion, Paperstorm will let users “hover over European cities and drop digital leaflets”. However, the product isn’t at the physical stage yet, the site currently allows you to read their current leaflet and digitally “drop” it on Parliament.
Mozilla is expressing deep concern over proposed copyright changes in the EU, including changes that it says will require upload filters on sites such as Soundcloud to prevent copyright infringing material from distributed.
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.