3 Count: Button Masher

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1: Disney Sues to Block Redbox’s Digital Movie Sales

First off today, Todd Spangler at Variety reports that Disney has filed a lawsuit against DVD rental service Redbox alleging that the maker of red kiosks is committing copyright infringement by reselling digital codes that it has acquired by purchasing Disney combo packs.

Redbox, which has not had a direct distribution deal with Disney since 2012, purchases DVDs on the open market to offer for rent. While this is legal under the right of first sale, some of the Disney combo packs that Redbox purchased came with digital download codes, codes that Redbox has been reselling through its kiosks.

According to Disney, the terms of the digital codes clearly states that they are not for resale or transfer. As such, they are suing Redbox for copyright infringement, breach of contract and false advertising for damages of up to $150,000 per infringement and an injunction barring the continued resale of digital codes.

2: EU: Cloud Storage of Broadcasts Requires Copyright Holders’ Permission

Next up today, John Eggerton at Broadcast & Cable reports that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that companies need permission from broadcasters before they can store copies of broadcaster programs for later re-streaming.

The battle pitted Italian broadcaster RTI against VCAST, a service similar to Aereo in the United States in that it captured over-the-air broadcast television for streaming on the internet. RTI claimed that its service was completely legal but RTI sued and the lower courts sided with them, saying the service amounted to a public performance and required permission.

However, the Italian court asked the EU court to clarify the issues around cloud storage and whether the blocking of VCAST was compatible with EU law. The court has since ruled that it is. Further the CJEU said that third party recording and storage of over-the-air broadcast TV is not covered under the private recording copyright exception.

3: Streamer Broadcasts a Real UFC Fight on Twitch, Avoids Copyright by Pretending to Play

Finally today, Matthew Wilson at KitGuru reports that Twitch streamer AJ Lester illegally streamed the most recent UFC event, UFC 218, but avoided having the stream taken down by simply turning on his webcam and pretending to play the event as a game.

With a Playstation 4 controller in his hands and a headset over his ears, Lester pretended to play the entire pay-per-view as if it were a video game. In addition to mashing buttons, he also added commentary to the even to further the illusion he was in control of the action.

Though Lester’s trick did fly under Twitch’s radar at the time, the story has been attracting a great deal of media attention, making it likely that something will come of it. In the meantime though, Lester’s follower count has doubled though he has deleted his video on demand of the event.


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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