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First off today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that, in the ongoing case against Kim Dotcom, the former Megaupload head has lost one asset forfeiture case and received his belongings back in another, though the latter felt less like a victory after his stuff was returned.
Dotcom was arrested in January 2012 over allegations his site, Megaupload, was a haven for piracy and copyright infringement. He is currently battling extradition from his home in New Zealand to the United States. In the meantime, the U.S. government has been seeking to take control over assets of his that were seized during the raid against him. In the U.S., the government won a case allowing them to take control over several bank accounts and the domain names used to operate Megaupload. The argument there was that, since Dotcom is fighting extradition, he is legally considered a fugitive and can not avail himself of the U.S. courts, granting the U.S. government a default judgment.
However, the asset forfeiture case in Hong Kong went much better for Dotcom, with the courts ruling, after several appeals, that the U.S. government had no right to hang onto assets seized outside the United States. At almost the same time as the above verdict, two crates of items seized from Dotcom’s home were return to him but, according to Dotcom, they were returned “rotten and destroyed” despite supposedly being stored in a climate controlled facility. Dotcom took to Twitter to vent his frustrations but did not say if he would take further action.
Next up today, Aodhan O’Faolain at The Irish Times reports that a judge has ordered ISPs in the country to block a series of websites allegedly engaged in copyright infringement.
The lawsuit was brought by the Motion Picture Association, which represents major film and TV studios internationally. The group claimed that the sites were infringing content they represent. The sites include EZTV, Watchfree and Rargbg among others. The injunction requires all local ISPs to block access to the sites, which may be used by up to 1.5 million people in the country.
None of the ISPs opposed the decision, which was handed down by the country’s Commercial Court.
Finally today, Wendy Davis at MediaPost reports that FilmOn is asking the California Supreme Court to revive a defamation lawsuit against DoubleVerify, who had previously reported that the streaming site had both featured adult content and copyright infringement.
DoubleVerify is an online monitoring company that provides reports to potential advertisers about websites. In one of those reports, it claimed that FilmOn hosted both adult content and copyright infringing material, prompting FilmOn to file a defamation lawsuit in 2014.
However, DoubleVerify, which stands behind the reporting, got the lawssuit dismissed almost immediately under California’s anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) law. The law is designed to protect the rights of people to discuss issues of public interest. An appeals court upheld the dismissal in last year and now FilmOn is appealing again to the California Supreme Court saying that the anti-SLAPP law shouldn’t apply to DoubleVerify’s confidential reports.
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.