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First off today, Kyle Jahner at Bloomberg Law reports that the media company Gannett has settled a lawsuit with a photographer that took a candid photo of NFL quarterback Tom Brady.
Gannett, like many other media companies, embedded an unauthorized Tweet of the photo in news articles they featured on their site. When the photographer sued, the news agencies claimed that they could not be held liable because the photo was never hosted on their servers. However, despite a Ninth Circuit opinion upholding that argument, the Second Circuit ruled against the news agencies on that issue and sent it back to the lower court for hearings about the fair use questions.
Since then, most of the defendants in the case have reached settlements and only Verizon Media Group, Time Inc. and Heavy Inc. remain. The case sets up a circuit split between the Ninth Circuit and the Second Circuit on this issue. That may, down the road, open the door to a Supreme Court challenge.
Next up today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that, in Germany, Vodafone has blocked access to a popular piracy website without receiving a court order.
The blockade impacts the German site Boerse and comes after a request from the local anti-piracy group GEMA. The blockade affects both Vodaphones fixed and mobile networks and, as with most such blocks, is performed at the DNS level.
The site is currently accessible via other ISPs in the country. However, it is widely expected that GEMA (or another group) will pursue a court order. If that happens, it will require all major ISPs in the country to comply.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that The U.S. government is recommending that former copyright attorney Paul Hansmeier spend 12.5 years in prison for his role in the Prenda Law scheme.
Hansmeier, as well as others connected with the now-defunct firm, were first indicted in 2016. They were part of a “copyright troll” operation that would target users that downloaded and shared content via BitTorrent. However, it was quickly learned that Prenda Law was representing “clients” that were actually shell companies for the owners. The lawyers also had falsified many of the documents involved in addition to many other lies or omissions to the court.
Due to that, Hansmeier was charged with both mail and wire fraud as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering. He pleaded guilty in the summer of 2018 and now the U.S. government has filed its sentencing recommendation, saying he deserves 150 months. However, Hansmeier’s attorneys object to the recommendation, saying their client deserves no more than 87 months. Either way though, Hansmeier is looking at many years in prison for his crimes.