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First off today, Scott Graham at the National Law Journal reports that the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Fourth Estate Public Benefit v. Wall-Street.com and the justices seemed skeptical about the idea of litigation before a copyright registration has been completed.
In the United States, the law requires that a person have registered a work with the U.S. Copyright Office before filing a lawsuit for infringement. However, there is a split as to whether an application for the registration is adequate or one has to wait the up to three years for the registration to be completed. In the Fourth Estate case, the company sued Wall-Street.com over an alleged licensing violation after having filed for the registration but before it was completed. That prompted the dispute before the Supreme Court.
The justices, on the whole, appeared to be skeptical about the application approach, with only one justice showing support for the idea. If they side with Wall-Street.com, it could force rightsholders to wait longer to file copyright lawsuits or simply pay the $800 charge to expedite a registration.
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that the Indian government has proposed an update to its laws that could land “camming” pirates in prison for up to three years.
India, with its burgeoning film industry and rise of broadband access, has faced steep criticism both internally and abroad for not doing enough to stop piracy. The United States Trade Representative recently included India in their Special 301 report as a country that was not doing enough to combat copyright infringement.
The new proposal, if enacted, would punish those who record unauthorized video inside a movie theater with fines of up to Rs.10 Lakhs ($14,000) and up to three years in prison.
Finally today, Ryne Hager at Android Police reports that Sony appears to be preventing users from installing the Kodi app on their TVs, likely due to the heavy association between Kodi and pirated content.
Kodi is an open source tool for accessing and streaming content on a TV. Though Kodi is not in and of itself illegal, it is widely used to download and use apps that enable access to pirated content.
Sony, with its latest generation of smart TVs, has taken to blocking the installation of Kodi, barring users from setting up the app. Though users have found ways around this, including recompiling the app, they all require a great deal more skill and effort. This has prompted a user backlash against Sony and even Samsung has jumped in, with their official Twitter account welcoming Kodi users.