3 Count: Bankruptcy Battle

When bankrupt doesn't mean bankrupt...

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1: Court: Retailer Accountable for Promoting Piracy

First off today, Colin Mann at Advanced Television writes that Amit Bhalla, a retailer who sold internet streaming devices with pirated channels, has attempted and failed to use bankruptcy protection to shield her from $4.4 million in damages for copyright and trademark infringement.

The lawsuit was filed by Dish Network against TVpad and its distributors. TVpad is an internet-based streaming device that allows users to access unauthorized channels, including several owned directly by Dish Network. Dish network eventually won some $55 million in damages and an injunction against the device and similar devices.

Bhalla, a distributor of TV pad, was hit with $4.4 million of those damages and immediately filed bankruptcy to avoid paying the amount. However, the US Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida has granted a motion by Dish to hold her accountable and not let her discharge the damages. Citing the willful nature of the infringement, the court sided with Dish and is ordering Bhalla to pay the damages despite the bankruptcy filing.

2: Cloudflare CEO Faces Two-Hour Deposition Over His Company’s Piracy Policies

Next up today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that the U.S.-based content delivery network (CDN) Cloudflare will have to face a two-hour deposition over its policies for dealing with piracy.

Cloudflare provides a series of services to websites that make them more secure and speeds them up. However, the site has historically refused to remove any site from its network without a court order, even playing host to some of the internet’s largest piracy sites. This changed when Cloudflare, without a court order, removed the white supremacist site The Daily Stormer, prompting questions about why it doesn’t take similar steps against copyright infringing content.

Cloudflare is currently embroiled in litigation with ALS Scan, a pornography service, over the aid it provides pirate websites. Seizing this recent turn of events, ALS Scan asked the court to be allowed to depose CloudFlare’s CEO, Matthew Prince, regarding he company’s anti-piracy policies. Though the court restricted the time and the focus of the deposition, it is allowing it to go forward. This sets the stage for a two-hour deposition on the topic that will, undoubtedly, be closely watched by the industry.

3: Library Trolls Copyright Zealots by Naming Collection After Sonny Bonoaxavbvrydyeyrwqcdssftrfsqwerfdefxbe

Finally today, Timothy B. Lee at Ars Technica reports that the Internet Archive is using an obscure portion of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act to publish complete copies of out-of-print books first published between 1923 and 1941.

The act in question extended the copyright term for 20 years but contained a provision through which books published between 1923 and 1941 could be republished. However, they couldn’t only be done so by a library and if the original books were out of print. As such, few have taken advantage of this rule both because of the legal risks and the research required.

However, the Internet Archive has launched the Sonny Bono Memorial Collection, a collection of 62 obscure books from those years that they are printing in full. They further say that they are expecting thousands more books to become available in the collection once they start automating the process of researching the work.

Suggestions

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.

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