3 Count: Unfair Fees

Looking north of the border for once...

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1: Canadian Educators Sue Copyright Organization

First off today, Ed Nawotka at Publishers’ Weekly reports that the education ministries in nearly all Canadian provinces and territories have teamed with the School Board of Ontario to file a lawsuit against Access Copyright, alleging that the organization overcharged for licenses between 2010-2012.

Access Copyright is an organization that represents various publishers and charges educational institutions a flat per-student fee to use and copy their content. However, in 2010, Canada changed it’s fair use standards granting a broader exemption to educational institutions. Access Copyright responded by lowering its rate in 2013 but now many of those organizations are seeking refunds for what they spent between 2010 and 2012.

Specifically, they are hoping to get back some C$27.5 million ($21.5 million). However, that money may be difficult to claim as, according to Access Copyright, their revenue has dropped significantly since the law change, falling to just C$5 million ($3.85 million) last year from C$11 million ($8.5 million) in 2016.

2: Belgian ISPs Join with Rights Owners to Request Latest Anti-Piracy Web-Blocks

Next up today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that, in Belgium, rightsholders are making a push to have some 33 websites and 450 domains blocked on copyright grounds but they are being joined by an unusual ally, the ISPs that will be doing the blocking.

Belgian companies Proximus, Telenet and VOO are teaming up with the Belgian Entertainment Association in petitioning the court for the blocks. Though this isn’t the first time ISPs have worked with rightsholders on these issues, it’s the first time in Belgium and it’s especially noteworthy considering the battles over site blocking that took place across the border in the Netherlands.

Though the ISPs didn’t say why they are teaming with rightsholders in this case, it’s likely that they believe the order to block the websites is inevitable and see cooperation as the better way to go, especially if they want to ensure judicial oversight of the process.

3: Playboy Drops Ridiculous Copyright Suit Against Boing Boing

Finally today, Nicole Lee at Engadget reports that Playboy has announced it will not refile its lawsuit against the online publication Boing Boing, letting stand an earlier dismissal of the lawsuit.

Playboy sued Boing Boing over an article that the blog published linking to a gallery on Imgur that contained illegal uploads of every centerfold in the magazine’s history. Playboy argued that, even though Boing Boing didn’t upload the images, they were liable for drawing additional attention to it.

The lawsuit was dismissed after the court didn’t find that Boing Boing had committed any copyright infringement. However, the court left the door open for Playboy to refile it if they so chose. Despite that, according to a statement sent to a reporter at Ars Technica, they have opted not to do so and will let the lawsuit end.


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.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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