First off today, Bill Donahue at Law360 reports that the Supreme Court has denied writ to Perfect 10 in its case against Giganews, allowing a lower court ruling that said the usenet service provider could not be held liable for copyright infringing images uploaded by its users.
Perfect 10, a pornography site, sued Giganews alleging that it was enabling widespread copyright infringement of their content. The district court, however, ruled that Giganews was not liable and awarded it $5.6 million in legal fees. Perfect 10 appealed but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also sided with Giganews. That then prompted Perfect 10 to appeal to the Supreme Court but the court has denied the case writ, meaning that the Appeals Court ruling will stand.
Whether Giganews will be able to collect on its attorneys fees is up for debate as Perfect 10 has repeatedly said that it is teetering on bankruptcy. Either way, this is likely the end of the line for this case as far as the copyright issues go.
Next up today, The Houston Chronicle reports that Energy Intelligence Group, a publisher of some 15 high-end newsletters about the oil and gas industry, is taking one of their customers to court alleging that they illegally shared their newsletters as so to pay for fewer copies than they used.
The case, which is headed to trial Monday in the U.S. District Court in Houston, alleges that Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors shared its five subscriptions of “Oil Daily” with others in the office who had not paid for a subscription.
Energy Intelligence Group had sued roughly a dozen of their customers but settlements have been reached in all but one case, this one. They say that they were tipped off when an employee at Kayne Anderson accidentally revealed that he was sharing the newsletter. Kanye Anderson denies that the sharing violated copyright law and further disputes Energy Intelligence Group’s claims of financial loss.
Finally today, Max Mason at The Australian Financial Review reports that the Australian government will be moving again to expand safe harbor protections in the country, but will be leaving internet giants such as Facebook and Google out of any protections that are proposed.
The protections, if they become law would protect educational institutions, libraries, archives and cultural sectors from liability when users upload copyright infringing material to them. The only requirement would be that take reasonable steps to remove infringing material after being notified. Safe harbor in the country already protects ISPs that provide internet connectivity to homes and businesses.
However, the new law would not apply to parties that profit directly from the content. This would include Facebook and Google (including YouTube) as they are ad-based services using user-generated content. According to the content creators who lobbied for the change, this separation is crucial so they can negotiate with these companies to pay royalties for the use of their content. The new legislation is set to be proposed today.
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.