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First off today, the BBC reports that the European Parliament has voted 438-226 to approve a controversial new copyright law, including provisions that would require tech companies to pay when using snippets of news articles and to proactively prevent copyrighted material from appearing on their service.
The bill, which was the subject of intense lobbying from both sides, aims to modernize copyright law in the bloc. However, it’s drawn controversy for two sections, Article 11 and Article 13, which many see as potentially harmful to the internet. Article 11 established a “link tax” which would require sites that use small portions of news content, including snippets in search results, to pay for a license. Likewise, Article 13 would require services like YouTube and Facebook to either secure licenses from rightsholders or prevent their works from being uploaded.
Both of those articles were endorsed by the Parliament though they have been altered slightly from the versions that were rejected in July. From here the bill will go to the EU Council, which will have opportunities to modify and alter it ahead of a final vote before the EU Parliament, likely at the end of this year or the beginning of next.
2: Hollywood Studios Declare Victory in Piracy Battle, as Set-Top Box Seller Agrees to $25 Million in Damages
Next up today, Ryan Faughnder at LA Times reports that Georgia-based TickBox has agreed to pay $25 million in damages to the major movie studios in order to settle a legal battle over their set-top box that rightsholders accused of being a “tool for the mass infringement” of their work.
TickBox was a set top box that relied on the Kodi operating system. Though Kodi itself is legal, many boxes that run it, including TickBox, include illegal add-ons that enable access to infringing material. This prompted the movie studios, which teamed up with Netflix and Amazon, to file a lawsuit against TickBox seeking both damages and an injunction to prevent further sales.
This settlement provides just that as the company will not only pay the damages but cease all operations and it must remove and disable access to any software that links to infringing content. The agreement must be approved by the court.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that two people in the UK have been arrested on suspicion of providing an pirate TV streaming service.
The 41-year-old man and 30-year-old woman were arrested following an investigation by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and were accused of providing illegal access to material from networks such as Sky and BT Sport.
The arrests are part of a larger investigation being coordinated by Europol that has also led to arrests in South Ireland and Scotland.